I just received the sad news that my friend, boss, and mentor, Dr. Irwin “Ike” Klundt died in Tucson, AZ, of cancer. Ike retired in the early 1990’s as VP of Sigma-Aldrich. He was an organic chemist from eastern Washington state. He joined Alfred Bader in the 1960’s (?) and helped build Aldrich into what is is today. He started the Aldrichimica Acta and appeared in it many times in the capacity of awarding a prize to honor prominent chemists. Ike also managed the publication of the catalog and invented the Aldrich “Coffeepot” Kugelrohr.

I first met Ike when I taught for a year at Ft Lewis College in Durango, CO. He was an adjunct prof and I was a visiting prof. Ike was loved by all and was a useful hand to have around for the department.

Ike was a good hearted soul who enjoyed the company of others and actively worked to help younger chemists develop their careers. He loved the science and business of chemistry and the people who worked in this field of ours. Ike was forced out of Aldrich soon after Bader was given the boot as the once entrepreneurial company began to behave like a normal publicly traded company- you know, the ones that eat their young.

The chemical field is poorer for the loss of Ike Klundt. He was one of the human beings of the trade and he will be missed.

Advertisements