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Dr. Joseph C. Salamone

Obituary for Dr. Joseph C. Salamone

December 27, 1930 - July 9, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 88

Obituary

Dr. Joseph C. Salamone, internationally-renowned leader in polymer chemistry, passed away peacefully on July 9, 2019. Dr. Salamone lived a life so full of love that he dedicated himself across a wide spectrum of roles: father, grandfather, inventor and ballroom dancing enthusiast, to name a few. He was a person of rare determination, raised in a newly immigrated Italian-American family, who focused on improving his life and all those he cared for. More notable than any other attributes, Dr. Joseph Salamone was a provider of compassion and innovation.

Dr. Salamone was the first-born son in his generation, and at a minimum the 10th Joseph Salamone. He was highly motivated to succeed: he rose from assistant professor to professor in six years and to Dean at U Mass Lowell within 8 years. During this time he cofounded his first company in an entirely new field of eye care, following his invention of oxygen-permeable contact lenses. He retired for the first and only time in his early 40s, which lasted about six months. He then signed on to be the Editor-in-Chief of an encyclopedia on polymeric materials. In addition to creating new biomaterials in eye and wound care, he worked to advance the field of polymer chemistry. He is a co-founder of the Pacific Polymer Federation - a professional society for polymer scientists in countries around the Pacific Ocean. He led the American Chemical Society Polymer Division to more comprehensive programming and financial soundness. Within the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, he led the expansion of the Industry Council. Dr. Salamone's most honored professional recognition was election into the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE). NAE, under an 1863 congressional act signed by President Abraham Lincoln, is directed "whenever called upon by any department or agency of the government, to investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art" by providing engineering leadership in service to the nation. In 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Inventors where his class consisted of 26 presidents, 69 members of the National Academies (Medicine, Science and Engineering), 6 recipients of the US National Medal of Technology, and 9 Nobel Laureates. Many of his creations have come to market through licensing agreements with Rochal Industries (named after his children: Robert, Chris, and Alicia). Perhaps the most important of all of his contributions, Dr. Salamone was a profound humanitarian. His products have improved healthcare for millions of people in many countries.

Dr. Salamone is survived by his loving family: his wife Ann, son Chris, daughter Alicia, sister Joan, as well as cousins, spouses of children (Brent and Jade), and grandchildren (Cadence and Murphy). Throughout his long and illustrious career, Dr. Salamone made sure that his family came first, often moving work functions, or focusing his mind on developing products that might solve the challenges that families face every day. He functioned with "old fashioned" values of honor and duty, often befuddling or frustrating others with his sense of obligation. Sometimes these values might manifest as an overwhelming knowledge of classical music, oral debate about who would pay the dinner bill, or competitive round of air hockey wherein he would play with maximum vigor against all challengers. And, while perhaps confusing to onlookers, his perspective couldn't be more clear to his loved ones. He believed in dedicating himself with full effort, taking care of those he loved, and leading vigorously by example. Most interestingly, Dr. Salamone often remained silent as to his motivations, and only when pressed did his personal quest to improve the human and family condition arise. In passing, he is joined by his mother Angela, father Joseph, and son Bob. He is also gratefully survived by many of his Rochal partners, the Rochal team, colleagues and friends.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at Porter Loring North Mortuary located at 2102 N Loop 1604 E, San Antonio.
Visitation from 3 to 4 pm. Service at 4 pm. Donations to "Doctors without Borders" or anywhere of personal choosing would make Dr. Salamone pleased.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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