Gordon I. Kaye, PhD, 83, of Waquoit, MA, Alden March Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Albany Medical College and retired Chairman of the Board and Executive VP of WR2 died February 9, 2019 of complications from pneumonia.
Born August 13, 1935 in Manhattan, he was raised in Brooklyn living adjacent to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden where as a child he was introduced to the excitement of laboratory research. He received an A.B. from Columbia College in 1955, an A.M. from Columbia University in 1957 and a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1961. In 1956 he married Nancy Weber. He was Associate Professor of Surgical Pathology and Director of the F. Higginson Cabot Laboratory of Electron Microscopy at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. In 1976 he was named Alden March Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy, Albany Medical College. Among his many accolades was being named an Honorary Member of the Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologists. Other honors included the Charles Heubschman Prize in Zoology, Columbia University, The Society of Sigma Xi, The Tousimis Prize in Biological Sciences and the Raymond C. Truex Distinguished Lecturer, Hahnemann University Medical College. He was Consulting and Associate Editor at The Anatomical Record and Reviewer of the Journal of Cell Biology, Experimental Eye Research, Cancer, Investigative Ophthalmology, Developmental Biology, USVA DMS Research Program, American Journal Surgical Pathology, Journal National Cancer Institute, Wiley-Liss, and the Journal Cell Science. His research including the use of nuclear tracing isotopes led him with Dr. Peter Weber in 1993 to found WR2 to promote the process and develop the necessary equipment based on their patent for alkaline hydrolysis which safely destroys all pathogens including prions that cause Mad Cow, Scrapie and Chronic Wasting Diseases. The process established by WR2 has been expanded to include ‘flameless cremation’ of human bodies, a process now available in many states throughout the US. In addition to receiving several patents Dr. Kaye had over 75 published research articles in peer reviewed journals and was co-author on several histology textbooks.
He loved to tell a joke, cook for family and friends and drink a good scotch. Hobbies included woodworking and furniture refinishing, including weaving Shaker style seats and backs for chairs, which he used throughout his home. He was a lifelong baseball fan, beginning with the Brooklyn Dodgers and concluding with the Red Sox. He first visited Woods Hole at age 12 and spent summers there working at the Marine Biological Laboratory and in the kitchen of the Breakwater Hotel, where he learned to cook. Before moving to Waquoit permanently in 2014, he was a longtime summer resident, where he and his wife enjoyed racing their Beetle Cat for many years as members of the Waquoit Bay Yacht Club. Community activities included support for public libraries, public and private education and classical music.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years and daughters Jacqueline Dufresne (Keith), Vivienne West (Rick) and grandchildren Thomas West, Lucy West and Lainie Dufresne.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in his memory to the Children’s Education Programs of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (www.bbg.org/learn).