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May 5, 1937 ~ October 1, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Miroslav Vichr, (aka Miro, Mirek, or Mike), was born on May 5, 1937 in the village of Jihlava, Czechoslovakia. He passed away October 1, 2023, after a long struggle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Mirek was born to Antonin and Marie Vichr. He was the cherished brother of Blazena Sindelarova. They grew up in the aftermath of World War II, gaining life experiences as the country went through significant struggles. He studied at Vysoka Skola Chemicko-Technologicka (University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague) to be a chemical engineer, earning a PhD in inorganic chemistry. In 1967 he temporarily moved to Paris to work at the French National Research Center, and met the love of his life, Judith Vichr (neé Brennan). He immigrated to the United States in 1971 and he and Judy were married in Ogdensburg, NY on July 24, 1971. They lived in Parsippany, NJ until moving to Sunnyvale, CA in 1975. They had 2 daughters, Michele Margut (Vichr) and Carina Epting (Vichr). While working for Air Products and Chemicals, he was transferred to Pennsylvania in 1989, and the family started a new chapter of life on the East Coast.
Mirek could be described as one who “marched to the beat of his own drum”. He loved the outdoors, art, music, and science. He was much more comfortable in a wooded campground than in a hotel on vacation. He loved hunting, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, and sail boating. He and Judy played tennis frequently over the years, even beyond his 80th birthday. Towards the end he referred to it as ‘geriatric tennis’. He was a talented artist and his work was displayed throughout the house, along with his daughter’s and grandchildren’s artwork as well.
He was very well read in politics, science, history and art. This lent itself well to his other hobby, debating! He was known to take the opposite viewpoint just to make it more interesting. He also loved to travel and camp. He owned a 1979 Dodge Van which carried the family on adventures from Baja, Mexico to Banff, Canada and then on the East Coast, from Nova Scotia to Key West. The family has many fond memories of these trips!
His career as a chemical engineer spanned over 30 years. He worked at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Laboratory Institute of Solid-State materials, where he built a lab for the growth of magnetic oxide single crystals. In France he worked on the growth of garnet crystals for lasers and magnetic applications. He contributed a chapter in a book titled, "Magnetic oxides". In the US he worked on single crystals for lasers and a new generation of semi-conductors and their epitaxy. His career finished by the development of a technique for the growth of large single diamond crystals. He held numerous patents for his processes and techniques. Allied Chemical, Varian, Air Products were some of the companies he worked for. He was an instrumental founder in the start-up company, Diamonex, Inc.
He is survived by his sister Blazena Sindelarova, nephew Martin Sindelar and Martin’s daughter Barbora Sindelarova, all of whom reside in the Czech Republic. Locally, he is survived by his wife Judy Vichr, daughter Michele Margut (husband Eric Margut), daughter Carina Epting (husband Thomas Epting) and 4 grandchildren, Sierra Margut, Zachary Margut, Braydon Epting and Landon Epting.