Richard Edward Bozak

Richard Edward Bozak, born on October 13, 1934, in Aberdeen, Washington, passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 2, 2024.

Richard Edward Bozak, born on October 13, 1934, in Aberdeen, Washington, passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 2, 2024.

Richard grew up in Aberdeen with his beloved sister, Barbara, who later married Bill Maki. He was the cherished son of Mary and John Bozak, both immigrants from the Slavic regions of Croatia and Poland.

From a young age, Richard displayed a love for fishing and a talent for playing the clarinet, which he pursued through high school and into college. He attended the University of Washington, where he earned his degree in chemistry. His academic journey continued at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his PhD in organic chemistry. It was during this time that he met and fell in love with Patricia Olson. They married in Berkeley, California, at the International House, and soon welcomed their first child, Karen, who was conceived during a postdoctoral appointment in Russia and born in Illinois.

After completing another postdoctoral fellowship in Illinois, Richard and his family moved to the Bay Area of California in 1960. Initially working at Shell Oil Refinery, where he conducted research, Richard accepted a position at Cal State Hayward (now California State University, East Bay) as a professor of organic chemistry. The family settled in Dublin, California, where they made their home for several decades and welcomed two more children, Kristin and Ronald. Known for his quirky behaviors and deep dedication to his field, Professor Bozak was well respected and widely published, especially in the area of organic ferrocene chemistry.

Richard’s passion for music endured throughout his life. He led several local bands, specializing in Dixieland jazz, and continued to play the clarinet with enthusiasm. His academic career afforded him and his family the opportunity to travel internationally, with sabbaticals taking them to places like Hawaii, Germany, Norway, Portugal, and Hungary. Richard was also an avid sports fan, watching intently and sharing many insights into the games, especially when it came to his favorite teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the San Francisco Giants.

Richard is survived by his wife, Patricia, his children, Karen, Kristin, and Ronald, along with many friends and former colleagues who will remember him fondly for his contributions to science and his love for music. A remembrance ceremony is being planned for the future, where family and friends will gather to celebrate his remarkable life.

Donations can be made to support music and science education programs, ensuring that Richard’s legacy of curiosity and creativity continues to inspire future generations.