Dr. Josip Kratohvil, 92, of Potsdam, NY, peacefully passed away at his home on May 9, 2020.
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Josip was born on February 26, 1928 in Morovic in the former Yugoslavia to Pavel and Marija Kratohvil. He attended public schools in what is now Croatia in Vukovar and Zagreb. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry at the University of Zagreb in 1952 followed by his doctoral degree in physical chemistry in 1954. He served as a junior faculty member at the University of Zagreb, followed by a year in London and Ottawa in post-doctoral programs. In 1952, he married Stanka Babić, a colleague at the university. Together, they left Croatia in search of a better life and emigrated to the United States in 1960, making Potsdam their home.
For over 40 years, he held a number of positions at Clarkson University, including Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Institute of Colloid and Surface Science. In 1998, he was made Professor Emeritus. He was the editor of the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science and published more than 60 scientific papers in the area of colloid chemistry, which he described for the layman as "the science of very small matter." His work in this field took him to Japan, Europe and many cities in the U.S. where he developed relationships with colleagues and came back full of delightful stories. Despite the travel, editing the scientific periodical, and his research, Josip considered himself, first, last and always, a teacher. When referring to the future, he was fond of quoting Yogi Berra: "When you arrive at the fork in the road, take it."
He will be remembered for his integrity, kindness, and lifelong desire for knowledge. He was an avid reader, particularly of current events on the world stage and had a passion for opera. In particular, he has a large collection of performances by the American soprano, Renee Fleming, his all-time favorite. He loved to entertain family, friends and visitors from other countries with good food, wine, and lively political discussions. His avid patriotism for America will not be forgotten. He especially enjoyed lunches out with his friends in Potsdam’s ROMEO club (Retired Old Men Eating Out).
Josip is survived by his two daughters: Vlasta Pinkston and her partner Tim Winrow, and Doris Walls; five grandchildren: Megan Pinkston Julich and her husband Chris Julich, Eric Pinkston and his wife Hillary Palmer Pinkston, Cameron Walls and his fiancée Rachel Sabinsky, Harrison Walls, and Caleb Walls; and one great grandson, Hayes Pinkston.
At Josip’s request, there will not be a service. Donations may be made in Josip’s name to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US-11, Potsdam, NY 13676.
Arrangements are with the Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home, where memories and condolences may be shared online at www.donaldsonseymour.com.