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100 North Main Street
Massena, NY 13662
Phone: (315) 769-3579
Fax: (315) 769-3570
Josip Kratohvil

Josip Kratohvil

Sunday, February 26th, 1928 - Saturday, May 9th, 2020
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Dr. Josip Kratohvil, 92, of Potsdam, NY, peacefully passed away at his home on May 9, 2020.

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
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Mary Harris-Boyer

Posted at 10:26am
So sorry to learn of Dr. Krathovil’s passing, he was such a kind hearted man.

Helen Tedford

Posted at 09:22am
Josef and Stanka were next door neighbors for many years when we lived in Potsdam. We remember Doris and Vlasta as they grew up about the same time as our sons. This is a lovely family and I just wanted to let the girls know we will never forget them. Helen Tedford

Drazen Pavlovic

Posted at 06:12am
Professor Kratohvil was the kindest and generous person you could ever meet. He always knew how to make me laugh and make my life more enjoyable during my short but memorable stay at Clarkson University. Back then as an emeritus professor he used to visit the lab where I was working very often asking me about my current research activities, my life in Potsdam, and news from Croatia as well. Later he invited me to his home, and I became a regular guest at the dinner parties and social gatherings wonderfully organized by his late wife Stanka. Although I knew Prof. Kratohvil for a relatively short time and it is been more than a decade since we have been in touch, I will always remember him as a great man. Dear Professor rest in peace.

Dražen Pavlović

Frank Bateman

Posted at 05:33pm
I consider myself very lucky to have known Josip. I enjoyed talking to him about many worldly topics. He was a very well read and intelligent man. He was always interested in keeping up to date with my sons progress as a chemistry major. He was always very generous even with his wine. When ever I have roast duck or purple cabbage I will always think of him. RIP Josip.

Boris Jukic

Posted at 03:45pm
In memory of a dear colleague. of 15 years. I will always fondly remember your kindness and a great sense of humor. Joza, may you rest in peace.
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