Cover photo for Gabor B.L. Miskolczy's Obituary
Gabor B.L. Miskolczy Profile Photo
1933 Gabor 2012

Gabor B.L. Miskolczy

June 15, 1933 — July 23, 2012

Gabor B. L. Miskolczy, 79, of Carlisle, Massachusetts, died, surrounded by his family, at Emerson Hospital in Concord, MA, after a 2-week battle with anaplasmosis, an acute infection caused by a deer tick bite.

Gabor was born on June 15, 1933, in Szeged, Hungary, to Marta Klara Borbiro Miskolczy and Dr. Dezso Istvan Miskolczy, a well-known Hungarian neuropsychiatrist. After early childhood spent in Szeged, he grew up in Kolozsvar (now in Romania) and Budapest. In June of 1949, he came to Woods Hole, MA, to be reunited with his mother who had divorced and was then married to Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the 1937 Nobel Laureate who isolated Vitamin C from the Hungarian red pepper.

He graduated from Philips Exeter Academy and then went to Harvard University and the University of Toronto where he received his B. A. Sc. in mechanical engineering, then attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned his S. M. in Mechanical Engineering. He was a research assistant in the MIT Gas Turbine Lab until1958, when he became the first full-time employee of Thermo Electron Corporation, then a start-up in a garage in Belmont, MA, today Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. in Waltham, MA.

Gabor specialized in heat transfer and direct energy conversion (Thermionics) research devoted to saving energy for commercial and industrial processing. Applications included: heat treating steel, Portland cement manufacture, high efficiency gas and fluid heaters, gas-fired forging furnaces, thermionic cogeneration, and optimum insulation for high temperature reactors. This research focussed on fuel conservation in energy intensive industries, power plants, and space power systems. Gabor was the lead engineer for furnace and heat exchanger design in these experiments.

With the exception of 5 years at Avco Corporation, Wilmington, MA, where he co-invented applications for a liquid magnetic colloid, Ferrofluid, he spent his entire 42-year career at Thermo Electron or its divisions Thermotrex and Thermedics where he worked on explosives detection and helped develop a portable bomb detector for personnel screening and a land mine locator. He worked half time for Thermopower from 2000 until retiring in 2002.

His 8 patents include explosives vapor detection methods, heat pipe deicers, industrial furnaces, a novel cement kiln, and a Ferrofluid shaft seal and Ferrofluid Refrigeration System. He is the author of numerous papers in these fields.

Gabor moved to Carlisle from Cambridge in 1966 and became active in town affairs. He was a lifetime member of the Carlisle Democratic Town committee, and received the Third Middlesex Honored Democrat award in 2009. He served on the Carlisle Fair Housing Committee, 12 years on the Carlisle Board of Health, the Roads Advisory Committee, and drove weekly for the Carlisle Food Coop, He was the first treasurer of "The Mosquito," (today "The Carlisle Mosquito"), and Mosquito reporter on the Minuteman School for many years. Perhaps his favorite activity was being the only embattled Hungarian in the Carlisle Minuteman Company, marching since 1975 with his signature 2-prong pitchfork in place of a musket.

He was an avid outdoorsman and athlete, a skier, hiker, swimmer, runner (an annual finisher in the Falmouth Road Race until 2011), a cyclist commuting 26 miles round trip to Waltham daily, with NEBC (New England Bicycle Club) time trials on Saturdays and the annual bike race up Mt. Washington in September, a sailor who completed the Bermuda race and won the"Wooly Cup" for best beard, a windsurfer and also an enthusiastic member of the BMC (Boston Mycological Club). Music and theater were a large part of his life. He had a discerning palate and enviable appetite. "Dessert first" was his motto. Trick-or-treaters will remember his unusual Halloween costumes. He was a curious and perceptive world traveler, whether for business or pleasure and shared his observations with wry humor and insight.

Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2003, he immediately volunteered for every study he qualified for including: pharmaceutical trials; psychological studies (Parkinson's and depression); exercise; music and Parkinson's exercises (Sargent College); toxic substances and Parkinson's as well as being an annual demonstration subject for Harvard Medical school students.

He leaves his wife of 47 years, sculptor Bonnie Orr Miskolczy of Carlisle and Santa Fe, NM, daughter Marta Meigs Miskolczy of Steamboat Springs, CO, her husband Charles Becvarik and their son Callum, his sister Ursula Rowan of Woods Hole and her husband Dr. Andrew Szent-Gyorgyi, nephews Christopher Rowan and his wife Dr. Eniko Sajti, Tim Rowan and his wife Molly, their son Hudson, Peter Rowan and his wife Stephanie Ryan, their son Lincoln, step-sister Dr. Orsolya Miskolczy and half- brother Ambrus Miskolczy of Budapest, first cousins Balint Bodroghy and his wife Barbara of Hove, U.K., Esther Pasztory and her husband Richard Eaton of New York City and Deer Isle, ME and Kristina Taylor of Bethlehem, PA and many other dear friends and relatives.

A memorial concert is being planned for June, 2013, in Carlisle, on or near what would have been his 80th birthday.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc., Parkinson Plaza, 135 Parkinson Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305-1425 (800 223 2732); the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018 (800 457 6676); or to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements under the care of Glenn D. Burlamachi, CONCORD FUNERAL HOME, Concord.

Proud to be family owned, operated and occupied since 1936.


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