David William WeilerApril 6, 1938 ~ August 3, 2017 (age 79)
To his family and many friends Dave Weiler was a man among men, head and shoulders above others – not simply because of his standing-tall, 6’7” stature, but as a man of intellect, who, in his later years, had grown in his thoughtfulness and in godly wisdom. Never one to take part in idle conversation, he spoke from knowledge and experience, causing others to, at least, consider his viewpoint – if not act upon it. He never wasted his words!
Dave was born in Niagara Falls, NY, his parents, John and Pauline, having moved there from Ohio. He was a marvelous big brother to his two sisters, Ann and Meg, as they all grew up in the LaSalle region of The Falls City. In Dave’s senior year of high school the family moved to a lovely 100+acre farm on Lake Ontario in Wilson, NY. There, he helped his dad care for the “resident sheep” for a season. John Weiler was a Chemical Engineer, and Dave enjoyed coming along side his dad to accomplish the necessary farming tasks of mowing the large lawn and fields; trimming fruit trees and cultivating the orchards; picking the peaches, pears and apples, then selling them at a roadside stand. A full-time engineer and full-time student, the two men maintained and repaired all the mechanical equipment on the farm as an avocation, keeping the family vehicles in excellent running order, as well.
Dave chose a career in chemical engineering, also, enrolling in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. He delighted in the fact that as a summer hire-ee on the building of the Niagara Power Project, Lewiston, NY, he was issued badge #1. This job came about because his dad’s plant, Titanium Alloy, was crushing the rock for this major construction site. The following summer Dave was hired by his dad’s company onto the crew for the plant maintenance. Graduating in 1960, Dave was immediately employed by the Linde Air Division of Union Carbide in Tonawanda, NY, outside of Buffalo.
His career spanned forty years – At the urging of his parents, he had chosen his vocation well, for he loved every facet of his work! Initially, he worked on Heat Transfer Rates for the Space Shuttle Prototype Concepts. He investigated developmental ways to suppress explosions in tonnage Air Separation Plants. He contributed in the management to produce Heavy Water more efficiently for the Atomic Energy Program. He went on to develop highly efficient manufacturing equipment for the production of styrene. Dave had moved his family to Raleigh in 1982 to work in the Agricultural Products Division at the Research Triangle. He reached the twenty-five year mark in his UC years, ever seeking to process higher quality chemical products in the areas of Heat Transfer, Mass Transfer and Fluid Flow.
In 1990 Ag Products was purchased by the international French chemical firm Rhone Poulenc; the RTP division was moved to Cranbury, NJ. At that time Dave was primarily involved in liaison work between the research labs and practical, full-scale production of various chemical compounds: Soaps; Food Flavorings; Scents; Sulfuric Acid Regeneration/Reprocessed Cycle (absolutely essential in the production of high quality gasoline/diesel fuels). In the designation of Chemical Consultant, Dave worked in the Engineering Technology Group. He acted as Representative to the Fractionation Research Institute for both UC and RP; he was a Delegate to the American Society of Chemical Engineers; he also hosted the RP Chemical Engineering Bi-Annual Conference. Dave co-hosted the RP sponsorship of the McCabe Lecture Series at NCSU, where he lectured many times to the Chemical Engineering Department. At RP, specifically, he managed daily operations of various Pilot Plant Projects, headquartered from Cranbury. These involved Process-Improvement, Trouble-Shooting, and Research & Development. His lengthy, illustrious and fulfilling career ended with Dave’s retirement in December 1999. At that time he and his wife, Mary Christine, moved permanently to Smith Mountain Lake, VA.
Dave loved fast cars and fast boats – and he had many of them! But the great love of his life was his ONE wife! Together they had two wonderful girls, Jennifer Anne and Beth Leggett. He was able to take his young family to Europe twice on business for extended periods of time. He and a partner owned a Travel Park in South Texas for twenty-five years. This afforded many unique family vacations ‘cross country from Western NY and, later, from Raleigh down to the Rio Grande Valley, often stopping to visit dear friends en route. The family usually traveled with their German Shepherd and their kitty-of-the-moment; pets were always included in the family-circle, and each one was remembered with great fondness, especially by Dave! He and Mary raised their girls on the family farm – a wonderful growing-up place, complete with boat rides galore! … a six-wheeled ATV … snowmobiling … skiing … swimming … an old Carmen Ghia Dave “cut down” into a dune buggy for more off-roading for his girls … and an annual Halloween/Harvest Party that all kids everywhere would want to attend! (Dave, Mary and Dave’s dad each played an important role in hosting that!) … among many other delights!!!
The Retirement Years at Smith Mountain Lake provided more swimming, boating, birthday celebrations, bonfires w/s’mores and oodles of fun!!! - the most delightful memory-making times with the next generation, Beth and Chip Humphrey’s Kayley and CJ, and Jennifer and Greg Allen’s Noah and Will. Times with friends in the Weilers’ Cedar Ridge Neighborhood, at Glade Hill Baptist Church and in the lake community, in general, were never forgotten, and friendships continue across the miles.
Mary and Dave moved back to Raleigh, the city they had long considered “Home”, in 2011, to utilize the benefit of near-by, varied community services. They reconnected with long-appreciated friends and enjoyed meeting new folks, making friends anew. They joined Wakeminster Baptist Church, where they became very active in this faith fellowship. Their Sussex Acres/Hawthorne Community has been another welcoming place of friends and neighbors – whether lovely dinner parties or shaded walks along quiet streets, the care expressed by neighbors, especially this past year, has been so encouraging.
Dave is survived by his beloved wife of fifty-five years, Mary Christine Weiler; their cherished daughters and their treasured families, Jennifer and Greg Allen, Noah and Will, of Raleigh, and Beth and Chip Humphrey, and CJ of Powhatan, VA, and Kayley of Nashville, TN; his loving sisters, Ann (David) Perkins, of Arlington, MA, and Mary Margaret Weiler of Ransomville, NY; along with many caring extended-family- members. The Memorial Service, celebrating Dave’s life, will be held Saturday Morning at 11:30 AM at the Wakeminster Baptist Church, 13221 Old Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613. A Luncheon for all, with a Reception, will immediately follow the service in the Church Fellowship Hall. Donations in remembrance of Dave, if desired, may be made to Wakeminster Baptist Church or to Transitions Hospice, 250 Hospice Cir, Raleigh 27607.