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David Richard Waring

1944-2019

david waring

Dr David Richard Waring died on 7th June 2019 in Wigan.

David was born in 1944 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the oldest of three children. His career in chemistry started when he left school at 16 to work for James Robinson. Whilst working there, he started studying for ONC then HNC part-time at Huddersfield Technical College. 

Within 6 months, he moved from James Robinson to join the Research Department at ICI, Huddersfield. In 1964, he left ICI to study for ARIC full-time at Salford University (then Salford Royal CAT) and then went on to study for a PhD at the University of Leeds in 1966 in the Colour Chemistry Department. 

He carried out research with Dr Geoff Hallas on the Synthesis and Characterisation of Di- and Triarylmethane Dyes, for which he was awarded his PhD in 1969.

Upon leaving Leeds, he continued his career in dye research in the labs of ICI Dyestuffs Division, Blackley. He worked on reactive dyes for cotton and invented, among other things, a bleach fast brown dye, PROCION Brown H-5R.

David left ICI in 1972 to take up a position in the research department at Kodak in Kirkby, where his research shifted gradually towards process development. 

He was an excellent team player and his work contributed hugely to the improvement in yields at photochemical manufacturing at Kirkby. A company reorganisation led to the Kirkby Research Department being shut down in 1984 and David assumed a role as head of the Manufacturing Process Support Group, leading a team of chemists tasked with driving efficiencies in the synthesis of photographic couplers and improving their quality. In the early 1990's, his role widened to include the Analytical Department and the Small Scale (pilot plant) group.

In 1994, Eastman Chemical Company split from Kodak and the Kirkby site became focussed on paper coupler manufacturing. 

David became the Technical Manager for the site.  He had a leading role in coordinating the efforts of the worldwide technical teams and worked closely with the Global Director of Manufacturing and the Global Technical Director. He played a key part in developing Kodak’s global photographic chemical manufacturing strategy.  He held this position until he retired and continued to travel extensively between the USA and Europe working on some of the company’s strategic projects.

David always had good relationships with colleagues in the USA and France and was a member of the worldwide council. He was well respected and had a style that people warmed to. He was a strong advocate for the work of his department, of which he was very proud. His advocacy, and the respect that senior leaders within the company had for him, was key to the support that the Kirkby site received within Kodak. He retired from Kodak in June 2001 at the age of 56.

He contributed more widely to the advancement of chemistry, particularly in the field of colour chemistry. He authored the chapter on Heterocyclic Dyes and Pigments in Comprehensive Heterocyclic Chemistry and edited a book, The Chemistry and Application of Dyes, with Geoff Hallas in 1990, which remains a key reference text. 

In his retirement, he remained actively involved in chemistry through his involvement with the RSC Lancaster and District Local Section and was a regular attendee at their events.

He had a variety of other interests. Throughout his life, he had a keen interest in sport, football in particular, as both a player and a spectator. He also loved music, and both played and built guitars in his spare time. He was president of the Kodak Ramblers’ Society and organised many memorable walks in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales with a faithful band of followers. He was selfless in giving his time to help others, both informally and through charitable work.

David first met his wife, Margaret, through his work at ICI and they married in 1966. They had a son, Michael, in 1974.  He was a devoted and proud husband, father and father-in-law to Michael’s wife Anita. He and Margaret took an active role in Michael’s education and inspired him to also pursue a career in chemistry.

David was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2001, shortly before he retired. This was almost certainly due to exposure to naphthylamine carcinogens during his early work in dye research, before the risks were fully known. He underwent a series of treatments for superficial, and then more invasive disease. He coped with this very well and lived an active and happy life.  The progression of cancer finally caught up with him this year and he died fighting against the effects of both the disease and the chemotherapy.

He is survived by his loving wife Margaret, son Michael, daughter-in-law Anita, brother Stephen, sister Lesley and a host of family, friends and former colleagues who will all miss him dearly.

Written by Michael J. Waring (Newcastle upon Tyne, 6th August 2019),
with contributions from Michael Bellas, Peter Gregory, Mark Hill, Jeff Neff, Anita Waring, Margaret Waring and Stephen Waring.

 


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