Eulogy for
Gary Blau

Presented by BOB HANNEMANN
at Rotary Club on March 4, 2014

Doctor Gary Blau was born on October 4, 1940 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, a Canadian by birth who maintained a dual citizenship with the United States. He passed away on January 30, 2014 after a prolonged battle with cancer in the form of Multiple Myeloma.  He is survived by his wife Jan, also a Rotarian, and three sons and five grandchildren.

Gary earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada, and a Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University.  He was employed for many years at Dow Agra Sciences where he did pioneering work in the use of mathematical science to solve complex problems.  After his retirement from Dow, he was appointed as a Visiting Professor of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University where he continued advancing the Science of Mathematical Modeling in the fields of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and cancer treatment protocols. The latter became his prime interest after he was stricken with Multiple Myeloma which is among the most difficult to treat forms of blood cancer. He was tireless in his efforts to promote his concept of modifying Multiple Myeloma treatment protocols by utilizing mathematically based approaches rather than the traditional methods currently being used.

Many of you will recall the recent presentation he made to this club. As he was then, he was a superb teacher. In addition, he was an exemplary mentor for both undergraduate and graduate students as well as the faculty, including myself.  We spent many lunch times discussing why his mathematical approach to cancer treatment was superior to the current practice.  He also used his mathematical skills to predict the scores of Purdue football games, comparing his results with those of the students in my Biomedical Engineering class. He usually came out ahead, the bet being the loser paying for our lunch. I believe I finally settled the last season’s losses the week before he entered the hospital for the final time. But even during that final luncheon, he continued to try to further educate me on his approach to the treatment of his illness, sketching out his viewpoint on a 3 x 5 card which I saved and which I will carry with me as I and other researchers at Purdue continue to advance his concepts until they are finally recognized for their true value.

Somehow, I think he will know when that goal is finally attained.