September 9, 1943 - March 25, 2020
George Joseph Galic, 76, of Traverse City, died peacefully at home of Stage IV prostate cancer. He was born September 9, 1943 in Chicago Illinois to George Joseph Galic, Sr. and Margaret (Grunewald) Galic. From age 5, he grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, where he graduated high school in 1961 and from the University of Iowa in 1966, with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. George was proud of working his way through school, starting early as a stock boy in middle school cafeteria (in return for his lunch meals), then a paperboy, and later, as an after-school dishwasher at Mercy Hospital in high school. He was always good in chemistry lab, and had summer jobs in the University of Iowa biochemistry lab of the medical school. In 1964, he ran the second shift quality control lab at Witco Chemical in Chicago, while taking summer accounting courses at Roosevelt University during the daytime. In addition, he worked for 4 years as surgical orderly at Mercy Hospital on weekends or second shifts. As a result, he graduated with only $500 in student loan debts, having paid the rest of his costs from these various jobs. George proceeded to make a successful professional career in business and technology. With his BSChE degree in 1966, he joined Dow Corning Corporation in Midland, MI. He earned his MBA degree in 1969 at Central Michigan University by commuting to night school in Mount Pleasant. In the early years, George was in charge of silane coupling agents for the Technical Service and Development department at the Dow Corning headquarters, and later he did commercial development for silicone resins. In 1972, he received assignments to evaluate proposed investments and strategic redirection for troubled business units. When Dow Corning formed its New Ventures business group, George was named Global Program Manager for Sioplas ® cross-linkable polyethylene technologies which were just starting to be licensed worldwide. George successfully licensed 24 companies for Sioplas, putting him on the ground floor of “technology transfer” transactions. These were the foundations for global economic development. George also taught seminars on technology transfer and traveled in the American Marketing Association/US Chamber of Commerce-sponsored trade groups to Eastern Europe and Japan/Taiwan/Hong Kong . In 1975, at Dow Corning in Midland, he took over a newly-invented silicone hard coating for clear plastics, to make them more scratch resistant and thus able to compete with glass as optical materials. George successfully licensed GE and others to apply this very thin liquid coating onto the polycarbonate sheet, which could then substitute for glass in many other uses such as automotive moonroofs, windows, and headlamp covers. One specific application for clear plastics with scratch-resistant hardcoatings that George was to spend the next 30 years of his life on was ophthalmic Rx spectacle lenses, a worldwide market. In 1972 in the U.S., less than 5% were made of plastic, and they were not hardcoated, so they were easily scratched. All the rest were made of glass, which is heavy (uncomfortable for the wearer) and relatively easily broken (less safe in sports or workplace usage). George licensed the Dow Corning ARC abrasion-resistant coating to four of the world’s largest manufacturers of Rx spectacle lenses, and then one of them, Gentex Corporation of Carbondale Pennsylvania, hired him to run its optics division as General Manager. He built that business into the dominant market share and made it the most profitable division of the company, which was later sold for a nine-figure sum to Essilor, today’s largest manufacturer of ophthalmic spectacle lenses. Meanwhile, in 1978, George met the love of his life, Mary Ann Tompkins (who grew up in Traverse City, as the daughter of Jim and Ida Tompkins), while she was a teacher for the Midland Public Schools. George and MaryAnn were married on January 6, 1979 at the First Congregational Church in Traverse City. For over 41 years, they have been life partners, best friends, and teammates in every respect. In 1982, George was recruited by 3M Company and later headed up a new lens start-up operation nearby at Poly Optics Co. Then in 1984, he formed his own engineering partnership Galic Maus Ventures in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with himself as Managing Partner. Using its own patents and trade secret technologies, his company produced fully-turnkey lens manufacturing systems, which utilized its GMV CompressiveFill ® registered trademark for injection-compression molding process, along with its proprietary ketamine-silane-copolymer hard coating compositions, applied in his fully-integrated GMV Robocoater equipment modules. The rest of his work life was dedicated to building successful polycarbonate lens manufacturing operations, using the most advanced hardcoating automation and computer-controlled injection/compression molding processes. These two technologies are essential to success of any such venture, and they are fields in which George is co-inventor of 22 US patents and dozens of foreign equivalent patents. Today, more than 80% of all the polycarbonate ophthalmic spectacle lenses which are manufactured worldwide are either his licensees or companies which he headed during their startup phases. George became known as the "Johnny Appleseed" of polycarbonate spectacle lens manufacturers. Wherever he went, successful polycarbonate Rx spectacle lens manufacturing operations took root and grew, and every one of them still thrives today. He and MaryAnn had lots of overseas business travel, such as an around-the-world trip they made in 1994 to visit their customer sites. They formed many business friendships with his customers and colleagues. George was a frequent conference speaker and technology presenter at professional societies, such as the Society of Plastics Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Society of Vacuum Coaters, Optical Engineering Society, American Chemical Society. MaryAnn worked with him as his office manager, and also helped him run his trade show exhibit booths and lab set-ups, video-recording his customer training modules, quality testing his products, and entertaining customers. It was indeed a family business, at times exhausting, but satisfying in its success. George and Mary Ann's life entered a different phase after selling the business and moving back to Traverse City in 2001, for a well-earned retirement. Since then, they have resided at their Traverse City home on Peninsula Drive, becoming known as “The Red Tulip House” for showcasing the flowers that were George’s pride and joy. Always a booklover, George served two four-year terms on the governing Board of Trustees for the Traverse Area District Library, ending in 2013. TADL is the largest public library in the northern half of Michigan. He also was an elected officer for Michigan Library Association’s Trustees Division, which he headed during 2007-2008. George taught several workshops regarding library technology and automation. Throughout their lives together, George and MaryAnn pursued physical fitness activities at local health clubs. In retirement, they also enjoyed many cruises including the Danube and Rhine on Viking River Cruises, the Hillsdale College Baltic cruise, and other destinations such as the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska, often sponsoring family and friends to travel with them. George was raised in the Methodist faith, and particularly always appreciated the guidance he received in his youthful years from Pastor Dr. Lewis L. Dunnington, whose teachings lived on in George's memory via books written by Dr. Dunnington those many years ago, while both were at the First Methodist Church in Iowa City, Iowa. George was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived and much loved by his wife Mary Ann and by his two sisters Susan Galic Arnold of Wichita, Kansas, and Dr. Patricia Wade of New York City. He will also be missed by his nephew and wife Andy and Renee Burlingham who reside in Wamego, Kansas. George forged a devoted local “family of friends” as well. He was always comfortable in the roles of leader, mentor, teacher, and friend. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home & Cremation Services. You are invited to share your memories of George with his family in his online guestbook at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com. A celebration of George’s life will be held at Reynolds-Jonkhoff, Saturday, April 4 at 11:00AM, ET. Since only small gatherings are permitted at this time, it will be live-streamed at rjfh.tv. Simply look for George’s photo and click on it. The service can be watched anytime for those living in different time zones. George’s good friend Beau A. Vore will officiate. George will be laid to rest in Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens at a later time. Donations in George’s name can be made to the Traverse Area District Library at 610 Woodmere Avenue in Traverse City, MI 49686 or to the American Legion Post #35, 1231 Hastings Street, in Traverse City, MI 49686. The family would also like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Hospice of Michigan and Comfort Keepers.
George Joseph Galic, 76, of Traverse City, died peacefully at home of Stage IV prostate cancer. He was born September 9, 1943 in Chicago Illinois to George Joseph Galic, Sr. and Margaret (Grunewald) Galic. From age 5, he grew up in Iowa City,... View Obituary & Service Information
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