Monday, June 21, 2004

Dilip Banerjee, 81, research supervisor


Amberley Village chemist worked for US Industrial

By Nicole Hamilton
Enquirer Staff Writer

AMBERLEY VILLAGE - Whether at work as a supervisor of analytical research services, overseeing a staff at US Industrial Chemical Co., or at home as a husband cooking for his wife, Mitzi, Dilip Banerjee performed all tasks with great enthusiasm and joy for life.

"He was always generous and eager to share his knowledge with colleagues and the staff he supervised. And his command of chemistry and flair to create found its way into the family kitchen. ... He loved to cook for Mitzi and added the entrees of 200 cookbooks to his repertoire," said his daughter, Lila Marcus of Milford.

Mr. Banerjee, who worked for the US Industrial Chemical Co. for 31 years, died June 13in hospice care at Garden Gate Nursing Home from complications from Alzheimer's. The longtime Amberley Village resident was 81.

Dinners at the Banerjee home, sometimes cooked outside on the grill amid the "plate-sized" dahlias he and his wife planted, "were often followed by the evening news, which occasionally prompted a spirited discussion on politics," his daughter said.

Born and raised in India, Mr. Banerjee graduated from Calcutta University before earning a master's degree in chemistry from Cornell University.

He continued his education at the University of Illinois, where he received his doctorate in chemistry before moving to Amberley Village when he accepted a position at the Roselawn-based US Industrial Chemical Co. in 1956.

Twenty years later, Mr. Banerjee met his future wife, Mitzi, a local artist, while shopping.

"They led a great life together. ... Dilip was undoubtedly the greatest fan and advocate of my mother's painting, he was always there to encourage her. His love and support for her was enormous," his daughter said.

The easel he gave her as a gift, the largest he could find, is still the centerpiece of her Pendleton Art Center studio in Over-the-Rhine. It stands, says his daughter, as a testament of his love for her.

Mr. Banerjee was well-known in the medical and chemistry communities as a supportive co-worker, supervisor and teacher.

"He was very knowledgeable in addition to being a great friend," said former co-worker Cliff Budke of Miami Heights.

He retired in 1987.

Mr. Banerjee, the author of numerous publications, was a charter member of the American Society of Testing and Materials.

"He showed us how to cherish each day, embrace life and strive to expand our worlds," his daughter said.

Other survivors include two sons, Robbin of Parkersburg, W.Va., and Neil of Chapel Hill, N.C.; three other daughters, Lynn Marcus of Loveland, Lauren Dobrin of Montgomery, and Lisa Marcus of Kenwood; a brother, Ranjit Banerjee of India; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Services were held.

Memorials may be made to Alzheimer's research.

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E-mail nhamilton@enquirer.com




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