Public Announcements

     Obituary: Claude Lucchesi (1929 - 2018)

    Claude A. Lucchesi, Northwestern University Emeritus Sr. Lecturer and Director of Analytical Services, age 89, died 25 October 2018 at Glenbrook Hospital, Glenview, IL, as the result of complications from prostate/kidney cancer and frontotemporal dementia.

    He was born on 20 April 1929 in Chicago, the older of two sons, to Nello and Anna Bellizia Lucchesi. As was the case with many first-generation children, he worked in his family’s grocery store located at 236 W. Division in Chicago. He graduated with a major in chemistry, and a minor in chemical engineering, from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana (1950) and earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (1954). 

    On 24 October 1954 he married Ruth Alice Wellstein, daughter of Anton William and Hope Victoria Lathrop Wellstein, in Geneseo, IL. After a week’s honeymoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, Claude began work as a research chemist at Shell Development Company in Houston, Texas. It was there that he welcomed his first son, Nello William. He also worked for Sherwin Williams Company in Chicago, and Mobil in Edison, New Jersey, where second son, K. Gregory was born. In 1968, he moved back to Northwestern University as Director of the Analytical Services Laboratory (ASL) in the Chemistry Department, a position he held until retirement.

    In 1980, Claude co-founded the Analytical Laboratory Managers Association (ALMA) and was its first president. ALMA is an educational organization devoted to providing forums for the exchange of ideas on managing laboratories. ALMA had its 38th anniversary conference in Philadelphia in 2018. 

    In 1991 he developed a workshop entitled Managing the Chemical Analysis Support Laboratory. He presented this workshop around the globe: throughout the United States, Australia, Africa, China, Europe, The Middle East, India, and South America. In 1995 he founded a quarterly journal called Managing the Modern Laboratory and was its first editor. He also was contributing editor for the journal Analytical Chemistry.

    Claude consulted for many companies and universities in the areas of technical problem solving, strategic planning, and laboratory organization and evaluation. During his career he was an active writer and published more than 80 articles on analytical chemistry, applied spectroscopy, polymers and coatings and laboratory management. He was a member of the American Chemical Society for 68 years and served in leadership/committee positions on the national and local level.

    Outside of work, Claude took pride in his Italian heritage and dedicated precious time to studying the Italian language, and to exploring his roots and culture by traveling throughout Italy, especially Tuscany. He liked music and theater and had season’s tickets to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater for many years. Claude enjoyed hosting many foreign Northwestern graduate students and visiting scholars at his home. He built up quite a list of international friends and contacts as a result. He was a man of science with a deep curiosity about the world and about how things worked. He read the Wall Street Journal daily, woke up listening to NPR, and settled down at the end of the day to PBS programs on the TV. Claude was a proud father and grandfather and derived much joy in seeing his sons and granddaughters develop and thrive. All these interests defined him, but the greatest joy of his life was his Ruthie. They traveled the world together, wherever Claude’s work took them. They opened their home to countless holiday and family celebrations made memorable by Ruth’s entertaining and gourmet cooking skills. And for 64 years, with all the ups and downs, they were always there for each other. Claude’s life was long, full, and well lived. He will be missed by the many who knew and loved him.

    Surviving are: his wife Ruth; two sons, Nello William (Ann Freeman) and K. Gregory (Linda Flosi); two granddaughters, Giuliana Victoria (K. Gregory) and Alison Ruth (Nello William); sister-in-law, Patricia Ann Baier Lucchesi and the following nieces and nephews: Juanita Karen (Ralph) Torronio, Nello John (Debra Terry), Jerold Joseph (Sarah Roland) Jeannine Ann (Ricky Don) Panunzio, and several grand nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Nello Joseph.

    At Claude’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. He has donated his body to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois for medical teaching.