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Published: Monday, 7/24/2006

Physicist won patents for work with O-I, later formed own firm

George Robinson Mather, Jr., 66, an engineer, a scientist, a multiple patent holder, and a professor, died of cancer Friday at his home in Toledo.

Mr. Mather first came to Toledo in 1968. In the last four decades, he held several high-level engineering jobs and received two patents for solar-energy technology. He was an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Toledo from 1970 to 2005.

A devoted father of three, Mr. Mather was an avid photographer and enjoyed tinkering with computers.

"He loved books, he loved ideas, he loved history and science," said his daughter, Elizabeth Mather. "He loved building and rebuilding computers. Only he knows how he did that."

His sister, Kathleen Koestler, said he had many interests, from bird hunting and fishing to computers to politics.

"He had a terrific sense of humor," Ms. Koestler said. "He had a very broad interest in many things, and could talk just about anything."

She said he was very well read too.

His favorite books included the works of Winston Churchill and Garrison Keillor.

He was also a lifelong photographer - he had slide shows dating to the 1970s - and eventually picked up digital photography. "As the technology changed, he changed with it," his daughter said.

Mr. Mather was very close to his family, often visiting his sister in North Carolina, and was a thoughtful father.

His daughter recalled that once he had gone to the local public school to which he was considering sending his children to interview the principal.

"The school was a little non-plussed," she said. "He did decide on another one."

Mr. Mather was married twice but lost his first wife, Julie Geehr - whom he married in 1965 - to lupus shortly after moving to Toledo. His sister said he donated a substantial part of his inheritance from his parents to researching the disease.

"He was a very quiet donor," Mrs. Koestler said.

He married his second wife, the former Ann Fauble, in 1973.

Mr. Mather graduated from St. Stephen's and St. Agnes High School in Alexandria, Va., in 1958, although his sister said they came from a military family and moved around often as children. He graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in 1962 and earned his doctorate in physics from Columbia University in New York, in 1969.

Mr. Mather first moved to Toledo in 1968 when he began work for Owens-Illinois as a senior scientist. In that role, he did research on magnetism and later managed a solar energy product development group, work for which he held two patents.

He was later technical director for new business development for the company. In 1988, he went to work for Automatic Inspection Devices, becoming the firm's vice president for engineering in 1991.

In 1998, he formed Intelligent Quality Systems, an integrated inspection and monitoring system developer.

Mr. Mather attended Trinity Episcopal Church and then St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

He is survived by his wife, Ann; son, Anson Patrick Bowe, daughters, Alexandra Louise DeRosa, and Elizabeth Fauble Mather; sister, Kathleen Koestler, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Weigel Funeral Home, 204 Chestnut Street, Swanton. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10:30 a.m.Wednesday in St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 2770 Central Ave.

The family requests tributes to the Cancer Research Institute, 681 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y.



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