Wender Irving
September 16, 2016

Visitation Information

September 18 2016 - 1:00 pm
Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Visitation will be held in the Library  

Funeral Information

September 18 2016 - 2:00 pm
Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Funeral Service will be held in the Cohen Chapel 

WENDER, IRVING: A Distinguished University Research Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s, died on September 16, 2016 in Pittsburgh.  He was 101 years old.  Dr. Wender had a distinguished career that took him from the Manhattan Project in Chicago during World War II to the United States Bureau of Mines in Pittsburgh which became part of the Department of Energy where he was Head of the Pittsburgh Energy Research Center from 1972 until 1979.  After he retired from the government at age 65 in 1981, Dr. Wender became a research professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Chemical Engineering Department and was named a Distinguished University Research Professor in 1994 where he worked until he was 93.  Dr. Wender’s scientific research was in the area of catalysis and synthesis of metal carbonyls.  In the course of his career, Dr. Wender held several patents and earned many awards, among them the Storch Award, the Pittsburgh Award, the Petroleum Award of the National American Chemical Society and the Homer H. Lowry Award. Dr. Wender’s father died during the flu epidemic of 1918.  His mother was forced to place her two sons in an orphanage until she remarried and was able to support them.  When he was nineteen, his stepfather was murdered and Dr. Wender went to work in the US Post Office to support his family.  He graduated in Chemistry for City College of New York, received his Master’s Degree from Columbia University, and earned his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1942, Dr. Wender married Reah Margolin and the couple had three sons:  Edward (Mina), Donald (Janice), and Richard (Diane).  These three sons provided Dr. Wender with nine granddaughters:  Rebecca (Ian), Emily (Bryon), Melissa, Melanie (Alex), Hayley (Pat), Rachel (Eric), Lea (Justin) and Natalie.  There are also three great-grandchildren, Helena, Ira and Penelope.  Dr. Wender was married for fifty-six wonderful years to Reah who died in 1998.  For the past seventeen years, Irving’s beloved companion has been Jean Gershon who survives him. Dr. Wender will be remembered not only for his scientific achievements but also for his sense of humor and his belief that all human beings were worthy of respect.  His stories and life lessons are cherished by his children and his grandchildren.  Dr. Wender is survived by friends and colleagues of all ages. Services at Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Avenue, (at Morewood) on Sunday at 2 PM. Visitation one hour prior to services at Temple, (1 - 2 PM). Interment West View Cemetery of Rodef Shalom Congregation. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 or the American Cancer Society, 320 Bilmar Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.


Send Condolence

Rich, What an impressive man your dad was. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

By Stephanie Christensen - September 20, 2016

My thoughts are with the Wender family. What an incredible life to celebrate with love and light. Shalom.

By Wendy Matthews - September 20, 2016

What a wonderful life. What a blessed mark on humanity! Now I see who the American Cancer Society\'s own beloved Dr. Rich Wender got his values from. Shalom.

By Maria Guyette - September 16, 2016

My sincere condolences to the family on the loss of this accomplished human being. The world is a better place because of him. May his legacy of service and good humor survive us all. Thank you for sharing for your father and grandfather.

By Bob Chapman - September 16, 2016