Family means something. For Ideal, family means everything. And his family is large. With his beautiful wife of 67 years, Frances. Ideal enjoyed his three sons, Mark, Tom and Michael and his daughter, Pamela, his grandchildren, Sara, Elena, Senan, Yasha, Michael John, and Ian, his great grandchildren, Emma and Romeo, his many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended Italian family and of course his sister Alba, brother Arthur, and twin sister, Idea.
When we think about what Ideal taught us, we think of honesty and integrity, generosity and warmth, his love of animals and of gardening, his remarkable acuity for all things academic and scientific, his entrepreneurial leadership, and his humor. Even in writing about his own death, he remarked “keep body around for several days to make sure I am dead. Not in a closed box or morgue!!”
From his most humble beginnings – set in a coal mining town in rural Pennsylvania – to receiving the highest security clearance giving him access to the heart of the Pentagon, Ideal’s story is an inspiration to all who believe in the American dream. He lived a life of sacrifice, joy, and personal tragedy. But in particular, his life was one of fortitude and endurance and a strong work ethic, traits shared by his immediate family who have a deep appreciation for all he has given them over the years.
Ideal was a graduate of Jessup High School and Johnson College. He later went on to receive engineering degrees with honors from Penn State and MIT. He spent 18 years at General Electric where he worked on numerous engineering projects and earned 18 patents. After GE he went on to start 18 different innovative companies, developing digital watches, liquid crystal displays, LEDs, cable TV amplifiers and of course roses. He was the President of Integrated Display Systems Inc., Refac Electronics, C COR Electronics, AM Communications, Wyler Watch company and Bucks County Roses. He sat on the Board of Directors for Solid State Scientific, Refac Electronics, AM Communications (where he was the Chair), Broadband Networks, C COR Electronics, Wyler Watches and Bucks County Roses.
Even as a young boy he was referred to as “Big.” Big heart, big mind, big character, big family, big love, big vision. He lived up to this moniker every day of his life. When he recently had what became a fatal fall, he quietly left Bucks County Roses without a word to anyone, got in his car, drove himself to the hospital, had the mind to put his “Handicapped” sign in the window, and checked himself in. He must have been in tremendous pain, but he again summoned his fortitude and endurance and went big. Big Pop. You are forever with us.
A celebration of Ideal’s life for family and friends will be held on Sunday October 9. Please contact the family for details.