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Subject: A Death

A Death

From: Jeanne Drewes <jdre<-a>
Date: Thursday, June 26, 2008
Richard E. Spatz, 1925-2008

It is with deep sadness and a great sense of loss that we share with
the preservation community information about the death, at age 83,
of Richard E. Spatz on June 23, 2008.  Following a long career with
the Koppers Company in Pittsburgh as an attorney and as President of
the Forest Products and Plastics Division, Dick set retirement aside
to focus his attention and resources, in partnership with Randall
Russell, on the unresolved challenge to develop an effective
technology to address the catastrophic loss of cultural memory due
to the degradation of paper-based materials in the world's
libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions.  The
Bookkeeper mass deacidification process and related products and
services were soon developed and marketed by the resulting company,
which evolved into Preservation Technologies, L.P. (PTLP).

PTLP has been providing efficient, effective mass deacidification
services to the library and archival communities for nearly a decade
and a half, the only company in the U.S. to offer these services on
a large scale.  Dick was justifiably proud of the success of the
company and of the fact that, in recent years, they have succeeded
in expanding 1deacidification services with plants and treatment
equipment in six countries.  He should surely have derived great
gratification from the fact that his technology has assured the
long-term preservation of millions of invaluable books and
manuscripts throughout the world.

Dick Spatz loved the written word, which he was determined to
preserve. He no doubt developed a profound respect for our written
culture through his extensive education, which turned him into an
accomplished and eloquent writer.  Many a friend, relative,
politician, and business associate has received beautifully parsed
notes and letters from Dick. He was a determined man, could be
gritty and forthright and at the same time good-natured and loving.
Dick was devoted to country, family, private enterprise, and the
vigor of life.  He cared deeply about the welfare of his loved ones,
friends, and employees at PTLP (whom he regarded as both family and
friends).  As a result, this good-natured, unpretentious man lives
on in the minds and hearts of many.  We share, through tender and
abiding grief, our affection for Dick with his lovely wife, Shannon,
and with his sons and their families.  To read an informative and
moving obituary of Dick Spatz, please see

Ken Harris and
Jeanne Drewes
Preservation Directorate
Library of Congress

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:3
                   Distributed: Monday, June 30, 2008
                        Message Id: cdl-22-3-001
Received on Thursday, 26 June, 2008

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