John L. Zabriskie Jr.
BOULDER, Colo. | John L. Zabriskie Jr., died peacefully at home on March 13, 2014 from throat cancer. John was born on June 8, 1939 in Auburn, the descendent of Albrecht Zabriskie who settled in New Amsterdam circa 1660. He was the son of John Zabriskie and Edith Virginia Seldomridge. He was the stepson of Leslie Weed and Adolf Gronningsater. Beloved husband to Adelaide Zabriskie for 40 years, John was known for being a devoted family man who enjoyed spending as much time as possible with his children, Regina Cannon, Marie Layton (Wade), Tina Constable (Rob), and Lance Zabriskie (Adrienne). Over the years, the annual family ski vacations were a great source of pleasure to him, particularly as his grandchildren were born and started skiing. He was often seen on the Snowmass trails with his grandchildren, Emma Layton, Spencer Constable, Max Cannon, Mia Layton, Tyler Constable, and Zach Zabriskie in tow following his beautiful form and flawless stem christie turns. If not on the ski slopes, he could be found with Adelaide on their Colorado ranch with their horses, Fleur and Moneypenny.
John was an accomplished business executive in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He was a graduate of Deerfield Academy and Dartmouth College. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Rochester. John was Co-Founder and General Partner of Puretech Ventures and Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President of NEN Life Science Products, Inc. At NEN, Dr. Zabriskie led the successful turnaround and sale of the company in a transaction that generated a significant return for investors. Prior to joining NEN Life, Dr. Zabriskie was President and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacia and Upjohn Inc. As Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Upjohn, Dr. Zabriskie led the Upjohn project, which resulted in the $12 billion merger of equals with Pharmacia Corporation. Prior to joining Upjohn in 1994, Dr. Zabriskie spent 27 years at Merck & Company, where he began as a chemist. He held a variety of positions in quality control, manufacturing, marketing, and executive leadership including President of Merck Frosst Canada, Inc., President of Merck Sharp and Dohme, President of Merck Manufacturing Division, and Executive Vice President of Merck and Company, Inc.
Dr. Zabriskie served on the Board of Directors of Kellogg Company, Array Biopharma, ARCA Biopharma, and the privately-held PureTech Ventures.
In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, John is survived by his brothers, Steve Zabriskie, Stan Zabriskie, Ken Zabriskie, and Eric Gronningsater; his sister, Randi Stroh.
Our lives will be forever enriched by this kind, thoughtful spirit who we all loved so much. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. April 5, 2014 in The First Congregational Church, 1128 Pine Street, Boulder, Colo. Interment will follow later for the family in Aurora, N.Y.
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