Paul Edward Wittreich of Franklin passed away at his home at 12:01 A.M. on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
He was born on August 26, 1931 to Andrew Otto Wittreich and Muriel Viola (Wilson) Wittreich at North Hudson Hospital in Weehawken, New Jersey after a frantic car ride from their summer home in Allendale on the Jersey shore.
He grew up in Weehawken, Union City and Tenafly, New Jersey. His Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grades were at Stevens Hoboken Academy, Hoboken, New Jersey. The rest of his early education was in Tenafly, New Jersey, graduating from Tenafly High School in 1949. He took a post-graduate year at The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, graduating in 1950.
His college years were spent at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1954. Having spent his college years also in the NROTC, he was commissioned as an Ensign at graduation. In addition, he was married to Caroline Ann DeFuria, two weeks later.
His first four months of service post the end of the Korean War was on the USS Stoddard (DD-566) operating in the Caribbean. He was then transferred to the USS Kirkpatrick (DER-317) which sailed on various plane guard stations in the Atlantic Ocean, extending from near Newfoundland to outside of Bermuda. He left the navy with the rank of Lt. Jg.
The next 14 years, Paul was a research bench chemist for Merck & Co., Rahway, New Jersey. His major contribution when he was working on Q10, was by synthesizing Q6. An antioxidant found ubiquitous in yeasts (Q10 is an antioxidant in humans). In addition, he crystallized Vitamin B12 coenzyme (the true form of B12 in the body). This enabled Merck to determine the structure of B12 coenzyme.
In 1969, he left the labs to become a Medical Associate in the MSD International Division of Merck & Co. During this period of six years in this division, he worked in Europe for two years as Merck's man in Phase I Studies in two hospitals, one in Geneva, Switzerland and the other in Vienna, Austria.
In 1975, he was promoted to Associate Director of Merck's International Animal Health Products Division. In 1986, he retired. However, he worked another ten years under eleven different contracts with Merck.
In 1975, he married Johanna McCann and adopted her son.
Paul was a marathon runner during his 50's, completing 13 marathons. In addition, he was hiking the Long Trail in Vermont, completing it in 1973 and started to work on the Appalachian Trail, finishing it in 1989 following 47 hikes over 19 years, covering 2,130 miles. He then bought a bicycle and biked across the USA in the early 1990's. In 1995-6, he bicycled the breadth of Canada from the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver Island to the Atlantic Ocean, Halifax, Newfoundland, covering 4,400 miles.
In 1997, he moved to Franklin, Pennsylvania and married Terri Sue Winger in 2001.
In 1999, Paul and Terri rode on tandem bicycle from the Canadian Border to the beginning of the Mississippi River and then followed the length of the river to the Gulf of Mexico, covering over 1,000 miles.
In 2001, Paul and his daughter, Caitlin, rode the tandem bicycle along the southern route of the USA from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California, 3000 miles.
Paul and Terri continued to bike every summer in various organized bike tours, like Bon Ton Roulet on the Finger Lakes in New York State, in Virginia along the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ohio's GOBA, Cape Cod, Erie Canal, the Hudson River Valley Tour, the length of Wisconsin, and twice through Michigan.
Now spinning back fifty years and the side career of Paul Wittreich as painter and photographer began in the early 1960s watching Jon Gnagy's live TV show, "Pick up the Pencil and Draw". After filling up two sketch books over the two years of watching the show, it was time to get serious.
Paul then took numerous art courses from pastels, watercolors, oil painting to sculpture, construction art to finally an anatomy class at the prestigious Art Students League in New York City. Also, Paul spent two years attending a weekly life figure class drawing mostly in pastels.
During this time, he started entering juried shows winning honors, having a one man show and being asked to show in a state show plus in a Merck employee show. Paul sold a number of paintings during this period including a number of paintings to the Merck Medical International Director who then had them hanging in his office.
Also, Paul constructed a miniature model of the Stanley Whitman House (one of the oldest houses in Connecticut (1720) which now presently resides in the Whitman House for their tours.
In 2003, Paul had a one man show at a Franklin framing store of his photographs, plus he won the Franklin contest to design a logo for the city. In the same year, he also won the patch design for Petal Across Lower Michigan.
In fast forward to painting in Franklin: Paul painted 23 abstracts with acrylic paints on 30"X30" canvases and had a one man show at the Graffiti Gallery in Oil City in 2015. He has shown many other various painting in the monthly show. In addition, he has won honors the Oil City annual show including 1st prize in Photography and one in Painting.
He had a one man show at Bossa Nova Cafe in Franklin in 2016.
Paul, as a sideline, has written, drawn and produced a number of books.
Paul is survived by son, William (Patricia) Wittreich of Denver, Colorado, daughter Deborah Zwetsch of Bokeelia, Florida, step-son Michael McCann, son Stephen (Laura) Wittreich of River Edge, New Jersey, and daughter Caitlin (Shawn) Northwood of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
He is also survived by 7 grandchildren: Jeff (Debra Lynn) Wittreich in Denver, Colorado, Ava, Gavin, and Ella Wittreich in River Edge, New Jersey, and Dean, Everett and Autumn Northwood in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as well as a great-grand son Jonah of Denver, and several nieces and a nephew.
Predeceasing Paul are two brothers, Ronald and Warren.
Paul's wife, Terri, would like to thank Dr. Jay Stevens, Dr. Eric Dueweke of UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, and Dr. Amy Srodes of Three Rivers Urology for the wonderful health care as well as the lively intellectual conversations that ultimately developed during their time together. Paul really enjoyed those talks.
The family also very much appreciates the care given to Paul by Asera Hospice Care. We felt always reassured and so comfortable with every staff member.
Donations in Paul's memory can be made to the Franklin Silver Cornet Band, Venango Chamber Orchestra, Venango County Humane Society, and Precious Paws or to a charity of one's choice.
There will be no visitation. The family is hopeful that COVID restrictions will be such that a celebration of Paul's life and an art show will be held during the summer of 2021.
A private graveside service and burial will be held at Graham Cemetery.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Huff - Guthrie Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 312 West Park St. Franklin.
Online condolences and flowers may be sent to the family by visiting www.HuffFuneral.com.