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Dr. Lauri Vaska

Dr. Lauri Vaska

AGE: 90 • Potsdam, NY

Dr. Lauri Vaska, 90, of Potsdam, NY, passed away on November 15, 2015 in Basking Ridge, NJ. Visitation will be held at Gallaway & Crane, 101 South Finley Ave, Basking Ridge, NJ on November 20, 2015 from 1-3pm, followed by an Estonian funeral service at 4pm with Pastor Vaga of The Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church officiating. Lauri Vaska was born in Rakvere, Estonia to Jakob and Emilie Vaska. After immigrating to America in 1952, he received his doctoral degree in Chemistry from the University of Texas in Austin. After working as a Research Fellow at Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he became a Professor of Chemistry at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY until his retirement with Emeritus status in 1990. He was well known in his field for research in inorganic chemistry and the discovery of a novel chemical compound named Vaska's Complex. He was also active in Estonian cultural activities and had authored several books on his personal and professional life.

Lauri Vaska is survived by his brother Vootele and his wife Sirje of Tallinn, Estonia; his sister Juta Zacharski and her husband Casimir of Baltimore, MD; his children Andres and his wife Betsy of Basking Ridge, NJ; Marcus and his wife Tiina of Randolph NJ; Kristina Vaska-Haas and her husband Peter Haas of Shreveport, LA; Matthias and his wife Julie Zelenski of Palo Alto, CA; and Paul and his wife Pamela of Miller Place, NY. Lauri is also survived by 11 grandchildren: Peter Vaska and his wife Kassandra von Etzdorf; Kathryn and her husband Robert McIntyre; Isaac and Eliot Haas; Erik, Lia, Kalev, Rein, Jack, Miles and Adele Vaska. He is preceded in death by his wife, Mary Elaine Vaska (n. Tucker).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Estonian American Fund, P.O. Box 7369, Silver Spring, MD 20907-7369. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff and care givers at Fellowship Village of Basking Ridge, NJ. For further information please contact Gallaway and Crane Funeral Home at 908-766-0250, or to light an online condolence candle please visit our website at

Published in Daily Record on Nov. 18, 2015
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