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Addison Howland Kermath

1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Addison Howland Kermath Obituary
1928 - 2017 Addison Howland Kermath of Pacific Palisades, CA, passed away February first surrounded by family. A lifelong citizen of and student of the world, he was 88. He was devoted to and adored by his wife Karen, sister Margaret, six children and stepchildren, seven grandchildren and legions of friends. He formerly lived in New York, Houston, Geneva and Tokyo. Add was born in Detroit, MI to Eric and Emily Kermath in 1928 and, with three sisters, raised in Newton, MA. He was commissioned in the US Navy in 1950 after earning a BS in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan. He served as a Lieutenant JG on the cruiser Manchester and destroyer Mullany during the Korean War. A captain once told him that performance mattered, not rank, which could have served as his lifelong motto. After leaving the Navy in 1953, Add earned an MS in Industrial Management from the Sloane School at MIT, while working part-time as a junior plant engineer in New England Confectionary's NECCO Wafer factory. In 1955, Add was recruited to Esso (now ExxonMobile) and over the next 27 years served in various senior roles, including Treasurer of Esso Mediterranean, Senior Managing Director of Esso Sekiyu (Japan), and Deputy Treasurer of Exxon Corp. He retired in 1982 as Senior Vice President of Exxon Enterprises, the company's venture capital arm, a leader in advanced technologies and renewable energy. In 1982 Add married Karen, his wife for 35 years, after the two met on a hiking tour in the Alps (an avid mountaineer in all seasons, he repeatedly skied the Haute Route). He was already a proud father to three children and embraced a new family with three more. Moving to Los Angeles in 1987, Add and Karen traveled the world together while he pursued entrepreneurial ventures in real estate and oil and gas. Since 1991 Addison had been a passionate member of and advocate for The Plato Society of Los Angeles, a nationally recognized learning-in-retirement pioneer. He served as Plato's president in 1998 and more recently was instrumental in its successful independence from UCLA. He also served as a governor of the UCLA Foundation. Add was a man of great integrity and generosity who cared deeply about every community to which he belonged. He was laid to rest February 7 in a private ceremony. His life will be celebrated with a memorial event in the coming months. In lieu of flowers, he would have appreciated donations to the Plato Society of Los Angeles (theplatosociety.org).
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 11, 2017
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