Walt was born in Irwin, Pennsylvania, the child of immigrant Ukrainian parents on October 29, 1933. He passed away on October 17, 2018 at Borgess Hosptial. He was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Stella Morozowich, and by two of his brothers, Milton Morozowich and John Morozowich, as well as two of his sisters, Anne Cycak and Pauline Campbell, all of Irwin, PA.
Walt was united in marriage to Pamela Grim of Kalamazoo on December 27th, 1969. They shared nearly 49 years of marriage. Together they have 3 children; their daughter Renee (Stephen) Danyi of Kalamazoo, MI, a son, Dr. Steven (Kathy) Morozowich of Durango, CO, and a son Michael Morozowich of Grand Rapids, MI. He has 5 grandchildren; Evan, Leah, Anna, and Owen Morozowich all of Durango, CO, and Miles Morozowich of Grand Rapids, MI. He is also survived by his brother, Merle Morozowich of Irwin, PA, and his sister, Jean Fulmer, of Plant City, FL, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Walt grew up the 6th child of 7 children on his family's dairy farm in Irwin and he fully expected to continue on in life as a farmer. But his mother had different ideas for him and wanted him to go to college. She took him to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Arriving on campus, the first building they walked into was the Pharmacy building and she got him enrolled. Little did they know at the time how providential this step was in fulfilling the direction of Walt's life. Initially, being in this higher learning environment proved to be quite an adjustment for Walt since all he had been exposed to was farm life, but Walt totally focused on his studies and at Duquesne is where his outstanding scientific career in research began. He did very well in his studies and graduated from Duquesne with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1955. He was a member of the Honor Society and professionally affiliated with Sigma Xi. Walt pursed higher learning at Ohio State University and earned a Master's Degree from Ohio State in Medicinal Chemistry/ Pharmaceuticals in 1956, and received a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in Medicinal/Pharmaceuticals in 1959.
Walt was also a member of the Academy of American Pharmaceutical Sciences and the American Chemical Society.
Walt was hired by the Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, MI in June 1959, as the first Prodrug Chemist and was assigned to a newly formed Prodrug Synthesis group. Walt was extremely creative and full of drive and ambition. He became a Grade 5 Senior Research Scientist quickly, which was the highest level in the technical ladder at that time. His primary expertise was Prodrug design and synthesis. He is the inventor of 5 Prodrugs/SEDDS formulations that are marketed by Pfizer. Walt is the inventor of 110 patents (U.S. Patents, U.S. Patent Applications and Foreign Patents) and published 60 professional journal manuscripts. He is co-editor of a book on HPLC of pharmaceuticals in 1978, and assisted in developing the first book on Prodrugs in 1977. He organized the first Nationwide Prodrug Symposium in 1976. He has also presented 69 external presentations and 181 internal reports.
Walt's secondary expertise was formulations of poorly soluble drugs. He worked on the development of special oral formulations to provide solubilization and improved oral absorption.
Walt retired from the Pfizer Company in June of 2000, but because he wanted to bring to conclusion some of his projects, he returned to Pfizer in November 2000 as a consultant and worked as a Prodrug Chemist and Formulation Expert for the next 5 years. Walt rounded out his professional career with an astounding total of 46 years as an exceptional research scientist.
Walt received several outstanding awards during his long career. In 1971, Walt received the W.E. Upjohn Award for outstanding achievement in Pharmacy Research. In 1990, he was honored by receiving the Upjohn Achievement in Science and Medicine Award for his conception and design of bio-reversible derivatives and his research for enhancing oral absorption of drugs. In 1995, he received the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from Duquesne University for outstanding achievement in Scientific Research.
Walt was also a devoted husband, father and grandfather who was always there for his family. He loved his work and his family, and he appreciated the beauty of nature. He will be lovingly remembered and missed by his family, friends and colleagues. He lived a long, productive and fulfilling life. One of Walt's proud achievements was the family home he designed back in 1973. He especially loved the large yard he was able to provide for his family so they could run and explore. He planted many beautiful flowering trees and bushes for his wife because he knew how much she loved all those beautiful colors. He enjoyed caring for his yard and watching all the birds and all their many habits and activities. Walt loved roses and from the day his daughter, Renee, was born he always brought her roses wherever she was. He instilled upon his children the value of dedicated hard work by his stellar example. He loved exploring with his children and teaching them to look for clues. He impressed upon them the wonder of the universe and that nothing is impossible to those who dream. His Ukrainian Catholic Faith was of great importance to him and he passed this along to his children. He had belonged to the Legion of Mary group for many years and worked to bring fallen away Catholics back to their faith. It was through his involvement with this group that he met his wife, Pamela. He also embraced the Catholic Cursillo Movement and loved singing their joyful "De Colores" song around the house. Walt especially loved his daughter's smile and her generous spirit. She cooked him many special meals and had him come to her house to watch all the birds at their bird feeders, which he loved doing. A special thank you to Walt's son-in-law, Steve Danyi, who spent many long hours with Walt for years talking stocks, dreaming up all kinds of proposals for different things and fixing computers and anything electronic. Steve took him regularly to the Portage Library to check out IBD and the stock charts which Walt enjoyed very much.
Friends may visit with the family from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 24th at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1150 W. Centre Ave., Portage, MI 49024. A Funeral Mass will follow the visitation at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the church. Fr. Mark Morozowich will officiate the service. Private interment will take place at a later date. Arrangements by Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, www.langelands.com.
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