Innovator, Visionary, Entrepreneur, Industry Leader and dedicated family man. Born January 10, 1935, he passed on June 24, 2022.
Much beloved husband of Rita (nee Howell), dear father of Tim Rochte (Petra Fenzl), and Matthew Rochte (Melissa Kalt). Grandfather to Nicolas and Katharine Rochte and Grace, Charles, Faith Therese and George Kalt. Survived by brother Tom Rochte of Florida and sister Susan McMorris of California.
Born in Elm Grove, Illinois, graduated from Albion College in 1957, majored in physics and chemistry then pursued graduate work at Wayne State. In 1962 he moved to California to start his engineering profession. Shortly thereafter he met and married his love, Rita.
In 1971 his career took them to the San Francisco Bay area where he became part of the Silicon Valley legend when in 1972 he started his first successful company, Cavro Scientic Instruments, in the proverbial garage. Cavro became a leader in designing and building diagnostic equipment for laboratories.
He was ahead of his time as a business leader in several ways. In the early days he chose to work from a home office part of every week to be available to the family. He encouraged smart women employees’ development and opportunities. He provided opportunities for sabbaticals and education. His foresight led him to install microcomputers in a manufacturing firm before small companies were applying this technology. He was extolled in INC. MAGAZINE and SMALL BUSINESS LEADERSHIP REPORT. He was often asked to speak on his entrepreneurial experience and expertise – (with six patents) in the field of clinical lab diagnostic equipment.
After selling Cavro, he launched a second successful medical equipment company, Advanced Liquid Handling, in 1993 in Wisconsin with the assistance of son Matthew.
He served as a soccer referee for both sons as well as summer camp chaperone in the mountains of California for the Boy Scouts. He took his love of motorcycling to teaching cycling safety to other cyclists. His passions were sailing San Francisco Bay on the “Grimalkin” (Captain of his own ship), motorcycling curvy mountain roads with his “gang”, piloting and inventing – always seeking a better way.
In 2011 he and Rita moved to Saint John’s on the Lake. There he championed and helped to develop a “shop” to encourage all sorts of creativity.
The family wants to thank the kind staff of Windsor for helping him be his best this last year.
He was an honorable, loving, generous and modest man who strived for craftsman ship in his work and quality in his play and encouraged others to be all they could be.