January 10th 2011
The Collegium Ramazzini extends its condolences to the family of Emeritus member Louis S. Beliczky who passed away January 5, 2011 at the age of 85. As forner Industrial Hygiene and Safety and Health Director for the United Rubber Workers, he is remembered by his colleagues as a pioneer who devoted his entire life to the cause of protecting working against occupational threats to health. (obituary follows).
Louis (“Lou”) Beliczky grew up on the West Side of Cleveland and graduated in 1943 from St. Ignatius High School. Immediately upon graduation he enlisted in the US Marines, completed basic training at Parris Island, received advanced training at Bucknell University and became a demolition instructor. He was then selected to be the Marines’ Hollywood film representative, but chose to serve with the 1st Marines. He fought as a combat Marine, Headquarters Company, in numerous battles including the battle of Kenushi Ridge at Okinawa. After the victory at Okinawa, he then continued serve with the 1st Marines in China repatriating Japanese soldiers and was honorably discharged in April, 1946. Under the GI Bill he attended and graduated with a BS from John Carroll University in 1949. He went on to to attend graduate school at Kent State University and at the University of Pittsburgh receiving a MS and a Master’s of Public Health, respectively.
He began his professional career as an industrial hygiene consultant and also worked with The Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University. In 1971 he was hired by the United Rubber Workers (“URW”) as the first, full-time industrial hygienist employed by an industrial union in the US. Mr. Beliczky continued with the URW as their Director of Industrial Hygiene until his retirement in 1993. He was widely recognized as a pioneer in his field. He was the author of numerous workplace safety and health standards, was a consultant to and advised the US DOL, OSHA, CDC, NIOSH, NIEHS, and the World Health Organization and traveled extensively throughout the US, Europe and Asia. He was appointed Emeritus Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini, an international academy of noted worldwide experts in the field of occupational and environmental health. He was an honorary member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, recipient of the J. William Lloyd Award for outstanding service in the cause of worker safety and health and was also named an Honorary Kentucky Colonel.
When not traveling the globe or promoting the cause of worker safety and health, he spent time with his family, played the violin, squash and tennis, sang with the Cleveland Singers’ Association, was an avid gardener and woodworker, and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was also very active with the Marine Corps League at the local and state levels and was very proud of is Hungarian heritage, also being fluent in Hungarian and German. He is survived by his children, Stephanie (Donald) Szabo of Mentor, L. Stephen (Paula) Beliczky of Richmond, Va., Mark (Cindy) Beliczky of Glenwood, Md., Claudia (James Connolly) Beliczky of Andover, Ann (Raymond) Petrick of Philadelphia, Roberta (Dennis) Thomas of Ponte Vedra, Fla. and Monica (Tom) Irwin of Lakewood; grandchildren, Allison, Braeden, Emily, Erin, Ian, John, Kyle, Laine, Leslie, Mairin, Meagan, Melissa, Nicholas, Nicole, Stephen and Will; one great-grandchild, Cadence. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years Bertie Lou (Griffith) Beliczky.
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