KENNETH L. ELIAS
LEESBURG, FLA. — Kenneth L. Elias, 79, passed away peacefully on Nov. 28, 2013 in Leesburg, Fla. after a brief illness. His, Marie, and two children, Greg and Karen, were by his side.
Ken was born Nov. 9, 1934, in Detroit, Mich., the son of Abraham Elias and Nellie (Jones) Elias. He married Marie Kathleen Graham in April 1961.
In his early career, Ken was an engineer and metallurgist at General Motors in Warren, Mich. He moved his family to Vermont in 1965 after being hired by IBM, where worked as a chemical engineer at the Essex Junction plant for more than 30 years.
In the 1980s, Ken and two co-workers invented a method for semiconductor production that was awarded U.S. and European patents. He was known for his photographic memory. IBM employees sometimes called Ken in the middle of the night and he would recite manufacturing formulas while still half asleep.
Ken left IBM in the mid-90s and moved to Warrenton, Va., where he started a second career at Dominion Semiconductor. He and his wife later retired in Florida, where they enjoyed an active life that included world travel, golfing and ballroom dancing every Saturday night.
Ken was an excellent conversationalist who loved to talk about virtually any topic. He had an irreverent sense of humor and a knack for well-reasoned arguments. He used his gift for languages to become fluent in German and learn some Norwegian and Japanese.
Despite his many accomplishments, Ken was down-to-earth person who made friendships with people from all walks of life. He often struck up conversations with strangers, and was as comfortable chatting with a store clerk as he was talking shop with fellow engineers.
He is survived by his wife, Marie Kathleen Graham Elias of Leesburg; his sister, Carolyn Elias Brown of Westland, Mich.; his son, Greg Elias and wife Patricia McManus Elias of Huntington, Vt.; his daughter Karen Elias Ager and her husband, Donald R. Ager Jr. of Concord, N.H.; his grandchildren, Wayne, Shania and Ian; and his nieces and nephews, Michael, Deborah, Kathleen, Lisa and Leslie.
An April 2014 memorial service is planned in Leesburg. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ken’s memory may be made to the Leesburg Food Bank, 1305 Sunshine Ave., Leesburg, Fla. 34748. To offer online condolences, visit http://obituaries.expressionstributes.com/?o=f7a5312927