SAE John A. Sargent ’61 passed away in Orinda, California, on December 4, 2020. He had two Cornell degrees, a B.Chem.E and M.Eng., and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. He served two years as a Naval officer, participating in the blockade during the Cuban missile crisis, and spent a year studying French literature at the University of Besançon, sparking a lifelong love for French culture.
Celebrated professionally in the dialysis field, his achievements in a 50-year career in kidney disease research extended the lives, and improved the quality of life, for tens of thousands of people. His early work was pivotal in creating the first practical device for dialysis, offering a life-saving treatment for those suffering from kidney failure. He also co-developed the model that is the international standard for managing dialysis therapy. He ran his company, Quantitative Medical Systems, for nearly 40 years, growing it to become the leading provider of reimbursement software to the dialysis field, and continued his analytical and research work into retirement.
John’s zest for life was expressed in many ways, including incredible cooking, black diamond skiing, and traversing the globe to celebrate birthdays and witness solar eclipses. Cornellians participating in celebrations in France included Bill Schumacher ’57, Bill Kingston ’59, Paul Grannis ’60, and Jackie Grimm Kingston ’61.
John is survived by his wife of 49 years, Laurie, three children and five grandchildren. He will be fondly remembered for enriching the lives of all who knew him.