Dr. Michael J. Pryor

dr. michael pryor
Dr Michael J. Pryor, 87, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Oct 6, 2012 at Emeritus Senior Living in Woodbridge. Michael was born in Leek, England on March 31, 1925. He was predeceased by his wife Pax Pryor and is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Maureen & Bob Preuss of Cheshire, Valerie Johnson of Port Saint Lucie, Florida, his son Laurence Pryor of Marlborough, CT, 4 grand children (Suzanne, Keith, Marc, Shane) and 3 great grand children. Dr. Pryor received his B.A. in Metallurgy (1946), M.A. and Ph. D. in metallic corrosion (1949), from Trinity College, Cambridge University in England. Mike brought his family to the United States in 1953 when he joined Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation's Metallurgical Research in Spokane, Washington as a research engineer. In 1957, he joined Olin Corporation's Metals Research Laboratories in New Haven, becoming the Director in 1971. In 1980, he became Vice President of Metals Research. During his career, Dr. Pryor published 54 papers in the area of corrosion, oxidation and physical metallurgy. He received 126 U. S. patents in the field of alloy development and metallurgy and was president of the Electrochemical Society in 1976-1977. Besides his family, Mike loved growing Dahlias and the New York Giants. In the 'Dahlia World', Mike was past president of The Connecticut Dahlia Society four times and twice president of the North Atlantic Dahlia Conference (NADC). His most cherished achievement in the dahlia world was to receive the ADS Gold Medal achievement award at the ADS National Show hosted by the Mid Island Dahlia Society (MIDS). Mike was ahead of the curve in applying his scientific principles to the growing of dahlias and subsequently wrote several articles on the growing and fertilization of Dahlias. 'Iron Mike' was best known for his giant size competitive entries of 'Walter Hardisty' for many years. The family wishes to thank the exceptional caregivers and staff at Emeritus Senior Living in Woodbridge, Willcare visiting nurses and Vitas home hospice services for the loving care provided to Dr. Mike. Dr. Mike (Dad) will be deeply missed by those of us who knew him and loved him. BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, Hamden is in charge of arrangements. A Private Memorial Service will be held by the family at a later date. Memorial contributions may be sent to Willcare, 414 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Mike will always be remembered for his Walter Hardisty’s. Our sympathy to you and your family. Dottie and Dave Crockett (Connecticut Dahlia Society)

  2. On behalf of myself and all the members of the Mid Island Dahlia Society, I extend our sincere sympathy to Mikes entire family. His Prize winning Dahlias were always .best in show.. He mentored many Dahlia growers who only hoped to grow Dahlias like Mike. He will be missed by all. Maureen O’Hara President Mid Island Dahlia Society

  3. Roger and I are sorry for your loss. Mike and Roger had a special relationship and he will be sorely missed. Our condolences, Linda and Roger Miller

  4. To my dearest friend and Dahlia grower, you will surely be missed. Our sincere sympathy to the family. Mary Lou and Bill Allgeier, Mid-Island Dahlia Society

  5. We are so sorry to hear of Doc’s passing. Our sincere sympathy to all. Doris and Jay Hexham, Mid-Island Dahlia

  6. Dear Granddad, I wanted to let you know that I am a much better person for having known you and I feel incredibly lucky for and will always cherish our years of Saturdays together.

  7. Granddad, I choose to remember you in the gardens where you were at your best. You and Grandma created a beautiful environment, in the gardens, for a child to wonder about and grow up.

  8. Granddad, I’ll always remember the times we spent together downstairs watching football. Everytime I see Doug Flutie, I think of you as we were sitting together when he threw the hail mary pass into the endzone to beat Miami. I’m glad you got to see the Giants win another Superbowl last year! Love you.

  9. What an amazing, accomplished man; a wonderful career, an outstanding hobby, and a beautiful, loving family. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Love to all of you at this sad time.

  10. Maureen and Bob, My deepest sympathies to both of you. Mike’s contributions to the .Dahlia World. will be remembered forever. Jesse President, Connecticut Dahlia Society

  11. Mike….We have been connected in many different ways during the last forty-three years. From the years at Metals Research Lab, to the .Dahlia World. and caretaker with Maureen as you .reassessed your position. and made the necessary adjustments that come with the aging process. I remember you jumping up and kicking your heals with delight after success on a research project. You gave me your best dahlia stock to start a new hobby and kept me guessing the first growing year with your .short on words. mentoring; direct and to the point, which enabled Maureen and I to quickly become worthy dahlia exhibitors and enjoy the hobby. .Life according to Mike. worked very well for you….especially near the end. You were never a burden and we did everything with glad hearts. Your passing will leave a void in our life, but the wisdom and memories will live forever. Love….Bob

  12. WOW Dad – What a journey! The last 15 years that you and Bob and I have travelled together has been a gift. We have benefitted from your profound wisdom and delighted at your storied wit. Thank you for the opportunities. Thank you for letting us truly know you. Thank you for loving me, I love you too. The record truly does show you did it your way. Love, Maureen See you later alligator (—– – —–, ———)

  13. Dad: Thanks for the memories: getting the wind knocked out of me skiing in Ottawa; the fun we had building that awful clothes horse! Every time I see a new food on the menu, I remember the rule .You have to try everything 3 times – you’ll probably like it by then. That really works, I enjoy just about everything but oysters. The fishing; from the lake in the park in Spokane to Newfoundland – remember that tractor? Labrador – how the moose came when they heard the plane, how they ate from our hands. The fishing was good, too. The football & beer…and the garden… beautiful, but mostly, your guidance. Thank-you from my heart and mind. I’ll remember and love you always.

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