Dr. Carel van Oss Obituary

Dr. Carel J. van Oss
Dr. Carel J. van Oss

September 7, 1923 - February 22, 2018
Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Resided in Williamsville, New York
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Obituary

Carel Jan van Oss Obituary
September 7, 1923 - February 22, 2018
Carel Jan van Oss of Williamsville NY, Retired professor of Microbiology at the University at Buffalo, former Consul of the Netherlands, and Forger in the Dutch Resistance of World War II died on Thursday surrounded by family after a brief illness at age 94.
Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; as a 17 year old, Dr. van Oss served as a forger in the Dutch underground creating identity cards for approximately 900 Dutch Jews to escape Nazi concentration camps in occupied Amsterdam. After WWII, Dr. van Oss served in the British Royal Air force as an Intelligence Officer.
In 1955, he earned his PhD in Physical Biochemistry with honors from the Sorbonne in Paris, France. He subsequently served as Director of the Laboratory of Physical Biochemistry at the French National Veterinary College. In 1963, Dr. van Oss emigrated to the United States of America with his wife Rosine and son James, to a position as Assistant Head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York City. In 1965, Dr. van Oss took a position as Director of Serum, Plasma, and Immunochemistry at The Milwaukee Blood Center in Milwaukee, WI. In 1969, he, his wife, and son became US citizens.
Dr. van Oss came to Buffalo New York in 1968, as Associate Professor of Microbiology and Head, Immunochemistry Laboratory, at The State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine. In 1972 he became a full professor at UB. In 1980, Dr. van Oss earned an appointment as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UB. In 1995, Dr. van Oss earned an appointment as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UB. He was editor of 3 scientific journals, 4 academic journal series in book form, wrote 11 scientific books in 3 languages, and authored over 360 published scientific papers. He was awarded 14 grants as a researcher. He was a world renowned expert in negative van der Waals forces with an equation on the subject attributed and named after him. Dr. van Oss earned 4 U.S. and French patents. Dr. van Oss was active as an author, professor, and researcher until age 89.
Dr. van Oss was fluent in Dutch, French, English, German, and had a working knowledge of Greek and Latin. He served as Honorary Consul of the Netherlands in Western New York from 1970 to 1990. In 1985, he was awarded the Netherlands’ Commemorative Resistance Cross for his activities in the Dutch Resistance during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Dr. van Oss was also awarded a Knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.
Dr. van Oss enjoyed boating, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and cycling. He was a prolific reader and book collector, and amassed over 5,000 books in his collection.
Dr. van Oss is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Rosine G. Ambard, his son James (Rosanne Frandina), daughters Anne Roach, Vivian (Mark) Gentil, and 7 grandchildren: Timothy, Daniel, and Katherine Van Oss; Stephen, Rachel, Matthew, and Alyssa Gentil. He was predeceased by his beloved sister Nelle Spitz and is also survived by 3 nieces Eyleen, Leonore, and Marianne Spitz living in Europe.
he family will be present to receive relatives and friends on Saturday from 10-11 AM at the (Delaware Chapel) AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 1132 Delaware Avenue (at West Ferry), with a Memorial Service to follow at 11 AM. Flowers gratefully declined. Share condolences at www.AMIGONE.com.
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Buffalo News Version
Sept. 7, 1923 - Feb. 22, 2018

Carel Jan van Oss joined the Dutch Resistance in World War II quite by chance. He only intended to help some girls he knew by making fake identity cards for them.

“I was about 18, just out of school. It was a matter of some of our classmates being in some difficulties. We were fairly adept in meticulous drawing from our school days, so we offered to do it and see what came of it,” he told The Buffalo News in 1994. “Quickly acquaintances in the Resistance heard about this and thought this is precisely what they needed, so they put me to work.”

As the Germans became better at detecting the forgeries, Mr. van Oss and his associates became more adept at concealing them. They developed methods of transferring photographs, recreating official stamps and using acetone to dissolve markings. At one point, he was arrested and imprisoned for three months.

“We did not consider this unlawful, being directed against the German occupation,” he said in a video interview for the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo. “Although it might be dangerous, you didn’t consider yourself a criminal.”

He estimated that he created about 900 identity cards for Dutch Jews, which helped them to escape to Switzerland. He also forged documents for scores of Allied pilots who had been shot down by the Germans.

His career as a forger ended with the war, and Mr. van Oss went on to become an eminent microbiologist and professor at the University at Buffalo. He died Feb. 22 after a brief illness. He was 94.

After the war, Mr. van Oss accepted a commission with the British Royal Air Force as an intelligence officer, screening recruits as the Dutch Air Force was being rebuilt. He then went to France, where he first studied law, then earned a doctorate in physical biochemistry with honors from the Sorbonne in Paris in 1955.

He pursued post-doctoral studies in laboratories at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and at the Sorbonne, then served for five years as director of the Laboratory of Physical Biochemistry at the French National Veterinary College of Maison-Alfort in Paris.

In 1963, he came to the United States to become assistant director of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York City. Two years later, he was named director of Serum, Plasma and Immunochemistry at the Milwaukee, Wis., Blood Center and was an adjunct associate biology professor at Marquette University.

Mr. van Oss came to Buffalo in 1968 as an associate professor of microbiology and head of the Immunochemistry Laboratory at UB, becoming a full professor in 1972.

In 1980, he was appointed an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UB and in 1995 he also became an adjunct professor in UB’s Geology Department.

He was a member of the Ernest Witebsky Center for Immunology at UB and held visiting positions at the Central Laboratory of the Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service at Amsterdam and at the University of Bristol in England.

He was editor of three scientific journals, two of which he founded, and editor of four academic journal series in book form. Fluent in Dutch, French, English and German, with a working knowledge of Latin and Greek, he was author, co-author or editor of 11 scientific books in three languages and published more than 360 scientific papers and chapters.

Awarded 14 grants as a researcher, he was world-renowned as an expert in negative van der Waals forces, the repulsion of molecules from each other in gases and liquids. A contributor to a method for calculating surface tension, an equation was named after him. He held four U.S. and French patents and was active as an author, professor and researcher until he was 89.

Mr. van Oss became a U.S. citizen in 1969 and the following year was appointed honorary consul of the Netherlands in Western New York, a post he held until 1990. He was a member of the board of directors of the International Institute of Buffalo.

In 1983, he was awarded the Netherlands Commemorative Resistance Cross for his actions during World War II. Queen Beatrix also awarded him a knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

He was honored with the Righteous Among the Nations Humanitarian Award in 1994 from the Buffalo Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.

A Williamsville resident, he enjoyed boating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and cycling. A prolific reader and book collector, he had a library of more than 5,000 volumes.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, the former Rosine G. Ambard; a son, James; two daughters, Anne Roach and Vivian Gentil; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Amigone Funeral Home, 1132 Delaware Ave.

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Service
Delaware Chapel
1132 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY US 14209
Saturday, April 14, 2018
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Burial
Forest Lawn Cemetery
1411 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo, NY US 14209
Saturday, April 14, 2018