David was born in New York City on February 27, 1930, to Marcia Miller Kosowsky and Samuel Kosowsky, Eastern European immigrants who met in New York City. His mother contracted rheumatic fever soon after his birth and was ill for much of his young life.
In spite of the worries at home, David became a brilliant and life-long scholar. He excelled at PS 50 and JHS 115 in Washington Heights and at the Bronx High School of Science. He went on to graduate summa cum laude from the City College of New York with a degree in electrical engineering. As he would recall, engineering was a happy accident. He planned to study humanities, but when he went to sign up for classes, they were all full, and someone directed him to the sign-up for the engineering program. It turned out to be an excellent match, and after graduating, David, went on to earn a ScD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955.
David founded Damon Engineering, later Damon Corporation, in 1961 and led it for thirty years. The company first manufactured electronics based on his graduate work and his patents in piezoelectric devices, including crystal filters that landed on the Moon with the Apollo astronauts. David was curious about how everything worked. Among his sons’ fondest memories are his asking “What do you have to know?” as they worked beside him, taking things apart and putting them back together. His interests in education and medicine led Damon to diversify into everything from high school science equipment and model rockets to medical instrumentation, clinical laboratories and biotechnology.
David married Cynthia Siegal in 1955 and they raised three sons together. David’s first marriage ended in divorce and he married his second wife, Ingrid Mehlstaubl in 1989.
Ingrid was from Munich, David from the States. David loved Gilbert & Sullivan, and Ingrid loved Wagner. Yet somehow they were each other’s perfect match, sharing a passion for the arts, exercise, good food, family, and poodles named Caesar.
Together David and Ingrid created a community of philanthropy and service in Boston and in the home they built together in West Palm Beach, Florida. Throughout his life, David devoted time to educational, medical, cultural and religious institutions, serving in leadership capacities at MIT, Boston University, Scripps Florida Council, Boston’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, The Palm Beach Opera, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, and Temple Mishkan Tefila.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Ingrid, his son Michael and his wife Jennifer Drawbridge and their daughters Nola and Julia; his son Richard, his wife Tricia and their daughters Lila and Annie; and his son Steven, his wife Amy Warner and their daughters Nina and Grace.
The Kosowsky family would like to thank Dr. Harold Solomon, Dr. David Ryan, Dr. Jay Loeffler and Barbara Turnipfeed for their devoted care.
A memorial service will be held July 29, at 10 am at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham. Shiva to follow at the home of Steven and Amy at 626 South Street, Needham from 1:30-4:30 and 6:30-9:00.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of David Kosowsky may be made to the Massachusetts General Hospital in support of the phase II clinical trial using immunotherapy alongside radiation therapy, under the direction of Dr. Theodore Hong.
Gifts can be made online at www.massgeneral.org/donate or mailed to the MGH Development Office, attention: Meagan Coons, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540 , Boston, MA 02114. Checks payable to MGH Cancer Center. Please indicate “David Kosowsky tribute” on the memo line.