Joseph John Ursprung, PhD, 87, passed away Friday, June 3, 2011, at Crown Pointe
Senior Living Community in Stevensville, MI.
Joseph was born March 19, 1924, in Goedre, Baranya, Hungary, the son of Johann and Theresia (Renner) Ursprung. In 1927 his parents immigrated with him to Leamington, Ontario, Canada.
Joseph enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1943 serving with The First Hussars of London, Ontario. He was involved in the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944 at Courseulles, Berniers and St. Aubin.
Upon his return to Canada in 1946, Joseph received his BA in organic chemistry in 1951 from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. He received his MA in chemistry from Queens University in 1952. Joseph
obtained his PhD in 1955, majoring in Organic Chemistry with a minor in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois. During this time he met Joanne Arnheim, also in the PhD program and they were united in marriage June 5, 1955 in Brooklyn, NY.
In 1959 after four years with Pfizer, Joseph accepted a position in pharmaceutical research with The Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, MI. He retired in 1989 as Head of Cardiovascular Research after 30 years of employment. During his time with Upjohn he was instrumental in the development of Rogaine, the hair growth drug, and Prostin VR, a drug which allowed "blue babies" to survive until surgery for their congenital heart defect could be done. Joseph was most proud of this discovery which raised the survival rate from 30% to 70% for "blue babies".