Jozef Gembarovic

Jozef Gembarovic, 67, of New Paltz, New York, passed away suddenly on Sunday, January 3, 2021 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Born January 30, 1953 in Vrutky, Slovakia, he was the son of the late Jozef and Bozena (Kratka) Gembarovic. As a young student, Jozef met the love of his life, Eva Lofflerova. Together they shared a passion for nature, travel, their children, and grandchild and throughout their lives they remained inseparable.

Jozef earned his Ph.D in Physics from Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia and taught for many years at the Pedagogical Faculty in Nitra, Slovakia before becoming a Vice Rector for International Relations. In 1999, he was offered a post as a lead physicist at Thermophysical Properties Research Laboratory, Inc. in West Lafayette, Indiana. After leaving Indiana in 2011, he worked for several years at TA Instruments in  New Castle, Delaware.

Jozef moved to New Paltz several years ago to live with his daughter and her family, where he worked as an adjunct professor in Physics at SUNY New Paltz, New York, until his retirement in 2019. It was here in New Paltz that he was to meet his dear friend David Miller, and the two could often be found helping their friends and family as they strolled through the Cherry Hill neighborhood. Jozef was an avid musician, skier, hiker and golfer and he enjoyed rambling around the Mohonk preserve.

Growing up under the communist regime of Czechoslovakia, Jozef cultivated a true appreciation for the absurd tempered with a sense of righteous indignation directed against all forms of demagoguery and injustice. His strength of spirit meant that he never let this experience pull him into pessimism, and right up until his death he found beauty, humor and hope in the everyday. Among his many pioneering acts of intellectual achievement was the publication of the first book of Chaos theory to come out of Eastern Europe. Jozef went on to create a uniquely accurate system of heat transfer measurement. This massive leap forward in the field of thermodynamics has been used to assist in the production of the latest generation of spacecraft. When humanity takes to the stars it will be due, in part, to a guitar playing physicist from the Slovak mountains with a passion for country music. He is fondly remembered by his friends on both continents.

Survivors include his loving wife, Eva (Lofflerova) Gembarovicova; his children, Julia Friday (dcera) and her husband, Matthew Friday, and Joe Freeman (syn); his granddaughter, Sylvia Friday; his sister, Eva Vilkova and her husband, Vladimir Vilk; and his nieces, Ivana Leckesiova and Zuzana Vandlikova.

Jozef was interred privately at the New Paltz Rural Cemetery. In his memory, please donate to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital to honor his commitment to charity and care. Arrangements were under the direction of the Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home. Expressions of condolence may be shared with the family on Jozef’s Tribute wall at

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