BRICK, DONALD B.
Of Burlington, formerly of Lexington, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on October 22, 2014. He was the beloved husband of Phyllis Brick, also of Burlington, for 62 years. Don was the beloved father of James Brick and his wife Wendy, Susan Weinbaum and her husband Dan Weinbaum, and Howard Brick and his wife Jill Smilow. He was the beloved grandfather of his grandchildren Jaclyn Gutierrez and her husband Antonio Gutierrez, Arielle Brick, Elana Weinbaum, Kayley Weinbaum, Julia Weinbaum, Jeremy Brick and Eli Brick. Don leaves behind an extended family of cousins in Boston, New York, and Florida.
Born in Brooklyn, NY on October 1, 1927 and raised in Patterson, NJ, Don came to Boston after serving in the US Army to attend Harvard University in 1946 and never left. He graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in Applied Physics in 1950, received a Master of Sciences from Harvard, and his PhD in Engineering Sciences and Applied Physics from Harvard in 1956.
After completing his studies, Don enjoyed a long and distinguished career as an engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, senior official in the Federal government, and consultant right up to the time of his death. He was granted multiple patents, published many articles in scientific journals, and was a Fellow of the IEEE and a Member of Sigma Xi, an engineering sciences honor society. He had over 65 years of experience and expertise in artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, and command-and-control research, design, and marketing. From 1956 to 1965, Don worked as a Senior Scientist at GTE Sylvania. Subsequently, he co-founded and served as CEO of several information technology and computer companies, including IRA Systems, one of the first commercial cathode ray technology computer companies, and Infoton. He served as Executive Vice-President of Addressagraph Multigraph. For eight years, Don was a Technical Director of the United States Air Force. In that capacity, he oversaw development of radar systems and the command-and-control-infrastructure of the Air Force. He next consulted with many companies, including Draper Labs and Alphatec. Over the last 15 years of his career until his death, Don worked on and was recognized as one of the leading experts on optical character recognition technology and its use in license plate recognition and cargo container reading systems across the United States. In 2014, he was featured in the book Men Still at Work: Professionals Over Sixty and on the Job by Elizabeth F. Fidler. When asked by the author why he was still working at the age of 86, Don responded “I have things to do so I don’t have to look for things to do.”
Don was a dedicated, life-long philanthropist and leader of the Jewish community of Boston. He was a founding member of Temple Emunah and Temple Isaiah in Lexington. He held many leadership positions in the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, was an Honorary Trustee, and raised money for the organization for over 50 years. He also served in leadership positions and on the Board of Directors of the American Technion Society. In these positions, he participated in many missions to Israel.
Don enjoyed spending time with his family and friends on Cape Cod, where he and his wife had a home in New Seabury for almost 40 years, and in Vermont where he skied with his family and friends at Mount Snow for many years. Don was an avid boatsman, skier, tennis player, biker, and runner. He loved classical music, listening to the Boston Symphony at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood. To his family and friends he was known for his ever present sense of humor; with a twinkle in his eye, he enjoyed nothing more than sharing a joke, pun, or one of his many stories. He was an eternal optimist and will be missed by those who knew and loved him.
Funeral services will take place at Temple Emunah in Lexington at 1:00 on Sunday, October 26, 2014, Shiva will be at the home of Howard Brick and Jill Smilow, Sunday 6-9 PM and Monday, 2-4 PM and 6-9 PM, and at the home of Phyllis Brick, Tuesday, 2-4 PM and 6-9 PM. Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, 126 High Street, #2, Boston, MA 02110 or Temple Emunah, 9 Piper Road, Lexington, MA 02421.