Obituary of Michael H. Wacholder
Michael “Mike” H. Wacholder, 79, passed away on March 11, 2022 after a long illness, with
his loving family by his side. Born in San Francisco, California, he was the son of the late
Myron and Miriam (Abram) Wacholder.
Mike was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area and received his bachelor’s degree
from the University of California at Berkeley. A few years later, he started heading eastward,
first stopping in Texas where he earned a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional
Planning at Texas A&M University. He then came to New York and began teaching at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an adjunct faculty member. In 1979, he was asked by
President George M. Low to spearhead a feasibility study for a technology park at the
University. Mike subsequently became the Director of the Rensselaer Technology Park,
overseeing the planning and development of the Park since its inception in 1981. Under his
three decades of leadership, the Park profoundly impacted the economic development of
the Capital Region. Mike was also a founder and the first Director of the University’s world-
renowned Incubator Program. He is globally recognized as a pioneer of the Incubator and
Technology Park movement. In service to the field, he was a founding board member of the
Association of University Research Parks (AURP) and served as a past president of the
Association. In service to his community, he shared his expertise as Director of the East
Greenbush Planning Board for 10 years.
His professional success was a testament to his passion, intelligence, creativity, work ethic
and vision. He was a great teacher and mentor—he had a wide reach to influence and
inspire others, and always went out of his way to do so. He was an avid reader and collector
of books. He spent his retirement years writing and publishing three books.
He was a passionate photographer, art collector and lover of the natural world --most of all,
At the core of everything in his life, was his pride and love for his family. Mike is survived
by his wife, Mary Wacholder, and their children: Meryssa Weyer (Andrew), Mitchel
Wacholder (Emily), Marlee Wacholder (Tommy Paranzine). He is also survived by his
daughters, Michelle Haskin (Brian), Mimi Wacholder and their mother Stephanie
Wacholder. Mike leaves behind his dear siblings Lynne Galin and twin brother Myron
Wacholder (Marolyn), as well as his loving grandchildren: Bayley, Jessica, and Sydney
Haskin; Kai, Tate, and Trey Frantz; Harper Rose Weyer, and Michael Anthony Wacholder
due this summer, plus many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Michael’s Life to be held on
Saturday, April 2 from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm, with words of remembrance beginning at
1:00 pm, at Pat’s Barn located in the Rensselaer Technology Park, 110 DeFreest Dr, Troy, NY
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Michael’s honor to the St. Jude’s Research Hospital
and The American Stroke Foundation.
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