Arthur Leonard Saxton
Birth date: May 10, 1918
Death date: May 31, 2012
Saxton, Arthur Leonard, age 94 of Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
If you took Emerson, Thoreau and Einstein and packaged them into one person, I’m pretty sure you’d come up with someone very much like Arthur L. Saxton.
Of course, he would scoff at that comparison, because almost to a fault, he was the epitome of modesty. But like Emerson, he lived the values of self-reliance and integrity. Like Thoreau, he had great reverence for nature. Like Einstein, he had a brilliant mind.
And we mourn his passing. Art Saxton was a remarkable man of outstanding character. His was a good life, a long life, well-lived and well-loved. A life to be remembered and celebrated.
In 1918, he became the eldest son and second of six children born to Willis and Aline Saxton on their dairy farm in Troy, Pennsylvania. In this rural setting, he learned the value of hard work and developed a lifelong appreciation for the natural world. Also a natural born scholar, he skipped the first grade, was the Salutatorian of his high school class, and a 1941 graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Chemical Engineering.
What followed was a long and distinguished career at Exxon Research & Engineering. Over the course of 38 years, he rose to the position of Exxon’s Senior Engineer with 12 patents under his belt, culminating in his being honored with the prestigious Thomas Alva Edison Patent award for his invention of Flexicoking (an innovation implemented worldwide that created a much more environmentally friendly oil-refining process).
While his achievements earned him great respect, his career couldn’t hold his spirit, which manifested in the larger than life gardens he nurtured, the stone walls built, and enough trees planted to be included on the National Forest Registry. He brown-bagged his lunches. He served on the Board of Education. He wrote letters to politicians. He took nothing for granted. He made a difference in the world.
But the difference that filled him with the most pride was his family. Shortly after his college graduation, he’d met Carolyn Naught, a New Jersey girl, soon to be another Syracuse graduate and the love of his life. The “city girl” and “farm boy” married (thank goodness) about a year and a half later. They spent most of their life together in Warren, NJ where they raised their four children ~ all of whom were his greatest personal treasure.
Art was a tall, handsome, commanding figure, and rather serious in his youth, but his laugh was hearty, his heart was true and he loved the genuine things in life ~ home-made meals, ice cream and strawberry shortcake, birds on the feeder, a game of scrabble, spring’s first Jack in the Pulpit, tomatoes from the vine, the presence of family. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a stronger, more honorable, loyal, and trustworthy man.
Survived by his four children, Alan Saxton (and wife Jane), Anne Dandois (and husband Bart), David Saxton (and wife Susan) and Patricia Saxton, 7 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, a brother, Earl, and 12 nieces and nephews. We all cherish your love, and your immeasurable goodness and wisdom. You made the world a better place.
Memorial contributions can be made in Arthur's memory to the
Carolyn Naught Saxton Endowed Scholarship
820 Comstock Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13244
2:30 pm on Friday, June 8, 2012 at Windcrest Retirement Community 3235 Mill Vista Road Highlands Ranch Colorado 80129 (map/driving directions)
Memorial service with a reception following.