||Lawrence D. Eicher: 1938 - 2002
This column is usually devoted to issues that concern this standards
organization or the standards community. It has never been used
to honor an individual, until now. This time is an exception,
because the man we will honor was an exception. He was a leader
in the standards field whose character and service stood out so
brilliantly that this organization was compelled to honor him
in 1987 with the W.T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award.
The purpose of the W. T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award is to acknowledge
the extraordinary contributions made by individuals associated
with national and international voluntary standards.
It is granted to persons of widely recognized eminence in the
voluntary standards system. Lawrence D. Eicher, secretary-general
of the ISO, was the first to receive it.
Larry Eicher died on March 21 and left our community all the poorer
for it. There will be many fine words said about him, about his
accomplishments, of which there were many, and his contributions
to the field of standardization. But ASTM International owes a
special tribute to Larry Eicher, and it is this: He was a man
who was always willing to engage in open dialogue, a man who understood
the value of honest expression, a man of conviction and integrity.
He was not afraid to stand up, to speak up for what he believed
was right. This is the essence of consensus, and it is one of
the principles he practiced with purposeful dedication and resolve.
It went to the heart of his work and it goes to the heart of the
work of everybody who labors in this field. For this he will be
remembered at ASTM International, and valued, and respected. He
represented what we all need so badly at this moment in time:
peaceful resolutions through dialogue and the power of consensus.
Larry was an Honorary Member of ASTM. He was our countryman, and
we were proud of him. He was also a citizen of the world, and
we were proud of the way he bore his awesome responsibility. Lest
anyone think otherwise because we sometimes represented opposing
views, let this be known: He was our friend, and we shall miss
To his wife Nancy, and to his children Scott, Leah, and Paige,
we extend our deepest sympathy.
(Click here for a full obituary.)
Copyright 2002, ASTM