The Story of Dr. Karl Jurak
Dr. Karl Ignacius Jurak lived a most extraordinary
life. He often said that he lived the life of ten men. His scientific
achievements alone are staggering. He held 28 patents; his inventions all
marked by a deep humanity. His work, which eventually led to the discovery
of latex paint, was triggered by a painter's comment to him that painters
had an average life expectancy of 55 years before succumbing to cancer of
the throat brought on by lead poisoning, and if only Dr. Jurak could help
find a solution to this...
Dr. Karl had an idyllic childhood. His father was
an architect in the court of the Emperor Franz Josef. Vacations and
holidays were spent in nature on the vast estate of his Uncle Karl. He was
so brilliant at school that he was advanced a total of five grades before
entering the university. He received his first doctorate with honors for
the Matol/Km formula at the age of 19 at the University of Vienna. At the
time this was considered the finest scientific training in the world. A
second doctorate in biochemistry followed, and a masters degree in physics
stopped short of becoming a third doctorate because he fell in love with
Helena, a fair young flower from Croatia, and began thinking along the
lines of marrying and starting a family. With his Helena (Helen) he
immigrated to Canada in 1932, and raised young Lauretta, Norman, and
Anthony, enjoying a satisfying social and home life.
Karl loved sports and was a gifted athlete in ski
jumping, soccer, and long distance swimming, done competitively. He was an
avid Alpine climber, skier, dancer, golfer, horseback rider, curler and
He was much loved as a teacher and consistently
voted most popular lecturer in his years at the university. He was an avid
explorer and loved to travel, journeying to every country except China
(including Tibet and Hunza).
Dr. Karl loved life, loved people, loved
adventure, loved nature and all its mysteries, and loved God. He lived his
life with passion, and out of that passion distilled wisdom. Once a group
of men came to see him with plans for a Utopian project to end world
hunger and homelessness. He listened with great interest and attention,
nodding and saying that he had a dream of such things since his youth. To
those lovely men shining with zeal, he gave wise and practical counsel,
ending with words, "Take idealism as far as it will go, and then watch the
idealists very closely."
At heart, Dr. Karl was always a gardener. He knew
what is was to plant a seed, tenderly nurture and care for it, knowing
that nature requires, among other things, time. He never wanted to rush
the process, knowing that the small seed may become in a hundred years a
magnificent tree for other eyes to see.
More than once he was seen taking an apparently
dead plant, kneeling down and carefully pruning it, feeding it the
Matol/Km, and waiting for nature to work it's miracle (it always did).
Yes, he understood the power of a seed, this agrobiologist, and in his
lifetime he planted more than a few, knowing that many would not ripen in
his span of years, or even his children's or grandchildren's. But that's
all right; that's what seeds do. We are only responsible for planting them
and tending them, and the rest is in God's hands.
This Website is
Dr. Karl Jurak, Formulator of
"Wind Beneath My