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Coatings Luminary Clive Hare Dies at Age 76

Thursday, July 19, 2018

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Clive H. Hare, a longtime JPCL columnist, coating-chemistry expert and author of influential books on protective coatings, passed away July 14 at the age of 76 at his home in Brookfield, New Hampshire, according to his family.

Hare, who was born in England and moved to the United States in 1964, began his career in coatings as a chemist with Cadillac Paints, in Allston, Massachusetts. He settled in the Boston area with wife Jean later in the 1960s and eventually began two consulting firms, Clive H. Hare Inc. and Coating System Design Inc., which provided coating formulation services to both large coating suppliers and government entities such as the U.S. Navy and NASA (leading him to observe that he was responsible for paint that made it to the moon).

Clive Hare
Courtesy of Robert Hare

Clive H. Hare, author of Protective Coatings: Fundamentals of Chemistry and Composition, died Saturday at age 76.

Hare’s most well-known work, Protective Coatings: Fundamentals of Chemistry and Composition, was first printed in 1994 by Technology Publishing Company, publisher of JPCL and the PaintSquare family of publications. The book, based on years of Hare’s JPCL column, “Anatomy of Paint,” describes in detail the resins, solvents and pigments that make up protective coatings, and the various properties of different types of paints. Designed to educate both scientists and the non-scientists in the industry, including contractors and specification-writers, the book features a unique blend of complex chemistry and lively text that was characteristic of Hare.

“He was very, very literate,” says Harold Hower, founder of Technology Publishing Company, who first worked with Hare in 1984 for a feature for JPCL. “He was a novel writer. We [were] extremely erudite and well-read regarding those who came before him, like J.E.O. Mayne.”

Protective Coatings became a go-to for many in the industry, providing the basics for anyone working with paint to protect steel structures. 

"I was in the Netherlands at a major paint company and the technical director of this company was talking to me about some paint and its components," Hower recalls. "And during the conversation, he wanted to clarify something that he wasn't quite sure of, so he pulled out Clive's boook. This was just one little instance of how influential Clive's work was." 

“Anatomy of Paint” ran in JPCL from 1989 through 1995; Hare then had a second column, “Trouble with Paint,” which ran through 2001 and was compiled into the book Paint Film Degradation: Mechanisms and Control. He was also the author of The Painting of Steel Bridges and Other Structures and many other articles and lectures.

In 2012, JPCL introduced the Clive Hare Honors, recognizing the top thinkers in the protective coatings industry, placing Hare himself in the first class of honorees along with 23 others who had advanced thinking in the field in the decade prior.

“What underpins JPCL and its approach to publishing is: You find the best minds and recruit them to write articles. The best minds and the best thinkers in protective coatings,” said Hower. “Clive is the epitome of that.”

'Veritable Legend'

"Clive, a naturally brilliant and uniquely creative thinker, was a veritable legend in the world of paints and coatings," said Mike O'Donoghue, director of engineering and technical service for AkzoNobel's Protective Coatings Canada business. "His articles and books display vast knowledge and fantastic eloquence and for me his publications on—in his own words—'the pathology of paint' remain the best on planet Earth. And yes, he did put paint on the moon!"

"It has been a great privilege for my wife and I to have had Clive and his wife Jean as friends," O'Donoghue added, "and we shall sorely miss this wonderfully gifted man and hours spent poring over not only his coatings books but also his novels."

Hower noted that Hare, while busy as one of the premier coating-formulation consultants in the country, would keep up with a demanding schedule as a columnist for the magazine by spending time during his vacation at a lake house in Maine planning out and in some cases drafting his articles for the following year.

“He was extremely prolific,” Hower said, adding that “these are big articles, with a lot of illustrations he did himself.”

Hare is survived by wife Jean and their three children, Kristen, Robert and Jonathan, as well as their families. 

Hare was honored with a service in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Wednesday (July 18) and buried at the Maple Grove Cemerty, in Acton, Maine. His family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

A longer memorial piece honoring Hare will run in an upcoming issue of JPCL.

Editor's Note: Updated article to fix grammatical error. 


Tagged categories: AF; AS; Asia Pacific; Clive Hare; Coating chemistry; Coating Materials; Coatings education; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EU; Latin America; NA; North America; OC; Protective Coatings; SA

Comment from Daniel Savage, (7/19/2018, 7:57 AM)

Rest in Peace Clive. Your impact on our industry is much appreciated.

Comment from Robert Audlee, (7/19/2018, 4:06 PM)

Clive was the chemist for our company, Stainless Steel Coatings (makers of STEEL-IT). His intelligence and wit will be missed. The term is 'thrown around" quite a bit these days, but Clive was a true genius. The Nicola Tesla of coatings, if you will. Clive was able to explain processes on the back of an envelope, that only in the last few years have we been able to confirm with SEM, laser scintillometry, and other newfangled techniques. We were very fortunate and grateful to have benefitted from his guidance and expertise.

Comment from Ken Tator, (7/20/2018, 10:37 AM)

I knew Clive Hare quite well. He was friendly, uniquely knowledgeable, and his books and publications have been, and still are a tremendous technical resource in the paint and coatings industry. I sincerely regret his passing and the loss to our industry of his wisdom and knowledge. My sympathies to his family and industry co-workers. Ken Tator KTA-Tator, Inc.

Comment from SAMUEL FELISARIO, (7/22/2018, 2:08 AM)

Clive is a great contributor to knowledge in the coatings industry . We send our deepest condolences to the family. Rest In Peace Clive.

Comment from Robert Hare, (8/9/2018, 12:29 PM)

Thank you Mike for a beautiful tribute to my father and for your kindness to my both of my parents over the years. He was very fond of you. Thank you also to his industry friends and colleagues who took time out to share a piece of his legacy here and elsewhere in the industry. I was blessed to work for him for a very short time while I was in college. While my future path was not in the Coatings industry, I did learn my passion for photography from my father. More importantly I learned how to dedicate myself to a trade and to work with humility and a willingness to share my craft with those willing to learn. It has been a great privilege to hear from so many that knew and worked with my father over the years. However, it was the honor of my life to call this great man my father. Everything I am I owe to him, my mother, and the love and dedication they showed to myself and siblings as parents. Love you Dad.

Comment from Karl Kardel, (8/22/2018, 5:14 PM)

Clive Hare wrote remarkably well. Late one night my wife asked why in earth I was reading his book. His writing was always enjoyable and informative. I was reading about the disappearance of 'dilulents' not long after glass phase. Lo and behold I had two 6 figure consulting suits over floor epoxy coatings for electronic mfrs. That reading came back to me, and my client facing ruin was absolved of blistering in the floors. For a room full of 'experts' none but myself and Clive could focus on vapor pressure that can go two ways. I will miss his clarity, humor and modesty.

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