Juan M Sanchez Chew was born in Tampico Mexico (1931) and is the 3rd son of Luis and Bertha Sanchez.
Juan spent his first year in college at Tulane University in Louisiana and then transferred to the Tecnologico de Monterrey (the US equivalent of MIT). In his last year of college, he met Carol Loji who became his wife. (And celebrated there 65 wedding anniversary.) Juan graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Bachelor of Science in Electrical engineering. Later, he attained his MBA.
Juan started his professional career at the American Smelting company in San Luis Potosi. One of his memorable tasks was volunteering painting the exhaust tower that was over 50 feet tall. In his next job, he worked at the Fabricas Monterrey an associate to the Cerveceria Cuahutemoc to help develop the plans for the new plant in Ensenada, Mexico. That project was a ground up development/construction of the first canning plant on the West coast of Mexico. As the lead engineer, Juan designed the different machines to do the canning of: tomato sauces, tomato pastes, and different fruit juices. Juan also standardized the cans and canning process for each of the different food products. Other projects included developing the beer cans and machinery for Tecate beer.
That canning expertise got the attention of the people at Kern’s foods and Juan brought his family to the United States, California when he started working at Kern’s. As lead engineer, Juan developed some of the automation techniques and robotics in the 1960’s. One of his projects was to develop miniature cans for peanut butter and jelly cans for the US military (1 inch tall cans, for individual rations).
Juan’s next job was working for Pharmaseal (which was later purchased by Baxter) where he worked his way to the Director of Manufacturing. As a chief engineer, Juan was involved in many bio medical projects that include Traveneau IV bags and the fabrication of rubber/Latex glove in Malaysia.
Juan also worked on the manufacturing and standardization of the syringe needle fabrication that is still a used as an international standard. Juan also developed proprietary machines and then relocating them to different parts of the world. (ie Puerto Rico or Asian countries).
Juan and Carol were founding members of the Orange County Chinese Club (OCCC). The club was developed to help promote and preserve the Chinese culture in Orange County. During his time in Orange County, Juan and Carol were introduced to Square Dancing and became very interested. That interest involved: frequent practicing, weekly club dances and visitation, and Square Dancing conventions around the country. That love of Square dancing and Round dancing (a type of ballroom dancing) continued in Ventura County where Juan and Carol also joined the local Boots and Slippers Square and Round Dancing club.
In retirement, Juan continued to keep busy and took classes in creating stain glass vignettes that decorate his home, level 4 difficulty.
Unfortunately, retirement included some challenges to his health. In 1991, Juan suffered a heart attack and had a double bypass surgery. When he got better and received his “okay” from his cardiologist: Juan volunteered to work with Habitat for Humanities and flew to Guatamala to build houses. An interesting/memorable experience since - it was close to a rebel war zone.
After returning from Guatamala, Juan and Carol traveled to around the world: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, Vatican City, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Taiwan, and National Parks throughout the US.
Juan continued his interest at the Senior Center and enrolled in wood carving classes. Another interest and passion. Juan loved to carve and carved figurines from animals, people both real and abstract. One of Juan’s favorite trips was to Austria where he took a wood carving workshop with a master carver.
Juan is survived by his wife Carol, and children (Caroline, John, Alberto, and René).