Roger N. Piasio

CUMBERLAND FORESIDE – Roger Norman Piasio, 81, of Cumberland Foreside, passed away peacefully at his home on Feb. 15, 2020. Roger was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on July 6, 1938, the son of Alfred and Dorothy Piasio. Roger graduated from Pelham High School (N.Y.), attended The Citadel in Charleston, SC and completed his B.S. in Chemistry at Adelphi University. Roger began his career working alongside two Nobel laureates at Rockefeller University before taking senior scientific positions at Becton-Dickinson and Corning Glass Works. A life-long entrepreneur, Roger founded numerous companies in the field of biotechnology, where he became known as a foremost scientific expert and innovator in human diagnostics. He was a passionate advocate for the benefits of early diagnosis of human diseases to help improve patient outcomes. This passion drove him to push the boundaries of existing technology, leading him to be listed on over 20 patents, right up to his passing.Upon relocating his family to Yarmouth in 1976, he was co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Ventrex Laboratories in Portland. Today, Ventrex is widely credited as the foundational company that spawned many subsequent companies in the vibrant Maine biotechnology industry. After Ventrex, he went on to found Binax Inc. in Scarborough which was bought by Abbott Laboratories. Most recently he founded OIDX Inc., also in Scarborough, to continue his legacy in the field of pioneering human diagnostics. Roger was rightly proud of his professional accomplishments and especially grateful to have been able to do it in his adopted and much-loved State of Maine.Roger had a larger-than-life personality often on display while presiding over his beloved family gatherings. He was a dreamer and risk taker, not content to settle for what was. His passions and interests were as varied as fine wine, woodworking, and his Saint Bernards. He was always interested in expanding his knowledge and often would spend his spare time reading, usually history. He had an interest in all professional sports and, while he maintained his lifelong support of the New York Jets and the New York Yankees, he developed a fondness for the local teams especially the Patriots and Red Sox. Earlier in his life he was an accomplished athlete himself. As varied as his interests were and despite the importance of his professional accomplishments, the one constant that was central to his life was his family.Roger is survived by his wife of 37 years Shirley Piasio of Cumberland Foreside; and his six children and their spouses, Lynn Young and her husband David of Stonington, Conn., Gregg and his wife Laurie of Falmouth, Robert and his wife Jennifer of Pennington, N.J., Erik and his wife Ola of Salem, Mass., Geoff of Portland, and Laura of Charlestown, Mass. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Shane, Meaghan, Emma, Lucas, Eve and Annabelle; as well as his brother Franklin Piasio of Forest Hills, N.Y. He was predeceased by his first wife, Kathleen Shellard Piasio who passed away suddenly in 1982 and his oldest brother, Alfred Piasio.The family invites you to a time of visitation on Thursday, Feb. 27, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday Feb. 28, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Martyrs Church, 266 Foreside Rd, Falmouth. Committal services will be in the spring.In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to support science education programs for Maine students at the:Gulf of Maine Research Institute
350 Commercial St. Portland, ME 04101 or online at http://gmri.org/piasio