In Memoriam

Longtime ECE Adjunct Faculty Member- Vic Derefinko

December 11, 2023

Person looking at camera

Victor Vincent Derefinko, better known to all who knew and loved him as Vic, passed away peacefully after a life well lived at his home in Brockport, NY surrounded by family and friends on December 1, 2023.

 Vic was born in Buffalo, NY on November 9, 1939, to Joseph Derefinko and Olga Kiebala Derefinko. He spent his childhood in Medina, NY where he was part of a lively group of 9 cousins affectionately known as “Rings End.” He graduated from Medina High School in 1956.

His pursuit of higher education led him first to Erie County Technical Institute (now Erie Community College), then to Rochester Institute of Technology for a degree in Electrical Engineering and finally to the University of Virginia where he obtained a master’s degree, also in Electrical Engineering. He found time along the way to honor his commitment to the US Army. He started his career at IBM in Endicott, NY and then moved to Kodak/Johnson & Johnson in Rochester, NY where he was employed as an engineer for over 30 years. In addition to his work as an engineer, he began teaching, first at the Rochester Institute of Technology and then at the University of Rochester where as an adjunct professor he taught generations of young people the joys of engineering over almost 40 years. Keeping abreast of the developing technology allowed him to fulfill a lifetime passion for learning. He was an inspiration to his students and in 1995 the undergraduates honored him with a special award they created for his excellence and caring manner of teaching. He was named Teacher of the Year for the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Rochester in 1995. In 2006 he was honored by IEEE for “outstanding leadership, creativity, hard work and inspiration in the field of engineering for almost half a century”. He was so inspired by his students, the engineers of the future, that he did not retire from teaching until he was just short of 80 and even then, he did so reluctantly.