It is with fond remembrance and respect that PROSOCO announces the passing of Gerald (Jerry) Boyer, 89, (Oct. 31, 1933-Nov. 16, 2022). He will be remembered as an instrumental leader who created safer, smarter processes in the fields of new masonry cleaning and historic preservation for not just PROSOCO, but for the industry at large.
Jerry was a member of the second generation of the family-owned business many know today as PROSOCO, but which started as the Process Solvent Company in 1939. Jerry’s father, AJ Boyer, started the business when he bought a patent for a formula to descale lime from radiators and sold it to auto mechanic shops.
Jerry and his brother Ken were part of the critical, pivotal period in PROSOCO’s history that saw the conversion of a patented material for the automotive industry into a transformative set of purpose-built products to clean and protect new and existing masonry. In the 1940s, the traditional method to remove hardened Portland cement mortar off newly laid brick was with diluted hydrochloric acid, also known as muriatic acid. Jerry saw first-hand the damage and discoloration this method incurred on brick and knew there had to be a better way. Jerry began coupling his company’s patented buffered acid solution with antioxidants to develop a highly specialized formulation (101 Lime Solvent) that removed excess mortar from new brick without causing discoloration or damage.
A philosophy was born, which is the same approach PROSOCO employs today for research and development: assessing a need, identifying what could cause harm, and eliminating potential for harm while achieving desirable results.
Over the next several decades, PROSOCO’s product line expanded to meet the growing need for specialized solutions to clean all different types of masonry that were becoming popular in construction, as well as a variety of stains, surface deposits and other variables. Jerry oversaw the introduction of Sure Klean 600 Detergent to the market in 1956, as well as Vana Trol for vanadium standing, Ferrous Stain Remover for rust stains, 800 Stain Remover for vanadium and manganese staining, and White Scum Remover for subsurface stains caused by Portland cement. Prior to these products, the notion of proprietary cleaners for newly erected masonry did not exist.
Jerry spent many years in New York City, growing the business on the ground in arguably the most important market at the time for specialized masonry cleaners. He cherished his time in New York, where he quickly earned a reputation as the go-to person to tackle the strangest masonry stains and problems architects and builders in the city had ever seen. In 1976, Paramount Pictures shot the remake of King Kong at the World Trade Center. When King Kong toppled off the building and landed on the terra cotta terrace between the two towers, the “blood” of King Kong remained, and Jerry cleaned it with a custom blend of cleaners.
His other favorite projects included Grand Central Station (where he worked with Jackie Onassis), the United States Capitol Building, numerous state capitols, The Smithsonian Institution, and the Woolworth Building.
Many of Jerry’s children and grandchildren have followed him into the family business, including son David Boyer, who joined the business in 1980 and became president in 1992; son Bruce Boyer, who joined the business in 1987 and became vice president in 1996; grandson Jake Boyer, who leads the company’s clean and protect group; and grandson Alex, who works as sustainability specialist.
Jerry was married to wife Bonnie Boyer for 62 years until her death in 2015. He is survived by his daughter Denise (Boyer) Curtis; and his three sons: Michael, and wife Peggy; David, and wife Anita; and Bruce, and wife Debbie. He also leaves behind 12 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, in-laws, nieces, nephews and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Alzheimer’s Association be considered. Bonnie Boyer passed away in November, 2015 after suffering from Alzheimer’s. Donations can be made here.
Condolences may be expressed at: www.porterfuneralhome.com
Porter Funeral Home
Lenexa, KS 66215
Visitation from 5–7pm on Monday, November 28
Funeral Service at 11am on Tuesday, November 29