Roy Edward Bickelhaupt, 85, of Overland Park, Kan., formerly of Waterloo, died May 19, 2013, in Overland Park, Kan.
He was born Jan. 14, 1928, in East St. Louis, son of the late Harry and Lucille Bickelhaupt (nee Burckhardt). He was married to Grace Bickelhaupt (nee Glaenzer); she preceded him in death after 44 years of marriage.
Dr. Bickelhaupt was well known in the field of ceramic research, gaining international recognition and having several patents to his credit. He was a graduate of Waterloo High School. He received his BS degree in ceramic engineering from the University of Illinois, his MS in metallurgical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his PhD in ceramic engineering from the University of Illinois.
His career included teaching ceramic engineering at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., brake lining research and development for The Bendix Corporation in South Bend, Ind., and Troy, N.Y., and air pollution control research at Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, Ala.
In 1983, he started his own company, Bickelhaupt & Associates, in Carbondale. He sold the company to Clean Air Engineering in Chicago, and retired from that company in 1998.
Roy was a standout high school baseball player, and in 1943 was invited to pitch batting practice with the St. Louis Browns. In 1947, he received a contract to play with the Clinton, Iowa, Cubs, a class C farm team of the Chicago Cubs organization. He was released the following spring, and subsequently placed a curse on the Cubs, denying them a national league pennant in perpetuity. His pitching career continued in Clemson, S.C., where he played in the cotton mill league. Throughout his life he was both a loyal St. Louis Cardinals and a University of Illinois Illini fan.
Survivors include his daughter, Nan (Greg) Gerike of Olathe, Kan.; grandsons Matthew Parsons of Lawrence, Kan. and David Parsons of Key West, Fla.; sister Mary (Paul) Mueller of Waterloo; niece Kris (Craig) Hoffmann of Waterloo; nephews, Brad (Ellen) Bode of Sunnyvale, Calif., Brian (Kelly) Bode of Waterloo, and Eric Bickelhaupt of Phoenix, Ariz.; and sister-in-law Pam Bickelhaupt of Phoenix, Ariz.; along with other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and brother Harry L. Bickelhaupt.
Dr. Bickelhaupt was cremated. A memorial service will follow at a later date.