Conrad Hilpert

  • "Please accept my deepest sympathies."
    - Jeri Sartorius-Heckman
  • "Uncle Connie was such a special person, not only to the..."
    - Winnie Barrett
  • "It has been years since I last talked with him. And he..."
    - Jim Moody
  • "Lynne (Hilpert) Duncan Although he seldom talked of it Dad..."
    - Lynne Duncan

Former Anchorage resident Conrad R. Hilpert, 87, died Aug. 12, 2009, in Butte, Mont. Conrad was born Sept. 19, 1921, in Pennsylvania, and grew up in Bethlehem, Pa. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1942 at Penn State University. He served in combat as an engineer assault reconnaissance officer in World War II, returning to Penn State to complete his Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering. There, in the band, he met Lucille Cox. They were married Oct. 16, 1948, and made beautiful music together until her death in November 2006. His professional career included: project engineer for the Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories at Fort Churchill, Canada, researching improvements for arctic transportation equipment, project engineer with the International Harvester Co., and chief engineer-research and development at Twin Disk Inc. in Rockford, Ill., receiving 30 patents for transmission improvements. He received the professional degree of Mechanical Engineer from Penn State University in 1953, and a Ph.D. in engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1972. Upon retirement in 1974, he became visiting professor at Carnegie-Mellon University, generating industry-sponsored research projects for students to preview how industry works. In 1976, he moved to Anchorage to work with Rutherford Consultants. He returned to teaching in 1981 at Montana Tech in Butte, Mont., where Connie and Lucy resided until their deaths. Conrad was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Experimental Stress Analysis, Society of Automotive Engineers, Society of Professional Engineers, Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, honor societies Sigma Xi, Alpha Phi Mu and Phi Mu Alpha, and received the Arch T. Colwell Merit Award from SAE. He was a licensed professional engineer in Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Montana. He enjoyed ham radio (call sign KL7JKE -- Just Kidding Everyone) as well as pistol shooting, railroad watching, photography and music performance, playing his last solo at the age of 81. He and Lucy motorcycled all over the U.S. and Canada, totaling in excess of 200,000 miles, until Conrad was 82 and Lucy 78. Conrad will be deeply missed as a brother, father, grandfather, leader, adviser, teacher and friend. Conrad and Lucille Hilpert always emphasized education, so in their honor a scholarship has been set up. Donations may be made to the "Connie and Lucy Hilpert Scholarship for Innovation" at Montana Tech Foundation, 1300 W. Park St., Butte, MT 59701-8997, phone 800-984-4683 Please consider adding your thoughts to the guest book for Conrad Hilpert at (select "All US and Canada" as location).

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Aug. 30 to Aug. 31, 2009