Joe VanPool, 93, resident of Bartlesville, died at 10:01 PM, Wednesday February 12, 2014, at the Heritage Villa Nursing Center in Bartlesville, following a long illness.
Graveside Services for Mr. VanPool will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, February 17, 2014 at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Bartlesville with Rev. Paul Overholt officiating. Graveside Services and interment will be under the direction of the Stumpff Funeral Home & Crematory.
Memorial Contributions may be made in his memory to the Grace Epworth United Methodist Church 706 S.E. 3rd St. Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74003.
Mr. Van Pool was born on May 11, 1920, on the family farm near Lamar, Missouri, the only child of Sam and Ruby (VanDerMark) VanPool. He grew up and received his education there, and in 1941, he completed a BS Degree in chemical engineering from the Missouri School of Mines in Rolla, Missouri.
After graduation, Joe worked in the aviation fuel department at the National Refining Company in Coffeyville, where he met Zora Thompson Brewer. When the War began, he and three buddies from the refinery enlisted in the U.S. Navy
, but the Lieutenant Commander came to Coffeyville, and told the men that they were essential to the production of aviation gas, and must stay at their jobs in Coffeyville.
Joe and Zora were married on March 25, 1945 at the First Christian Church in Dearing Kansas. In 1946, when Joe lacked two months from being too old to be drafted, he was conscripted into Service. Because he was a critically needed specialist, he was assigned to the U.S. Army
Air Corps and sent to Wendover, Utah in the Great Salt Desert. This base was previously used to modify and load the two atom bombs into the B-29's that delivered them to Japan. When Joe was there, it was an experimental base. The Army had captured a German buzz bomb that they studied, and they worked on remote controlled airplanes. It also served as a secret test site for private aircraft companies. Joe was the supply sergeant who coordinated supplies and parts to the projects. When he was discharged in 1947, Joe returned to his job at the Coffeyville Refinery.
In 1952, Joe began his 31-year career with Phillips Petroleum Company, in Bartlesville. He worked in the refining department of the process section, where he received 58 patents for his inventions, and was the first Phillips employee not associated with research and development to receive 50 patents. Joe retired as the refining process engineering supervisor in 1984, and several of his patents were still in use in Phillips refineries. One of his most noted patents was a process to remove water from regenerated hydrofluoric acid. In 1985, he received a cash award and his name was placed on the Distinguished Inventors Exhibit at the Phillips Research Center.
Mr. VanPool was a member of the Grace Epworth United Methodist Church in Bartlesville. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his wife Zora in 2008 and by his daughter Jan VanPool Perry in 2013, and he was survived by many dear friends.
Friends who wish may sign the online guest book, and leave condolences at www.stumpff.org.