Retired Air Force Colonel, Professor Emeritus, and longtime resident of the Phoenix area, died at his residence in Sacramento, CA on the 19th of July, with his family at his side. He spent his entire career in the Air Force and in Academia optimistically focused on improving the future. With that optimism he elevated not only those who knew him, but also the engineering profession to which he dedicated his career. He was born in Table Rock, NE, on August 4, 1917. He grew up on a farm in rural Nebraska. That memory stayed with him, prompting him to observe that the trajectory of his career was from "Mules to Missiles." As an Air Force reserve officer, he attended and graduated from the University of Nebraska (B.S. Mechanical Engineering 1949). He went on to complete a Master's degree while on active duty, graduating from Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (M.S. Industrial Engineering 1955). His thesis, titled "A Study of Activities in an Engineering Research Organization," fore-shadowed his lengthy post-military career in Engineering Education at Purdue and Arizona State Universities. He was promoted to Colonel in 1963; from 1962 to 1966, he served as Director of the Civil Engineering Center at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (OH). In 1966, he became Assistant Dean for Purdue University
's newly created School of Technology (West Lafayette, IN), where he helped develop and grow the relatively new program. In 1973 he accepted the position of Professor and Director for the School of Construction at Arizona State University
. Under his leadership the program grew and ultimately became a Master's Degree granting program. Professor Hastings retired as Director of the Program in 1987, but remained active as Professor Emeritus. In this capacity, he was instrumental in raising millions of dollars in endowed scholarships for the Del E. Webb School of Construction. He remained active in retirement, maintaining his health through diet, exercise, and a positive mental attitude. Vern Hastings is preceded in death by his wife, Norma (Madison WI); brother, Robert (Table Rock NE); sisters, Lotus (Lincoln, NE) and Ida (North Platte, NE); and his son, Michael (Phoenix AZ). He is survived by his wife, Violet (Sacramento); sister, Patricia (Phoenix); daughter, Margaret (Sacramento); sons, Robert (Denver, CO) and Thomas (Washington, D.C.); and granddaughters, Kirsten, Britney, and Marika (all of Sacramento).
MEMORIAL SERVICE Monday, October 1st at 12noon in the chapel at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1562 E Baseline Road: Mesa, AZ 85204. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Vern Hastings Undergraduate Scholarship.