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Charles Sprague Beightler Ph.D.

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Charles Sprague Beightler, PhD Charles Sprague Beightler, PhD, died Sunday March 27, 2011 at his home in Austin, Texas. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Patricia Ann (Thompson) Beightler; his children and their spouses, Drs Judy and William (Dee) Betts, Suzy and Jesse Whittenton, Drs Carol and John Ziebert, and Drs Barbara and Scot O'Donnell; daughter-in-law Dr Liz Beightler; grandchildren Lauren, Leslie, and Bobby Beightler, Michael and Kathryn Betts, Chris, Haley, Luke, Jessica, and Suzanne Whittenton, Jackson, Will, and Paige Ziebert, and Tommy, Sarah, and Jake O'Donnell. He is preceded in death by his son, Dr Bill Beightler. Charles was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 18, 1924, the son of Elizabeth Bainer Beightler and Donald Sprague Beightler. After graduating from Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago, Illinois, he entered an accelerated Pre-Engineering course of study through the US Army's Specialized Training Program. He served his country in World War II as a radio operator and forward observer with the 71st Infantry, 44th Division in France, Germany, and Austria, earning a Bronze Star Medal for acts of valor in November 1944. He continued to serve as a Reserve Commissioned Officer until 1957. After the war, Charles obtained his BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1950. He worked as an engineer for Aerona Manufacturing Company, then served his country again overseas in the Korean Conflict in the early 50's. Afterwards, he returned to the University of Michigan to earn his MS in Mathematics in 1954. He worked as a research engineer for General Motors, an Operations Research Analyst for Arthur Andersen and for Caywood- Schiller, and Director of Operations Research for Ernst & Ernst. Ultimately, he returned to academics, serving as an instructor in mathematics and engineering while attending Northwestern University, where he earned his PhD in Industrial Engineering in 1961. Charles moved to Austin in 1961 when he joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty at the University of Texas, where he taught for the next several decades. He enjoyed his students, graduate students and colleagues immensely. He authored numerous books and papers and was awarded the Lanchester Prize for the best publication in Operations Research in 1967. His awards also included a faculty award for Excellence in Engineering Education in 1971. He served as a Research Associate at Stanford University during several summers. He was honored to be a Fulbright Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Freiburg in West Germany from 1971-1972. During those years, his five children rapidly learned German, attending school in Freiburg. Charles had many diverse interests, including literature, music, languages, and flying as a private pilot and flight instructor. He especially enjoyed aerobatics in his Stearman biplane. He lived a full life, enriched by his extended family. The family would like to thank his physicians, care-givers, and neighbors for their care and concern over the years. A private service with Military Honors is planned at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. The family will receive visitors at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 North Lamar, on Saturday April 2 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com

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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Mar. 30, 2011
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