28 May 2015

My Favorite Uncle

Dad was an only child and Mom had one brother, so I had exactly one uncle and one aunt. Now that uncle is gone. RIP, Uncle Art.



Dr. Arthur B. Backensto Jr., age 88, of Crown Point, IN passed away on Saturday, May 2, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Alethea "Lee"; his son, Arthur B. Backensto, III "Terry" (Kim) of Scottsdale, AZ; his daughter, Karen (Richard) Koepke of Heath, TX; one granddaughter, Amy Lee (Justin) Boyd of Melbourne, FL; and one sister, Geraldine (late Robert) Weeks of Wallingford, VT and her children. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Nina Backensto.

Art was born in Troy, New York, and attended school there, where he was president and valedictorian of his senior class. He also attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy as an NROTC V-12 student earning B.S., M.S. and PhD degrees in Metallurgical Engineering. While in college, he was a member of the honor societies Tau Beta Pi and Phi Lambda Epsilon.

His career led him to Bendix Aviation Corporation in Troy, to Alan Wood Steel Co. in Conshohocken, PA, and finally to Glidden Metals (SCM Products) in Hammond, IN. At that time, the family moved to Crown Point, IN. He worked for a total of 50 years in the field of powder metallurgy. In 2003, Art received the prestigious Fellow Award from the professional society for powder metallurgists, APMI International, recognizing his high level of expertise in the field.

He was a lifelong Presbyterian and a 50-year member of First Presbyterian Church in Crown Point, serving in many capacities while there. His interests included photography, gardening, and collecting signed baseballs and army figurines. He was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. Under his guidance, the family made many trips to Pennsylvania and one extended trip to Switzerland to celebrate their Pennsylvania Dutch heritage with other family members. He took many photographs on these trips and developed slide shows for the enjoyment of family and friends.

He was a true gentleman to his family and friends and will be deeply missed. The family is grateful to the staffs at Franciscan St. Anthony Health, Wittenberg Memory Care Unit and Unity Hospice. Special thanks go to nurses Sherry and Sue, the Presbyterian Church Prayer Chain, and many friends. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at First Presbyterian Church, 218 S. Court St., Crown Point, IN at 11:00 AM and visitation with the family from 10:00 AM until the time of the service. Dr. David K. Wood will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the following: First Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 218 S. Court St., Crown Point, IN 46307; American Red Cross of NWI, 791 E. 83rd Ave., Merrillville, IN 46410; or Alzheimer and Dementia Services, 922 E. Colfax Ave., South Bend, IN 46617. Arrangements have been entrusted to Geisen Funeral, Cremation & Reception Centre in Crown Point. 219-663-2500.

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:21

Legacy.com: Dr. Arthur B. Backensto Jr., Obituary.

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