Scottsdale, AZ – Russell George Biekert, 80, passed away Friday, May 17, 2019 at the Silverado Scottsdale Memory Care Community.
He leaves behind his wife of 48 years, Sharon Biekert, his sons, Jeff (Jackie) and Rich (Kim), his daughter, Sharilee, and four grandchildren; Ashlyn, Braxton, Liam, and Elli, as well as extended family and friends.
He was born March 6, 1939 and raised in Mascoutah, IL, the son of Joseph George Biekert and Maime Madeline Biekert. He was predeceased by his sister Dolores Meng and brother Orville Biekert.
Russ has been unique and extraordinary from day one as he was not born in an everyday hospital, he was born in the family farm house. He was actually placed in a shoebox to sleep in. In his teen years, he attended Mascoutah High School and then, went on to Southern Illinois University. This is where he received his Bachelors and Masters in Manufacturing Technology. He also attended Northern Illinois University where he received his specialist degree.
He moved to Arizona in the early 70s, where he then received his Doctorate in Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Higher Education from Arizona State University. He met Sharon in 1971 at the Scotch Mist Bar. He asked her to dance numerous times. Finally, she said yes!! That dance started it all. They were wed on September 10, 1971. While he was beginning his amazing, stellar career at ASU in the 70’s, he and Sharon started a family.
Jeff was born in 1973. Rich was born in 1974. And, last but not least, Sharilee was born in 1977. While building his family life, Russ was laying the building blocks for his career. From 1981 to 1996, Russ was the Senior Manager/Director for Allied Signal – Honeywell. He went on to be the V.P. Of Operations for Corning Gilbert Connectors. From there, he became a Professor at Arizona State University (2001 to 2011). In the course of his career, Russ wrote many books. He published 3 textbooks in regards to Manufacturing Engineering. He was a 35 year member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. From 1991 to 1993, he was the International Director of Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). Russ was also an honorary life member of VICA – Vocational, Industrial Clubs of America. In 2010, he was honored with being named one of The Who’s Who in America.
Even though he was very busy professionally, Russ loved to travel. He loved cruises. They went on many traveling adventures. One of his favorite trips was to Australia, where he and Sharon were able to hold and cuddle a koala bear. An avid sports fan, Russ faithfully followed the Arizona Cardinals. He was a lifelong sports fan. He also loved spending time with his sons and daughter. When the kids were young, he coached Little League Baseball and coached the Girls’ Softball. Russ and Sharon spent 48 years together. The family is blessed with many treasured memories. He was deeply loved and will be missed by all who loved him.
A private funeral service was held on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10 am at Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary and Chapel in Phoenix, AZ.
Print Obituary & Condolences