George J Kidd, Jr., 78, of Oak Ridge, died at home surrounded by family early Wednesday, July 4, after a six month battle with cancer.
He leaves his wife of 56 years Judy Tetlow Kidd; daughters Kristina Bowers (Phil) of Tallahassee, Fla., and Mary Ray (Christopher) of Cincinnati, Ohio; son George William Kidd (Jeanne) of Knoxville; grandsons John Bowers (Katherine) of Amherst, Mass., Thomas Bowers (Kellie) of Tallahassee, Fla.; and granddaughters Kelley Kidd of Washington, D.C., and Madeline Bowers of Tallahassee, Fla.
He was born May 5, 1934 in Grand Rapids, Mich., son of George Kidd Sr. and Mildred Ruth Marx Kidd.
He grew up in Chicago and attended Lane Tech High School, where he was a top city scholar and Northwestern University for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, participating in a co-op program with A.B. Dick Company. He was a member of Tau Beta Phi, Sigma Xi, and Pi Tau Sigma honoraries, was a Lockheed Fellow from 1955 to 1956, and served as president of Triangle Engineering Fraternity.
He received his doctorate from the University of Tennessee in 1966 and later taught courses for UT. He is listed in Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.
George and his wife moved to Oak Ridge in 1957, and he first worked as a development engineer at Union Carbide’s Nuclear Division, Y-12.
From 1958 until 1968, he was on the research staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in heat transfer and fluid mechanics. From 1968 until 1996, he worked at Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (K-25), managing several departments. At the time of his retirement, he was manager of the Quality Applications Department, where he coordinated the Total Quality Management Program.
George was a registered professional engineer and member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Quality Control and the National Management Association, and served in all levels of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, was named a Fellow of the Society, and elected Vice President of General Engineering nationally in the 1990s.
In addition to authoring and presenting numerous papers on theoretical and applied heat transfer and fluid mechanics, management, laser isotope separation, and quality, he authored the book Quality at Work in Research and Development in 1992.
In addition to his professional career, George was active in many civic and cultural activities. He was a founding member and early president of the Friends of the Library, a strong supporter of Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties, the Children’s Museum, the Oak Ridge Playhouse, Oak Ridge Civic Music Associations, and Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning.
He was also a charter member of the Foothills Craft Guild and participated in all 45 fall shows of that group, serving as show chairman several times. He was awarded life membership and this past year “Living Legend” status by the Guild.
In addition to being a woodworker, he was an amateur blacksmith and belonged to the local and national ABANA (Artist Blacksmith Association of North America) and enjoyed demonstrating for school groups.
He also studied the history of Cades Cove and led school tours through that area for many years.
A longtime board member and president of the Oak Ridge Art Center, he taught classes in silversmithing, block printing, etching and papermaking, pewter and silver casting, enameling and related techniques, and chaired several Art Center shows.
He and his wife enjoyed traveling and attended many Elderhostels in the U.S. and abroad, in addition to several cruises and trips to major opera houses in the U.S. A special love was beach vacations.
A 55-year member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, he served as vestryman, Christian education chairman, lay reader, stewardship chairman, on building committees, and in many other ways in a life dedicated to helping others and being a friend to all.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 7, at St. Stephens followed by burial of his ashes in the church’s Memorial Garden and a reception in parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Stephen’s Memorial Fund, 212 N. Tulane Ave.; Oak Ridge Art Center, P.O. Box 7007; ADFAC, P.O. Box 5953, or ORCMA, P.O. Box 4271.
An online guest book may be signed at weatherfordmortuary.com.
T J says
Lots of fun to talk to. Great personality.