Dr. Charles Millhoff Bacon

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Dr. Charles Millhoff Bacon

December 20, 1933 - August 22, 2018

Dr. Charles (Charlie) Millhoff Bacon, 84, of Stillwater, OK. passed away August 22, 2018 with his family by his side. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the University Heights Baptist Church, Stillwater, OK. Strode Funeral Home, Stillwater, Oklahoma, is in charge of the arrangements.

Charlie was born in Shreveport LA, on December 20, 1933 to Frank Bacon and Helen Millhoff Bacon. He grew up and graduated high school in Bartlesville OK. While in the sixth grade, Charlie met his future wife Jeanne.

In 1951 Charlie entered Oklahoma A&M College (became Oklahoma State University in 1957) to study Animal Science. He joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. In his third year, he became Pledge Trainer and positively influenced the lives of many Sigma Chis. After graduating with a BS degree in Animal Science in 1955, he married his high school sweetheart, Jeanne Duncan. After serving in the U.S. Army in Japan, he returned to OSU to study electrical engineering. He received both his BS and MS in electrical engineering in 1961. Knowing he needed a doctorate to work at a university, he went to Michigan State University to study for his doctorate in Systems Science. He received the PhD in 1964, and served as an Assistant Professor in the Michigan State Department of Electrical Engineering and Systems Science for two years.

In 1966, Charlie returned to Oklahoma State University as an Assistant Professor in electrical engineering. He advanced through the ranks to become a Professor in 1972, and Head of the School of Electrical & Computer Engineering from 1978 to 1984. A colleague said that he was an outstanding School Head, and managed the School with kid gloves while still setting high expectations for the faculty. Charlie stepped down as School Head in 1984 and took a one-year sabbatical leave at Arizona State University to develop a background in the emerging fields of Digital Systems and Computer Engineering. He returned to the OSU faculty in 1985 and began teaching and doing research in selected areas of these fields. He served as Interim Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology from 1987 to 1988 while the College was searching for a new Associate Dean.

Charlie greatly enjoyed teaching and research. Highlights of his teaching career included serving as an advisor to more than fifty MS and PhD candidates; working with a colleague to develop two four-semester-credit-hour courses in Systems Analysis required of all Aerospace, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering students; developing unique laboratories for these courses with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation; and working with three colleagues on an Exxon Grant to transform these courses by replacing lectures with audio tape instruction.

Prior to leaving on his sabbatical in 1985, Charlies research centered on energy conservation in the meat packing industry, reservoir level regulation for the U.S. Corps of Engineers, factors affecting population growth in Oklahoma, and modeling the Oklahoma economy. When he returned, his research focus shifted to artificial intelligence and expert systems, machine vision, and computer simulation of large-scale systems. Charlie was most proud of his role in obtaining two multimillion-dollar research grants. He partnered with a colleague to win a System Science Center grant from the U. S. National Science Foundation, and later partnered with several colleagues to win a Center of Excellence grant from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. With these grants and grants from Southwestern Bell Telephone, Boeing and the Air Force Systems Command, he was able to provide support for a large number of graduate students.

Charlie will be remembered by his closest colleagues and his graduate students as a person who was always willing to help them when they needed it the most. One colleague said that he would not have been successful with his 10 year-long well-log project sponsored by 25 oil and gas firms, without Charlies help and masterful salesmanship and organizational skills.

Charlies service was not limited to the University. He was a member of the University Heights Baptist Church. When the Church needed help in the office and with computer systems, he helped out. His greatest service came in the audiovisual area where he implemented increasingly more modern equipment and techniques. For more than fifteen years he ran the sound system and video- taped both Sunday Church services.

Charlie was an avid OSU cowboy fan. He volunteered his talents to the Cowboy football team for nearly 40 years making sure the headsets used by the coaches on the field and in the press box area were up-to-date and worked properly. He said it was the best job in the world. An article about Charlie in the December 3, 2011 football program titled Everythings Better with Bacon, marked his next to last game to volunteer. It was Bedlam and OSU won 44-10, clinching the Big 12 Championship. OSU went on to defeat Stanford 41-38 in the Fiesta Bowl. Charlie was on the sidelines the last time, proving once again that everything really is better with Bacon.

Charlie was a member of a flying club that owned a Bonanza aircraft. He loved flying for enjoyment and to professional meetings all over the country with Jeanne. He also loved spending time with family and friends, and was usually the photographer that captured the moment.

Charlie retired from the University in 1994. He will be remembered as a great man with vision, superb managerial skills, a positive attitude, lots of energy and great generosity.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Lois and Jenny.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, one son, Stephen Bacon; one daughter, Jan Bacon-Fleming and son-in-law William Fleming; four granddaughters, Tiffany, Callie (Bryce), Chelsea (Owen) and Kristen; five great grandchildren, Jude, Maci, Kyndall, Avery and Madeline.

The family requests that those who wish to make donations to honor Charlie please send them to the Alzheimers Association or to the OSU Foundation designated for the Charles and Jeanne Bacon Scholarship Fund.

Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com.
Published on September 13, 2018
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3 posts

Pat Jones
Sep 18, 2018
We lost a very good man !!! R.I.P. DR. Bacon !!
Di Carper
Sep 17, 2018
As a long time friend and patient, Charlie was the best, and I always enjoyed hearing his point of view. You will be missed, my friend.
Jerry and Kathy Franklin
Sep 17, 2018
We are so saddened to learn of Charlie's passing. He was a wonderful man, great neighbor and very dear friend. He and Jeannie had a wonderful relationship and very special kind if love. Charlie's contributions to OSU, the City of Stillwater and the Regional Airport Authority, among many other entities were significant and meaningful. Our condolences to Charlie's family.