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Richard Weingardt (1938-2013) – He Showed Up

Those members of the ASCE who are interested in the History and Heritage of American Civil Engineering suffered a great loss on September 24, 2013 when Richard Weingardt died at his home in Denver, Colorado.

His obituary in the Denver Post read,

RICHARD GEORGE WEINGARDT: The World is Run by Those Who Show Up (He showed up). Richard George Weingardt lived life to its fullest in a short 75 years and left this world at 3:45 am on September 24. His wife of 54 years, Evelyn Scheberle Weingardt, was at his side. His children, Nancy Weingardt, Susan Whitworth, (married to George) and David Weingardt (husband of Kathy Boddicker Weingardt) feel their loving father will always be at their side. He founded his own structural/civil engineering firm, Richard Weingardt Consultants (RWC) at the age of 27. He lectured worldwide and traveled to all seven continents. He is a well-known author as well as speaker, championing the encouragement of new and bright engineering students. He was active on the engineering boards of University of Texas and his alma mater, the University of Colorado, where he earned an honorary doctorate degree in engineering. He served on national, state and local boards in a leadership position. He was past president of American Consulting Engineers Council. Previously he worked at Ketchum, Konkel, Ryan and Fleming and the Bureau of Reclamation. Richard was born March 23, 1938 in Sterling, Colorado, the son of Martin and Caroline Weingardt now deceased. He was proud to be a brother to Ron, and sisters, Janice Hawk and Diana Haas. He will be dearly missed. His legacy lives on. He will make his final journey home at Mt. Olivet Cemetery with services beforehand. Services will be from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on the chapel grounds. They will be officiated by Father James ReVello. Eulogies from Professor Larry Feeser, John F. Davis, Jack Lawler, Jerry and Linda Seracuse and Don Strauch will be shared.

Structure Magazine, for which he wrote many articles over the years, reported on his death in the October 2013 issue, page 29, as follows:  

 Richard Weingardt
 Richard Weingardt 1938-2013

“When looking at important man-made improvements on this planet, it is quickly apparent they would not be possible without the input of engineers. Throughout history, this has been the case. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, for example, are all structural engineering feats. Indeed, the history of engineering is the history of civilization. As engineering skills and techniques advance, so does the progress of society.” (Richard George Weingardt)

On September 24, 2013, the structural engineering community lost a strong advocate with the passing of Richard G. Weingardt, P.E., Dist. M. ASCE, F. ACEC. Mr. Weingardt authored numerous articles for STRUCTURE magazine’s Great Achievements column.

Born March 23, 1938 in Sterling, Colorado, Richard held both a Masters and Bachelors in civil-structural engineering from the University of Colorado and received an honorary doctorate in engineering from that same institution. Throughout his career, Mr. Weingardt popularized the phrase “The world is run by those who show up” while championing the importance of engineering to both the public and young people.

Richard was the founder of Richard Weingardt Consultants, Inc., a Denver, Colorado-based consulting engineering firm specializing in structural engineering. He was a registered professional engineer in 29 states and was the recipient of numerous community and professional awards and accolades.

Mr. Weingardt could easily be described as an activist, as he consistently was an outspoken advocate in challenging engineers to step up and be heard. While serving as the national president of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), he was involved in instigating an industry-wide analysis of engineers as social leaders. This effort culminated in the ACEC I-Book, Seeing into the Future.

He was a prolific and sought-after speaker around the globe. He chaired engineering advisory boards for several universities, was a member of Colorado’s Long-Range Planning Subcommittee, the state’s Historic Preservation Review Board and the Colorado State Electrical Board.

Mr. Weingardt was the author of seven books and more than 500 published papers on engineering, leadership and creativity. His books include: Circles in the Sky, The Life and Times of George Ferris; Forks in the Road: Impacting the World around Us, a book of reflections and practical advice on societal leadership; Cylindrical Shell Design, a design textbook using “Beam Method” analysis; Empire Man about Homer Balcom, structural engineer for the Empire State Building; and Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers.

In addition to engineering, writing and lecturing, Mr. Weingardt’s talents included painting. His preferred medium was oil painting and his favorite subjects were Native Americans and the Western landscape. He also wrote a history book about Colorado’s last significant Plains Indian battle at Summit Springs, Sound the Charge. This area of Colorado was near where Richard was born and raised, and was also the backdrop of many of his paintings.

Mr. Weingardt leaves his loving wife of 54 years, Evelyn Scheberle Weingardt, and three children, Nancy Weingardt, Susan Whitworth, (George) and David Weingardt (Kathy). Please join STRUCTURE® magazine in sending our condolences to his family. (Printed with permission, Structure Magazine, November 2013)