Eustace, longtime milling professor at KSU, dies

by Eric Schroeder
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Dale Eustice_IAOM 2007_photo ocurtesy of Barton Wilder Custom Images
W. Dale Eustice

Photo courtesy of Barton Wilder Custom Images.

NEWTON, KANSAS, U.S. — W. Dale Eustace, past president of the International Association of Operative Millers and former professor in the Milling Science Department at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, U.S., died Jan. 31. He was 79 years old.

Eustace received his bachelor’s degree in feed science from KSU in May 1959 as one of Kansas State College’s first Putnam Scholars. That same month, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. After returning to Manhattan in December 1962, he served as an instructor at the armory until 1966. During this time, he received a master’s degree in milling science and a doctorate in cereal technology from KSU.

Eustace began his career in the flour milling industry in 1966 as a research engineer with International Multifoods. In 1969, he joined General Foods Corp. as a senior milling engineer in the corn milling division at Kankakee, Illinois, U.S. He later was named assistant milling superintendent at Peavey Co. in Alton, Illinois, U.S., in 1971, and was promoted to milling superintendent and transferred to Billings, Montana, U.S., in 1972.

In 1973, Eustace was offered a faculty position of associate professor in the Grain Science Department at KSU, where had served as an interim instructor while in graduate school. He was promoted to professor in 1979.

He served as president of the IAOM in 1994-95, with a theme of “Education is the Key,” and was on the IAOM Education Committee for 19 years, acting as chairman from 1978-1983. In 1997, he was presented the J. George Kehr Memorial Award for his achievement in membership recruitment and in 2001 he was presented the IAOM Gold Medal Award.

"Those that know our recipient (Eustace) know how much he cares about the students, the milling program and industry,” the IAOM said when it presented Eustace the Gold Medal Award in 2001. “He doesn’t forget much about his students and can even remember when a student once brought a lucky penny to a principles of milling test nearly a quarter of a century ago.”

In addition to teaching and research, Eustace traveled for U.S. Wheat Associates, presenting seminars in Europe on the quality of hard red winter wheat. He also traveled for A.I.D. conducting surveys on the milling industry in Bolivia and the corn milling industry in South Korea.

He retired in 2006 having authored or co-authored more than 19 technical publications.

“There are so many people in the milling industry that he touched, either students who went through the milling science program at K-State or those who took short courses,” said Jeff Gwirtz, president of JAG Services Inc. and a former student under Eustace at KSU. “People in our industry knew him all over the world. He had a quick wit and was a natural teacher. He was able to take a very complex subject and simplify it. He would work on the explanation until he saw the light bulbs going off.

“He was always upbeat. He was always whistling as he walked through the mill.”

Survivors include his wife, Linda, of the home in North Newton; a son, Tracy Wayne (Lisa) Eustace of Newton; and four grandchildren, Madeline, Wilson, Andrew, and Jonathan. Also surviving are brothers Charles (Maedene) Eustace of Billings, Montana, U.S., and Stephen (Linda) Eustace of Grapevine, Texas, U.S.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, at the First Presbyterian Church in Clay Center, Kansas, U.S., with visitation set for 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5, at Neill-Schwensen-Rook Funeral Home. 
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