Akbar Fairchild Brinsmade of Biloxi, MS, beloved husband of the late Juanita Maurice Phillips Brinsmade, passed away peacefully Sunday, December 28, 2014, after a devastating bout of pneumonia.
Born in Puebla, Mexico, on May 31, 1917, to Robert Bruce and Helen Steenbock Brinsmade, Mr. Brinsmade always had strong academic interests. He and his six siblings were brought up and went to school in Mexico, where their father was a mining engineer for over thirty years, and all became fluent in Spanish. Mr. Brinsmade also developed fluency in several other languages through the years. After receiving a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he went on to earn a master of science degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and pursued additional studies at Tulane University. First as an employee and later as a consultant, Akbar Brinsmade worked for a multitude of major corporations in the space and petrochemical industries around the world, including years spent in Saudi Arabia, the Caribbean, and South America. He holds a patent for a space station gravity bed and authored the book Travel to the Stars in 1996, as well as chapters in the book Solid Rocket Technology in 1967. In addition, Mr. Brinsmade completed his father's manuscript of Logical Liberalism, following the elder Mr. Brinsmade's untimely death in 1936, and published it in 1952. Believing passionately in continuous, lifelong learning, he continued to conduct research and publish in professional periodicals. When his wife of 63 years developed a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2007, he embarked on intensive study to find the root cause of the disease, developing a theory-- "The Origin and Cure for Cancer" which was presented at the 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting. His latest work, "The Center of Intelligent Life in the Universe and an Early Warning," was presented in November at the 2014 AIChE Annual Meeting and stems from his knowledge of space technology and concern for future generations. An emeritus member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, he was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and the American Chemical Society.
While working to develop airplane fuel during World War II, in the Houston laboratories of Shell Oil, Mr. Brinsmade met Juanita Phillips, a bright former educator turned lab technician. The couple married in Houston, June 16, 1944, celebrating with war-time rations, and began a life together that produced three children and moved the family to New York City; Los Angeles, CA; Caracas, Venezuela; Charlotte, NC; Madison, WI; Cumberland, MD; Castle Rock, CO; Slidell, LA; Diamondhead, MS; and Biloxi, where they survived Hurricane Katrina in their home and rebuilt after the devastation. Although the couple had been active in both community affairs and their Lutheran church wherever the family lived, in recent years hearing loss and Mrs. Brinsmade's delicate health prevented them from enjoying many previous enthusiasms. Mr. Brinsmade, however, in addition to his scientific pursuits, continued his involvement in local, national, and international legislation and affairs, voted regularly, and lobbied for causes which interested him. His strong character, sharp mind, attention to detail, and superb memory were appreciated and admired by all who knew him and remained with him throughout his life.
Akbar Brinsmade was predeceased by his parents, five of his siblings: Virginia S., Robert T., Harold S., and Alan B. Brinsmade and Christine B. Bessey, and, on June 11, 2014, by his beloved wife Juanita P. Brinsmade, with whom he celebrated 70 years of marriage. He is survived by daughters Anne Hudson Brinsmade of Chicago, IL, and Charlotte Lynn Brinsmade Odom of Baton Rouge, LA; son, Robert Bruce Phillips Brinsmade of Cocoa, FL; grandchildren, Carey (Jimmy) Taylor of Prince Frederick, MD, Brian (Holly) Lignelli and Tony Lignelli of Chicago, IL, Nicholas (Sierra) DeFelice of Dunkirk, MD, Joanna DeFelice of New York, NY, Taylor (Christina) Odom of Washington, VA, 2nd Lt. Travis Odom U. S. A. F. of Salt Lake City, UT, and Kayla Odom of Baton Rouge, LA; great-grandchildren Alaena, Jacob, and Zachary Gadwill, Luca, Amelia, Rocco, and Margaret Lignelli; brother Lyon L. (Betsy) Brinsmade of New Braunfels, TX; brothers in law Max Phillips of Fort Worth, TX, and Earl (June) Phillips of Mandeville, LA; a host of nieces and nephews; faithful care-givers Carmen Montoya de Valdivia and Regina Lyons Marshall; and friends. His determination and brilliant mind will be remembered by all who knew him.
Memorial service and interment are at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and Cemetery in Wimberley, Texas, on Saturday, January 3, 2014. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of Akbar and Juanita Brinsmade (www.lls.org).