Eddy R. Hair died on May 13, 2020, at Cedar Village in Mason, Ohio. A long-time resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, Eddy Hair was born in Lubbock, Texas, on December 1, 1932. As a child he lived in Silver City, New Mexico, and attended high school at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, where he was the valedictorian of his class. He also earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.
Eddy attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was active in a fraternity, joined the rowing team (Crew), served in ROTC, and graduated in 1954 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He then served as an Army Chemical Corps officer at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and later moved to Cincinnati where he started at Procter & Gamble (P&G).
Working at P&G, Eddy was the primary contributor to the development of 14 patents. Most notable among these were the initial patents for Duncan Hines cake mix, Folgers coffee, and Jif peanut butter, and process improvements for Crisco oil, Puritan oil, freeze-drying of coffee, a fat used in Pringles potato chips, and a method to re-capture and re-use from the air oil that was lost in the frying process. He loved his work and was very good at it.
Eddy was a life-long and avid reader. He had a particular passion for science fiction and science fact, and was drawn to science books his whole life. It’s not surprising that he vividly remembered how a particular book influenced him when he was a child. The book is What Makes the Wheels Go Round, by Edward J. Huey, and it has chapters with appealing names like “Solids, Liquids, Gases,” “Batteries,” and “The Fastest Thing in the World” (about light). Just over a decade ago, Eddy found a copy of that book, and wrote these words on its front flyleaf:
“This is a copy of the book I read in the Fourth Grade, which set me on the path to become a Scientist-Engineer, eventually graduating from M.I.T. in 1954 with a degree in Chemical Engineering, and then working 44 years at Procter & Gamble, first in Research & Development for 22 years and then in Engineering for 22 years.
I was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 1979 and was made a member of the Procter and Gamble Engineering Society (called PRISM, for Professional Recognition of Individual Sustained Mastery) as the Outstanding Awardee for 1998. Eddy Ra Hair, February 9, 2009”
Only two percent of Procter & Gamble’s engineers win the prestigious PRISM award.
Eddy believed in learning new things, which led him to earn a black belt in Karate and become an instructor at the Springdale Recreation Center. He became interested in sailing in his forties and spent many hours sailing on local lakes. After retirement, he was determined to keep his brain active and studied French and French literature in every class available to him at the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University.
Eddy traveled extensively with his wife Penny, especially in the years after his retirement. Many of their excursions focused on extended periods of diving, in places such as the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and the Red Sea. One of their favorite diving places was the Caribbean island Bonaire. They traveled in all seven continents, including Antarctica. For some years, Eddy was an active member of the Northern Hills Synagogue, including serving as president of a synagogue men’s club.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 47 years, Penny F. Hair; son Thomas Medcalf (Leora), from Penny’s previous marriage; children John Hair (Lisa), Lucy Hair (Lawrence), Ann Birkenhauer (Matt), Thomas Hair (Meg), Ruth Trout (Stan), Daniel Hair (Sarah), and Paul Hair, from Eddy’s previous marriage to Jane M. Hair (deceased); twelve grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and his brother, Don Davis (Barbara) of Houston, Texas. He is preceded in death by his mother, Mattye Davis, and stepfather Jim Davis, both of Palestine, Texas; and by his father James Edgar Hair.
A memorial service will be held at a later time. Donations may be made in Eddy’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or to the Cedar Village Foundation.