John A. Focht Jr.

Published 6:07 pm Friday, October 29, 2010

A celebration of the life of John A. Focht Jr., of Houston,Texas, was held on Oct. 27, 2010, at Fair Haven United MethodistChurch in Houston, with burial in Memorial Oaks Cemetery.

Mr. Focht, 87, died of pancreatic cancer on Oct. 22, 2010, at hisresidence. He was born in Rockwall, Texas, on Aug. 31, 1923, toJohn A. Focht Sr. and Fay Goss Focht.

He met Edith Rials, who grew up in Brookhaven and was a graduate ofFair Oaks Springs School, at a square dance in Vicksburg in 1948,while has employed with the U.S. Waterways Experiment Station. Theymarried on Aug. 8, 1950.

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He was a 1940 graduate of Austin High School and earned the rank ofEagle Scout while in high school. He attended The University ofTexas, where he received his BSCE degree in 1944, and his Master ofScience in Civil Engineering in 1948 from Harvard University. Hewas a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

He was an accomplished engineer with McClelland Engineers, and aninternationally known consulting engineer, and was a frequentspeaker at universities in the U.S. and presented invited lecturesin Mexico, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. Hewas a member of Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon. He was awarded manyprofessional honors and awards in his field. He was active in hischurch and community. During his term as national president ofASCE, his theme was “The Civil Engineer being a good CitizenEngineer” and the Texas ASCE membership created an award in hishonor named the “John A Focht Jr. Citizen Engineer,” and awardgiven annually to an engineer for outstanding contributions in thecommunity. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church inHouston

He is survived by his devoted wife of 60 years, Edith Rials Focht,of Houston: his children and their spouses, Cheryl and John A.Focht III, and Scott and Judy Focht Rimato. He was a lovinggrandfather to Kyle Focht and spouse Emily, Sarah Focht, ThomasFocht, Morgan Schweitzer, Courtney Rimato and Hannah Rimato.

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