Robert T. "Bob" Korte, an editor for HPAC Engineering for nearly 35 years, died March 13 at his home in Woodstock, Ill. He was 76.
Korte served as associate editor from 1962 to 1966, managing editor from 1966 through 1971, and editor from 1972 until his retirement in 1996.
"I started in the early 60s, when low-cost, inefficient equipment used vast amounts of seemingly infinite energy supplies, progressed through the 'energy crisis' of the 70s when health and comfort were sacrificed to an imminent fossil fuels doomsday, and conclude in a period when systems and equipment have reached extraordinary levels of efficiency," Korte wrote in his final editorial. "... I’ve encountered an incredible variety of systems, products, companies, and issues. I’ve seen births, deaths, mutations, and resurrections in each category."
Korte was the first non-engineer to hold the position of editor.
"Although Bob had little exposure to things technical, his capacity to edit technical material prepared by engineers—not known for written communication skills—was unmatched," Donald R. Bahnfleth, who preceded Korte as editor, recalled. "When he had finished editing a lengthy manuscript, it retained its technical accuracy, but was an easy read—an important attribute for busy engineers with little time to devote to discretionary reading."
Theodore E. Pannkoke, longtime engineering editor, said of Korte: "He was soft-spoken, professional, concise on what he expected of his staff, and trusted us to perform at the best of our ability. He also had an even temper, which helped staff morale whenever a problem occurred when publishing deadlines had to be met. ... He was always the boss, but he also became a friend."
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