Kenneth E. Bean

August 28, 1925 - September 15, 2015

Kenneth E. Bean (Mr. Silicon) died peacefully in his sleep at age 90 on September 15, 2015 surrounded by his loving family at his farm home in Weston, TX.   Born in 1925 in Independence, MO to Charles Fremont Bean and Lena Maxwell Bean, Ken was raised in Englevale, KS. Upon graduation from Arcadia High School in 1943 he was drafted into the Army and assigned to the 155th infantry as a rifleman. He served in the Philippines where he was wounded. During his service he was awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the Presidential Unit Citation. After discharge from Winter General Hospital in Topeka, Ken used the GI Bill to earn a BS in Physical Chemistry and Education at Pittsburg State Teachers College. Certified to teach Chemistry, Physics, Trigonometry, Calculus and Meteorology he taught and coached football, basketball, baseball and track in Galena, KS.

His acclaimed research physics career began when he joined Eagle-Picher Labs in Joplin, MO and later, in Miami, OK. In 1962 he moved to Richardson, TX where he worked in the Central Research Labs at Texas Instruments until his retirement in 1990. During this seminal development period of the Semiconductor industry Ken was a prolific research scientist, author and inventor. In 1981 he was named a TI Fellow. He published numerous scientific papers and books, and holds 34 US and 100 international patents, some of which are archived at the Smithsonian Institute. He served his industry as a President of the Electrochemical Society and was named their Man of the Year in 1983. In 2005 he was honored for Meritorius Achievement as a distinguished Alumnus of Pittsburg State University. After retirement, Ken continued his career teaching at the Continuing Education Institute–Europe and pursuing hobbies, including antique farm equipment and working on his rural Collin County farm.

He was joyfully married to Helen Dawson Bean, his academic arch rival from second grade through high school, on June 14, 1947 until her death in 2004. In addition to Helen, Ken was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Orris, Glenn and James Bean, sister Crystal Hoover, seven brothers-in-law, eight sisters-in-law and son-in-law Charles Wilson. 

He is survived by one brother-in-law, William Brown of Carl Junction, MO, son, Kenneth C. Bean & wife, MariKay of Weston TX, daughter, Terri Ricketts and husband Wilton of Blue Ridge, TX and Jana Wilson of Weston, TX, eight much loved grandchildren; Dawson Bean (Shanna), Tom Bean, Daniel Tisserand (Kimberly), Donny Ricketts (Rachel), Kara Martinez (Marty), Jon Thomas Ricketts (Jennifer), Evan Wilson, and Sarah Wilson, ten great-grandchildren and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 19, 2015, at First Christian Church, 101 Chicken Street, Weston, TX, 75097. Interment with military honors will follow at Cottage Hill Cemetery in Celina, TX. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Thursday, September 17, 2015, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home in Allen, TX.

Memorials may be made to First Christian Church, Weston, TX, PO Box 7, Weston, Texas, 75097 or Dr. Tom Bryant Leadership Scholarship Fund, PSU Foundation, PO Box 4005, Pittsburg, KS, 66762.

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I'm sorry for the loss of your Father. What a wonderful life and legacy he left. Praying for you and your family. Teresa Rutherford Grimes, September 17, 2015 You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Jana, Sarah and Evan, we love you. The Stroope's Chandra Stroope, September 17, 2015