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Emertius Materials Science Professor Philip Reucroft Passes Away

April 22, 2020

Philip Reucroft taught and conducted research in materials science at UK from 1969-2005.

Philip Reucroft, who taught and conducted research in materials science at the University of Kentucky from 1969 until 2005, passed away April 16. His obituary is below.

Philip John Reucroft, aged 85 years, died peacefully on Thursday, April 16, 2020, at St. Joseph Hospital after a long battle with heart and lung disease. Philip was born in Leeds, raised in Churwell, Yorkshire, England and was the eldest son of Leonard and Nellie Foster Reucroft. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Pauline Rigby of Morley, England and his Beloved wife of 50 years, Sheila Powers Reucroft. He is survived by his brother, Stephen Reucroft of Morley, England, his sister, Jane Sykes, of Morley, England, his daughter Lisa (James) Gough of Lexington, his son Miles (Rocel) Reucroft of Marlboro, New Jersey and his son Noel (Elizabeth) Reucroft of Lexington. He was a devoted Grandfather to 10 Grandchildren: Lucy, Jessie, Emma, Philip and Lydia Gough of Lexington, Ian Reucroft of Baltimore, MD, Mariel Reucroft of Marlboro, NJ and Frederick, Owen and Malcolm Reucroft of Lexington. He was also loved by sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins in Canada and England and had many close friends.

Philip was raised in Churwell, Yorkshire, England with his brother and two sisters and attended Morley Grammar School. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and Doctorate of Philosophy in Chemistry at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, the University of London in 1956 and 1959. After completing a Postdoctoral fellowship at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada from 1959-1961, he subsequently married and moved to Philadelphia, PA where he worked as a Research Scientist at the Franklin Institute Research Laboratories until 1969. From 1969-1976, he was an Associate Professor of Materials Science at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He continued his career as a Professor of Materials Science at the University of Kentucky until 2005 where his achievements included research in surface science, catalysis, electronic materials and film studies. He obtained research grants through the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and was a contributor of over 300 articles to professional journals. Professional memberships included a life Fellow of the American Society for Metals where he was Chairman of the Bluegrass chapter 1976-1977 and life Member of the American Physical Society, Royal Society Chemistry and American Chemical Society. For Philip, an unexpected accomplishment was being awarded as an Honorary Kentucky Colonel through the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Philip retired in 2005 but remained an Emeritus Professor at the University of Kentucky. He continued to enjoy reviewing science manuscripts for various journals and proposals for the National Science Foundation. He had several leisure interests as well such as golfing, swimming laps at the UK Aquatic center, gardening and traveling to warm beaches and various countries. He enjoyed going to Keeneland every year, drinking a good Bourbon and supporting local Kentucky restaurants. He was a steadfast Cincinnati Reds baseball fan no matter the season outcome.

Philip will be remembered as an intelligent, humble, generous and kind-hearted Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle and friend. He will be forever loved and missed!