Joseph Charles Grosskreutz Jr. was born in Springfield, MO, on January 5, 1922, to Joseph Charles and Helen Mobley Grosskreutz. His father was a bookkeeper for Azart Motor Company.
Joseph had an older sister, Margaret Helen, born on October 25, 1915. Margaret and Joseph attended Springfield High School and Drury University in Springfield, MO. Margaret was the commencement speaker at her high school graduation. At right, is Margaret’s junior class picture from the 1935 Drury University yearbook, The Southwester. While at Drury, she was active in journalism, education, and choir. She was a member of the French Choir where students sang in French. Margaret Grosskreutz became an English teacher. She married Lawrence J. Smotherman, a banker. Margaret died April 22, 1996, in Citrus, Florida. Another picture of Margaret is shown at left.
Joseph graduated from Springfield High School in 1939. Following graduation, he entered Drury University, graduating in 1943 with a BS in physics. In 1959, Joseph received the Distinguish Alumnus Award for Community Service from Drury University. He was an ensign in the US Navy Reserve, later being promoted to lieutenant. He earned an MA from Washington University (St. Louis) in 1948. His thesis was entitled, Some Applications of the Photographic Method to Problems in Nuclear Physics. He was award a PhD, also from Washington University, in 1950. His dissertation was entitled, A Study of the Structure of the Isobaric Nuclear Pair Be⁷-Li⁷. He married Mary Catherine Schubel in 1949. She had just graduated from Washington University where she was president of her sorority. In 1952, Joseph worked for the California Research Corporation in Whittier, CA, doing seismic research.
Joseph and Catherine came to Texas in 1953. He was appointed as an assistant professor of physics. Joseph was an experimentalist who studied x-ray scattering in metals. He left Texas around 1956 and joined the Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City, MO. In 1969, he published a paper with UT professor, Walter Millett. In about 1970, he became Chief of the Mechanical Properties Section of the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, DC. He next spent approximately twenty years as a contractor to the national solar thermal program at Black-Veatch Consulting Engineers in Kansas City, MO. He was later recruited to the Solar Energy Research Institute, eventually becoming the manager responsible for all technical programs. He later returned to Black and Veatch, where he remained until his retirement in the 1990s. He was a research professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City in the late 1990s. He was studying atomic force microscopy. In 1996, he wrote a major article on High Temperature Technologies for the book, Implementation of Solar Thermal Technology, edited by Ronal Larson and Ronald E. West, MIT Press, 1996. He was an expert in the area of fatigue in metals. He wrote many papers and was a major player in the area of fatigue in high temperature materials.
Joseph died June 22, 2002.
Grosskreutz Photo Album