Roland Daniel Hauck, 1926 to 2021
Roland Daniel Hauck died Thursday, September 16, 2021, just five days before his 95th birthday, due to complications from a stroke. He passed away listening to Mahler Symphony No. 2, surrounded by his children. He was born in Ohio in 1926 to Willy Gustav Hauck and Katie Krautwurst Hauck. His mother died on Christmas Day when he was just three years old, so he was raised by his Grandmother Lena Krautwurst, whom he knew as “Oma.” Roland grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and was educated in the Arts, Philosophy, and Science (B.Ph. University of Chicago,1948; B.A. North Central College, 1950; M.S., University of Illinois, 1952; Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1954).
During World War II he served in the Army Air Corps in the Philippines. He once recounted that he was busted from Sergeant to Private when he told a Major, “You may be my commanding officer, but you are not my superior officer.” He had refused to diffuse chemical weapons “by the book” because the tropical heat made them unstable. Instead, he used his own method adapted to high temperatures to avoid an unintentional explosion.
After the war, he attended school on the GI bill, but still had to work to afford college. Besides academics and theater, he was a University of Chicago varsity athlete on the basketball, track (quarter-miler), and baseball teams. He also played baseball in the minor leagues. Southpaw “Willie” Hauck was famous for pitching no-hitters, but also for being the unusual pitcher who could hit. Although he was scouted by the majors (Brooklyn Dodgers and Saint Louis Browns), he opted to stay in school.
In graduate school at the University of Illinois, he met his future bride, Jeanne. His first job as Dr. Hauck took the couple to Africa – the Firestone Rubber Plantation in Liberia. After having their first child (Michael), they moved to Florence, where they had their second child (Denise). The couple spent the rest of their lives in the Shoals area, except for a year with the family in Nigeria.
Retiring from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Roland was a world-renowned expert in Nitrogen fertilizer. He published numerous articles in scientific journals, was an invited speaker at national and international conferences, and served on and consulted for committees of many U.S. governmental and international organizations. He organized, edited, and/or was the main author of several books and conference proceedings. He worked as an agricultural research scientist for seven years in Liberia and Nigeria, for 33 years as an agricultural research chemist, and eventually in inter-governmental advisory and liaison positions for the Tennessee Valley Authority. He was named Senior Scientist of TVA, elected a Fellow of the Agronomy Society of America and a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, and was nominated for the National Medal of Science.
Roland loved classical music, poetry, opera, entertaining people with his harmonica, and bicycling. Although legally blind, he did not consider himself handicapped. He was active in the Institute for Learning in Retirement, giving several meticulously crafted lectures on musical topics. Deeply involved in the community, he served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Art Association and the Shoals Symphony at the University of North Alabama.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Erwin, sister Hedwig (Hedy), and wife of 64 years, Ada Jean (Jeanne) Hauck. He is survived by two children, Michael Hauck (Julie), Denise Moore (Michael), and four grandchildren, Charles (Chase) Bailey Moore, Christopher Wiles Moore, Grace Alexandra Hauck, and Theresa Ann Hauck. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. Due to Covid, a graveside service and Celebration of Life will be postponed to a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Roland Daniel Hauck, please visit our floral store.