John Gerald McEntyre

John Gerald McEntyre

November 03, 1920 - July 23, 2008

John Gerald McEntyre

November 03, 1920 - July 23, 2008



Born 11/3/20 in Topeka, Kansas died 7/23/08 in Mission Viejo, California. He was the son of Winifred Dwyer and Guy McEntyre of Topeka, Kansas.

Dr. McEntyre was Professor Emeritus of Land Surveying at Purdue University for 18 years where he and Professor Kenneth Curtis founded a 4-year land-surveying program. He also taught Civil Engineering at Kansas State University 1947-63 and for 4 years acted in capacity as a consultant to Kabul University and the Cadastral Survey Project in Kandahar, Afghanistan 1963-1967. He was past president of BSPS, ISPLS, Kansas section ASCE. He was active in NSPS, ASEE, ISPLS, ISPLS professional societies.

Dr. McEntyre wrote many articles and papers and was a contributing author of several land-surveying works. He also wrote the landmark books, Land Survey Systems as well as Workbook For Land Survey Systems, Containing Problems, Questions, Answers.

Dr. McEntyre was appointed an Honorary Deputy U.S. Surveyor by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, May 1986. He was cited by the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, State of Indiana, ‘For his imaginative leadership, wise counsel, and warm friendship during his years of service to the State of Indiana’, May, 1986. He was given many awards including NSPS President Emeritus Award ‘in recognition of outstanding contributions made to the NSPS organization and the surveying profession,’ an ideal also recognized in the Surveying and mapping award of 1997 given by the Surveying and Mapping Division of ASCE of 1997. The Earl Fennel Award from the ACSM and the Indiana Distinguished Service Award acknowledged his contributions in education as did the 1990 Year of Service Award given to him by ISPLS ‘in recognition of dedication and service…and education of a generation of today’s surveyors.’ The 1983 Bridge Award given by ACLS for ‘distinguished and benevolent service in bridging the decade for the betterment of society, the land surveying profession, and the future of mankind’. The Purdue University Civil Engineering Staff Award of 1986 acknowledged him as a ‘vigorous champion of ethical standards and professional education for surveyors…an expert on boundary law whose contributions will leave a lasting impact on the land surveying profession.’ The Governor of Indiana awarded him the Sagamore of the Wabash Award in 1980, stating, in part, ‘for endearing himself to the citizens of Indiana as distinguished by his humanity in living, loyalty in friendship, and inspiration in leadership.’

Dr. McEntyre joined the Army Reserve in 1940, serving active duty 1942-46. He served 2 years in the Coast Artillery Corps in the Alaska/Aleutian Campaign. He earned the Pacific Asia Service Ribbon with Campaign Star, the American Theatre Ribbon, and the WWII Victory Medal. He was a reservist until 1980 and retired as Lt. Col.

Professor McEntyre graduated Hayden High School, Topeka, Kansas 1938, Kansas State University with B.S. in Engineering in 1942. He obtained a M.S. in 1948 and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in New York in 1955. He graduated with honors. His school honoraries included Phi Kappa Phi top 10% graduates, Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering, Lambda Sigma Land Surveying, Phi Delta Kappa Education, Sigma Xi Assoc Member Research, TauBeta Pi Engineering.

Beloved wife Virginia Scott Fairman McEntyre 12/26/21-12/11/05 predeceased Professor McEntyre, as have his 2 sisters and brother as well as sister- and brother-in-law. Professor McEntyre’s former father in law, John Scott, served as mayor of Topeka in the late 1930’s. He is survived by son Charles Fairman, daughter Mary McEntyre and son Gerry McEntyre with daughter-in-law, Pam and grandson Evan Scott McEntyre. He also leaves sister-in-law, Shirley Samuelson and several nieces and nephews.

Services are being handled by O’Connor Mortuary and a funeral Mass will be held 8/14/08 at St. Kilian Church, 26872 Estanciero Dr., in Mission Viejo, CA. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the John G McEntyre Scholarship Fund may be specifically marked for the fund and sent to the Purdue Foundation, 550 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN, 47907.

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17 responses to John Gerald McEntyre

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  1. David Scheil says:

    I am very grateful for his ability to teach and share his knowledge and wisdom. I will always remember his “12 donut” story. My prayers go to his family anf friends

  2. I remember Dr McEntyre as a very compassionate man and a great professor. It is with his guidance and mentoring that I am who I am today.

  3. It is with great sorrow that I heard that Prof. McEntyre had passed away. I owe my career as a surveyor/Professor to him and Prof. Curtis. I was one of the early students in the Land Surveying program. I’m thankful that they accepted me into the program. Without their confidence in me, my career path would have been much different. I remember Prof. McEntyre as being one of the most knowledgeable individuals I ever met in the vast surveying community. I consider it a privilage to have known and loved him.

    My condolences to his sons and daughter.

    wes Crawford

  4. Condolences to the McEntyre clan. We could write a book about our long friendship and professional affiliation through these many years together in promotion of the land surveying profession. We have missed him greatly since he took up residence in California after Virginia’s illness several years ago.

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