Harold F. Rosson

Harold Rosson, 93, passed away January 12, 2023 at Bridge Haven Opa’s House. He was born in San Antonio, Texas but spent his early life in Marfa, Texas. He attended the Marfa public schools and the New Mexico Military Institute for his last two years of high school, graduating in 1945. He received two college degrees in chemical engineering, his B.S. in 1949 and his Ph.D. in 1958, from Rice University, Houston, Texas. Harold married Melissa “Missy” Potts on March 15, 1951, a marriage which lasted until her death, over 66 years later. He served four years in the United States Air Force during part of the Korean War, the latter portion as a nuclear weapons officer responsible for maintenance of nuclear components of atomic weapons.

Harold joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1957 in the Department of Chemical Engineering, (later the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering) and served 25 years, retiring in 1992. He served two terms as department chairman and several years as an associate dean in the School of Engineering. For one year he was on sabbatical leave from KU to work for the Upjohn Company in the area of pharmaceutical chemicals development and manufacture. In 1999 Harold and Missy moved to the Brandon Woods retirement community where he took up wood sculpture and cycling, activities which he much enjoyed, although interrupted for several years to devote to care for Missy. He began his sculpture work under the tutelage of an accomplished local Michigan sculptor, Leslie Scruggs, and also developed a close friendship with a famous artist and designer, Leslie Laskey, Professor Emeritus, Washington University, St. Louis, who summered in Michigan where they met, and who greatly influenced his work.

Harold was preceded in death by his daughter Diana Laird and by his wife. He is survived by two sons, Richard of Pacifica, CA, and Brian of Houston, TX, and a granddaughter, Larissa Laird of Lawrence. His ashes will join those of his wife and daughter in the waters of Portage Lake, Michigan, on the shore of which was their summer cottage for over fifty years, their Camelot. Harold did not expect to join either Diana or Missy in an afterlife, but the good part is that he no longer must live without them.

Messages & Condolences

From Andrea Knickerbocker...

Richard, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember both of your parents very fondly.

From Stan McCool...

Harold was a wonderful person, both in class and out. I have fond memories.
Peace to his and Missy’s family and friends.

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