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Memorial Tributes, Volume 11
Jack received honorary degrees from several institutions of higher learning, including the University of Miami, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Illinois, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, and Georgia Institute of Technology.
Any biography of Jack would be incomplete without describing the quality of the man. Jack was a unique and special individual. Quiet and thoughtful with a generous spirit, he took the time to encourage young engineers and frequently allowed grade-school students to interview him for class papers. He was a man of few words, yet his well-thought-out comments were often peppered with quiet humor. Jack was quick to credit the thousands of engineers who followed him for growing the semiconductor industry. Quoting an earlier Nobel Prize winner in the introductory remarks of his Nobel Lecture, Jack compared his feelings about the tremendous strides the industry had made with those of a beaver looking at Hoover Dam—“It’s based on an idea of mine.”
Jack was a gentle man and a gentleman, and at 6 feet 6 inches, he was occasionally called a “gentle giant” by the media. Lowkey and practical, Jack was a man who had earned the right to boast but never did. Above all, he was an engineer who enjoyed both the craft and art of his profession. Jack shaped an industry, but even more, he touched our souls. He will be remembered both for what he accomplished and for who he was.
It would be an incomplete portrait of Jack not to mention how important his family was to him. He is survived by two daughters, Janet Kilby Cameron and Ann Kilby; five granddaughters, Caitlan, Marcy, and Gwen Cameron, and Erica and Katrina Venhuizen; and a son-in-law, Thomas Cameron. His wife, Barbara, and sister, Jane, preceded him in death.