It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Arthur J. “Jack” Boyt, Jr. Jack is the pioneer of Airform membrane design and a key figure in the Monolithic Dome industry from nearly its beginning. He passed away on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at the age of 93 in his home in Ankeny, Iowa.
Jack had a truly interesting life. While attending Iowa State University he assisted in refining uranium ore for the Manhattan Project. He joined the Army and served a year in Panama before returning to college to complete his engineering degree. He later started Precision Sewing Company in Des Moines.
Then in 1979, David B. South walked through the shop door with a ripped “tarp” to repair. Jack said the dome shaped membrane was made with a steel cable ring at the top and a flat piece of fabric to finish the top. Jack loved the concept of building a structure using an inflated fabric membrane. He also said it was a terrible design and convinced David to let him work on the next membrane. Jack went on to develop the fundamental math and designs that all Monolithic Dome Airform membranes are made. He and David also became life-long friends.
Jack is survived by his wife, Mable (Titus) Boyt; children, Douglass (Cassie) of Clive, Steven (Kris) of West Des Moines, Mary Nedoba of Cedar Falls, Margaret Laughead of West Des Moines and Ann (Rick) Dobrowski of Buffalo Grove, IL; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brother, Dick Boyt of Neosho, MO; sister, Christy McFarland of Palm Springs, CA; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen (Hudson) Boyt; grandson, Christopher Boyt; and his parents.
A Memorial service will be held at McLaren’s Funeral Home in West Des Moines, IA on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 3 p.m. with interment at a later date.