Growing up during the Great Depression on a farm near Burlingame, Kansas, Donald Dubois learned early on to discern what is important in life choices and relationships. He lived a remarkable career, serving extraordinary firms, organizations and people.
After earning a degree in milling and baking chemistry from Kansas State University, Dubois launched his career with Doty Laboratories, rising to Chief Chemist, serving baking, flour milling and feed industries. There, in Kansas City, he met, married and started a family with Florine Haigh – his partner in life for 53 years.
Dubois served Crete Mills’ flour, feed and corn mills as quality assurance Chief Chemist. At Hercules, Inc., Dubois pioneered work in vital wheat gluten, wheat starches and cellulose gums, provided bakery services support, and authored technical bulletins. With ITT Paniplus, he served market and product development, technical services and bakery consulting programs.
As Director of Technical Assistance at the AIB, Dubois served as a resource on scientific, technical and regulatory matters; conceived and nurtured the AIB Technical Bulletin – later regarded as an industry reference “encyclopedia”; and developed seminars, short courses, technical assistance and research programs. As a colleague noted, “It would be difficult to determine how many lives and careers were touched and enriched by Don’s contact. Bakers, ingredient suppliers and equipment manufactures all benefited by his involvement.” He helped build and prepare bakeries and bakery schools in China and elsewhere around the globe. Widely regarded as “the ‘Ann Landers of the Baking Industry’, his ‘knowledge at hand’ and ability to track down the unknown were his trademarks.”
Dubois’ awards and milestones include AIB’s Louis Gardner Award, the AACC William F. Geddes Memorial Award, The Wheat Quality Council Full Kernel Wheat Award, and the ASB Robert A. Fischer Award for Distinguished Service to the baking industry. He was a 53-year ASB member, holding leadership positions in the 1960s and 1970s, and a longstanding, active member of the AACC. He authored more than 50 technical reports published in the U.S. and internationally, published 27 AIB Technical Bulletins, and lectured in two dozen countries on AIB and US Wheat Associates assignments.
Dubois eagerly embraced opportunities to help others improvise, innovate, solve problems and achieve positive, enduring outcomes – whether in the lab or on the bakery floor, in Buffalo or Bangladesh. Yet in accepting the Fischer Award, he reflected, “My proudest accomplishment in life, with all the help and direction from my late wife, Florine, was to raise our 12 children to be responsible adults and to live prosperous and worthwhile lives.” His pragmatic manner combined caring, humility, youthful curiosity, an idealistic spirit, grit, and determination to not only survive life’s challenges, but to thrive and bring about extraordinary outcomes. The baking industry and the world at large are far more the better because of him.
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