Ted Bownik, longtime flour mill manager, dies at 87

by Eric Schroeder
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NORTH KANSAS CITY, MO. — Thaddeus B. (Ted) Bownik, former manager of the North Kansas City flour mill of ADM Milling Co., passed away on July 6. He was 87 years old.

Mr. Bownik joined ADM in February 1943 as production superintendent in the linseed division at Minneapolis. Subsequently, he entered military service, undergoing basic training at Fort Riley, Kas. In 1944, he joined the 113th cavalry group in England, receiving the Purple Heart and the Normandy Landing Citation, which was issued by the French government.

Mr. Bownik returned to ADM in June 1946. He was named superintendent of extraction in 1953 and was transferred to North Kansas City in 1963 as project engineer and maintenance superintendent. He was named plant manager of the North Kansas City facility in 1966.

Mr. Bownik retired from ADM on June 30, 2001. In total, he spent 59 years with ADM, serving under every chief executive officer from Thomas L. Daniels to G. Allen Andreas and every head of the flour division from Ellis D. English to Craig L. Hamlin.

Mr. Bownik had more than 50 years of grain processing experience and processed nearly 1 billion bus of grain over his career. In addition, he participated in the development of blended foods, including corn and soy milk, and traveled extensively to promote the development of such products for third world use.

Mr. Bownik was a member of the International Association of Operative Millers, and at one time was a member of every major committee affiliated with the association. He was president of the I.A.O.M. during 1972-73, and was a longtime treasurer of the association. Mr. Bownik presented many papers at the I.A.O.M. technical conference on the topics of wheat classification and wheat harvest.

He received the I.A.O.M. Gold Medal Award, the association’s most prestigious award, and was on the ad hoc committee on wheat classification during the troubled years of Arlin, helping write the classification for the variety.

Mr. Bownik was a member of the Wheat Quality Council and the A.R.S. Single Kernel Hardness Committee. In addition, he worked with the Kansas Wheat Commission to bring foreign visitors to the United States and worked with Kansas State University as a presenter for many of its classes and short courses.

He also worked with K.S.U. on setting up an intern program.

Mr. Bownik was a member of the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Friends of Clay County Sheriff’s Committee and the North Kansas City Rotary Club, where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He helped organize the North Kansas City Business Council in the mid-1990s, acting as the council’s first president.

Upon his retirement in 2001, Mr. Bownik received the Friends of the Department of Agriculture award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also was acknowledged by the Kansas City Board of Trade for his service to the grain industry.

Survivors include his wife, Rosemary; a son, T. Bryan Bownik; and two granddaughters, Hillary and Haley.

A visitation is set for 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at the McGiley Antioch Chapel in Kansas City, with a mass scheduled for tomorrow at 10 a.m. at St. Therese Catholic Church followed by burial at Resurrection Ceremony.

The family suggests contributions and condolences to St. Gabriel Archangel Parish, 4737 N. Cleveland Ave., Kansas City, MO 64117.

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