Dr. Robert P. Popovich

January 9, 1939November 2, 2012
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Dr. Robert P. Popovich, born January 9, 1939 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully in his sleep Friday, November 2, 2012. He was lovingly referred to as Papa Turkey by his family and many close friends.

Bob spent his childhood in Sheboygan, Wisconsin where he attended North High School. He subsequently received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1963, his Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1968 and his Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Washington Seattle in 1970. He had the honor to pursue his Ph.D. under the direction of Belding H. Scribner, M.D. and Professor Albert L. Babb.

Following his school career, Bob moved to Austin, Texas where he worked as a professor at The University of Texas Austin in the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1972 until 1992. His concentration was in Biomedical Engineering and was honored to receive the E.P. Schoch Professorship during his career at the University of Texas. During this time he developed a professional research partnership and longtime friendship with Jack W. Moncrief, M.D. working in the field of Nephrology. Bob’s most precious accomplishment was his work with Dr. Moncrief, conceiving and bringing to practice Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis, a pioneering new method of treating patients with end stage renal disease. Bob also was honored to work with many other world renowned nephrologists as well, most notably Karl D. Nolph, M.D. of Missouri and Dimitrios G. Oreopoulos, M.D. of Toronto, Canada. There was nothing Bob loved more and was more devoted to than pursuing medical research that would come to impact countless numbers of people throughout the world and also teaching young, bright students, many of whom have gone on to become doctors, surgeons, professors and research scientists.

Bob was preceded in death by his father Anton Popovich, his mother Ida Selke Popovich and his sister Donna Popovich Bartel.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Lou Ellen Addison Popovich; daughter, Kathleen Mary Popovich Noel of Austin, TX; sons, Steven Robert Popovich of Little Chute, WI, Scott Anthony Popovich of Sheboygan, WI, Robert Edward Popovich of Houston, TX and Michael Ray Buffaloe of Cedar Park, TX; brothers Jack Popovich of Madison, WI and Thomas Popovich of Eden Prairie, MN; and five grandchildren – Christopher James Noel, David Alexander Noel, Scott Anthony Popovich Jr., Cassaundra Yvonne Popovich and Sean Hunter Buffaloe.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from six o’clock until eight o’clock in the evening, on Thursday, the 8th of November 2012, at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas.

A funeral service will be conducted at one o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 9th of November 2012, in the Colonial Chapel of Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas. Interment will follow in Austin Memorial Park, Austin, Texas.

In lieu of flowers and customary remembrances, the family suggests donations be made to the National Kidney Foundation or to the American Stroke Association.


  • Visitation Thursday, November 8, 2012
  • Funeral Service Friday, November 9, 2012

Dr. Robert P. Popovich

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Vicki Kruger

June 6, 2013

I am saddened to hear of his passing. This brings so many memories of working for him and Dr. Moncrief with CAPD when they first discovered it. We worked out of a little house off 34th street in Austin, TX. We named it the Acorn. It was exciting times. I used to stay there until all hours transferring dialysis solution from bottles to bags for our patients.

He and Dr Moncrief were brilliant. You could see their brains just working overtime. Of course, not literally. His family and friends will know what I mean.

So I have a little tidbit about his daughter that I would like to share. I hope she doesn't get upset. She worked at the Acorn with us and I so enjoyed working with her. I think of her fondly and have hoped she has been ok.
Anyway, she had a boyfriend and wanted to cook him chicken fried steak. She asked for our help and when we told her how, she asked something like what do I do with the chicken? She was precious and is one of my fondest memories.

I am sad he has passed. He touched a lot of lives and should be honored. My prayers and hugs go out to his family and friends.

November 14, 2012

Lou ~ from the first time I met knew how Bob with you, as "strangers at our front door" (per Kara), I knew how much you loved him, and I learned to love him, too, as a sister-in-law and a favorite sparring partner. I will miss his brilliance, his spirituality, his "out-of-the-box" personality, and his loving, sharing nature. We have all been blessed to have him in our lives. Many blessings!!

William Salin (Salinsky)

November 11, 2012

Please accept my sincerest condolences on Bob's passing. Bob and I went to grade school (Washington school)and high school(North High). For many of those years Bob would walk from his house down the alley to meet me at the end of the alley where I lived. As I recall we had a number of good conversations. I did not realize that Bob and I were born only two days apart. I'm honored to have known Bob and have great admiration for his accomplishments.

Bill Salin (Salinsky)

denis & bev fetterer

November 9, 2012

we are sorry for your loss, we are in texas for the winter. our regrets, denis & bev fetterer (bev selke )

Sara Ruiz

November 9, 2012

Bob was definitely a character and could be down right stubborn at times and we didn't always see eye to eye, but I will never forget the time I spent with him and his family.

Jack Totah

November 9, 2012

A second great loss for the University of Texas community in the past week or so. Dr. Popovich was one of my Biomedical engineering professors at UT Austin in the late 1970s and worked to develop CAPD (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis) as an alternative to traditional kidney dialysis - it allowed patients the effectiveness of dialysis without having to be hooked up to a machine 6 hrs a day, three days a week. One of my more influencial professors that taught me through Engineering, we can make a significant difference in Healthcare. My sympathies to his family and friends, knowing the positive impacthe made on the lives of countless others.

Dan Sohre

November 9, 2012

In years past we were good friends. He was also my brother-in-law. My sympathy to the family, Bob was a brilliant man.

American Stroke Association

November 9, 2012

May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.

Joan Mackey

November 9, 2012

Our friendship has been over 35 years. I have such fond memories of all our good times together. Your love for each other right from the beginning has been unsurmontable. I am praying for you, Lou, and all your family during this time. All my love,

Denise Babbitt

November 8, 2012

Lou, I was just looking at your photos and remembered so many of your stories that you and Bob told me. I can see the love between you two. Your loss is great and I am so sorry.