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In Memoriam



We sadly miss the following members of the SCS/NRCS family who have passed away.

Our sympathy and prayers are with their families and friends.

Please email Paul Benedict at  to report recent In Memoriam notices.

Last updated 10/29/2019

This page shows RECENT remembrances only.

For a listing of ALL notices collected by YEAR, click here.

To see a listing of ALL notices ALPHABETICALLY, click here.




In Memoriam Note: These are recent notices only.



Margaret Ann Allbritton (95) of Wildwood, Florida passed away on August 29, 2019 at the Harbor Chase Assisted Living Center in Wildwood. Margaret retired from the USDA-Soil Conservation Service in 1984 after working 35 years as the Area Clerk at the Mayfield, Kentucky Area Office. She was a member of the Hickory Baptist Church for 70 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, William H. Allbritton, seven brothers, and three sisters. She is survived by her daughter, Kathy (Ted) Knue of The Villages, Florida; two grandchildren, Marnie and Neill Knue; and three great-grandchildren.



James "Jim" Clarence Beaty (87) of Sayre, Oklahoma passed away August 31, 2019 at his home. Jim was born to Frank and Marie (Powell) Beaty on April 10, 1932 at the family farm near Durham, Oklahoma. He grew up in Roger Mills County and graduated from high school at Crawford, Oklahoma. After graduation he began working for the USDA Soil Conservation Service retiring in 1986 after 36 years of service. He married the love of his life Betty Jo (Barrett) Blanscet in June of 1963. He was an avid quail hunter and outdoorsman and a rancher who had unprecedented love and respect for his land and livestock. He is preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Betty. He is survived by his son, James Blanscet (partner Judy Branch) of Reydon, Oklahoma; daughter, Carolyn (Blanscet) Potter and husband, Bill, of Shamrock, Texas; two grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends.



Patricia Ann “Pat” Beneke (70) of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, passed away June 27, 2019 at Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach, Missouri. She was recovering from surgery and suffered a major heart attack. Pat was born August 23, 1948 in Willmar, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Robert and Beatrice (Hjelle) Mark. Pat was united in marriage to William M. “Bill” Beneke on June 9, 1967 in Spokane, Washington,. After graduating as class salutatorian with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Lincoln University, Pat worked as a Resource Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. After retiring to the Lake of the Ozarks, she enjoyed living the lake life. She loved spending days outdoors boating on the lake and tending to her flower garden. Pat is survived by her loving husband Bill; her sons Michael Beneke (Christy) of Jefferson City, Missouri and Jeff Beneke (Arla) of Peculiar, Missouri; and three grandchildren.



Talitha Jean Bradshaw Black (83), formerly of Athens, Georgia, passed away October 13, 2019, in Marietta, Georgia. She was born in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, on July 12, 1936, to James Beasley and Jeannie Brunetti Busha Bradshaw. Jean worked as an Administrative Assistant with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, retiring in 1991 with 35 years of service. She was preceded in death by the love of her life, Charles Bowen Black in 1966. Surviving are her two daughters Kathy Henson (Allen) and Karen Thayer (Marc); three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.



Margaret "Maggie" Breckel (83) of Malcolm, Nebraska passed away September 17, 2019. Maggie was hired as a Clerk Stenographer by the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in 1978 working with the Public Affairs Specialist for Nebraska. She was the lead person in coordination and use of photographs and other visual material used in the outreach program for SCS in Nebraska. She retired in the late 1990s as a clerk-stenographer with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Maggie was well known throughout the state, as she worked with many field SCS/NRCS staff in providing photos and other resource material for the agency’s outreach programs. She is remembered by her co-workers as always cheerful and was well-liked by all. She lived on an acreage and was very active in planting trees, gardens and other activities to enhance the environment. Memorials can be directed to Lincoln Lutheran High School Scholarship Fund.



Senior Conservationist Louis "Curly" Stanley Button Jr. (94) of Richmond, Virginia passed away on September 12, 2019. Curly was born on April 1, 1925, in Jeffersonton, Virginia. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at the age of 17 and served through the end of the war. After the war, he attended University of Georgia and graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in engineering. In July of 1951, Curly married Helen Louise Connelly of Blacksburg, Virginia. Curly was employed by the USDA Soil Conservation Service from 1952 through 1989 and served as State Conservation Engineer in Richmond from 1966 to 1989. After a career with USDA, he had a second career with the State of Virginia from 1989 through 1995 as Manager of the Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Protection, Department of Conservation and Recreation. He was an avid skeet shooter and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, and his son, Louis Stanley Button III of Richmond. He is survived by his daughter, Rebecca Button Cournow (Thomas) of Kent Island, Maryland, and sons John Connelly Button (Rosemary) of Madison, North Carolina and Thomas Robert Button (Heather) of Milford, Virginia; and four grandchildren.



Richard Lee Campbell (71) of Palmdale, California passed away September 30, 2019 at home surrounded by his family. Rich was born September 15, 1948 in Kilmichael, Mississippi. He attended Alcorn A&M University where he earned his degree in Agricultural Education. In 1970 he began his career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in Bismarck, North Dakota as a Soil Conservationist and met the love of his life and future wife, Nancy. Rich and Nancy were married in Colorado on December 10, 1973 and blessed with 46 beautiful years together. The next year he was promoted to District Conservationist for Yuma County, Colorado. He went on to become the Resource Conservationist of ten counties in Colorado. In 1977 he transferred to The Dalles, Oregon to serve as District Conservationist for Wasco County. In 1983 he was promoted to District Conservationist of Los Angeles County based out of Lancaster, California. In 1992 he was a key founder of the Dustbusters Task Force. He was actively involved in countless other community environmental projects. Richard’s Christian faith was very important to him, and he served in several leadership positions in churches during his life. Richard was preceded in death by his son Michael Matson. He is survived by his loving wife Nancy, son Matthew Matson (Sarah), daughters Carrie Campbell, Cammie Szabo (Aaron), eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.



Senior Conservationist Norma Sturdivant Coggin (90) of Raleigh, North Carolina passed away on October 1, 2019 after an extended illness. She was born November 29, 1928 in Chatham County, North Carolina to Robert and Lena Andrews Sturdivant. Norma attended Crofts Business School in Durham in 1945 and began her career as a medical secretary at Duke Hospital at age 17. Norma met her husband John Rod Coggin, Jr. while in Durham, and they were married December 17, 1954. They were married for 40 years until his death in 1994. Norma worked as a medical secretary for many years and continued her career as a secretary with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, retiring in 1989. Norma was active in United Methodist Women and The Woman's Club of Raleigh. She was preceded in death by her husband John. She is survived by her daughter, Carol Coggin Barker (William); three grandchildren, Will (Megan Bair), John (Anna Knott) and Blair Hunt (Quinn); and four great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a special friend, Nancy Chance who lovingly cared for Norma over the last 10 years.



G. Samuel Cox (82) of Edenton, North Carolina passed away on September 4, 2019. Mr. Cox was born in Onslow County, North Carolina on November 26, 1936, the son of the late Willie Crawford Cox, a farmer, and Sadie Kellum Cox, a schoolteacher. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1958 with a degree in Animal Husbandry. Known to many as “Sammy” or “Sam,” he married the former Betty Lou Jarman on October 24, 1959, and they were married for over 59 years until her death earlier this year. Sam worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service for 35 years. He served in different roles and locations during his career, with the last 19 years as area conservationist for the northeastern area of North Carolina, based in Edenton. He was a faithful member of Edenton Baptist Church and was also active in community organizations, including the Edenton Jaycees and the Edenton Lions Club. Survivors include three sons and their families: Graham S. Cox II (Samantha) of Newman, Georgia; John C. Cox (Susan) of Holly Springs, North Carolina; and Andrew Cox (Lisa) of Holly Springs, North Carolina; and three granddaughters.



Richard Louis Crane (80) of Hurontown, Michigan passed away at home on July 12, 2019 of an apparent heart attack. He was born the son of Richard Crane, Sr. and Margaret Sardish on May 5, 1939. Richard grew up on a dairy farm with his grandparents, Louis and Caroline Sardish, in Menominee County. He served in the US Army as a paratrooper. After his military service, Richard worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service for 44 years. He was honored for his work in Washington, DC with a national Soil Conservation Service Technician of the Year award. Richard was an avid runner for two decades, often running competitively. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Kenlyn Crane (Rivard); his children, Michael Crane (Sarah), Dan Crane (Mary), and Becky Crane; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.



Daisy lrene Dester (Savuyers) (85) of Abilene, Kansas passed away October 1, 2019. Daisy was preceded in death by her husband Eugene P. Dester in 2014. Eugene was District Conservationist for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Abilene for 16 years until he retired in 1992. Daisy and Eugene are survived by their son Steve Dester (Janice) of Solomon, Kansas; two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.



Joseph “Joe” H. Everett (73) of New Haven, Missouri passed away March 21, 2019 at Mercy Hospital, Creve Coeur, Missouri. Joseph was born in St. Louis, Missouri on February 22, 1946 to Vasco Theo and Helen Clara (O'Day) Everett. He was united in marriage with Janice K. Middaugh on May 22, 1962, in Fulton, Missouri. He worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in a career that included assignments as area resource conservationist in the Washington Area Office and district conservationist in the Hillsboro, Missouri Field Office. Joe retired in 1993 or 1994. After he retired from federal employment, he worked as a truck manager of sales for Chris Auffenberg Ford in Washington. Joseph is survived by his wife, Janice; three daughters, JoAnn Smothers (Eddie) of Bartlett, Tennessee; Jennifer Buwalda (Paul) of Canadian Lakes, Michigan; and Joyce Everett of Linn, Missouri; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Julie Everett; and a son, Joseph Jonathan Everett.



Rodney "Rod" Keith Goode (70) of Pell City, Alabama passed away October 14, 2019. He was born on July 2, 1949 in Glencoe Alabama. He married his high school sweetheart, Retha Marker Goode, and was married for 49 years. He graduated from Auburn University with bachelor of science degree in 1972 and master of science degree in 1974. He loved his Alma Mata and was an enormous Auburn Football fan. He loved his job with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and retired after 42 years of service. He was District Conservationist for Jefferson and St. Clair Counties in Alabama for many years. Rod was actively involved in many conservation and civic organizations. He won the Jerry L. Johnson award for excellence in public service. Rod was a member of First Baptist Church of Pell City for 44 years. He led a life of service and volunteered to help his church and community in many capacities over the years. Survivors include his wife Retha; daughter Amy (Chris) Bain and two grandchildren. A Celebration of Life Memorial service was held at First Baptist Church of Pell City, on Friday, October 18, 2019.



David Wayne Hedgpeth (80) of Fairmont, North Carolina passed away October 7, 2019 at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He was born November 9, 1938 in Robeson County, North Carolina. David worked as a Soil Conservation Technician for the USDA Soil Conservation Service at the Lumberton Field Office in North Carolina. Friends described him has having a big heart and always a smile on his face. David’s survivors include his wife, Carolyn Holt Hedgpeth of the home; two daughters Denise Whitley (Terry) of White Lake, North Carolina, and Wendy Hedgpeth of Fairmont; and three grandchildren.



Rachel Hollins (74) of Bumpass, Virginia passed away September 11, 2019. She was born November 2, 1944, in Middleburg, Virginia. Rachael worked for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for 40 years. She was a contract specialist when she retired in 2003. Rachel was an avid bowler, loved to dance and loved music. She loved travelling, especially cruising, with 26 cruises completed. Her remains were donated to the Virginia Anatomical Program. Rachael is survived by her husband, George H. Hollins Sr.; children Charles Robinson Jr., Darrell Robinson, and Renee Lickey Davis; and stepchildren Linda Lickey Tribby, Sandy Lickey Welfel, Kenneth Hollins, George Hollins Jr., and Kim Hollins Humphries. She also leaves 19 grandchildren and 15+ great-grandchildren.



Lifetime Member William “Bill” Allen Hughey (71) of Shelton, Washington passed away on October 13, 2019. He was born to Aubra and Louise Hughey in Belle Rive, Illinois on January 24, 1948. On October 1, 1966, Bill married his high school sweetheart Kathryn Jean Woodman. In 1967, Bill received his draft notice and then enlisted into the United States Air Force. After honorable discharge, Bill used the GI Bill to attend college. He received an Engineering degree studying at Centralia College and Oregon Institute of Technology. After graduation, Bill worked 32.5 years at 5 locations with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He served as a design/soil mechanics engineer for four years where he assisted the Northeastern Region’s thirteen States with soil foundations and embankment design for small dams. Bill served as agency representative in the selection and oversight of professional services for the design and construction of a large Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam and subsequent water treatment facility in West Virginia. Bill received an International Honor Award from the US Agency for International Development for leading the first technical assistance team to the African nation of Eritrea. Bill ended his career with NRCS with 8 years of service as the National Agricultural Engineer in Washington DC. While working in Washington, DC, Bill maintained relations with several engineering schools. He was affiliated as a member and Committee Chair for: American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), American Society of Agricultural Engineering (ASAE), and International Erosion Control Association (IECA). Bill and Jean have made Shelton, Washington their home for the past 15 years. After retirement, they enjoyed RV camping, international travel, and cruising. In addition to his wife Jean, Bill is survived by sons Codey Hughey (Alicia) of Chicago, Illinois and Tony Hughey (Rita) of Federalsburg, Maryland; and grandchildren Maggie, Kaylyn, and Kevin. Bill is preceded in death by his parents and brother John Hughey.



Senior Conservationist and Lifetime and Honorary Member Robert "Bob" Earl Kohnke (93) of Springfield, Virginia peacefully passed away on October 7, 2019. He was born on March 5, 1926, the son of John and Esther Kohnke. Bob received degrees from Iowa State University and the University of Wisconsin. Bob started with the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in 1952 as an agricultural engineer. He became a hydrologist on the Iowa Watershed Work Party in 1955. He later served as a hydrologist in regional offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Upper Darby Pennsylvania and Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1970 Bob was appointed Assistant Director of the SCS River Basins Division and later promoted to Division Director. He retired from SCS in 1982. He then continued his conservation work with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. He was one of their first Urban Conservation Engineers. In this role, Bob provided his technical expertise with drainage and erosion concerns, the development community with understanding and implementing erosion and sediment controls, and supported the Fairfax County government through plan review, the engineering standards review committee, and the closeout of the PL-566 Pohick Creek Watershed Projects. Bob is preceded in death by his wife of 38 years, Donna Kohnke; his second wife Kitty Kohnke; and his brothers Laverne and John Jr. Bob is survived by his three children, Kay, Scott, and David; his daughter-in-law, Betsy; two granddaughters, Katie and Elise and Kay's partner David Seidman; as well as stepson, John Schafe. Services were held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on October 18. The family is requesting donations in memory of Bob be given to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 8304 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield, VA 22152.



Lauren Hubbard "Larry" Long (90) of Holden, Maine passed away October 21, 2019. Larry was born June 8, 1929 in Randolph, Vermont. He was a US Army Veteran of the Korean War. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and began a career with the USDA-Soil Conservation Service in Vermont. He subsequently settled in Orono, Maine in 1966. He was an Assistant State Conservationist and then later held the position of Maine State Resource Conservationist at the campus of UMaine Orono for 20 years. At the age of 89 Larry was moved to the Maine Veterans' Home in Bangor, ME where he received exceptional and loving care. He leaves his wife of 68 years, Lois Adelaide (O'Brien). He is also survived by his children: Lauren Hubbard "Lonny" Long of Fairfield, Maine; Rebecca Ruth Johns (Mitch) of Chico, California; Kathleen Jean Long of Butte, Montana; Alan Robert Long (Amy) of Belleville, Illinois; Daniel Leslie Long (Wanda) of Holden, Maine. He had six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Donations in Larry’s honor may be made to the Maine Veterans' Home, 44 Hogan Road, Bangor, ME 04401, or to Parkinson's Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131, or at



Honorary Member and Senior Conservationist Cecil N. Martin (93) of Watkinsville, Georgia passed away October 16, 2019. Cecil was married to Eugenia "Gene" Mitchell Martin for 71 years. He was the son of the late Jesse Marion Martin and Lottie Berryman Martin. Cecil served in the US Navy during WWII and retired Air Force Reserves with the rank of Major after 25 years. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering and retired in 1987 from the USDA Soil Conservation Service as a State Design Engineer. Cecil and Gene purchased “Sweet Acres Farm” in 1963 where their five children grew up and where they raised beef cattle. Survivors in addition to his wife Gene, include children: Donna Davis (Danny) of Bishop, Georgia; Pam Misenhamer (Gene) also of Bishop; Jeff Martin of Athens, Georgia; Rex Martin (Suzette) of Buford, Georgia; Joy Bloom (Donald) of Gainesville, Georgia. He had twenty-one grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held October 18, 2019 at Watkinsville First Baptist Church Chapel with Pastor Carlos Sibley officiating.



Houston Gerald Price, Jr. (83) of Tribune, Kansas passed away on October 11, 2019 in Garden City, Kansas. He was born on September 6, 1936 in Wichita, Kansas, the son of Houston Gerald and Juanita Velvet (Roby) Price, Sr. He married Donna Jean Armstrong on April 27, 1958 at Sharon Springs, Kansas. He attended Garden City Community College and then joined his Father on the family farm where they raised crops along with cattle and sheep. While continuing to work on the farm, he worked for 19 years as a soil conservation technician in Greeley County for the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, retiring in 2007. He was a Charter Member of the Tribune Baptist Church. He was preceded in death by Son-In-Law- Brent Kinlund and three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is survived by his Wife Donna Price and four Daughters: Judy Kinlund of Raton, New Mexico; Susan Sisk (Brad) of Holcomb, Kansas; Peggy Munoz (Abby) of Garden City, Kansas; and Stacy Cundiff (Randy) of Garden City, Kansas. He had nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren



Charles “Chuck” Nash Saulisberry (90) of Carson City, Nevada passed away August 20, 2019 at Carson Tahoe Care Center from Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Evanston, Illinois to Lynn and Helen Nash Saulisberry September 14, 1928. Chuck graduated from the University of Nevada (UNR) with a degree in Range Management. He met Josephine Caprio at UNR. They were married and spent 68 happy years together. Working first for the UNR Experiment Station and joining the Nevada Air National Guard, he entered active duty on March 1, 1951. Stationed at the Nellis Air Force Base Weather Unit, he released weather balloons for the nuclear testing at Indian Springs. After being honorably discharged in 1952, they moved back to Reno where he was employed by the USDA-Soil Conservation Service (SCS) as a Range Conservationist in Wellington, Nevada, doing snow surveys, farm planning, rangeland resource management, and monitoring. He transferred to Cedarville, California to open an SCS office for NE CA and NW NV. His area of responsibility was so large he received his private pilot’s license and bought a Piper Tri Pacer to be home more with family. He served from 1977 to 1984 as liaison between SCS and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), coordinating and overseeing the soil survey and ecological correlation of vegetation. Retiring from Federal service in 1984, he began a second career as a Certified Range Management Consultant with Resource Concepts, Inc. and other sub-consultants. He owned and operated a private flying service for 45 years and was often called as an expert witness in legal proceedings. He is survived by wife Josephine of 68 years, son Daniel Saulisberry (Neva), daughter Kathryn Smith (Gary), five grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by son Tracy Ralph and granddaughter Danielle Carpenter.



Ruby Rosette Sorrell (94) of Lansing, Michigan passed away August 16, 2018. She was born April 18, 1924, in Lansing, to John and Clara Hyboone. Ruby worked 22 years with the USDA Soil Conservation Service. She is survived by her children, Jerry Wise (Bonnie), Sherry Sorrell (Chuck), and Laura Sorrell; 13 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Ralph, in 2014, and her daughter, Suzanne Landon (Duane).



Lifetime Member Larry Staley (87) of Emery, South Dakota passed away October 14, 2019. Larry was attending Pennsylvania State University when he joined the US Navy during his sophomore year and served during the Korean War. When he got out of the service, he finished his degree at Pennsylvania State University. After college he went to work for the USDA-Soil Conservation Service as a soil scientist. He mapped soils all over eastern Pennsylvania. He then moved to Kosciusko County, Indiana and worked on soil surveys there. He retired from federal service in 1988, but then worked on a contract soil survey on per diem in Cumberland County Illinois. Larry loved soil survey work and all the good people he worked with! Larry is survived by his five children: son Scott Staley (Karen) and daughters Julee Staley, Marlys Staley, Darsee Staley and Lori Staley; and four grandsons and four great-grandchildren.



Member Fredrick Douay Theurer (82) of Gaithersburg, Maryland passed away peacefully on October 5, 2019 surrounded by his wife and family. Fred was born to Edward Arthur and Helen Theurer on April 9th, 1937 in Washington DC. He grew up in Washington DC. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1959. He went on to earn his Masters of Science and Doctorate in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University in 1975, taking just two years to do so. He spent his professional career with the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service working in California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Maryland. He was considered among the foremost experts in the world in his field of hydraulic engineering; and in the later part of his career, he represented the United States government abroad. As much as Fred was devoted to his work, his wife Marge was, by far and away, the love of his life. The sun rose and set on her through their sixty years of their marriage. He was preceded in death by his beloved second daughter, Theresa, who passed away in 1996. In addition to his wife Marge, Fred is survived by five children and their spouses: Maureen Joseph (Richard), Kenneth Theurer (Laurie), Christine Morse (Tom), Patrick Theurer (Karen), Matthew Theurer (Maria); 17 grandchildren and six6 great-grandchildren. Mass of Christian burial was held at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Derwood, Maryland on October 10. Internment was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Cure PSP:



Jeanne Marie Thompson (90) of Grayling, Michigan passed away March 21, 2017. She was born in Grayling August 6, 1926 to Carl and Francilia Hanson. She married the late Sandy Thompson after he got out of the US Navy at the end of World War II. She and Sandy operated Penrods Cabins and the canoe livery at Penrods. Later, she worked 20 years for the USDA Soil Conservation Service and then retired. She is survived by her two sons Randy Thompson and Pat Thompson, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Van Cleave


Kenneth Charles Van Cleave Jr. (93) of Galesburg, Kansas (formerly of Eureka, Kansas) passed away on September 22, 2019, at the Greenwood County Hospital in Eureka, Kansas. He was born on December 13, 1925, in Galesburg, Kansas, to Kenneth C. Van Cleave, Sr. and Margaret (Robinson) Van Cleave. Kenneth attended Labette County Community College and graduated from Kansas State University. He served in the US Navy as a Communications Specialist in the Pacific during World War II. Following his discharge, Kenneth worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Marion and Eureka, Kansas, his entire career. He retired in 1983. He was married to Verna Fae Berends for 69 years. Verna preceded him in death in 2018. He was also preceded in death by son Vernon Ray. Survivors include two sons Larry Van Cleave (Nancy) of Lake Waukomis, Missouri and Gary Van Cleave of Pomona, Kansas; daughter Cheryl Sowder (Jeff) of Toronto, Kansas; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.