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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 Ron Marlow at to report recent In Memoriam notices.

Last updated 5/13/2019

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. For a complete list, please see



Keith Jordan Allen (93) of Salem, Oregon died peacefully at the Sweet Bye and Bye Assisted Living Facility on Tuesday March 19, 2019. Keith served our country by enlisting in the US Army Air Force and received an honorable discharge. Keith graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Civil Engineering and made his career in the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Oregon. He married Ardys Struckmeier in 1950, and they had two sons, Jerry and Gail. Ardys passed away in 1985, but he found love again when he married his 2nd wife, Ruth in 1987. He attended the 1st Christian Church in Salem for many years. He loved taking vacations with Ruth in their 5th Wheel and enjoyed volunteering at their church and for Meals on Wheels. Ruth passed away in March 2018. He is survived by his two sons and two grandchildren.


Thomas “Tom” James Brown (100) of Fairfield, Iowa passed away Monday, April 1, 2019, at his home in Sunnybrook Assisted Living at Fairfield. Tom was born August 5, 1918, in Garden Grove, Iowa to Murice and Harriett (Schooler) Brown. Tom graduated from Iowa State with a BS degree and continued being an avid Iowa State sports fan. After college he served in the Army Corp of Engineers during WWII for 4 years in the South Pacific and retired as a Captain. He married Violet Leah Greene on October 8, 1950, in Humeston, Iowa. This year they would have been married 69 years. He worked 31 years for the Soil Conservation Service as an Agricultural Engineer in the Fairfield Area Office before he retired in 1984. A Masonic Service was held April 4, 2019, at Behner Funeral Home, followed by a funeral service April 5, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church, Fairfield. Burial with Military Honors was at Humeston Cemetery, Humeston, Iowa. Memorials may be made to the Presbyterian Church or Lord Cupboard. Cards and memorials may be mailed to Violet Brown, 3000 W. Madison Ave., Apt 409, Fairfield, Iowa 52556. Survivors include his wife, Violet; and nephews, Terry Legvold of North Carolina and James Legvold of Fort Worth/Dallas, Texas.


Edward L. Bruns (85) of Hugo, Minnesota, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on April 17, 2019 at his Keystone Place residence. Before retiring, Edward was a soil scientist for the USDA Soil Conservation Service. His positions included being an Assistant State Soil Scientist in Minnesota during the 1980s. He was recognized for personally mapping soils on over 1 million acres in several Midwestern states. He was preceded in death by parents William and Bernice Bruns; brother Richard; sisters Dorothy Sdeaton and Betty Wubbena; and son Ronald. Survivors include Edward’s wife of 64 years Rosabel (Randi); children Steven Bruns (Shari), Kathleen Bosse (Jim), Clifford Bruns (Heather), Elizabeth Okerstrom (Brian); 8 grandchildren; 2 great grand-children; and sisters Minetta Jones and Marge Freeese (Darwin). In lieu of flowers the family request that you give to your favorite charity, and they offer special thanks to the caring Staff at Keystone and Allina Hospice.


Stephen L. Cashman (66) died February 27, 2019 at Caribou, Maine following a brief valiant fight with cancer. He was born in Danvers, MA, February 8, 1953, the son of the late William and Doris (Bouchard) Cashman. He served with the U.S. Army and married Jean Hibbard Cashman on May 14, 1983. He was a graduate of Essex Aggie (Danvers, Massachusetts) with an Associate's Degree and the University of Connecticut with a B.S. Degree in Natural Resources. Stephen was employed by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services in the Fort Kent office for over 34 years. He was a member of the Gray Memorial United Methodist Church. In addition to his wife Jean, he is survived by three sons, Joshua of North Dakota, Andrew of Brewer, and Christopher of Woodland, Maine; and his grandson Trey.


Douglas Fred Clendenon (46) of Fayetteville, Tennessee, passed away February 3, 2008. He was a native of Akron, OH. He was the son of Fred W. Clendenon of McMinnville and the late Mildred Dilllmore Clendenon. He was married to Judy Darlene Turnbo Clendenon. Douglas worked as a soil scientist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He was a member of the Fayetteville First Baptist Church. In addition to his wife and father, he is survived by one son, Kyle Clendenon and one daughter, Callie Clendenon; and a brother.


Honorary Lifetime Member and Senior Conservationist Gerald “Gerry” Marlin Darby (93) of Blacksburg, Virginia passed away April 20, 2019. Born February 7, 1926 in Ponta, Texas. Mr. Darby retired from the Soil Conservation Service, (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service), in 1986 as National Agronomist. At the time, his headquarters was in Washington, DC. He was a member of the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Conservation Society of America. He was a veteran of the U. S. Navy Hospital Corps and the U.S. Army Field Artillery, during World War II and the Korean War, respectively. After naval service he returned to Texas A & M University and graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy and received his commission in the U. S Army Reserve. He returned to Texas A & M in the early seventies and received a Master of Agriculture degree. During Mr. Darby's career in the Soil Conservation Service he served in Texas; two years in Nicaragua; short periods in Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, and Iran; and several years in Washington, DC. Mr. Darby was a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Christiansburg, Virginia. Survivors include his wife Jean Cummins Darby, whom he married in 1951; two sons, Dan and Bruce; daughters-in-law, Martha and Vicki; two daughters, Diana Carlson and Betsy (Gail) Stuart; son-in-law, Wayne Weade; seven grandchildren; five great grandchildren; brother, Mr. B. R. Darby, Jr. of Jacksonville, TX. Funeral services were conducted April 25, 2019 at the McCoy Funeral Home Chapel, Blacksburg, VA.


Margaret “Beecie” Felice Fechter (75) of Helena, Montana, passed away March 23, 2019. Margaret was the sister of ARCSE member Stefan Fechter. She served in the U.S. Army as a medical records librarian. After discharge, she worked for St. Peter's Hospital in Helena.


Honorary Lifetime Member and Senior Conservationist Roy Linwood Fox (97) of Salem, Oregon lost his battle with old age on March 8, 2019, eleven days before his 98th birthday. He was born in Winner, South Dakota, the third son of Luther Leroy and Lorena (Wilmoth) Fox. As a child, he barely survived a fire that burned down the family home. He was subsequently raised in the back room of the family plumbing business, and he graduated from Winner High School in 1939. Roy was smitten with a local girl, Avis Marlene DeBuhr, who made it clear his romantic overtures were unwelcome unless he earned a college degree. Accordingly, he enrolled in the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, in Rapid City, and worked his way through school with a variety of interesting jobs such as cleaning the restrooms in a filling station in exchange for a room in the basement. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Roy volunteered to enlist in the Navy, hoping his experience in the family business would allow him to enter the service above the lowest rank. He was surprised when the Navy enrolled him in an officer training program and told him to finish his civil engineering degree. He graduated in 1943 and shipped out for Guam after completing Midshipmen's School. Roy served as an engineer and officer in the 49th and 134th Naval Construction Battalions (Seabees) and spent most of the war building large aircraft hangers for the bombers flying missions to the Japanese mainland. He was discharged in 1946 and promptly married Avis in Madison, Wisconsin. He worked the following three decades in various engineering and management positions with the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Terry, Montana; Rock Springs, Wyoming; and Albany, Salem and Portland, Oregon. He retired in 1977 as the State Conservation Engineer, having designed and overseen the construction of dams and irrigation projects throughout Oregon. He also served as an officer in the US Naval Reserve until 1964, retiring as a Lieutenant. In 2018, Roy was honored to travel to Washington D.C. on a Journey of Heroes (for World War II veterans), sponsored by Wish of a Lifetime and the Vital Life Foundation. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Roy was a dedicated family man, faithfully married to Avis for 57 years. Roy and Avis were blessed with four children: Lana, Pamela, John, and Amy, along with nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Roy was active in many organizations including the Episcopal Church, Toastmasters International, Association of NW Steelheaders, Federation of Fly Fishers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Masons, and Elks. In 1994 Roy and Avis relocated from Portland to South Salem to be closer to family. They spent many happy days together with their children and grandchildren. Following Avis’ death in 2003 at age 80, Roy began volunteering in the computer room at the South Salem Senior Center. In 2017, due to declining health, Roy moved to the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon where he made many new friends among the residents and staff. The family is grateful for the excellent care he received there. Roy was laid to rest with his beloved Avis in a private interment at Willamette National Cemetery on March 15, 2019. Memorial contributions may be made to the Association of NW Steelheaders


Senior Conservationist Henry Gembala (90) of Fair Oaks, California, passed away April 15, 2001. Henry was born August 23, 1910, in Tarnov, Nebraska to Joseph and Veronica (Silver) Gembala. He studied civil engineering at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln from 1928 to 1933 and was a cadet officer in the Army ROTC program. After college, he joined the U.S. Civil Conservation Corps as a civil engineering leader and transferred into the Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service (SCS), living and working in many South Central Nebraska towns. He held several engineering and management positions with SCS including serving in North Africa during the mid- and late- 1960s, assigned to the U.S. Agency for International Development. He retired from the USDA in 1973 at the Lincoln Nebraska Regional office and moved to Rialto, California. He then consulted for White Engineering Corp. as a civil engineer and performed soil and water engineering studies and did hydrology engineering consulting for the governments of Haiti, Jamaica, Indonesia, Burma, Mauritania, and Afghanistan during 1974 to 1980. He fully retired in 1981 and moved to Fair Oaks in 1994 to be near his family. Survivors at the time of his death included his wife of 66 years, Ruth G. (Brown) Gembala Fair Oaks, California; one son, Roger, also of Fair Oaks; one daughter, Barbara Ann (Mrs. Terry) Miller of Colorado Springs, Colorado; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; two brothers and two sisters. He was preceded in death by one son, Eugene R. Gembala in 1993; and two brothers and two sisters.


Member John A. Geter (90) of Fort Collins, Colorado passed away on February 2, 2019 in Fort Collins. John was born in Mississippi and served in the US Navy at the end of WWII. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Agricultural Engineering and began working for the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in 1952, employed in Oklahoma to work on watershed dams. He spent most of his SCS career as a Conservation Engineer. In 1954 he married Bonnie Foust. His SCS career then took him to Phoenix and Indianapolis. In 1975, he packed his family up for Lashkargah, Afghanistan where he worked as a team leader on a project to reduce salinity on irrigated farm lands. The project lasted four years, until they were evacuated following political turmoil in the area. John then settled his family in the Washington, DC area before taking positions in Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Mexico City. After John retired from SCS, he took on international contracting jobs in St. Kitts, Indonesia, and Egypt, working on various conservation projects. John was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Emily Geter, his daughter Deborah Green, and his son John A. Geter, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Bonnie Geter; his sons Frank Geter, Leo Geter, and Kenneth Geter; his grandchildren Laura Green, Stephanie Young, James Green, Dana Bauer, Michelle Geter, and Christina Wetherington; and his great grandchildren Milton Young and Seamus Young.


Nancy Jean Harner (90) formerly of Lincoln, Nebraska passed away March 23, 2019, in North Platte, Nebraska. Nancy was the wife of Senior Conservationist Rodney “Rod” F. Harner. Nancy was born October 30, 1928 in Great Bend, Kansas. She obtained her Bachelor in Education degree from Washburn University in 1950. Following graduation, she taught in Topeka and in Garden City, Kansas where she met Rod. They were married in Topeka, Kansas June 12, 1954. Nancy and Rod returned to Garden City as Rod began his career in the Soil Conservation Service, and Nancy resumed teaching. Nancy was a caregiver her entire life, beginning with her baby and younger sister when their father passed away. Nancy then raised her children in Kansas, Michigan, and Nebraska as Rod’s career advanced over the years. Her caregiving continued with her seven grandchildren. Nancy transmitted her love of music, reading, cooking, games, crafts, and family to all she touched. Nancy is survived by her spouse, Rod; children, Kent, of Omaha, Nebraska, Brian, of Arlington, Virginia, and Ann (Steve) Wade of North Platte, Nebraska; grandchildren, Jay (Jerri) Harner, Ryan (Beth) Harner, Andrew (Meaghan) Wade, Nathan (Jamie) Wade, Sarah (Sam) Sweley, Isabel Harner and Genevieve Harner; great grandchildren, Malayka, Kyler, Bode, Austin, Alex, Chloie, Jacob, and Kolton. She is also survived her beloved sisters, Carolyn Huffman and Kathy Maag, both of Topeka, Kansas. A celebration of Nancy’s life was held March 27, 2019, 10am at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 South 14th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska.


Gerald Norman Hart (85) passed on March 28, 2019, at Baptist Health Lexington, Kentucky following a brief illness. Gerald served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Korean War. He was a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a member of Greenland Baptist Church. He retired from the USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1994 after service in various capacities in eastern and central Kentucky including area conservationist. Following retirement Gerald became a full-time farmer. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie Eaton Hart; son, Gerald Allen Hart; and son-in-law, Martin J. Cunningham III. Gerald is survived by his daughter, Sheree Hart Cunningham; two grandchildren and one great grandchild. The family requests memorial donations to The Gerald Hart Scholarship Fund/Whitley County Farm Bureau, PO Box 209, Williamsburg, KY 40769 or a charity of your choice.


Jeanette Hudson (92) of Corbin, Kentucky passed away Jan. 25, 2018, at Baptist Health Corbin. During World War II Jeanette worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and later for the Selective Service. Jeanette retired as a Resource Conservation and Development Program Clerk in 1994. She continued as an Administrative Secretary for Whitley County Conservation District. She was a member of Parkway Church of God. She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Hudson, Sr., and by several siblings. She leaves behind her daughter, Hazelle Ann Smith (Ron); her son Kenny Hudson (Beverly); six grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; two sisters; and three brothers.


Honorary Lifetime Member and Senior Conservationist Ralph C. Johnson (98) of Sparta, Kentucky passed away on February 24, 2019. He was born in Akron Ohio on July 13, 1920 the son of the late Ray and Katie Johnson. Ralph spent three years and three months overseas during World War II. He attended college on the G.I. Bill, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from Western Kentucky University in 1948. Ralph was employed by the US Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service in 1948 and retired as district conservationist in 1977. Ralph enjoyed flying his small plane that he called “Blue Goose.” He loved to travel and see historical places in the USA, Mexico and Canada. His travels took him to all 50 states and some of the Caribbean islands. Ralph married Mildred Hendren on December 10, 1971. After he retired, their home was on the Hendren Farm in Gallatin County, Kentucky. Ralph was preceded in death by two brothers Garland and Vanley Johnson; and three sisters Loretta Taylor, Mary Lee Gooden and Edith Mae Henderson. Ralph is survived by his wife Mildred; four brothers, Ray Jr, Jesse, Alan and Kenny; and one sister Vonda Tabb. Ralph was a member of the Oakland Baptist Church, and the family asks that memorial donations be made to the Oakland Baptist Church, 410 Church Street, Oakland, KY 42159.


Edward A. Johnston (55) of Durand, Illinois passed away suddenly on April 26, 2011. Edward graduated from Western Illinois University in 1980. He married the former Colleen L. Gaffney on March 31, 1989. He was employed as a district conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service in Winnebago County, Illinois. Edward worked for the USDA for 35 years. He was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Durand. He served on the Durand CUSD 322 School Board for 17 years. He was president of the school board when he passed away. Survivors include wife, Colleen; daughter Morgan; son, Eddie; mother, Jo Ann; sister, Theresa; brothers, Pete, Pat and Joe; sisters, Sue and Julie; and many nieces and nephews.


Member Lowell Henry Kleckner (86) of Dennison, Iowa, passed away March 20, 2019 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. He was an engineer in the Denison Engineering Office for most of his Soil Conservation Service/Natural Resources Conservation service career. He was the son of Henry Clarence Kleckner and Opal Merle (Torney) Kleckner, born February 9, 1933, near Riceville in Northeast Iowa. Lowell attended a rural one-room school (Jamestown No. 8) through the 8th grade and then graduated from Riceville High School in 1951. After being drafted, he served in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955. He attended Iowa State University from 1956 to 1960 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1960. His position as a civil engineer with the Soil Conservation Service brought him to Denison in 1961. His work involved designing many dams and ponds in Crawford, Harrison, and Shelby counties. He was also involved in the design of the dams at Yellowsmoke and Nelson Parks. On December 28, 1968, Lowell was united in marriage with Sharen Claussen at Zion Lutheran Church in Denison, Iowa, and they were blessed with four children: Kelly, Shawn, Heidi and Lance. After Lowell retired from the Soil Conservation Service in December of 1988, they became involved in farming and had a beef cow-calf operation and a dairy goat enterprise near Dennison. Lowell was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Denison where he served as treasurer for more than thirty years. He was also a member of the American Legion and the local genealogy society. Lowell enjoyed the peacefulness of rural living and playing his guitar. He was preceded in death by his parents; one grandson, Diego Ceballos-Kleckner; and one brother, Richard Kleckner. Survivors include his wife of fifty years, Sharen Kleckner of Denison, Iowa; two daughters, Kelly Kleckner of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Heidi Standridge (Daniel); two sons, Shawn Kleckner (Phenister) of Boone, Iowa, and Lance Kleckner (Sandy) of Denison, Iowa; eleven grandchildren; two brothers, Gordon Kleckner (LaRae) and Wilbur Kleckner (Laura) all of Riceville, Iowa; and other relatives and friends.


Robert Kluth (79) of Lincoln, Nebraska passed away on April 5, 2019 at his home. Bob was born on May 13, 1939 in LaGrange, Illinois to Raymond and Libuse (Stulik) Kluth. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1961 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. In 1967 Bob married Charlotte Jane Wilbur. They had two daughters, Karen and Kim. He worked for 34 years as a hydrologist for the USDA Soil Conservation Service. Bob enjoyed gardening, playing golf, and rooting for his Cubbies! Bob was preceded in death by his parents and daughter Karen. Survivors include his wife Charlotte Jane; daughter Kim Harris (Mike) of Bellevue, Nebraska; son-in-law Steve Gaul of LeRoy, Illinois; and five grandchildren.


Robert "Bob" Ellsworth Laborie (87) of Elyria, Ohio, passed away on March 13, 2019 at Life Care Center of Elyria under the care of Crossroads Hospice. Bob was born in Ashland, Ohio on April 8, 1931. He was employed for 45 years as a Conservation Engineering Technician for the USDA Soil Conservation Service. He served as a multi-county technician in Medina, Ohio for about 15 years. He was a member of the United Methodist Church and he enjoyed gardening, all Cleveland sports, and he coached at Little League West. Everyone Bob met became his friend. Surviving are his wife of 64 years, Mary Ann (nee Zgoda) Laborie; children, Michele (John) Hunt, Jayne (Steve) Poff and Greg (Sheree) Laborie; a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter, and a brother. Memorial contributions may be made to the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio, 5510 Baumhart Rd., Lorain, OH 44053.


Mary Currier Brown Leidner (62) passed away September 8, 2015, at her home near Tifton, Georgia. Her three children and husband were with her when she passed from this life to the next. Mary was born on Sept. 19, 1952 in Concord, New Hampshire, but grew up in the Chicago, Illinois area. Mary attended Texas A&M University and graduated in 1974 with a degree in plant and soil science. She spent her professional career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service (SCS), later named the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). She worked as the agency’s first female agronomist and spent most of her career as the district conservationist for Tift and surrounding counties in Georgia. She was an expert on the identification of wetlands and served on numerous national committees for SCS and NRCS. She is survived by her husband and children.


Erma Jean Leuthold (80) of Manhattan, Kansas, passed away February 21, 2019 at her home. Erma was born on January 21, 1939 in Manhattan, Kansas to Donald and Marjorie (Visser) Hartner of Riley, Kansas. She attended Washburn University. On July 31, 1960 she married Larry D. Leuthold in Riley, Kansas. She worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service/Natural Resource Conservation Science, Plant Materials Center, for almost 40 years, retiring at the age of 73. Survivors include her two children: a son Mark Steven Leuthold (Ginger), of Manhattan, Kansas; and a daughter, Lisa Rae Casey (Michael), of Springfield, Missouri; and two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Member Douglas Richard "Doug" Lowe (89) passed away on February 13, 2019 at McLean, Texas. He was a US Navy veteran serving during the Korean War. Doug started his Soil Conservation Service career as a soil scientist at Muleshoe, Texas and then converted to a soil conservationist. He became the District Conservationist in Jayton, Texas and then the Agronomist in Big Spring, Texas. He later transferred to Columbia, Missouri as the state agronomist and later became state resource conservationist. His last duty station was at the South Technical Center in Ft. Worth, Texas. He retired in 1985 to Clarendon, Texas where he was the Veteran's Service Officer for Donley county and served several years on the Board of Regents for Clarendon College. Doug was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Clarendon, VFW, American Legion, and Clarendon Masonic Lodge. He was buried at Hedley, Texas where both he and Martha Jo Spalding, his wife of 53 years, grew up. Martha passed away in 2008. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Wayne Lowe and a great grandson, Jett Dyer Lowe. Survivors include two sons, David Lowe of Decatur, Texas, and Charles Lowe of Plano, Texas; a sister, Jane Tice of Nacogdoches, Texas; his grandchildren, Brandon, Justin, and Cody Lowe; and three great grandchildren Chasady, Cayden, and Jamison Lowe.


Lifetime Member and Senior Conservationist Guy Dale McClaskey (90) of Salina, Kansas passed away on April 3, 2019. Dale attended Kansas State University, graduating in 1949. He married Lois Jean Covey on September 3, 1950 in Wichita, Kansas. His career, after serving two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, was with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. He worked at several locations in Kansas (Wellington, Marysville, Topeka, Hays, Salina) and in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw the Great Plains Conservation Program. He also spent three years with the inspector general office of the USDA. Dale returned to Salina where he retired in 1987. Dale loved the outdoors and felt honored to have a hand in conserving God's creation of our natural resources. He liked to hunt and fish. His family life was also outdoors, enjoying family camping in his numerous RVs. Dale held life memberships in several organizations: National Rifle Association, American Legion, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Association of Retired Conservation Service Employees, and the National Association of Family Campers and RVs. Dale was a member of First United Methodist Church in Salina. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clement and Ruth (Cunningham) McClaskey, of Girard, Kansas; his wife of 55 years, Lois, who passed away in 2006; and brothers, George and Jack. He leaves to mourn his passing: three children, Vicki Kolarik (David), of Bellvue, Neb., Linda McClaskey, of Salina, Kansas, and Gerald McClaskey, of Lawrence, Kansas; 13 grandchildren, Nathan, Jared, Ryan, Erin, Megan, Christopher, Amanda, Kathleen, Tyler, Danielle, Sean, Connor and Kerry; and l3 great-grandchildren. Also surviving is Joyce Rich, his companion of 12 years. A celebration of Dale's life was held April 9, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 122 N. Eighth, Salina. Memorials are suggested to Salina Rescue Mission, in care of Ryan Mortuary


Gerald Thomas Miller (60) of Box Elder, South Dakota passed away February 23, 2018, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Gerald was born May 19, 1957, in Spearfish, South Dakota to Ralph and Elsie (Wilson) Miller, the seventh of 10 children. He grew up in Buffalo, South Dakota. He graduated from North Dakota College of Science in Wahpeton, North Dakota in 1978, with an associate degree in civil engineering. Gerald dedicated more than 40 years to the work of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, starting in the Buffalo, South Dakota field office right out of high school as a soil conservation aide, moving on to offices in Sturgis, Belle Fourche, and finally the Rapid City Field Support Office, where he was a civil engineering technician. While working in Belle Fourche, he met the love of his life, Cheryl Emery, and the couple married June 25, 1988, in Belle Fourche. He and Cheryl opened their home to several foster children before adopting three children of their own, Kayla, Tyann, and Justin. Survivors include his wife, adopted children; four grandchildren; six brothers; and two sisters.


Mary Reine Munkittrick (91) of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania passed away March 6, 2019 at Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Mary was married to Graham (Munk) Telfair Munkttrick, former USDA Natural Resources Conservation Assistant Chief (Northeastern States) and former Pennsylvania State Conservationist. She was born in Chicago, IL. She received nursing training through the U.S. Navy at St. Barnabas School of Nursing and worked at numerous hospitals throughout the country. Surviving is her loving husband of 68 years, Graham; her sons, Richard Graham Munkittrick, Dr. Thomas Wright Munkittrick (Ruth) and Kevin William Munkittrick (Tina); her daughter, Elizabeth MaReine Terrel (Richard); ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


Boyd Ashby Murray (85) of Mapleton, Utah passed away January 1, 2003. He graduated from Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah, where he met his eternal companion, Ardis H. Webb of Hinckley, Utah. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple October 3, 1940. His career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service took him many places including Salinas, California; Kanab and Delta, Utah; Mesa, Arizona; San Luis Obispo, California; Portland, Oregon; Springfield, Virginia; and Ankara, Turkey. He retired as Chief of Employee Development and Safety in Washington, D.C. and returned to Sandy, Utah. Boyd served devotedly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in many callings from Deacon to Patriarch. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Ardis and their children Norman Boyd Murray of Bountiful, Utah, Jane Ardis Jefferies of Draper, Utah; Kathryn Lobo of Portland, Oregon; Evan Leslie Murray of Casper, Wyoming; Margaret Ann Sharp of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Elaine Sanders Cochran of Orem, Utah; Robert James Murray of Portland, Oregon; and Golden Eugene Murray of Mapleton, Utah; and 41 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.


John Hagan "Jack" Newton (95), widower of Mary Wood Vaughn Newton, passed away March 18, 2019, at the Charleston Health Care Center in Danville, Kentucky. He was born in Cincinnati, OH. Jack was a soil scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service and retired as the State Soil Correlator in 1980. He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church, Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Survivors include: two daughters, Betsy (Bruce) Newton Gillespie of Danville, Kentucky and Mary Anne (Curry) Newton Woods of Bel Air, Maryland; four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.


Ellen Gee “‘Mimi” Nutt (94) passed away December 5, 2018 in Meridian, Idaho. Ellen was married to the late Gary Nutt for 36 years. Gary served as state conservationist in both Idaho and Oregon and passed away in 1988. She is survived by her children Ann (Montie), Bill (Jan); eight grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.


Kim Leo Ott (62) of Troy, Ohio, passed away April 21, 2019. Kim was the husband of Jenelle Ott, Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist in the Wapakoneta, Ohio Service Center. He was a former instructor at Hobart School of Welding and a former robotic engineering tech at Motoman. Kim is survived by his wife Jenelle Ott; mother Irene Ott of North Manchester, Indiana; children Adam, Ethan, and Lindsey; brothers Keith Ott (Donna) of Wolf Lake, Indiana and Jim Ott of Churubusco, IN; sister Elaine Franklin (Mike) of Brentwood, Tennessee; and sister-in-law Anne Ott of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He was preceded in death by his father Ronald Ott and brother John Ott. Kim was a member of Troy Church of the Brethren. A memorial service will be held 11am Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Troy Church of the Brethren with Pastor Jon Keller officiating. Visitation will be from 10am-11am at the church. Memorial contributions may be given to Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County or Troy Church of the Brethren.


Clark Charles Painter (73) of Opelika, Alabama passed away December 3, 2018 at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital. Clark was born September 22, 1945 in Lewiston, Idaho. He grew up near the confluence of Sweetwater Creek and Webb Creek on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation in Idaho. He loved playing on the creek with his siblings in the humble valley where he grew up. He graduated from Lapwai High School in 1963 and attended Spokane Community College and later graduated from Boise State University. Clark worked his entire career with the Soil Conservation Service/Natural Resources Conservation Service, from which he retired as a Regional Budget Director. His career took him from Boise, Idaho to Lincoln, Nebraska, then to Little Rock, Arkansas and on to Gainesville, Florida and finally to the Auburn/Opelika area. He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol, in 2015; and his daughter, Angie Painter. He is survived by his daughter, Jodi (Ian) Crane; grandchildren: Dawson and Daniel of Lewiston, Idaho; sister, Gayle Painter of Lewiston, Idaho; and his brothers: Lloyd (Pat) of Idaho Falls, Idaho and Ray (Donna) Painter of Walla Walla, Washington.


Wilson “Bill” J. Parker (85) of Spotsylvania, Virginia, passed away on October 17, 2018. He was born in Charlotte, Michigan in 1933 to Floyd and Helen Parker. In 1955, he joined the Air Force and married Joan. After being discharged in 1957, he started his career in the Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service. He served as state conservationist in both New Jersey and Nebraska. He finished his career in Washington DC where he worked on the Resource Planning Branch and was Director of NRCS’s Rural Development program. He received a USDA Superior Service Award for helping develop the Soil and Water Resource Conservation Act of 1977. In July of 1984, he received a Distinguished Service Award/Public Liaison Award for developing USDA programs to improve program delivery in all states. After retirement in 1987, he settled in Spotsylvania, Virginia, where he enjoyed working on his garden, building miniature dollhouses, woodworking, photography, genealogy, and his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Bill is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joan Parker; their children, Sue Plachy, Bruce Parker (Alice), Karen Nash, David Parker (Elizabeth), and Debbie Parker; eight grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, American Association of Cancer Research, or the Arthritis Foundation.


Honorary Lifetime Member and Senior Conservationist Richard J. Patronsky (97) passed away on March 7, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. Rick, as he was known, was born October 21, 1921, in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up on a farm near Aurora, Ohio. Rick received an engineering degree from The Ohio State University. His college education was interrupted by four years of service in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. He was a gunner's mate, seeing action in the Pacific Theater. Rick worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service following his graduation from college until his retirement in 1984. His assignments took him to Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and Nebraska. He was a registered engineer in the latter two states. Rick married Barbara Anne Buckingham in 1946. Barbara was a school teacher, and when she passed away, he established a fund for the enrichment of teachers in Lincoln, Nebraska, where they were living at the time. Rick was an accomplished fisherman and passed his love of fishing to his family and to many others whom he met over the years. He also enjoyed hiking and bicycling. When he was 62 he cycled solo across the state of Nebraska, mapping out his own route as there were no established trails at the time. He also served as a scoutmaster for 15 years for troops in Ohio and Wisconsin. Rick married Barbara Jean Forester in 1977; they were divorced in 2013. He is preceded in death by his brother, Steve; his father, John; and mother, Suzan Bence. Rick is survived by his three children, Mark, Ross and Neal; nephews, John and Steve; and by two grandchildren, Daniel Patronsky and Ariana Stempel.


Richard A. Phelps (89) of Madison, South Dakota passed away December 13, 2017, at his residence. He was born in Wentworth, South Dakota to Donald and Hazel (Anderson) Phelps. After he turned 10 years old, Richard was raised by Otto (Sophie) Aukschun near Rutland, South Dakota. After high school, Richard served in the U.S. Army Co. 1 196th Regimental Team at Camp Carson, CO, and Fort Richardson, AK. He married Janice French on April 3, 1954 in Worthington, Minnesota. He farmed near Rutland before working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Lake County Soil Conservation Service in Madison. Survivors include his wife Janice; two brothers, Darrell Phelps, and Thomas Phelps of Sioux Falls; and two sisters, JoAnn McNeil and Nancy Chase.


Barbara Ellen (Loflin) Rathbun (85) of Leon, Kansas passed away February 10, 2019. She married Alfred “Al” A. Rathbun on June 17, 1951, in Ellis, Kansas. Her husband Al retired from the Soil Conservation Service on October 31, 1983. They both enjoyed traveling on their motorcycles across the U.S. and made several trips to Mexico with a group of other motorcyclists. Survivors include her husband and two sons, Doug (Diana), and Dave (Mary) all of Winfield, Kansas; and four grandchildren.


Gwen Richardson (85) passed away peacefully on April 6, 2019 at her home in WinterGreen in Hudson, WI. Gwen was married on September 24, 1955 in Eau Galle, Wisconsin to Robert “Bob” (or Bobby as his colleagues knew him) Richardson. Bob was a soil scientist with the Soil Conservation Service and served in several roles including project leader and soil correlator. In the early years of their marriage, Gwen and Bob moved from Wisconsin to Montana in July of 1960, living in Plentywood, Chinook, Bozeman, and eventually settling in Belgrade, where they raised their four children. Gwen will be remembered with love by her husband Bob; children Elaine (Bill) McClure, Brent (Jill) Richardson, Camille (Peter) Vogt and Shauna Richardson; and ten grandchildren.


John Leo Schwendiman (82) passed away from a heart attack on June 7, 1992 in Pullman, Washington. He retired in 1976 after 41 years with the Soil Conservation Service. He was a nationally-renowned plant materials specialist, helping develop 14 different grass varieties for use in soil and water conservation. From 1929 to 1932, he served in the Swiss-German Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He married Naomi Garner Sept. 5, 1934. In 1935, he graduated from the University of Idaho College of Agriculture and taught agriculture at Rexburg (Idaho) High School before being appointed junior agronomist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service at Pullman. In 1945, he was appointed manager of the Soil Conservation Nursery and to the Washington State University Experimental Station staff. He was very active in many professional organizations including the Soil and Water Conservation Society and American Society of Range Management and received many awards for his work. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Naomi and four sons, Carl J. Schwendiman of Arlington, Texas, Gary Schwendiman of Lincoln, Nebraska, Robert Dee Schwendiman of Pullman, Washington, Gene Scott Schwendiman of Vancouver, Washington, a daughter, Karen Davis, of Springfield Missouri; his stepmother, Francis Schwendiman of Idaho Falls, Idaho; two brothers, a sister, and 20 grandchildren.


Donald J. Serrien (90) of Minneapolis, Minnesota, passed away April 20, 2019. He was born April 24, 1928 in Lincoln County in Western Minnesota to Louis and Minnie (Panzer) Serrien. Donald was a United States Army veteran. He worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service as a soil conservation technician for many years. He retired as a construction inspector in 1985. He and Celeta Matson were united in marriage on October 3, 1954. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Celeta, on April 12, 2014; and his sister, Delouise Harbaugh. Survivors include his sons, Kyle and Karl (Paula) Serrien; two grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and seven step-great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held April 23 at Wilson Family Funeral Home, Minneapolis followed by burial in Highland Cemetery, Minneapolis. Memorials may be made to the Bennington Community Library or the V.F.W. Auxiliary #3201 Fair Stand.


P. Craig Smith (78) passed away peacefully in Lincoln, Nebraska on March 24, 2019. Craig was born on August 22, 1940 to Clifford P. and Leora A. (Minnis) Smith in Stafford, Kansas. He worked as a Civil Engineer, P. E. Emeritus and as a State Design Engineer for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, retiring in 2001. He was a member of the Professional Engineers of Nebraska and the Lincoln Engineers Club. His greatest passion was his family. Craig is survived by his children, Lori (Renee) Rocheleau of Maryland, Craig A. (Jennifer) Smith of Pennsylvania; sister, Linda Reed; brother, Conrad (Carol) Smith; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine E. (Ochs) Smith. His family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the caring, dedicated professionals at the Woodlands at Hillcrest and CHI Hospice.


Bert Steen (67) of Bainbridge, Georgia passed away Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at his residence. Mr. Steen was born September 1, 1947 in Moseley Hall, FL, the son of Morris Grissom Steen and Sarah Helen Hendry Steen. He was a graduate of Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. Bert was a veteran of the United States Navy. He retired as the District Conservationist with Natural Resources Conservation Service. Bert loved life and the outdoors and didn't take problems too seriously. He was a real steward of the land. Survivors include his wife, Susan Barnett Steen; sons, Crosby and Jesse both of Bainbridge; two brothers and a sister. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Ragan and a sister.


Troy Lee Taylor (65) passed away on October 28, 2018 at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a graduate of Tennessee State University and a retired employee of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He was a member and usher at World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church. He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife, Phyllis Taylor; four daughters; five grandchildren; and four sisters.


Don Gilbert Thober (68) of Lincoln, Nebraska, passed away on March 2, 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer. Don was born on July 8, 1950 in Beatrice, Nebraska, the third of seven children of Kenneth and Ruth Thober. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in animal science and agricultural economics in 1972. While in college, he met Ann Hagan. They married on July 28, 1973 in Eddyville, Nebraska. He joined and served in the Army Reserves following graduation. Don briefly worked for a medical supply company in Lincoln before beginning his career in 1974 for the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, where he worked until his retirement in 2007. He retired as Assistant State Conservationist for Programs in the state office in Lincoln, Nebraska. Don is survived by his wife, Ann, of Lincoln; daughter Jody Hanson (Craig), of Chaska, Minnesota; daughter Sarah Bjornson (Erik), of Jordan, Minnesota; son Ben Thober (Carrie), of Omaha, Nebraska; ten grandchildren; and three sisters and a brother. Memorial contributions may be directed towards St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 8550 Pioneers Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68520; or to the Heartland Cancer Foundation,


Lifetime Member Harold Lee Thompson (70) passed away on April 20, 2019 at his home in Danville, Indiana. He was born on April 8, 1949 to James Leslie and Imogene Isabelle (Rutan) Thompson in Libertyville, Illinois. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from Purdue University in 1971, and subsequently earned 30 hours of graduate credit in agricultural education, also from Purdue. Harold worked for USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (formerly the Soil Conservation Service) for over 40 years. He began his career as a student trainee, and he spent the first 18 years providing technical service to farmers mostly in southwest Indiana. For 19 years, until his retirement in 2008, Harold served on the Indiana NRCS management team as an area conservationist and assistant state conservationist. He was a dedicated public servant who had a passion for Indiana agriculture, and he spent a lifetime helping farmers make their land more productive, sustainable and profitable. After he retired, Harold continued to work as an agricultural liaison with several Soil and Water Conservation Districts and watershed groups. In his community, he was a member of the Hazelwood Christian Church, an Earth Team Volunteer for over 25 years, a 30-year volunteer certified Emergency Medical Technician, a 25-year 4-H Leader, and a long-time member of the Paoli Optimist Club. He served on the Wayne Township (Marion County) 4-H Advisory Board for 12 years (president for 3 terms) and as a director of the Marion County Fair Board for two terms He was a member of Paoli’s Masonic Lodge 119 and a 51-year member of the Hoosier Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society where he served as a director for 12 years (president 1998, 2018). Among Harold’s many awards are Purdue’s Agricultural Alumni Certificate of Distinction; the Governor’s Distinguished Hoosier Award; the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Distinguished Fellow Award; Wayne Township Community Service Award; and Marion County Soil and Water District’s Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award. Harold loved to fish, hunt, and read, but most of all he loved helping others and spending time with his family and friends. He was known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit. On October 18, 1997, Harold married Rebecca (Becky) Hill Fletcher, and they have two children, Craig (Angie) Kinzer and Chantel (Joshua) Muntain. In addition to his wife Becky and their children, Harold is survived by five grandchildren, Caleb, Madison, Zachary, Tirzah and Naomi; his sister, Linda (Robert) Daming of Greenwood, Indiana; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Richard and sister Charlotte. A Celebration of Life was held April 26 at Hazelwood Christian Church in Hazelwood, Indiana, followed by burial in Roachdale Cemetery in Roachdale, Indiana. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Harold to the Indiana 4-H Foundation or the Hoosier Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Education Endowment, PO Box 77, Kingman, IN 47952


Henry “Hank” Thomas Wiederhold, P.E. (60) of Nacogdoches, Texas, passed away on May 9, 2014. Hank was born a Texan in 1953 and grew up on the family farm in Dime Box, Texas. He attended Blinn Junior College and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1976 with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering. His work with the USDA-Soil Conservation Service/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) started in 1977. In 2006, Hank was the agency’s lead engineer in response to Hurricane Rita. For his outstanding performance and lifetime achievement as an agricultural engineer, the Texas Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers presented Hank with its highest achievement award, naming him "2006 Engineer of the Year." In 2009, Hank became the first State Wetland Engineer for Texas NRCS. Hank retired from the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service in December 2013. Hank is survived by his wife of 25 years, Angela (Morgan) Wiederhold; sons Dustin Judson, Henry Wiederhold II, Hunter Castle Girard and Evan Chatman of Nacogdoches; and several brothers and sisters.


Senior Conservationist Ormand Carvel Williams, Sr. (95) of Weaverville, North Carolina passed away December 7, 2018. He died just five days shy of his 96th birthday. Ormand was a WWII Army veteran and a Purple Heart recipient due to shrapnel wounds received near Naples, Italy. He graduated from Berea College where he met his wife of 71 years, Daphne Millen Williams. He taught vocational agriculture from 1946-1955, prior to beginning his career with NRCS from 1955 until his retirement in 1978. Ormand retired as District Conservationist for the Asheville Field Office. After his retirement, he and Daphne traveled several times to the Holy Lands and went on mission trips to Russia and Ecuador. He is survived by his beloved wife Daphne; two daughters, Millaine Milhaupt of Weaverville and Annette Potts and husband Joe of Mills River, North Carolina; a son, Carvel Williams of Weaverville; seven grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.