About us


Operating Policies

Officers and Reps.




National Meetings



Photo Gallery


Senior Conservationists

Senior Chronicles

What We Are Doing

In Memoriam


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 07/01/2016


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.







Daniel Bacon (88) of Macon, Georgia passed away on June 18, 2016. He was born in Tattnall County. He graduated from Glennville High School in 1944 and worked in the shipyards of Savannah until he was 17 and old enough to join his two brothers already serving to protect our country in WWII. He served in the Navy in the South Pacific until the end of the war on the Bunker Hill returning wounded soldiers back to the U.S. Upon returning home he utilized the GI bill graduating from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) in 1948 and the University of Georgia in 1950 with a BS degree in Agriculture with a minor in Agronomy. He took a job teaching in Surrency, GA. After teaching Agriculture to returning war veterans, he worked for the USDA in the Soil Conservation Service throughout several Georgia counties. In 1964 he took a job with the United States Forest Service at the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, North Carolina mapping soils. Upon completing his Master of Agriculture from N.C. State University in 1968, he then moved his family to Atlanta where he became the Southeast Regional Hydrologist for the US Forest Service. After retiring in 1984, he opened a consulting firm, Soil Surveys, and practiced until 2001. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jean Bacon; children, Becky Rosson-Bonner (spouse, Cleve Bonner) and Dexter Bacon, San Antonio (spouse, Diane Riden Bacon); three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association or Tattnall Baptist Church in the memory of Dan Bacon.



Member and Senior Conservationist Richard Walter (Dick) Birchmier (87) of Centerville, Iowa passed away on May 19, 2016 at Mercy Medical Center in Centerville. He was born in Van Buren County, Iowa on a farm S.E. of Milton, Iowa. He attended high school at Milton, Iowa, graduating as valedictorian in 1945. Dick entered the Army in 1945 as a member of the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program, spending one year at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. He then served with the 3rd Armored Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He attended Iowa State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1952. He lived in Cedar Rapids, Savannah, Milton, Indianola, Greenfield, West Des Moines, Shenandoah and Centerville, Iowa. He worked at Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids, farmed, and in 1962, started with the USDA, Soil Conservation Service. Dick was a registered engineer in the State of Iowa. He was in charge of Engineering Project Offices in Shenandoah and Centerville, retiring in 1994. He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Centerville, American Legion, Soil Conservation Society of America, Knights of Columbus and 18-80 Club. Survivors include his two daughters, Cynthia L. Hunt of Maryville, Missouri, and Suzanne J. Birchmier of Centerville, Iowa; four sons, Richard L. (Peggy) Birchmier of Milton, Iowa, Randall R. (Karen) Birchmier of Maitland, Florida, Michael A. (Paula) Birchmier of Kansas City, Missouri, and Thomas D. (Raegan) Birchmier of Albia, Iowa; 17 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death in 2012 by his loving wife of 60 years, Martha Lou and one son, Gregory Walter. Condolences may be shared online at



Marjorie A. Brownfield (83) of Shelbyville, Illinois passed away peacefully on October 6, 2014, in Shelbyville Rehabilitation and Healthcare. She died of Lewey's Body Dementia. Her husband, Shelby, was the sole caregiver 24/7 for over four years. Marjorie was born in Jacob, ID. She was known by Marjorie Sullivan most of her career as a special education teacher. She married a school mate and longtime friend, Shelby H. Brownfield, of Boise, Idaho, on May 24, 2003, in Shelbyville. Shelby is an ARCSE member who retired as the State Soil Scientist in Idaho in 1986. They lived about one-half of the year each in Boise, Idaho and Shelbyville. They resided in a log home designed by Marjorie that she and her family built. She was a much loved friend and respected stepmother of Shelby’s five children and three stepchildren, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Marjorie received her bachelor’s and master's degrees in special education from the Illinois State University. She has traveled worldwide including two short term missions to Malawi, Africa where she taught in a Marian Medical Mission, Deaf School. Any gifts or donations can be given to First Presbyterian Church in Shelbyville, or Alzheimer’s Association. To send online condolences, visit



Robert F. Brull (86) of Hays, Kansas passed away October 27, 2009. He was a Soil Conservation Technician with the Soil Conservation Service in the Hays Field Office, retiring in 1984.



Donald Collins (71) of Houlton, Maine passed away on May 2, 2016. He had been a District Conservationist for NRCS in Houlton, and an RC&D coordinator in Presque Isle. He was born in Rumford, Maine. Donnie received a degree in Agriculture Resource Economics from the University of Maine in 1973. He was employed by the USDA Soil Conservation Service until his retirement in 2009. He worked in the Field offices of Bangor, Caribou, Machias and Houlton. Donnie was an active member of the Houlton United Methodist Church, past president of Vital Pathways and current President of Houlton Community Golf Course. He participated in many other community organizations, including the Board of Directors for Big Rock Mountain. He was the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award in 2012 from the Houlton Rotary Club. Donnie is survived by his wife of 51 years, Marion Morgan Collins; a son, a daughter, and two grandchildren children of Easton, PA. He was predeceased by an infant daughter, Catherine Louise Collins; and his brother, James, who passed away Sunday, May 1, 2016, just one day before his own passing. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Donnie's memory payable to Vital Pathways. Online condolences and guest book:



John Robert Cox (71) of Gassaway, West Virginia passed away on March 11, 2016, with his family by his side.  John served in the United States Navy from 1964 to 1967. He graduated from West Virginia University School of Forestry in 1972. In 2009, he retired from the federal government after a career with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. John was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish. He loved to travel and was a supporter and leader of 4-H and a 4-H All-Star. John was a member of the Gassaway United Methodist Church. Surviving John is his wife of almost 51 years, Rhonda K. Cox; son, Jeffrey Cox (Shelly) of Kenna; daughter, Melissa (Mike) Duty of Gassaway; son, Eric Cox of Boston, Mass.; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson. Also surviving is his mother and stepfather, Jane and Frank George of Walton. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to Condolences may be extended to the family at



Jackie Sue Culver (80) of Lincoln, Nebraska passed away June 11, 2016 after a long courageous battle with Parkinson disease. She was born in Chickasha, OK. She was married to ARCSE member Jim Culver who retired from NRCS in 2001 as a National Leader in Soils. Jackie is a graduate of Oklahoma State University School of Home Economics in 1958. She was active in Beta Sigma Phi, Civil Air Patrol and Payne County Extension Homemakers. She enjoyed working and was quite skilled with all kinds of crafts. She was one of the first owners and operators of a craft store "Hearts and Hands" and an instructor for various craft classes at Southeast Community College. Jackie is survived by her husband of 58 years, Jim; daughter Kathy (Mark) Swanson of Palmyra; son Jim (Irem) Culver of Potomac, Md., and son Jon Culver of Lincoln; three grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Memorials to the American Parkinson Disease Association, (APDA), Nebraska Chapter, 501 No. 87th, Suite 207, Omaha, NE 68114.



Betty J. Davis (87) of Minneapolis, Kansas passed away on February 2, 2016 at the Ottawa County Health Center. She was born in Harrison, AR and was the wife of George Davis who retired as the District Conservationist in the Minneapolis Field Office in 1980. He preceded her in death in 1993. Betty was a 1945 graduate of Bergman High School. She was united in marriage with George W. Davis on December 30, 1944 in Harrison. George and Betty moved to Minneapolis in 1956 and became actively involved in the community. Betty was a sales coordinator for EIDorado for many years. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church. Betty and George were leaders for church youth groups and 4-H. She was preceded in death by a great-grandson Oliver George Schapaugh. Survivors include her three children, ten grandchildren and sixteen great- grandchildren.



Life member William Richard (Dick) Folsche (78) passed away on June 25, 2016 at his home, Mystic View Ranch, Savoy, TX. Dick was born in Troy, KS. He was educated at Kansas State University earning both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Engineering and at Syracuse University earning a Master's in Public Administration. He was employed by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for 43 yrs., retiring as Head of the National Cartographic and Geo Data Spatial Center in Fort Worth, TX. Dick was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Ann F. Dornbusch. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie H. Folsche of Savoy; daughters, Laura F. Daggs of Fort Worth, TX and Rebecca F. Luttrell of Keller, TX, stepsons, Royce W. Espey, Jr. (Terri) of Fuquay Varina, NC, Gary G. Espey of Wake Forest, NC, and James L. Espey (Debbie) of Lexington Park, MD; four grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; a step-granddaughter; and brother in-law, Gus Dornbusch (Donna) of Lincoln, NE.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Covenant Presbyterian 322 W Pecan St. Sherman, TX 75090, or a charity of your choice. The online register may be signed at



Lorraine Hahn (91) of Athens, Georgia passed away on April 19, 2016. She was born on in Reedsville, Wisconsin and worked for many years for the USA Soil Conservation Service. She was a founding and dedicated member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens. She is survived by her husband, Jack R. Hahn, her daughter, Jeanne Stanelle (Paul) Eleazer, her son, Steven W. Stanelle, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church Educational Fund. 1924 - 1991



Ernest Neil Hayhurst (85) of Raleigh, North Carolina passed away on April 7, 2016. Ernie retired in 1990 as Assistant State Soil Scientist for North Carolina. He was born in Grantsville, West Virginia. A graduate of Calhoun County High School, he served in the United States Army from 1952-1955 and was stationed in Germany. After completing his service, Ernie returned to West Virginia and attended West Virginia University, earning both his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees. He worked as a Soil Scientist for the Soil Conservation Service for over 40 years. He began his career in Ohio before transferring to North Carolina in 1976. After his retirement, he worked another ten years as a consultant for Soil & Environmental Consultants, PA in Raleigh. Ernie had been an active member of St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in Raleigh since 1976, serving for many years as an Eucharistic Minister. Even once Alzheimer's stole most of his memories, he could still recite the mass prayers verbatim, and both praying and listening to hymns always made him smile. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Christina (Pauling) Hayhurst. Ernie is survived by his devoted wife of more than 30 years, Samera Saleeby (Samia) Hayhurst; Ernie had one son, Michael Hayhurst of Youngsville, NC, one daughter, Dianne (Trip) Casson of Wake Forest, NC, and four stepsons; plus ten treasured grandchildren.



Marylou High (94) of Portland, Oregon passed away on April 29, 2016. She was the widow of Robert High who at his retirement was Oregon’s state geologist with the Soil Conservation Service. Please sign the online guest book at



Jimmie C. Hocker (84) of Ft. Worth, Texas peacefully passed away on May 6, 2016. He was born in Salina, OK and was the husband of Patsy Hocker. He attained his B.A. from TCU and his MBA from Duke University. Jimmie was instrumental in building Humana and later worked at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Upon retirement, he volunteered at the Vintage Flying Museum at Meacham Airport. As a pilot, he enjoyed flying from an early age and shared this love with students and family. Survivors: Wife of 62 years, Patsy; two sons, a daughter, and eight grandchildren.



Member Jon Roger Howell (76) of Lansing, Michigan passed away May 1, 2016 after a brief illness. He was born in Mount Ida, Wisconsin and grew up on a dairy farm. He received his bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin at Platteville in 1962. Roger retired from the USDA in 1995, having worked in the Soil Conservation Service as a soil conservationist, a district conservationist and a public information officer. Family members recall how he needed to stop the car to take photos wherever he saw soil erosion. Roger believed in community service. He was a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society for over 50 years serving one year as President. He was leader with Boy Scout Troop 111 and both of his sons were Eagle Scouts. He took leadership roles with Jaycees in several communities until he became an “exhausted rooster”. He was a member of First United Methodist Church on Delta River Drive for nearly 40 years, serving on the Board of Trustees. After retiring he volunteered with the National Active and Retired Federal Employees group and with the Michigan Envirothon. Roger was the ARCSE state representative for many years. He and Dixie served as resident lighthouse keepers through the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association. Roger and Dixie walked regularly at places like Hunter’s Orchard Park, Hawk Meadows Park and the Riverfront Walk. Roger still enjoyed splitting his own firewood. Surviving are his children, Leslie (Ernest) Delemeester; Kim (Joel) Murray; Christopher “CJ” Howell; and eight grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Dixie in 2012 and son Scot. Memorial contributions may be made to Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association or his church, FUMC.



Thomas William Lattimore, Jr. (90) of Higginsville, Missouri passed away on May 28, 2016. He was born in Sullivan, MO. Tom worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service for 30 years retiring as the District Conservationist in the Higginsville/Lafayette County Field Office. He also taught Vocational AG in High School for 5 years. He was a WW II Army Air Force veteran, a member of the VFW Post 1000 in Independence and the American Legion Post 223 in Higginsville. He is preceded in death by a daughter, Linda Diane Lattimore. He is survived by his wife of 68 years Maudie of the home; son, Thomas Michael Lattimore (June) of Good Thunder, MN; two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Memorials are suggested to Grace United Methodist Church or the Lafayette County Cancer Coalition. Condolences may be emailed to the family at:



Claire Cook Lowery (88) of Athens, Georgia passed away on April 15, 2016. Born in Milan, GA, she was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Frank Harris Lowery, Sr. who retired from the Soil Conservation Service as a Soil Survey Party Leader. Claire graduated from Milan High School, Middle Georgia College and attended Georgia Women's College in Milledgeville. She was a National 4-H Project Winner in Home Beautification in 1944. She taught in the local schools and was a devoted mother to their four children.



William Norman Riggs, 80, of Chillicothe, Missouri, passed away on June 6, 2016 in Lenexa, KS. William was born in Wentzville, Mo. and was a graduate the University of Missouri attaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering. For 41 years William worked as an agricultural engineer for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He was a United States Army Veteran, serving from 1958 thru 1960 in Germany. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of Chillicothe; the Kiwanis Club of Chillicothe and the Masonic Lodge of Bethany, MO. He was a Registered Professional Engineer since 1957 and a member of the Society of Agricultural Engineers since 1958. He was most proud of receiving the FFA State Farmer Degree in 1954 and working since 1983 with the Boy Scouts and receiving the Honorary Warrior in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Ruby of the home; three children, Russell Paul (Melinda) Riggs of Caruthersville, MO, Rachelle Renae (Jon) Lee-Warner of Norfolk, VA, and Ryan Alan Riggs of Warrensburg, MO; and four grandchildren. Memorials in honor of William Riggs may be made to Butterfield Youth Services in Marshall, MO, or to the United Methodist Church of Chillicothe and left at or mailed to Heritage Funeral Home, 3141 N. Washington, Chillicothe MO 64601. Online condolences may be left at 



Louise Shaffer (86) of Athens, Georgia passed away on June 12, 2016 after being moved to St. Mary's Hospice. She is survived by her son Michael and other family members. Louise was the wife of former Georgia State Soil Scientist, Morris Shaffer who retired from the Soil Conservation Service. He passed in 2014.



Joyce Cook Smith (87) of Athens, Georgia passed away around June 22, 2016. She was born in Athens. She married her childhood sweetheart Wilton Smith in 1947, a year after graduation, and began her life as a military wife. He served in both the Navy and the Air Force and retired to Athens where they lived with their four sons most of whom attended the University of Georgia. Joyce was a federal employee beginning her career at Robins Air Force Base, GA working as did her husband with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI). She also had top secret clearance as part of her role with OSI. She was also employed by the US Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service in Financial Management. Joyce retired in 1989 with 32 years of federal service. She is survived by her four sons, ten grandchildren, and fourteen precious great grandchildren. Contributions may be made to Prince Avenue Baptist Church.



Senior Conservationist Francis V. Willmeth (96) of Jewell, Kansas passed away on June 4, 2016. Francis retired from the Soil Conservation Service in 1976 as the District Conservationist in the Smith Center Field Office.



Senior Conservationist Grady Lee Wise (101) of Reidsville, North Carolina passed away on April 4, 2016. Grady retired in 1973 as District Conservationist in Reidsville, NC. He was born in Coffee County, Alabama and worked his way through Auburn University graduating in 1939 with a BS degree in Agriculture. His first job was with the Farm Security Administration in Marion, Alabama. In 1941 he was drafted into the US Army. While stationed in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as a Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers, he met and married Frances E. Onyun, March 14, 1942. Following his discharge Grady worked for the Soil Conservation Service his entire career in Rockingham County. Grady was predeceased in death by his wife, eight brothers and three sisters, including Dr. French P. Wise of Greensboro, NC. He is survived by his children, Janet Wise Pugh of Greensboro, Joan Wise Dalrymple (Neill) of Holly Springs and David Keith Wise of Reidsville; his four grandchildren, and his four great grandsons. Grady was civic minded and a faithful member of the American Legion Coleman-Southard Post No. 79 where he served as treasurer for over 40 years. He was a member of the Exchange Club, delivered Meals on Wheels (into his 90’s) was a member of NARFE, an active member of Main St. United Methodist Church and a member of the United Methodist Men. Not enjoying idle time, he purchased a small farm outside of town in 1952 where he spent all his spare time; growing tobacco, organic vegetables for the family, cattle and U-Pick strawberries.


Mountain reflected in pond

Reflection Pond, Denali National Park, Alaska.