Operating Policies

Officers and Reps.


Senior Conservationists

Senior Chronicles

In Memoriam




National       State

Photo Gallery



National Meetings

Past Activities



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 8/31/2019

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




Senior Conservationist Elton Washington Askew, Jr. (93), formerly of Edenton, North Carolina, passed away July 14, 2019, in Zebulon Rehabilitation Center, Zebulon, North Carolina. Elton was a veteran of World War II. He served in the European Theatre in Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army and was a squad leader of a .30 caliber water-cooled machine-gun outfit in the 1st Infantry Division, 16th Infantry Regiment. A retired civil engineering technician, he worked with the Soil Conservation Service for 30 years and was known for his self-reliance, work ethic, and ingenuity. He was a member of Edenton Baptist Church. He was preceded in death by his brother, Lawrence "L.C." Askew, and by his beloved wife of 47 years, Sandra Freeman Askew. Surviving are his three sons, Elton Jesse Askew (Kathy) of Raleigh, North Carolina, Paul Freeman Askew (Julie) of Smithfield, North Carolina, and David Thomas Askew of Washington, DC; and five grandchildren, Daniel, Emily, Lauren, Katelyn, and Paula Ann Askew. Graveside services were held at Beaver Hill Cemetery in Edenton, North Carolina on July 17, 2019. Memorial contributions may be made to the Edenton-Chowan Senior Center, 204 East Church Street, Edenton, North Carolina 27932.



Honorary Lifetime Member and Senior Conservationist William (Bill) E. Austin Sr. (93) passed away on April 19, 2019 at his home in The Village at Gainesville, Gainesville, Florida. Bill was born on November 2, 1925 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the only child of the late Culpepper and Eddie Smith Austin. He received an AA degree from Lees McRae Junior College, Banner Elk, North Carolina in 1944. Immediately following his graduation from Lees McRae, he entered the U.S. Army and served in both the European and Pacific Theaters. His unit was involved in the “Battle of the Bulge” and was redeployed to the Philippines after the German surrender. After serving with the Japanese occupation forces, he was discharged and returned home in May of 1946, having achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. He also served for a year as an activated reservist during the Korean conflict. Returning to North Carolina, he briefly attended University of North Carolina Charlotte and The Citadel before graduating from North Carolina State in 1950 with an engineering degree. His professional career was devoted to agriculture and natural resource conservation. He served with the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS/NRCS) in various states including North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama and Florida. His last position with the agency was in Gainesville, Florida, serving as State Conservationist. He returned to Raleigh, North Carolina, following retirement from SCS to head the North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation for two years. He was a member of several professional and civic organizations including Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Soil Conservation Society of America, American Society of Agricultural Engineers and American Geophysical Union, Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a Protestant and spent his retirement years in Gainesville and Welaka, Florida. His late wife, Anna C. Austin and he are survived by three children, five Grandchildren and seven Great-Grandchildren. They are: Son, Bill Jr. (Peggy) of Palm City, Florida, and their children Molly and Paige; Daughter Terry A. Howard of Gainesville, Florida, and her children Christine (Jason) Shoop, Holly Springs, North Carolina, and their children Hailey and Holly; and Amanda (Kyle) Hogg, High Springs, Florida, their children Cambell, Cailyn and Karlee; and son Randy (Amy) of Dacula, Georgia and their child Aaron (Erika) of Bainbridge, GA, and children Aiden and Emmit. Interment was at the Jacksonville National Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida. Expressions of remembrance may be sent to the American Red Cross.



Connie Jane Brax (85) of Salina, Kansas passed away July 25, 2019. She graduated from Brown Mackie School of Business in Salina, Kansas in 1952. She worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service/Natural Resources Conservation Service for 45 years in the word processing department and on the Water Resources Staff of the Kansas State Office. She was particularly proud of her role in deploying one of the first automated word processing applications. She retired in 2000. She is survived by her daughter Lori (Jack) Brax of Hays, Kansas; son Jon (Judy) Brax of Leawood; 5 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Services were held July 30 at First United Methodist Church, Salina. Donations in honor of Connie may be made to the Saline County Humane Society.



Lisa Ann Cissell (56) of Bardstown, Kentucky passed away peacefully August 10, 2019, at her home surrounded by her loving family and beloved dog, Sherman. Lisa was born in Lebanon, Kentucky on March 8, 1963 to Howard and Sue Ella Cissell. She received a degree in Agriculture from Eastern Kentucky University. She retired just four months ago as a resource conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service with nearly 32 years of service. Despite living with cystic fibrosis and receiving a double lung transplant eight years ago, Lisa lived life to the fullest. She was grateful for her second chance at life and donated many hours as a Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) Ambassador Volunteer. She had a special bond with animals, especially horses and dogs. Lisa was preceded in death by her mother, Sue Ella Thomas Cissell, and one sister, Mindy Filiatreau. Survivors include her father, William Howard Cissell (Phyllis) of Holy Cross, Kentucky; four sisters – Shannon Duvall (Jonathan) of Queenstown, Maryland; Renee Kaminski (Mike) and Cara Brahm of Lebanon, Kentucky; Terri Voils of Bardstown, Kentucky; one brother, Michael Cissell of Loretto, Kentucky; her brother-in-law, Chris Filiatreau (Pam) of Bardstown, and many friends from all over the world. A Mass of Christian Burial was held August 15 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 59 New Haven Road, Loretto, Kentucky. Expressions of sympathy can be made as contributions to Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) or to Barktown Rescue in Nelson County, Kentucky.



Cecilia “Cec” Anne Cullison (68) July 9, 2019 of Canby, Oregon passed away on July 9, 2019. She attended Portland Community College and Oregon State University before marriage. She married her soulmate, Robert (Bob) Cullison on June 10, 1972. Bob and Cec had just celebrated their 47th anniversary. They had one child, Troy. Cec and Troy accompanied Bob in his Air Force travels. Cec held military, civilian and federal jobs in Germany and Washington D.C. during these assignments. Once Bob retired from the Air Force, they moved back to Canby where Cec continued her federal work service in Portland as the Executive Assistant to the Oregon State Conservationist for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. She retired from NRCS in 2012 after 32 years of service. Cec fought the good fight against her pancreatic cancer and took up coloring to take her mind off the chemo and pain during her 10-month battle. Cec is survived by her husband, Bob; son, Troy; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her twin sister, Cathy; and two brothers, Tom and Toby. Please consider donating to Habitat for Humanity to honor Cec’s lifelong penchant to help everyone.



Sue Ann Dunn (78) of Morgantown, West Virginia passed away June 28, 2019 at WVU Medicine with her family by her side. She was the wife of retired USDA Soil Conservation Service State Engineer Paul Dunn. Prior to her illness, Sue was actively involved in many community organizations and at Harner Chapel United Methodist Church, including United Methodist Women. She was a devoted wife and mother, who was highly involved with her children and all their activities.



David Allen Dyer (81) of Brandywine, West Virginia passed away June 8, 2019, at Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He was a graduate of Potomac State College and West Virginia University. He worked for the Soil Conservation Service for 20 years, then worked for and retired from Grafton Coal Company in 1992. He then moved back to the family farm at Fort Seybert, West Virginia and became a farmer. For a while he was the Area Engineer at Philippi, West Virginia. He also worked as a Project Engineer on several projects.  He was a member of the Fairview-Bethel United Methodist Church. David was preceded in death by his wife, Naomi Simmons Dyer. Survivors include daughter Jody (Danny) Fultz, of Stuarts Draft, Virginia; son Greg (Toniue) Dyer of Brandywine, West Virginia; four grandsons and one great-grandson.



Sandra “Sandy” Hill Evans (77) of Fairfax County, Virginia passed away on June 7, 2019 after a long battle with pulmonary complications. She grew up in rural Idaho, an area she loved her whole life. Sandy was the wife of Gary Evans who was a USDA Soil Conservation Service resource/range conservationist at National Headquarters and later headed the USDA Climate Change Office with the Agricultural Research Service.



Senior Conservationist Erling Edward Gamble (94) of Raleigh, North Carolina passed away July 21, 2019. Born August 29, 1924, Erling grew up in the Quaker (Society of Friends) faith and lived as a boy within a caring circle of extended family in the farming community of Winona, Ohio. Although he spent most of his adulthood outside of Ohio, these deep roots sustained him throughout his life. During World War II, Erling served in the tradition of Quakers, performing his alternative service notably as a smokejumper stationed at Seeley Lake, Montana. Later, Erling attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and developed an interest in soil science and geomorphology. He received both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree from Earlham before moving with his wife Mary "Polly" Alden Gamble and daughters to Raleigh, North Carolina in 1959. Subsequently, he earned a PhD in Soil Science from North Carolina State University while employed by the USDA Soil Conservation Service Division of Soil Survey Investigations. Erling continued his work at the SCS in Raleigh and then in Lincoln, Nebraska, co-authoring several well-received scientific articles and consulting on soil survey issues across a wide region of the country. No doubt influenced by his parents' service work in Poland after World War I and II, Erling came to regard the service aspect of his professional life as the most meaningful and sought to instill this ideal in his children and grandchildren. Erling was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Polly, in 2016. Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Don and Tricia Scales, Ellen R. Gamble, Roy and Ann Huntley, and Cynthia Gamble-Nordskog; his eight grandchildren: Donald Scales, Margo Scales, Ginnie Huntley, Harry Huntley, Johnny Huntley, Thomas Nordskog, Jacob Nordskog, and Amelia Nordskog.



Phillip Andrew Glenn (68) of Newalla, Oklahoma passed away July 16, 2019. Phil joined the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in 2009 as a Construction Inspector at the Pauls Valley Watershed office. In 2013 he began assisting the Shawnee Field Office with their Technician workload until he retired in 2017. He was preceded in death by his wife, LaReina. Phil is survived by his three daughters, Lisa Davidson (Jeff), Julie Haworth (Todd), and Valerie Johnson (Kyle); and 5 grandchildren.



Dorothy Louise Goins (71) of Zanesville, Ohio went to be with her Lord, August 6, 2019 at Genesis Morrison House, surrounded by her family. She was the wife of Dale Goins, retired Natural Resource Conservation Service Area Civil Engineering Technician for Eastern Ohio. She worked for Tri-Valley School District for thirty-five years.



Vinh Hoang, former USDA-Soil Conservation Service Nevada state conservation engineer, suffered a stroke in early May 2019 and passed away on July 20, 2019.  He had developed brain cancer and retired in 2018. He is survived by his wife and three children. Nevada ARCSE representative Liz Warner reports that Vinh was a kind and gentle soul and will be dearly missed. An obituary by the family was not published.



Honorary Member David Oliver "Dave" Kile (92) of Kendallville, Indiana passed away August 1, 2019 at Parkview Noble Hospital in Kendallville. Dave was born June 20, 1927, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, to Howard and Mary Kile. He attended Ohio State University and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture education. Dave was a World War II veteran and served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Area. He was united in marriage to Marjorie Ann Barton on June 12, 1949, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. He taught high school in Edison and Caledonia, Ohio, for three years. Then Dave worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service for 30 years, serving as district conservationist in Scioto and Green counties in Ohio. He was area conservationist in 13 counties in northeast Indiana and 16 counties in northeast Ohio. In 1974, he became assistant state conservationist at the state office in Columbus, Ohio. He retired in 1982. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, of Kendallville; daughter, Kathy (Kevin) Buckingham, of West Lafayette, Indiana; daughter-in-law, Janis Kile, of West Palm Beach, Florida; and he was blessed with six grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Howard Barton Kile. A memorial service was held in David's honor August 3, 2019 at First Christian Church in Kendallville, with a gathering of family and friends. Memorial donations may be made to First Christian Church or to Community Foundation of Noble County, David O. and Marjorie B. Kile Scholarship.



Marjorie "Marge" Lucas (87) of Athens, Georgia passed away April 14, 2019 with her family by her side. She was a first generation American, born in 1931 to Andrew and Gertie Van Kluyve in an area of northern New Jersey popular with Dutch immigrants. She graduated from Eastern Christian School then attended Calvin College before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. She married a fellow Marine, Eugene “Gene” Lucas, and eventually settled in Athens in 1971. She was a payroll specialist at the USDA Soil Conservation Service before retiring in 1992. Her husband Gene passed away in 2006. Marge is survived by her three children: Lori Lucas (Mark Jordan) of Atlanta, Georgia, Jackie Fowler (Lee) of Columbia, South Carolina and Kenny Lucas of Colbert; and grandchild Andrea Fowler of Greenville, South Carolina.



Lifetime Member Gary Richard Nordstrom (77) of Prescott Valley, Arizona passed away July 25, 2019 at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center West in Prescott, Arizona. Gary was born July 20, 1942 in Sharon, North Dakota to Hjordis Juno (Lovik) Nordstrom and Richard Nordstrom, and in 1948 the family moved to Lanesboro, Minnesota. At 17 years of age Gary took a summer job with the Railroad as a Gandy Dancer, laying and maintaining the tracks in order to earn money for college. Gary attended the University of Minnesota graduating with a degree in Forestry in 1964. After graduating he joined and served 6 years in the National Guard while starting his career with the US Forrest Service at the Department of Agriculture. Gary went on to serve the Nation for 37-years ending his career as the Director of Conservation Operations at the Headquarters of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. In 1995 he was promoted to the Senior Executive Service and was appointed as the State Conservationist of Minnesota. At the National level Gary served as the Director of Resource Inventory Division directing and coordinating the NRCS forestry program, served as the USDA representative to the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association during the 1993 Mississippi and Missouri River Floods, managed and directed the NRCS Snow survey program for the Western United States and served as the Legislative Assistant to then Senator Mark Andrews of North Dakota. Gary was awarded the Superior Service Award for his work in establishing the Earth Team Volunteer Program in 1989 and received the USDA Certificate of Merit ten times over his career. Gary devoted his life to conservation, as “Cruising” the forest was what he loved most about his career. His career took him to all fifty states, both Eastern and Western Europe and Micronesia. He is survived by his wife Jayne Nordstrom, son David, daughter-in-law Jessica and Grandsons’ Ethan and Bryan of San Antonio, Texas. Gary and Jayne were married August 22, 1981 in Fairfax, VA. This August would be 38 years of a happy and extraordinary life together. Those who knew Gary best knew he was the “Go-to Guy” they could count on. He was always willing to lend a hand or advice. Being surrounded by family and friends is what made him the happiest. If he wasn’t bragging about his grandsons, he was enjoying the “Lights of Las Vegas” or golfing. These also made him happy. The family has designated the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society for memorial contributions.



Charles “Lewis” Rowan (79) of Gap Mills, West Virginia passed away August 22, 2019 at Mon Health Medical Center in Morgantown, West Virginia. Charles was a graduate of West Virginia University (WVU), earning his B.A. in Forestry. While attending WVU, Lewis was a member of the Rifle Team. Charles and his teammates of the 1962 Riffle Team made school history by winning the 1962 National Championship. Charles served his country and was a Captain in the U.S. Army. He retired as the State Forester for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in West Virginia. He was a member of the Gap Mills United Methodist Church. Survivors include his loving wife of 57 years, Pattie Wallace Rowan of Gap Mills; one son, Matthew Rowan (Heather) of Lewisburg, West Virginia; two daughters, Meredith Snider (Allan) of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Melissa Lockwood of Kingwood, West Virginia; eleven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.



Michael L. Stine (62) of Summersville, West Virginia passed away June 15, 2019 at Peyton Hospice House in Lewisburg, West Virginia. He received a degree in agriculture in 1979 from Ohio State University. He then married his wife, Shelley and worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service for eight years. He returned to Ohio State University and entered the College of Veterinary Medicine and earned his doctorate degree, graduating in 1991. He became a veterinarian with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, mainly working with animal diseases. He worked and lived in several different states. Eventually, he became the area veterinarian in charge for the state of Minnesota. After more than 30 years of government service, he retired to Summersville, West Virginia. Survivors include his wife, Shelley Stine; his mother, Helen Stine of Ashland, West Virginia; and four sisters.



Lifetime Member Robert Thomas “Bob” Stovall (85) of Martin, Georgia passed away July 17, 2019 at his home. Born March 5, 1934 in Martin, GA, he was the son of the late Leonard Clarence and Sarah Shirley Stovall. He was a life-long member of Martin Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon, Sunday School Teacher for over 35 years, and Director of Brotherhood. He was retired from the USDA Soil Conservation Service as a civil engineer and was a proud graduate of the University of Georgia. Bob was a charter member of the Martin Lions Club and served the Town of Martin as Town Clerk and Water Superintendent for the past 25 years. He was also an avid Georgia Bulldog and Braves fan. He is survived by his wife, Sandra “Sandi” Frankum Stovall; sons, Rob (Rebecca) Stovall of Virginia, Andy (Kirsten) Stovall of North Carolina, and Len (Sonya) Stovall of Martin; and nine grandchildren: Bobby, Baylee, Brenna, Blair, Taylor, MacKenzie, Drew, Hunter, and Logan.



Larry Streif (99) of Fergus Falls, Minnesota passed away suddenly at home on August 3, 2019. He was a US Army combat veteran of World War II serving first in North Africa and then on the front lines of combat in Italy. He was appointed sergeant when his commander was killed and received the Bronze Star for his heroic service. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 1950 from the University of Minnesota. He started his career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Austin, Minnesota as a Soil Conservationist and became the District Conservationist in Fergus Falls, retiring in December 1979. He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Paulina, who died in 2004. He is survived by his five children: Stephen Streif; Nancy (Craig) Johnson; Elizabeth (Robert) Bryant; David (Michelle) Streif; Mary (Mark) Perry, 12 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.



Will Leonard Tharpe (87) of Athens, Georgia, passed away June 25, 2019. He was born January 30, 1932 in Cottage Grove, Tennessee, to the late Marie and Booker Tharpe. Will was a graduate of Tennessee State University and a U.S. Army Veteran. Will was employed as a Soil Conservationist with the USDA Soil Conservation Service for more than thirty years, retiring in Athens, Georgia as a member on the State Soil Conservationist Resources Staff. Will was a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, West in Athens, Georgia where he served as church treasurer. Survivors include his daughter, Ebony Woodard; four grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; and 10 great-great grandchildren.



Jan Wadleigh (82) of Aloha, Oregon passed away July 12, 2019 from brain cancer. She was the wife of ARCSE member Ralph Wadleigh, who retired in 1990 as a USDA Soil Conservation Service hydraulic engineer. She met Ralph while attending the University of New Hampshire. Jan was very active in the Portland area business community. She and Ralph started a Bed and Breakfast in 1988. She was very dedicated to her church, Cedar Hills United Church of Christ. In addition to her husband Ralph, she is survived by her children Debbie, David (Catherine) and two grandchildren.



Don Francis Williamson (84) of Lincoln, Nebraska passed away on July 24, 2019. Don was born in Missoula, Montana, and was the proud brother of four sisters and four brothers. He attended Montana State University, served in the US Army, had a 30-year career with the USDA-Soil Conservation Service. He was an Assistant State Conservationist when he retired at the end of 1989. Later, he worked for the Lancaster County Weed District. Don is survived by and his wife Joni Williamson, with whom he celebrated his 50th anniversary in April. He is also survived by his son Brock and his daughter-in-law Hollie, and several brothers and sisters.



John “Sonny” Chester York (85) of Mimbres, New Mexico passed away on July 15, 2019 at his residence. John was born on March 5, 1934 to James Chester York and Lillian Kight Harris in Derry, New Mexico. He served in the United States Navy as Gunners Mate 2nd Class and was honorably discharged. John was a New Mexico State University graduate and went to work for the USDA Soil Conservation Service for 30 years. He also served as Grant County Farm Bureau President. John is survived by his wife, Josephine Franzoy York; children, John Craig (Christine) York, Daun Ann York Broome (Jeffrey), Nolen Patrick York, and Heather Liana York (Ty) Turner; daughter-in-law, Dena Mills; and 10 grandchildren. A Memorial Service took place on August 2, 2019 at Baca’s Funeral Chapels in Silver City, New Mexico with Pastor Josh Hunt of Salem Baptist Church officiating.