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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 10/30/2017


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.







James Stillman Alderson (70) of Star, Texas passed away on October 2, 2017 at his residence. He was born in Lampasas, Texas. He married Sharleen Clary on Sept. 4, 1971. He was a plant specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Texas. He was preceded in death by a son, Kirby James Alderson, in November 1975. Survivors include his wife; two sons, Cody Alderson and Kyle Alderson; a daughter, Mitzi Reynolds; three brothers, and 10 grandchildren.



Ralph Basham (78) of Madisonville, Kentucky passed away on October 11, 2017 at his home. He was born in Breckinridge County, KY and retired as a Construction Inspector for the Soil Conservation Service. He was a member of Victory Church. He is survived by his wife, Juanita (Goodman) Basham; two daughters, Rhonda of Madisonville, KY, and Rena (Paul) of Hopkinsville, KY, two sons, Don (Paula) of Bowling Green, KY, and Russell (Dawana) of Mississippi, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Don Basham, Ralph’s son, worked for NRCS, but transferred to the IT organization when it evolved.



Dr. Arun C. Basu (85) of Herndon, Virginia passed away on September 26, 2017, leaving behind his wife, Sipra Basu of 60 years of a happy marriage and a wonderful son, Arnab Mark Basu. Arun came to the United States in 1962 and built up a spectacular career in the service of the USDA, serving as the Director of the Social Sciences Division for the Soil Conservation Service, and retired at the age of 75 in the Senior Executive Service of the government of the United States of America. His career is filled with spectacular achievements in the education field and a service dedicated to the benefit of mankind. He left his brother and a sister and a great many friends all over the world.



Wilson “Short” Boggs (93) of McKee, Kentucky passed away September 7, 2017 at his residence. He is survived by his son, Tony (Teresa) Boggs, a granddaughter, and a great granddaughter. He is also survived by nine siblings. Short was preceded in death by his parents, five siblings and the love of his life of 69 years, Dora Aileen Davidson Boggs. He served in World War II. Short was employed by the USDA Soil Conservation Service. He retired in 1983 and then became employed at the FSA office in McKee. Short was active in the Jackson County Soil Conservation up to his death. Also, Short enjoyed farming, raising cattle, hunting, fishing and gardening. Short was a member of the Conway Christian Church.



Roy Howard Bowman (87) and Irma Elsie Bowman (88) of Redwood Valley, California died in the Redwood Fire that broke out in Mendocino County late on the evening of Oct. 8, 2017. Roy retired as a soil scientist with the Soil Conservation Service. They were the type of people who settled into their community and did good without making a fuss.” Roy was a U.S. Navy veteran. Irma Bowman loved to bake and “would tell us to speak well of other people.




Patricia Lee Champeon (80) of Glenburn, Maine passed away on August 17, 2017 at Dirigo Pines, Orono, ME. She died after a long battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). She was born in Lewiston, ME, Pat attended schools in Hartford, CT; Old Town and Bangor before graduating from Berkeley HS, CA in 1956. She married Alfred J. LeClair of Orono in July 1956 and they had three children. That marriage ended in 1978. She married ARCSE member D. Bruce Champeon in November 1983. In 1997, after a 25-year career in personnel and administration with USDA, Soil Conservation Service / Natural Resources Conservation Service in ME and NH, Pat retired as Assistant State Conservationist for Administration. Survivors include three children, Deborah J. Emero (Tom) of MA, Brian T. LeClair of FL, and David J. LeClair (Gail) of FL.; her husband Bruce; two stepsons, Steven J. Champeon (Heather) of NC and Kenneth A. Champeon of ME; seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, a brother, and a stepsister. Those who wish to remember Pat in a special way may make gifts in her memory to CurePSP, 30 E. Padonia Rd., Suite 201, Timonium, MD 21093. Condolences to the family may be expressed at



Senior Conservationist and Honorary Member Arlie Franklin Culp Jr. (91) of Ramseur, North Carolina passed away on October 18, 2017, at Universal Health Care in Ramseur. Arlie was a native of Stanly County and a graduate of Catawba College. He was a veteran of the United States Navy during World War II and served as a crew member on a Navy patrol bomber as an aerial gunner. After the war, he was married to Daisy Mae Farlow of Randleman, his wife of 47 years, until the Lord called her home in 1997. Arlie worked as a teacher at Ramseur High School, served as a public health sanitarian for the Randolph County Health Department, and retired as District Conservationist in Randolph County after 25 years of service with the Soil Conservation Service. After retirement, Arlie was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives where he served for 18 years. He was very active in his community, serving in the Jaycees, Rotary Club, Boy Scouts, Senior Adults and other boards and committees. Arlie was a member of Jordan Memorial United Methodist Church in Ramseur and was a 32nd-degree Scottish Rite Mason at the Marietta Lodge 444 in Ramseur. Arlie was also preceded in death by a daughter, Mary Ellen Culp; his parents, and four sisters. Arlie was a true and loyal friend. Survivors are sister, Mary Culp Spires of Charlotte; numerous nieces and nephews; and faithful friend and companion, Sally Breedlove of Ramseur. Condolences may be made online at Memorials may be made to Jordan Memorial United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 848, Ramseur, NC 27316.



Marjorie “Marj” Lou Gilliland (90) passed away on October 2, 2017 at Aldersgate Village in Topeka. She was born in rural Atchison County. She graduated from Atchison County Community High School in 1945. On December 8, 1946 she married Maurice “Mose” Glenn Gilliland who retired as a Soil Conservation Technician in the Holton, Kansas Field Office of the Soil Conservation Service. He passed away, March 12, 2009. They spent most of their lives on the family farm north and east of Holton. Marj had worked for Santa Fe Railroad and had been deputy clerk of the District Court of Jackson County. In addition, she was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Holton. Two children survive: Gayla Schmanke (Robert) of Olathe, KS and Raney Gilliland (Jill) of Topeka, KS. Also surviving are three grandsons and four great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research at Kansas State University c/o Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436.



Gregory William Goings (53) of Mt. Airy, North Carolina passed away on September 4, 2017.  Greg retired as Soil Conservation Technician in the Dobson Field Office with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He also helped out in adjoining counties. He was born in Surry County. He was a loving husband, father and brother. Among the many who will always cherish his memory are his devoted wife, Michelle Poole Goings; sons, Jared Goings and Jordan Goings; his mother, Roena Goings; and a sister Kim (Michael) Thomas. 



Beatrice (Bea) Hamilton (100) of Harold, Kentucky passed away on July 13, 2016. She retired as the Area Clerk for the Soil Conservation Service in Hazard, Kentucky. She was born in Honaker, now known as Harold, KY. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her three brothers. She is survived by her one sister, Nell Hamilton Jayne of Flat Gap, Kentucky and several nieces and nephews. Beatrice was a member of the Church of Christ. She was an employee for the US Federal Government for three years in Washington D.C. during WWII, where she worked at the department of Commerce and later spent six years in Ashville, North Carolina working at the General Accounting Office.



Harold David Heise (95) of El Dorado, Kansas passed away August 21, 2017. He was a retired District Conservationist with the USDA Soil Conservation Service and U.S. Army Veteran of WWII. He was born in Osage County near Burlingame, Kansas. Harold graduated from Kansas State University in 1949 after serving in the U.S. Army in North Africa and Europe. Harold retired in 1987, having spent 38 years with the Soil Conservation Service and 23 of those years in Butler County, where he was instrumental in the design and construction of the many watershed dams in Butler and adjacent counties. He was a proud member of the U.S. Army Reserves and retired as a Major. Harold was a devout Catholic and a member of St. John’s Parish in El Dorado. Harold was united in marriage to Theresa Navinskey on August 6, 1949 and they spent 65 years together until her passing. He was preceded in death by Theresa and son Ronn Heise and his wife Paula. Harold is survived by: son, Rick (Jane) Heise of Augusta, and their two children, Ronn’s three children, five great grandchildren, and one brother. Memorial masses may be directed to St. John’s Catholic Church. Please sign his online guestbook and leave a memory of Harold at



Frederick Jagels (73) of Ellsworth, Maine passed away on September 17, 2017 at his home. He was born in Rockland. He graduated from University of Maine studying Agricultural Engineering in 1968. He married Jane Barnes in 1968 and they had three children and five grandchildren. After working as a design engineer for SCS in Maine for about 10 years, Frederick worked 33 years as the State Engineer for Farmers' Home Administration. At the end of his career, he was Chief of the Rural Utilities Division. As one of his civic and professional leadership roles, he served as President of the Maine Society of Professional Engineers. Condolences may be expressed at



Geraldine “Gerry” M. Landon (78) passed away on October 22, 2017 surrounded by her loving family at Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center in Ohio. She was born in Clayton, Michigan. On June 7, 1958 she married Gale N. Landon and he preceded her in death on January 22, 2012. Gerry was a member of West Franklin United Methodist Church in Fulton County. Among other jobs, she worked for the Williams County Soil & Water in Bryan and Williams County. She was also active with many civic organizations. She is survived by her father Carmon Kaiser of Camden, Michigan, three children, four grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and three sisters.



Perry Washington "P. W." "Crackerman" Morgan, Jr. (70) of Huddleston, Virginia passed away on September 7, 2017 at Veterans Administration Hospital in Salem from a lengthy illness. He was born in Bedford County. He retired after 35 years as a Soil Conservation Technician with Natural Resource Conservation Service and also retired after 12 years as Senior Conservation Specialist with Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District. He was a lifelong farmer & owner of Morgan Farms. He was President and Chief of Saunders Volunteer Fire Company, was on the Board of Directors of Farm Bureau, and was Associate Director of Peaks of Otter Soil & Water District and was also a U. S. Army Veteran. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Overstreet Morgan; his son, Eric T. Morgan of Huddleston; his daughter, Kimberly M. (Josh) Nowocin of Roanoke; his two grandsons, as well as numerous other relatives and friends. The family requests those wishing to make memorials to consider Saunders Volunteer Fire Co., P. O. Box 14, Huddleston, VA 24104.



Member Loren J. Pearson (80) of Hays, Kansas passed away on October 15, 2017 at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas. He was born in Junction City. He graduated from Junction City High School in 1955 and on March 23, 1957 he was united in marriage to Darlene Rogers in Abilene, Kansas. They celebrated over 60 years of marriage. He attended Kansas State University and graduated from Fort Hays State University in 1965 with a B.S. degree in Agriculture. He was a range conservationist for the Soil Conservation Service until his retirement in 1993. For over twenty years he was owner and operator of Culligan of Hays until his retirement in 2007. He was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church. His hobbies included woodworking, hunting, fishing, and golfing, and he was famous for his coyote call. Survivors include his wife of over 60 years, Darlene, of the home, one son; Mike Pearson of Hays, three daughters; Kathy (Alan) Hoffman of Hoisington, Cory (Rob) Garrett of Dallas, TX, and Jean (Pat) Canaday of Wichita, one brother; Wayne (Cindy) Pearson of Junction City, twelve grandchildren; and twelve great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, and a granddaughter. Memorials are suggested in Loren’s memory to The Lutheran Hour Ministries or Messiah Lutheran Church in care of Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine Street, Hays. Condolences may be left for the family at



Dale J. Peier (83) passed away on October 17, 2017, in Wichita. He was born near Pond Creek, OK. He graduated from Pond Creek High School and was recruited to play basketball at Oklahoma State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business. His first professional position was with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service in Washington, D.C. He was an associate professor and concluded his career by serving as the special assistant to the president of Barton County Community College. Survivors include a son, Jeffrey Peier and wife, Dianne, Wichita; a daughter, Lynn Peier-Able and husband, Tim, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and a grandson. He was preceded in death by 15 days by his wife of 63 years, Maxine Peier, who retired from SCS in 1984.



Maxine (Wilson) Peier (83) passed away on October 2, 2017, in Wichita, Kansas. She was born in Pond Creek, Oklahoma. She earned an Associate degree in business from Oklahoma State University. She was an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture for 26 years, most recently serving as the Area Administrative Assistant for the Soil Conservation Service in Hays, Kansas, until her retirement in 1994. Maxine is preceded in death by her parents and two brothers. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, J. Dale Peier of Wichita, Kansas; daughter, Lynn (Tim Able) Peier-Able of Colorado Springs, Colorado; her son, Jeffrey (Dianne) Peier of Wichita, Kansas; a grandson and a brother. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Peier Family Scholarship Fund established with the Fort Hays State University Foundation, P.O. Box 1060, Hays, Kansas, 67601.



William F. Schaller (86) of Richland Center, Wisconsin passed away on September 12, 2017 at his home. He was born in Bunker Hill, Illinois where he was raised on a dairy farm. Bill graduated from the University of Illinois in 1955 with a Degree in Agriculture. From 1955-57, he served his country in the US Army as an Instructor in the Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 1959 he became the District Conservationist of Clay County, then served for 11 years in Vandalia, Illinois and then in Rockford, Illinois. In 1973 he and his family then moved to Richland Center, Wisconsin continuing his career as an Area Conservationist until his retirement in 1994. Bill and Martha owned and operated The Schaller’s Christmas Tree Farm from 1994 until 2014. Bill was an active member of the Richland Center Lion’s Club, with over 50 years of service in the club in both Illinois and Wisconsin. He was also actively involved in membership at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Richland Center, Wisconsin. Bill is survived by his wife of 64 years, Martha and their 5 children: Roger (Martha) Schaller of Morgan Hill, CA, Ron (Sarah) Schaller of Magnolia, TX, Russell (Dianne) Schaller of Gilbert, AZ, Rhett Schaller of Mount Airy, NC, and Rachel (Eric) Koegel of Richland Center, WI; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and brother George Schaller of Bunker Hill, IL. The family of Bill Schaller suggests memorials be directed to St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Lion’s Club, or a charity of your choice. Online condolences can be made at



Wilfred J. “Will” Sheehan (92) passed away peacefully on July 4, 2017 at the Holton Home in Brattleboro, Vermont where he had been a resident since 2012. Will was born in Clinton, Massachusetts and was raised and educated in Springfield, Vermont. He served his country during WWII in the United Stated Navy stationed in the Asiatic Pacific Theater including the Island of Saipan. Following his discharge he returned home and attended the University of Vermont graduating in 1953. In 1955 he took a position with the Soil Conservation Service in Vermont working 10 years in St. Johnsbury, 10 years in Randolph and 10 years in Brattleboro as a Soil Scientist. He retired in 1986. He spent the summer of 1961 in Alaska, one of his more memorable assignments. He was married to Joyce Shepard in 1962 who predeceased him in 2013. Will loved square dancing with his wife and spending time at his hunting camp. He was active with the American Red Cross Blood Bank and the St. Johnsbury Rifle and Pistol Shooting Club. Will is survived by his sister Eileen Sandstorm of Littleton, Co. four stepdaughters, 7 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. A complete obituary may be viewed online at the Brattleboro>obituaries.



Mel A. Smith (64) of Portsmouth, Ohio died on September 23, 2017 at Ohio State University Hospital. He was born in Columbus. Mel was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church and recently retired from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, having served as a District Conservationist in in Pike/Scioto Counties. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Julia (Fox) Smith, his four daughters; Keesha Nickison (Sean), Allison Paige (Derek), Melanie White (Matt), and Elizabeth Ciriello (Chris), 10 grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren. The family's favorite charities are Notre Dame Catholic Schools and St. Mary's Catholic Church.



Ronald Gordon Sprague (80) of Champaign, Illinois passed away on September 8, 2017 at Presence Covenant Medical Center, Urbana. Ronald was born in Rankin. He married Diane E. Goudy on January 17, 1960 in Hoopeston. She survives. Also surviving are his children, Michael (Pia) Sprague of California and Rhonda (Brandon) Kim of Louisiana; three grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and two sisters. He was preceded in death by five brothers and one sister. Ronald was a graduate of Hoopeston John Greer High School and served the US Army in Security and as a Morse code operator. Ron retired as a Soil Conservation Technician for the Soil Conservation Service in Champaign. ( Memorial contributions may be made to the Champaign County Humane Society.

Mountain reflected in pond

Reflection Pond, Denali National Park, Alaska.