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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 05/04/2016


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.







Nina Grace Preston Anderson (96) passed away on March 24, 2016. Nina was born in Lamar, CO. She married Carl Leo Anderson Jan. 26, 1946, in Burdett, Kansas. They celebrated 70 years of marriage in January. Carl retired from SCS as the assistant State Engineer in the late sixties. Nina graduated from Emporia State Teachers College in Emporia, KS. She was an All-State basketball player in high school. She is survived by her husband, Leo Anderson; two daughters, 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren.



Rex L. Arbogast (91) of Higginsville, Missouri passed away on March 14, 2016, at Meyer Care Center. He was born in Sprague, Missouri. He was preceded in death by one brother and one great-great-grandchild. Rex served as a veteran of World War II, serving in the Army Air Force, attaining the rank of Private First Class. He worked as a Soil Conservation Technician for the Soil Conservation Service office in Higginsville, retiring in 1979. He also enjoyed farming. He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Higginsville and a member of the Higginsville American Legion Post #223. In addition to his wife of 66 years, Gertrude, he is survived by two sons, Duane Arbogast of Higginsville, MO and Ralph (Susan) Arbogast of Higginsville, MO, one daughter, Susan (Mark) LaRoche of Cookville, TN; and nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. Online condolences may be made to the family at



Lemuel Franklin Ball, Jr. (91) of Claremont, Oklahoma passed away on February 28, 2016, at home. He was born on the family farm in LeFlore County, Oklahoma. Following high school graduation at age 16, he joined the U.S. Army. During World War II, Lem served overseas in the First Calvary Division of the Army. Upon his return from service in 1946, he enrolled in Oklahoma A&M College where he completed a Bachelor’s in Agriculture and later received his Master’s in Agriculture, then OSU. On August 19, 1950, Lem and Margie Lou Priegel were married. Following college, he worked in seed stores in Enid and Oklahoma City. He then taught in the Agronomy Department at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Reclamation. And later he worked for the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), which is what he wanted to do all along. As a career employee of the SCS, Lem worked in many places including Okemah, Poteau, Claremore, and Okmulgee, retiring in 1980. Through the years, Lem even served as Secretary, Vice-President, and President of the Oklahoma Baptist Historical Society. He is survived by his son-in-law, Rex Fry of Claremore; his three granddaughters, and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by wife, Margie Lou (Priegel) Ball; and children James Ball and Virginia Ann (Ball) Fry.



Life Member Walter John Bertsch (84) of Bryan, Texas passed away on January 15, 2015. Walter was born in Coffeyville, Kansas. His family relocated to Aransas Pass, Texas where he lived until he was 21. Walter’s enjoyment of classical music and opera began in high school while learning to play the trombone. He became a fervent scholar of The Hebrew and New Testament scriptures and was passionate about living a life that reflected the teaching of Jesus. He served in the US Navy, 1951-1956, and was in the Navy band. During his final tour in Boston, Walter met his beloved Rhoda. They married June 2, 1956. The couple moved to College Station, Texas where Walter earned a BS from Texas A&M University in 1961. Walter retired from the Soil Conservation Service in 1993 after 42 years of service in west Texas. He and Rhoda made Bryan their home in 2003 to be near children and grandchildren. Walter was a mentor and ardent supporter to their four children and spouses: Lawrence and Jill, John and Kent, Carol and Jody, Nancy and Kelly. To his six grandchildren, he was a gentle playmate, a family leader, and an amazing waffle chef. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice Brazos Valley Inpatient Care Facility, Bryan Texas; Friends Congregational Church; or your charity of choice.



Charles Stanley Beutler (97) of Elk Grove, California passed away on March 7, 2016. Charles was a native of Gem County, Idaho. After graduation from H.S., he remained on the family farm working with no electricity until 1939 and no telephone at all. Like many of his peers, he joined the Army and served in MacArthur's reconstruction effort in Japan as a counter intelligence agent, serving as a carrier of top secret documents and later operated out of a unit that worked with Koreans in gathering intelligence in North Korea. After returning from the War and greatly benefiting from the GI Bill, Charles graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. degree in Agronomy, becoming the first from his home town to achieve this academic distinction. He married his wife of 64 years, Beth, the evening of his graduation. Soon after, Charles was able to join the Soil Conservation Service. In this role he was a major contributor to the soils mapping of several California Counties. Charles served as an officer in a variety of community and professional associations, including the coastal section of the Soil and Water Conservation Society of America. Along the way he and Beth also raised three great girls, Lisa, Rachael and Sylvia. He was the last living member of his own birth family and is survived by his wife, children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. See more at:



Member Dennis Beyer (71) of Champaign, Illinois passed away on April 10, 2016. He was born in Delano, CA. He married Susan Goodman on August 7, 1965, she survives. Dennis earned an Engineering degree at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. He worked over 40 years as a civil engineer for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, retiring in 2009. Dennis further served his country as a member of a team of engineers responsible for restoring New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Also surviving are a son, Brian (Melinda) Beyer of Carrollton, TX; a daughter, Erin (Sean) Arie of Champaign; and five grandchildren. During retirement Dennis cared for Susan, who has Alzheimer's, and he would volunteer to file taxes for the elderly. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alzheimer’s research. Condolences may be made to the family at



Mike Collins (59) of Alamosa, Colorado, died in a snowmobile accident on February 27, 2016 in the Snowy Range, west of Laramie, Wyoming. He grew up in the Livonia, Michigan area and went to college at School Craft College in Michigan and then transferred to the University of Wyoming where he received two Bachelor’s Degrees in Soil Science and Ag. Mech. in 1980 and 1981. Mike worked for the Northern Gas Company while in Laramie. He then worked almost 29 years for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service where he enjoyed his work as a Soil Scientist and Soil Conservationist. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Stacy Stapp Collins; son, Dustin Collins of Cody, Wyoming; daughter, Michelle Collins of Laramie, Wyoming. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Soil and Water Conservation Society.



Lulu M. Cook (75) of Harrisburg, Missouri, passed away at her home on Sunday, March 27, 2016. Lulu was born in Houstonia, MO. She was married on October 4, 1958 to Hubert D. Cook in Smithton, MO who preceded her in death on March 6, 2004. Hubert was an SCS technician in the state office. She is survived by a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Coyote Hills Children’s Home, 9501 Coyote Hills Rd, Harrisburg, MO 65256. Online tributes may be left at



Ronald Melvin Davis (72) of Prineville, Oregon passed away on April 18, 2016 at his home. Ron was born at Enterprise, Oregon, was raised on a cattle ranch north of Enterprise, and went to a one-room country school, grades 1-8. He attended Eastern Oregon College for one year. He received his draft notification in 1964, so he enlisted in the Navy where he served four years during the Viet Nam War. After his service to his country, he returned to college and earned degrees in Education and Agriculture. He taught school for four years, first in John Day and later in Harrisburg. Ron began his career with the Soil Conservation Service in 1980. He worked in McMinnville, Tillamook, and Prineville where he retired as the District Conservationist in 2005. He and his wife also cared for foster children for several years. Ron loved serving his church and community. In 2006 he, along with many friends from the First Baptist Church and the community of Prineville, helped start the Oasis Soup Kitchen, a service to feed the homeless and hungry. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Marlene, his daughters; Susan (Mark) Friesen of Springfield, Virginia, Jennifer (Andrew) Sahnow of Vancouver, Washington; and son-in-law Pepper Woolsey of Prineville. He has seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his precious daughter Steffany (Davis) Woolsey. Memorial contributions may be made to: First Baptist Church Food Pantry or the Redemption House Ministry (ministries that Ron loved) in Prineville through Whispering Pines Funeral Home. 3168 N.E. 3rd Street, Prineville, Oregon 97754. 541-416-9733,



Life Member and Senior Conservationist Norman Cesko Donaldson “Norm” (98) passed away on October 29, 2015 in Colville, Washington. He was born in Pomeroy. Norm graduated from Washington State College (now Washington State University) in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy. He then entered the U. S. Army Air Corp for three years during WWII and was honorably discharged on October 19, 1945 from the Fort Lewis Base in Washington. In November, 1945 he began work with the Garfield County engineer’s crew, then as field man in the Production Marketing Administration until 1952 in Pomeroy. It was in 1952 that Norm began his career with the Soil Conservation Service as a soil scientist. He was the party leader in charge of soil surveys in Spokane, Stevens, Whitman and Pend Oreille counties. He retired in 1982. In 1962 Norm married Dorothy Freeman. They shared their life in marriage until 1977 when Dorothy passed away. Norm has been an active community service volunteer in Colville, offering his assistance. He has been an active member in the United Methodist Church for many years. He is survived by his wife’s sister, Lois Lunden and her husband, George, Newport and their children; and his “adopted” family, Lynn Andrews and his wife, Johanna, Colville and their children. Memorial contributions may be given to the The Hub Senior Center in Colville. Please visit the on-line me­morial and sign the guestbook at



Harry Carl Droge (89) of Council Grove, Kansas, passed away April 5, 2016. He was born in Seneca, KS. Harry married Norma Spell Meier on June 25, 1950 who preceded him in death. He was a member of the Army Reserves and worked for the U.S. Corp of Engineers before becoming a construction inspector for flood control with the Soil Conservation Service. Harry is survived by his three sons, seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a younger brother.



Steve Dunn (61) of Portland, Oregon passed away on February 26, 2016 following his battle with medical issues. He was an Electronic Technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the National Water and Climate Center in Portland.



Kenneth Ferguson (88), retired District Conservationist from Poteau, Oklahoma passed away March 2, 2016. He retired from the Soil Conservation Service in the mid 1980's. Kenneth was born in Tipton. He was the first president of the Choctaw Nation Historical Society. He was a drill sergeant in the military where he served as a scout for the 245th tank battalion, 45th infantry in Korea. He was a graduate of Oklahoma A&M in 1956. Kenneth retired from the LeFlore County District Soil and Water Conservation office where he worked for 26 years and then went into the Forest Service for another 10 years. At one time he kept 50 bee hives and worked with combined harvested grass and clover seeds. He was preceded in death by his wives, Margie Ann (Hayes) Ferguson and Wanda (Galland) Ferguson. Survivors include his daughter, Barbara (Marshall) Thompson of Fort Walton Beach, FL; son, Stanley (Susan) of Norman; and a stepson.



Life Member Marion L. Gertsch (83) of North Platt, Nebraska passed away December 22, 2015 at his home. He was born in Columbus, NE. Marion graduated from Lincoln North East High School in 1949, entered the military and served with the Navy from January 1951 until his honorable discharge on November 3, 1952. He was united in marriage to Mary Lou Parli on August 1, 1953 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Marion served as a Boy Scout leader and a 4-H club leader. He was also a member of the Lincoln County Fair board and various other organizations. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He retired as an Engineering Technician after 31 years of service from the Soil Conservation Service in December, 1989. Marion is survived by four children, David [Donita] Gertsch, Plattsmouth NE; Douglas [Marie] Gertsch, North Platte; Dwight [Sandy] Gertsch, Chandler, AZ; and Dawn [Chuck] Kincaid, North Platte; nine grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lou in 2000. Online condolences may be shared at Memorials are suggested to Public Television.



Loren Greiner (108) passed away on April 2, 2016 at Emmetsburg, Iowa. Loren retired in 1968 after a 32-year career as a soil scientist for the Soil Conservation Service in Nebraska and Iowa. He earned a Master’s degree at Iowa State following his military service during World War II. He was a World War II veteran and at age 36 landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day. His unit served in France and Germany and liberated an internment camp. He earned five Bronze Stars for his military service. He was the oldest living World War II veteran in Iowa and one of the oldest WWII veterans in the country. He married Alice Sweet, a chemistry teacher, in 1942, and she predeceased him in 1977. During his long retirement, Loren became an advocate for water and development issues on Iowa lakes. He also led an effort to establish a senior center at Emmetsburg. He is survived by his son, Keith, of Des Moines and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.



Milton Edward Griffing (89), “Scottie” as he was known to family and friends, passed away peacefully at his home in Sequim, Washington, on January 16, 2016. Milton was born in Masonville, Colorado. At Loveland High School, Scottie was twice state champion at wrestling. After graduating from high school in 1943, he worked as a welder in the Portland, OR Naval Shipyard until enlisting in the US Navy in January, 1944. During WWII he served as quartermaster, operating L.C.T’s (Tank Landing Craft) at Palermo, North Africa, and Marseille. In 1946, Scottie served as quartermaster on the USS Midway on its shakedown cruise. Discharged from the Navy in 1946, Scottie attended Colorado A&M (now CSU) at Fort Collins. In 1947, he married Dorothy Druhan, whom he’d met while stationed in New Orleans, and they settled into the house he had built by hand in Loveland. After graduating, the new Griffing family moved to Greenbush, MN, where Scottie taught farming techniques to veterans. In 1953 he purchased a 235-acre dairy farm outside of Greenbush, and then in 1958 moved his family to Fargo, ND to get his master’s degree in Ag Economics. In 1960, the Griffing’s moved to Lincoln, NE where Scottie pursued a Ph.D. in Ag Economics at the University of Nebraska. In 1964, the Griffing family, now with seven children, moved to Bozeman, MT, where Scottie worked as the Economist for the USDA Soil Conservation Service for 15 years. In 1980, the Griffing’s were transferred to Portland, OR where Scottie became the economist for the western multi-state team. Scottie retired in 1986 and moved to Sequim, WA. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 66 years, Dorothy. Scottie is survived by his seven children, thirteen grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren.



Thomas Allan Heard (79) of Lexington, Kentucky passed away on March 20, 2016. Allan was born in Oxford, MS. He went on to attend the University of Mississippi, from which he graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1959. He began work with the USDA Soil Conservation Service. During 34 years with the SCS, he rose to the position of Assistant State Conservationist, living during those years in Mississippi, Nebraska, Alabama, and Kentucky. He also earned a Master of Resource Administration degree from the University of Montana. Following his retirement from SCS in 1993, Allan was hired by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government as a senior municipal engineer. He retired in 2004. Allan is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Alice Hearn, and by his three children and seven grandchildren. He was a longtime member of Immanuel Baptist Church, where he sang in the church choir for many years and was also a deacon. For several years he worked weekly at the Elkhorn Association's clothes closet helping to distribute donated clothes to the needy. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Immanuel Baptist Church Missions Fund, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, or Hospice of the Bluegrass.



Karl Henry Hickson (58) of Decatur, Texas passed away February 16, 2016, at home. He was born in Hackensack, N.J. Karl served in the US Army and was a printing press operator in the National Cartography and Geospatial Center in Fort Worth for NRCS. Survivors: Wife of 20 years, Marie Hickson of Decatur, two daughters, and four grandchildren.



Alyce Hill (89) was born on October 25, 1927 and passed away on April 1, 2016. Alyce was a resident of Bozeman, Montana.



H. C. Langford (78) passed from this life on March 25, 2016 at Stillwater, Oklahoma. H.C. was born in Wellington, Texas. He grew up in Wellington and attended school in nearby Quail, Texas. He graduated from Clarendon Community College in Clarendon, Texas. H.C. and Frankie were married in Perry on April 8, 1982. They are members of the First Baptist Church in Stillwater. He worked for the Soil Conservation Service as a surveyor for 37 years, retiring in 2000. He worked in the office at Perry as a Technician and then as the CET. After retirement, H.C. farmed and did contract work for Ducks Unlimited. Survivors include his wife, Frankie, of the home; two daughters and a son, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Ronald McDonald House Charities at 1301 NE 14th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73117. Phone number 405-424-6873.Condolences and remembrances may be sent via an online guestbook at



Boyd Duane Lare (85) of Albuquerque, New Mexico passed away on April 22, 2016. He was born in Auburn, NE. In 1949 he went to Eastern NM College to study engineering. In 1957 he was hired by the Soil Conservation Service at Hagerman to be a surveyor. Boyd graduated from New Mexico State University with honors in 1961. The family moved to Portland, OR where he worked for the Soil Conservation Service as an engineer in the E&WP Unit. In 1964 the family moved to Albuquerque. He transferred to the US Army Corps of Engineers, later working with flood control. He retired in 1982. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jackie; a daughter, two sons, two grandsons, a granddaughter, and three great-granddaughters. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the National Kidney Foundation, Please visit our online guestbook for Boyd at



Maurice O. Leonard (95) of Storm Lake, Iowa passed away February 16, 2016 at the Fonda Specialty Care in Fonda, Iowa. Maurice was born in Holstein. After graduation from H.S., he enrolled at the University of Iowa. While attending Iowa, he was called to the US Army to serve his country in 1941. He served in the Coast Artillery and was stationed in Michigan, Montana, California, and Nebraska. Maurice transferred to the US Army Air Force where he was a flight engineer on a B-24 Liberator Bomber on Kodiak Island in Alaska. He was honorably discharged following WWII in 1945. Following his discharge from the service, Maurice worked for General Electric in Omaha. He pursued his passion for the land and was employed by the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in Guthrie Center, eventually moving to Storm Lake in 1955. He continued this work, retiring in 1980. His gun collection was envied by many, given the number of vintage guns he owned. He sold his collection and pursued other collections such as Hummel figurines, plates, and Meerschaum pipes. Maurice also enjoyed his coffees with friends at Hy-Vee and Hardees. Even in his 80s, it was not uncommon for him to set off on the 2-mile walk each morning to Hy-Vee. Maurice is survived by his wife of 68 years, Lillian of Storm Lake and daughters, Dr. Cynthia Martinek (Jerold) of Belmond, Iowa and Dr. DiAnne Leonard (Neil Ellison) of Danville, Pennsylvania; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a grandson, Jeremy Martinek.



William L. Ludwig (89) of Eagle River, Wisconsin passed away March 20th, 2016, on his birthday. Bill was born in Plymouth, Wisconsin. He served in the US Navy in the Pacific during World War II. Upon returning home he began his college career in Stevens Point and later transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 1951 with a BS in agriculture. He began his career with the Soil Conservation Service as a soil scientist and worked in Madison, Wausau, Ashland, Stratford, Neillsville, and Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and out of state at Athens, GA and Des Moines, IA. While in Neillsville he played drums with the Howie Sturtz Orchestra for 12 years, appeared often on TV’s Dairyland Jubilee, and recorded four albums. Bill loved the Big Band era music. He obtained his private pilot’s license and became active with the Civil Air Patrol. Bill was always headed to a meeting, as he was forever on a board of directors or a committee most of his life and even into retirement--too many to list. After retiring in 1984, Bill began his second career as a strawberry farmer. He worked tirelessly perfecting the biggest, most delicious strawberry he could. He loved working on his land! And “weather permitting” he was out hoeing, plowing, irrigating, bulldozing, or just walking around assessing things, sunup to sundown. Over the last six months, Bill fought his battle, but in the end succumbed to the insidious Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Shirley and their three daughters, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. You may leave your private condolences for the Ludwig family at



Senior Conservationist John Crohan Malley (90) of South Portland (and formerly of Cape Elizabeth), Maine, passed away on March 4, 2016 after a long illness. John was born in Newton, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire, Class of 1960, with a BS in Agriculture. He was a World War II veteran. He joined the US Navy at age 17 and served from 1943 to 1946 as a Medical Corpsman. With his father, he operated Indigo Hill Farms, Inc. in Somersworth from 1946 to 1956, maintaining a herd of Registered Guernsey Cattle. From 1956 to 1984, he worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service as a Soil Conservationist in Concord and Exeter, New Hampshire, then transferring to Maine as a District Conservationist in Machias, Presque Isle and Portland.

Following his retirement in 1984 from the USDA, he worked as a Resource/Land Use Planner for Sebago Technics, Inc. before starting his own consulting firm with a primary focus on land application of bio solids and septic system design. John was a skilled and avid yachtsman, and he and his wife cruised the coast of Maine extensively in an Albin 25 motor vessel named "Caper." After leaving the boating world, they traveled throughout the USA and Canada in their RV. John maintained a continuing interest in the Cumberland County Maine Soil and water Conservation District, serving 25 years as an Associate Supervisor until his retirement in early 2010. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 67 years, Irene (Mailhot) Malley; sons James (Anne) of Barre, Massachusetts; Robert (Becky) of Cape Elizabeth; daughters Mary McQueen of Marietta, Georgia; and Nancy (David) Erb of Scarborough; along with several grandchildren, great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. John was predeceased by his daughter Ann Atherton; and granddaughter Irene (Reenie) McQueen. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John's memory to: Catholic Charities Development Office, PO Box 10660, Portland, ME 04104-6060



Honorary Member and Senior Conservationists Kenneth Karl Neitzel (101) of Edina, Wisconsin was called by his Lord on March 2, 2016. He was born in Baraboo, Wisconsin. He was the oldest of seven children. His wife Helen predeceased him in 2008. Ken and Helen devoted their lives to the Salvation Army Church and practiced the Salvation Army motto "Heart to God and Hand to Man." Ken was a veteran of World War II. Following his discharge, he went to work for the USDA Soil Conservation Service. He was called back by the military to serve in Korea. Upon discharge, he went back to work at the same agency. He worked in Wisconsin, Washington, DC and Champaign, Illinois. He retired in Illinois as the USDA State Administrative Officer for SCS in 1970. Donations can be made in his name to: Salvation Army Noble Worship Center, 10011 Noble Parkway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443.



Member Leland Page (84) passed away on February 15, 2016, at his home in Sandy, Utah. Lee was born in Ottumwa, Iowa. He was proud to be a veteran of the United States Navy, serving from March 1, 1951 to February 2, 1955. He was stationed on the USS Essex CVA 9 during the Korean War. After his military service, he earned a bachelor's degree in Farm and Ranch Management from Colorado State University in 1960. He married Gladys F. Petersen on March 7, 1964. They had two children together, James (Jim) and Leann. Lee and Gladys were married for 42 years upon her death in 2006. Lee had a long career as a Soil Conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, first in Iowa, then Indiana, and finally to Sandy, Utah, in 1976, where he and his family made their permanent home. He retired in January, 1996. Lee loved the rodeo and traveled the rodeo circuit, bulldogging (steer wrestling) both before and after he graduated from college. He loved all things auto racing, especially sprint cars, camping, dune buggies, the Indiana Hoosiers, good home cooking, old western movies and hunting shows. Lee is survived by his children: son, Jim Page (Stacy) and daughter, Leann McFalls (Michael); as well as five grandsons. Condolences may be extended to the family at



Billy Ray Porter (60) of Stillwater, Oklahoma passed away at his home on March 16, 2016. Bill was born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1980 with an Agricultural Economics degree. Bill enjoyed his job and co-workers at the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service for over 36 years. For the past 21 years he served as the Assistant State Conservationist for Water Resources. Survivors include his wife of 28 years Pamela Porter, a son, and a granddaughter. The family asks in lieu of flowers that memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society.



Cordes L. Potter (69) passed peacefully from this life on March 25, 2016, at his home with his wife at his side. Cordes was born in Columbia, Missouri. He attended Hickman and the University of Missouri, graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering in 1969. He was vice president of Sigma Phi Epsilon and later served ten years as Chapter Advisor. He received the Volunteer Excellence Award from the National Chapter in recognition of his service. He enlisted in the US Air Force and was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, where he was assigned to the Engineering Squadron and was a member of Prime BEEF (Base Emergency Engineering Force), a part of RED HORSE. Prime BEEF team members were on call for rapid response to anywhere in the world. Cordes distinguished himself by being awarded Airman of the Year in 1971. This award is given yearly to only one outstanding airman in the entire Air Force. He was honorably discharged in 1973 with the rank of Staff Sargent. He then went to work for the US Department of Agriculture, NRCS, where he was a design engineer in the state office. He married the love of his life, Gayle Ann (Coats) Potter, October 16, 1970, at Campus Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri, and she survives. They celebrated 45 years of marriage and had two daughters and three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Under “choose a program,” select “Missouri Alpha Cordes Potter Scholarship.”



Life Member Billy Marion Putnam (89) of Stillwater, passed away on February 22, 2016. Bill was born in Ada, Oklahoma. He spent his early years in the Ada area before moving to Brownsville, Texas, where he attended high school. Bill joined the US Navy and served on active duty in WWII and the Korean Conflict. He was honored with several prestigious service awards during his 20-year Naval career. Following his honorable discharge in 1962, Bill began working as an Administrative Officer for the Soil Conservation Service. In 1966 he married the love of his life, Pauline “Polly” Hinrichs in Albuquerque, NM. The family relocated to Connecticut, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and several other states before Bill’s retirement in the mid-1980s. Upon retirement, the family moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to be closer to Pauline’s family. He could often be found at the Moose or Elks Lodge, or the Stillwater VFW visiting with friends. He is survived by his wife and best friend Polly Putnam of Stillwater, Oklahoma; daughter Claudia (Clint) Lynch of Denton, Texas; a grandson and a great-grandson.



Pauline “Polly” Putnam (89) of Stillwater, Oklahoma passed on February 27, 2016 in Stillwater. Pauline Josephine Hinrichs Putnam was born in Stillwater, OK. She graduated from Stillwater High School in 1944 and attended Oklahoma A&M College from 1944 to 1946. She was employed by the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. In 1965, she transferred to the Albuquerque, NM office of the Soil Conservation Service where she met her husband, Billy Putnam. She is survived by a step daughter Claudia Lynch.



Pearlie Sylvester Reed (67) of Marion, Arkansas passed away on April 8, 2016 in Methodist University Hospital. Pearlie was raised on a farm in the rural town of Heth, AR, where he was the ninth of eighteen children. He worked hard to attend the State University of Pine Bluff where he received his degree in Animal Husbandry, and he later earned a Masters of Public Administration degree from American University in Washington, DC. Pearlie began his remarkable career with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1968 as a student intern in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Through a wealth of experiences and job responsibilities, he eventually served and led NRCS as Chief from 1998 to 2002. He served as State Conservationist for several states including Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, and California as well as the US Territories of Puerto Rico and Guam. Pearlie served as Assistant Secretary for Administration of the US Department of Agriculture from 2009 to 2012, retiring to return to work as a consultant in his own firm in Marion, Arkansas. Over the course of his career, Pearlie received numerous awards and honors. He is survived by his wife, Lesia Ann Reed and her son, Robert Charles Terrell, Jr.; his daughters, Cheryl Yvette Reed of Raleigh, NC, Teresa Reed of Raleigh, NC; a granddaughter, a grandson, a great-granddaughter and thirteen brothers and sisters. He was preceded in death by his late wife, Deloris W. Reed.



Earl Edward Scates (74) of Warsaw, Virginia passed away on March 10, 2016. He was retired from the United Stated Department of Agriculture as a Soil Conservationist Technician in the Tappahannock Field Office. He was a member of Menokin Baptist Church. Earl is survived by a brother and a sister, four nephews, and a niece. Memorial contributions may be made to Menokin Baptist Cemetery Fund, c/o Julie Christopher, 4710 Menokin Road, Warsaw, VA 22572.



Arneal Scott (80) of Athens, Georgia passed away on April 7, 2016. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Pamela Scott Haeberer. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Melba Colleen Scott; son, Michael Arneal Scott (Beth); and two granddaughters. Arneal began his career at the Soil Conservation Service in August 1957 in Hereford TX. He then became the Assistant State Conservationist in Athens, GA in November 1975, where he worked until he retired on November 30, 1990. He was a member of Tuckston United Methodist Church and was active in the Gideon Ministry. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Benevolence Fund at Tuckston UMC or the Alzheimer's Association.



Charles W. Sykes (91) of Humboldt, IL passed away on March 25, 2016 at the Mattoon Rehabilitation and Health Care Center. Charles was born in Baylis, IL. He married Rachel Cuppy of Humboldt, IL on June 16, 1951 in Arcola, IL. She passed away on October 9, 2010. After graduating from Barry Community High School in 1943, he served in the US Navy until the end of WWII. In 1950 he graduated from the College of Agriculture, University of Illinois, and after teaching vocational agriculture in Wisconsin and Illinois for several years, he served as District Conservationist with the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Henderson, Scott, Brown, Calhoun and Jersey Counties in Illinois. He retired from that position in 1983. He then farmed the home farm in Adams County until 1996 and until his death he attended to various farming and other interests such as beekeeping. He maintained an active membership in the First United Presbyterian Church of White Hall, IL and the White Hall Lodge 80 AF&AM until moving to Decatur, IL in 1989. He later would move to Humboldt, IL and attended the Humboldt United Methodist Church. He is survived by five children, seven grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Humboldt United Methodist Church.



James Eugene Thorn (81) of Morgantown, West Virginia passed away unexpectedly October 30, 2015. He was born in Brilliant, Ohio, graduated from high school in Point Pleasant, and was a Morgantown resident since 1970. James was an avid runner having completed more than 40,000 miles during his lifetime and was only hit by lightning two times. He served as the Public Affairs Specialist for the Soil Conservation Service, retiring in 1992. James is survived by his loving wife, Julia Hathaway Zay Thorn, his three sons, a stepson, and eight grandchildren. Condolences:



Ruth Ann Junge Vandenbos (86) of Gresham, Oregon, died peacefully surrounded by her family at her home on February 28, 2016. She was the wife of Arlo who retired as a design engineer on the SCS Oregon Staff. He passed away January 1, 2003. She graduated from the Mary Lanning School of Nursing in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1950. She married Sgt. Arlo Ledell Vandenbos, USMC, on February 28, 1954, in York, Nebraska. In addition to her parents and her husband, she was preceded in death by nine of her 11 siblings. She is survived by her five children, 11 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Ruth was an RN for over four decades, including 18 years in Gresham at Mt. Hood Medical Center. She served as a volunteer with Mt. Hood Hospice for nine years.



Richard “Rich” L. Wynia (64) of Manhattan, Kansas passed away on April 3, 2016. He was born in Platte, South Dakota and served in the United States Navy from 1974–1977. He later earned his PhD in Agronomy from South Dakota State University. Rich devoted 30 years of service to the USDA-NRCS and the Plant Materials Program. He had served as the Manager of the Plant Materials Center in Manhattan, Kansas since 1991. Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Shirley of the home, three daughters, and four grandchildren.



Senior Conservationist Haden Ewing Young (90) of Mangum, Oklahoma passed away on July 13, 2003. He was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corp at Binger from July 1934 to March 1936. Haden retired from the Soil Conservation Service in 1981 as an engineering technician after 33 years in Caddo, Kiowa and Greer counties. He was a member and elder of the Church of Christ. He was a member of the board of directors of Quartz Mountain Christian Camp for many years. Young’s Mountain was dedicated in his honor. Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Altus; three sons, two daughters, 14 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.


Mountain reflected in pond

Reflection Pond, Denali National Park, Alaska.