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In Memoriam



We sadly miss the following members of the SCS/NRCS family who have passed away.

Our sympathy and prayers are with their families and friends.

Please email Ron Marlow at to report recent In Memoriam notices.

Last updated 07/05/2018


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.







Honorary Member and Senior Conservationist Samuel "Sam" Rankin Bacon (106) of Cookeville, Tennessee passed away on September 9, 2006 in his sleep at his Cookeville home. He was born in Glencoe, Maryland and grew up on a dairy farm there. Friends remember Bacon for his independence and active life, as well as his generosity toward a variety of community projects. He was delivering meals on wheels to people when he was over 100. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1924 with a degree in agriculture. Sam’s career in agriculture was very beneficial to farmers, beginning in 1928 and continuing through 1963 as a soil conservationist for the federal Department of Agriculture in Soil Science and Soil Conservation. He worked in 10 states. After his retirement from soil conservation, Bacon worked for the next 30 years distributing small items to retail stores. He and his late wife, Reba, were instrumental in establishing the Cumberland Art Society, and for more than 17 years, he delivered Meals on Wheels to the homebound elderly, many of whom were younger than he was. His family includes two daughters, Janet Baggett of Nashville and Suzanne Bacon of Clinton, MD; and four grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Reba Bacon; a brother and two sisters.



Otis Bennett (83) of Owasso, Oklahoma passed away on March 12, 2018. Otis retired as an RC&D Coordinator for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.



William Hunter Casey (96) of Lexington, Kentucky passed away on May 9, 2018 at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore. Born in Mercer County, he was a United States Army Air Corp Veteran, a graduate of the University of Michigan and a State Wildlife Biologist with the USDA Soil Conservation Service. Bill was a member of the Harrodsburg Baptist Church and an avid hunter and fisherman. Survivors, in addition to his wife of seventy years, Thelma “Jean” Casey are, two sons: Daniel H (Michelle) Casey of O’Fallon, IL and David K. Casey of Lexington, and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one brother: James H. Casey and a half-brother: Travis Casey. To share your memories or to leave a message for the family, please visit:



Roger D. Coleman (95) of Oskaloosa, Kansas passed away on January 29, 2018, at the Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care Center in Kansas City, MO. Roger was born in Atchison, KS and was a graduate of Atchison High School. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy from Kansas State University and a Master Degree in Public Administration from UMKC. He was an Eagle Scout. He served In the US Navy from 1941 to 1946 and was stationed in Eureka, CA at a Lighter than Air Base and on the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier as a part of the occupation forces in Japan. Roger farmed at Larkinburg, KS for a few years after graduating from KSU. In 1959 he began working for the USDA Soil Conservation Service (NRCS) in Olathe, KS. He filled several roles including District Conservationist and Resource Conservationist for the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. He retired in 1992. Roger was a member of many organizations including being the oldest member of the Oskaloosa Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Soil Conservation Society of America and a founder and former president of the Kansas Wildflower Society. He served on the Jefferson County Conservation Board as a supervisor and won several soil conservation awards though the years. He was also a member of the Oskaloosa United Methodist Church and served on several different boards. Roger married Maxine Grace Davitt while they were in college at KSU on December 23, 1947. She preceded him in death in 1973. He married Jacqueline Louise Merryfield in August, 1974. She preceded him in death on September 9, 2007. He is also preceded in death by a son Doug Coleman. Survivors include a son Donald (Patricia) Coleman Lenexa, a daughter, Janis (Terry) Abramovitz, Shawnee, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oskaloosa United Methodist Church or Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care sent in care of the funeral home PO Box 602, Oskaloosa, KS 66066. Online condolences may be made at



Royce W. Espey, Sr. (81) of Halifax County, North Carolina passed away on June 20, 2018. Royce retired as Planning Engineer on the River Basin/Watershed Planning staff of the Soil Conservation Service in Raleigh where he worked for more than 20 years. Royce graduated from the University of Tennessee earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Engineering. Following college, he served his country with the U. S. Army from 1959 to 1962. Royce is survived by his three sons, Royce W. Espey, Jr. and his wife Terri of Fuquay Varina, Gary G. Espey of Wake Forest and James L. Espey and his wife Debbie of Lexington Park, MD: two sisters, Sue Tinkle, and Geraldine Binkley and her husband Billy all of Dyer County, TN; sister-in-law, Althea Espey of Baton Rouge, LA; three granddaughters, a grandson and great-granddaughter. Online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice in memory of Royce.



Charles Calvin Foster (97) formerly of Washington, Kansas, passed away on May 13, 2018 at Mustang Creek Estates, Sachse, Texas. He was born in Trenton, Missouri. He grew up in Effingham, Kansas, went to Parsons Junior College, and graduated from Kansas State University. Charles worked for the Soil Conservation Service as a District in Osborne, Oskaloosa, and Washington, all in Kansas, retiring in 1983. Charles was preceded in death by: his wife, Evelyn; and one grandson. He is survived by five children; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one brother, Raymond Foster, of Horton, Kansas. Memorials may be made to the First United Church, of Washington, in honor of Charles Foster.



Roger F. Hager (76) of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania passed away on April 20, 2018, at the Milton Hershey Medical Center surrounded by his loving family following post-surgical complications. He was born in Waukon, IA. Roger was a 1964 graduate of Iowa State University, later receiving a second degree from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in Agronomy and Business. In 1971, Roger moved to Pennsylvania. He was a long-time employee of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, retiring as a contract specialist in 2003. Roger also served on the board of the Dillsburg Area Public Library. Roger was a legendary personality who had a deep appreciation for the people and things he loved and was a phenomenal influence on his children, grandchildren and all who knew him. He was a voracious reader and student of history, with a special passion for World War II events. Roger is survived by his wife, Linda C. (Obyle) Hager; as well as his daughter, Sarah Hager Crone and her husband Leon of Mechanicsburg; a step-daughter, Laura Martino and her husband Peter of Clinton, NY; a step-son, Peter Dohner and his wife Beth Ann D'Agostino of Dillsburg; six grandchildren; and a brother and a sister. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dillsburg Area Public Library, 204 Mumper Lane, Dillsburg, PA 17019 or the Lutheran Camping Corp., P.O. Box 459, Arendtsville, PA 17303.



Robert J. Held (90) of Pershing, Missouri passed away on April 25, 2018 at Hermann Area District Hospital. Robert was born in Pershing. He graduated from Hermann High School. He then went on to attend college at University of Missouri where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He worked for the Soil Conservation Service as a Soil Scientist. Robert proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force and was a member of Zion-St. Peter's United Church of Christ. Robert is survived by a brother, Jim Held & wife Betty, of Hermann; a sister Marilyn Homeister of Tiffon, Ohio; a sister-in-law Bettie Held, of Morrison. He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother and a brother-in-law. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be given to Zion-St. Peter's United Church of Christ. C/O Toedtmann & Grosse Funeral Home.



Senior Conservationist William Ireland (95) of Georgetown, Delaware passed away on September 3, 2007. William was a Soil Scientist with the Soil Conservation Service, retiring in 1971.



Senior Conservationist Leonard John Kilian (91) of Ridgeway, North Carolina passed away on January 6, 2018. Leonard retired as Soil Conservation Technician in Warren County. He was a lifelong resident of Warren County. He was a US Air Force Veteran, a farmer, and a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where he held many offices. After retirement, he served on the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District Board until his death. He was a member of the local Farm Bureau for forty years and was also a member of the Cattleman’s Association. He was preceded in death by his wife, Faye Roberson Kilian. He is survived by his son, John Farrar Kilian, seven nieces and five nephews.



Jerry Wendell Laurie (79) of Maysville, Kentucky passed away on June 16, 2018, at Kenton Pointe Care Center in Maysville. He was born in Manchester, Ohio. Jerry was a graduate of Ohio State University, a field man with Carnation Milk Co. for 16 years, and retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service after 20 years of service in Bracken, Mason and Robertson counties. He was also a member and trustee at Trinity Lutheran Church in Maysville, member of Aberdeen Lions Club, former City Council member, and former volunteer coach for the Knothole Baseball and Peewee Basketball. Jerry is survived by his wife of 54 years, Carolyn Bachtel Laurie. He is also survived by his son, Jay (Jeane Kropp) Laurie of Madison, WI. Memorials are suggested to Trinity Lutheran Church or Hospice of Hope. Condolences may be sent to



Life Member and Senior Conservationist Niles Allan McLoda (88) of Midlothian, Virginia formerly of Amelia, passed away on June 23, 2018. Niles retired in 1988 as the State Soil Scientist for Virginia with the USDA Soil Conservation Service. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Maybelle; and his brothers, Dale and William. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jane; his daughters, Gail Weatherford (Irl) and Nancy McLoda (Brooks Smith); two granddaughters, Sarah and Allison Weatherford; and siblings, Neal McLoda, Noreen Collins and Sherill "Cookie" McLoda. Burial was in the Virginia Veterans Cemetery at Amelia with military honors. Condolences may be left at



Jean Brakefield Miller (89) of Irvine, Kentucky passed away on June 12, 2017 at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington. A native of Estill County, Jean was the widow of Francis Green Miller who retired from the Soil Conservation Service. Jean was a retired Vice President of the Estill Savings & Loan, who enjoyed travel and working on her yard. She was preceded in death by her infant daughter Teresa Ann Miller; six brothers, three sisters; and a great-grandson. Survivors include her son Steven (Shirley) Miller; her daughters Penny (Charlie) West, and Joan (Eric) Minton; and six grandsons. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial donations to Marcum Wallace Hospital, Estill County Ambulance Service, or the Estill County Public Library.



Member Luke Atkinson Nance, Jr. P.E. of Columbia, South Carolina passed away on May 1, 2018. He was born in Galivant's Ferry, SC. A graduate of Aynor High, he received a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Clemson College. Lt. Nance served in the 3rd Armor Division US Army at Fort Knox, KY, and Ayers Kaserne, Kirch Gons, West Germany. He received his master's in Ag Eng. from Clemson University. He was a registered Professional Engineer in both Agricultural and Civil Engineering. Luke was an engineer at Lockwood Greene Engineers in Spartanburg, SC, for two years. He was a Planning Engineer for Natural Resources Conservation Service/USDA, formerly SCS, for over 50 years, the last nine years as a volunteer. Luke received many awards and honors through the years for his excellent work, knowledge, and dedication, including volunteer of the year several times, plus President Obama's Call To Service Award for over 6000 volunteer hours. He was a member of NSPE, ASABE, ARCSE, and SCSPE which awarded him the Young Engineer of the Year award in 1973 and the Engineer of the Year award in 2017. He belonged to Washington Street UMC for over 50 years where he served as a member of the choir for over 30 years. He was President of the Columbia High Band Boosters and the PTO. He survived his many battles spanning 22 years with a cavernous angioma on the brain stem through hard work and persistence with the aid of his devoted wife, as well as many skilled therapists. He is survived by his wife of over 55 years, Laurely Kyrlach Nance; children, Marcy Reid (Tom), Eva Nance (Kimberly McAlister), Tom Nance (Catherine Stapleton); sister, Sarah Nance Burns (John); sister-in-law, Jann Morton Nance; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Lewis E. Nance. Memorials may be made to the Music Ministries at Washington Street UMC, 1401 Washington Street, Columbia, SC 29201; Angioma Alliance, 161 Jefferson Drive, Palmyra, VA 22963 or SCSPE Educational Foundation for MathCounts, SCSPE, PO Box 11937, Columbia, SC 29211. Condolences may be shared at



Anna M. Perales (73) of Columbus, Ohio passed away on June 4, 2018. Anna was born in Duluth, MN. She retired from the USDA with over 40 years of dedicated service. Many of her years were spent loyally working for the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). She was a member of the Chisolm Society, Oneida Organization and the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) sponsoring tribal elders. She was passionately active in local, state, and national Native American affairs and culture. Anna was very proud of her Ojibwe and Fond du Lac heritage and avidly researched genealogy. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by children Sheralyn Brown and Michael Perales; and three siblings. Anna is survived by three children, eleven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren; a sister and a brother. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Anna's memory to Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities - Adult Services 2879 Johnstown Road Columbus, OH 43219. Visit



Gayle Ann Potter (71) of Columbia, Missouri passed away on June 15, 2018. Gayle was born in Columbia. She was a graduate of Hickman High School and attended the University of Missouri. She was married on Oct. 16, 1970, in Columbia, to Cordes L. Potter who preceded her in death on March 25, 2016. Cordes was a design engineer with NRCS. She was a chef, seamstress, singer, florist, gardener, writer, fisherman, Gram, mother, sister, Christmas decorating queen, and philosopher. Survivors include two daughters, Robyn Goodman (Brett) of Gainesville, Fla. and Samantha Potter of Columbia; three grandchildren, two sisters, and a brother. Online condolences may be made to the family at



Alan Barton Price (68) passed away on April 23, 2018 after a ten year struggle with CLL (Leukemia). He graduated in the Class of 1967 at Albany R-III High School, Albany, MO, and on January 20th, 1973, he married Paula Ann Bonham in the First Presbyterian Church, Albany. Paula is the area clerk with the NRCS at Bethany, Missouri. Additional Survivors: son, Andrew B. Price (Cindy) and four granddaughters. Alan’s post high school graduation included two years of Junior College at Wentworth Military Academy in historic Lexington, MO, where he lettered in soccer and completed an Associates of Arts Degree. He then transferred to NW Missouri State University and completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Class of 1972. In 1984 Alan completed the educational and on the job training requirements to become an Electrical Lineman at United Electric Cooperative in Savannah, MO. Alan served proudly in the Missouri National Guard Unit A Battery, 129th Field Artillery Company, Albany, MO for nine years. He received an Honorable discharge as Chief of Section #3 Gun.



Margaret Sauerwein of Tigard, Oregon passed away on May 17, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband Bill Sauerwein in 2007. Bill retired from the Soil Conservation Service as the forester at the WNTC in Portland.



Betty Mae Schwant (71) of Seneca, Kansas passed away on July 8, 2017 at her home. She was born in the Onaga Hospital and attended Onaga Grade School and High School, graduating in 1964. Betty attended Crum’s Beauty School, graduating in March of 1965. She was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Sabetha. Betty married Eldon Schwant on October 9, 1966 at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Wheaton. Eldon retired 2005 from the SCS as the District Conservationist in Seneca. They celebrated their fiftieth anniversary this past October. He survives, of the home. Betty owned and operated the Hair Affair beauty salon in her home in Seneca. She also worked various jobs around town. Other survivors include a son and two daughters, nine grandchildren, two brothers, and two sisters.



Raymond Harold Seeley (93) of Charleston, Illinois passed away on May 13, 2018 while at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. Ray was born in Harvey, Illinois. He attended a country school near Lerna, Illinois before enlisting with the United States Army, faithfully serving his country during WWII. Ray married Alice M. (Hayes) Warman on October 14, 1977 at the Charleston Otterbein United Methodist Church and they shared 40 wonderful years of marriage. Ray loved being outdoors and enjoyed activities such as boating, camping, fishing and tending to his vegetable garden. His fondness for traveling was shared by Alice, and their travels to the western states, including Alaska and Hawaii, were memorable.  In addition to his loving and devoted wife, he is survived by three sons, John (Penny) Seeley of Hendersonville, NC, Ron Seeley of Fisher, IL and Jim (Dortha) Seeley of Middletown, IL; two stepsons, Clyde (Trish) Warman of Bullhead City, AZ and Darrell (Debbie) Warman of Charleston; seven grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren,; seven great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Phyllis Christoff of McDonald, OH. Ray was also preceded in death by a sister, Wilma Pedigo and two daughters-in-law. Ray was employed for more than 30 years as a soil conservation technician with the USDA Soil Conservation Service. He was a member of the Otterbein United Methodist Church in Charleston; a Life Member of the Charleston VFW Paul McVey Post 1592; the Charleston Moose Lodge #1388; and a former member of the Charleston Elks Club B.P.O.E. #623. It is requested that donations in his honor be made to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Coles County or the Charleston VFW Paul McVey Post 1592. Gifts may be left at the visitation or service or mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Dr., Charleston, IL 61920.



Ruby Speed (101) of Pawnee, Oklahoma, formerly a resident of Huntsville, passed away on December 6, 2016 in her home in Pawnee. Ruby retired in 1980 as a fiscal clerk with the USDA Soil Conservation Service. She leaves behind her son, Roger Brashear of Pawnee, grandson Stephen Brashear of Orlando, Florida, and her daughter Debra B. Simpson of Huntsville.



Edgar A. White, Jr. (66) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania passed away on May 30, 2018, after a brief battle with cancer. Ed retired in 2011 as the State Soil Scientist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.



Carol R. Wisner (76) of Ames, Iowa passed away on June 14, 2018, at Bethany Life in Story City, Iowa. Carol was born in York, NE and graduated from York High School in 1960 and Mounds Midway School of Nursing in St. Paul, MN in 1963. She worked as an RN until her retirement in 1995. Carol is survived by her loving husband of 54 years, Robin, a daughter, a son and five grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Robin retired as a soil scientist with NRCS. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made out to Bethany Life or Mt. Hermon Christian Camp. Online condolences and photos can be shared at


Mountain reflected in pond

Reflection Pond, Denali National Park, Alaska.