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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 09/21/2017


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.







Senior Conservationist Gilbert M. Andersen (94) passed away peacefully at the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon, North Dakota, on August 11, 2017. In April of 1944, Gil entered the U.S. Marine Corp, serving in WWII and stationed in California and Hawaii. He served in Iwo Jima Volcano Islands in 1945, and received the Navy Unit Commendation for service in Iwo Jima. He was discharged on June 7, 1946. Gil worked as a technician for the Soil Conservation Service in the Jamestown District office from 1949 until retirement in 1986. Gil is survived by sons, Rodney (Phyllis) of Grand Forks, ND, Randy of Gainesville, FL, and Jeff (Shelly) of Jamestown; daughter Sue (Butch) Forester, Jamestown and daughter-in-law Julie Andersen, Naples, FL; five grandsons, two granddaughters, and two great-grandsons. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Ruth, and two sons (Gary and Gregory).



Stan Eugene Barker (87) passed away on July 11, 2017 in Boise, Idaho. He was born in Morning Sun, Iowa. He attended Parsons College, majoring in history and education and later attended Drake University, Des Moines, IA. His first career was teaching elementary education at Grinnell, IA. In 1959, he had an opportunity to change careers, and started working for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Iowa City, Iowa. He retired from the SCS in 1988, as Personnel Officer for Idaho, with 31 years career service in Iowa and Mississippi, before being transferred to Idaho in 1978. During this time he spent four years in the Air Force during the Korean conflict, obtaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. Early in 1979, he met the love of his life, Lorene, in a Sunday school class at Whitney United Methodist Church in Boise. Stan and Lorene were active members of Whitney UMC their entire married life and church was very important to them. Stan became an Idaho Freemason and a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in 1980. He also joined the Order of the Amaranth and was a York Rite Mason. He joined El Korah Shrine in 1980. He held many offices at the local and state level in all of these Fraternal Organizations throughout the remainder of his life, receiving numerous awards. For all his lifetime dedication to the fraternity, Stan is the only person to be awarded the title of Honorary Past Grand Master, an honor he received in 2013 from the Freemasons of Idaho. Stan is survived by his sister, Twyla Wells (Arthur) of Grinnell, Iowa; two step sons (Lorene’s sons), Jerry James (Sarah) of Boise, ID and Thomas (Lisa) of Portland, OR; two grandsons, one granddaughter, and four great grandchildren. Stan was preceded in death by his wife 36 years, Lorene, in February of 2016. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Shriners Hospital for Children, Fairfax Avenue & Virginia Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103; or Whitney United Methodist Church, 3309 Overland Road, Boise, ID 83705. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at



Layton Carl Billips (65) of Bogue, Kansas passed away July 3, 2017 in Hill City, Kansas. He was born in Norton, Kansas. Layton attended Fort Hays State University graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology in 1973. In February of 1985, he began his job with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service). He served many locations in Kansas, ending in Sheridan County where he became the District Conservationist in 1988. He retired from that position in 2011. Layton enjoyed hunting, fishing and many other outdoor activities. He was a true outdoorsman and an excellent marksman. He especially enjoyed deer hunting with his black powder gun. Surviving are his wife of 42 years, Linda Billips of the home; parents Donald and Mary Billips of Hill City; two brothers; and two sisters along with several nieces and nephews.



M. Joyce Bohnenblust (94) of McPherson, Kansas, passed away on July 4, 2017 while in the company of family members at McPherson Hospital. Joyce was the spouse of Gene who passed away in 2008 and closed out his career as a Civil Engineer for SCS on the Technical Staff in the Hutchinson Area Office. Joyce was born in Alden, Kansas. She then attended Sterling College, Sterling, Kansas and Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. Joyce taught elementary school at Macksville and Buckeye county schools. She was a lifetime member of McPherson Church of Christ and served her church in many capacities through the years. She is survived by her four children, her 10 grandchildren, her 12 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to McPherson Church of Christ or the McPherson Opera House and they can be sent in care of the Glidden-Ediger Funeral Home; 222 West Euclid Street; McPherson, Kansas 67460.



Paul Lee Burton (75) of Wynnewood, Oklahoma passed away on July 30, 2017. Paul married Susan (Smith) Burton on June 14, 1974 in Sulphur, OK. He was a watershed inspector for the Soil Conservation Service and the Technician in Sulphur, Oklahoma when he retired. Paul was a member of the Hillcrest Baptist Church in Wynnewood, OK. He was preceded in death by his first wife - Georgia Mae Burton in 1973. He is survived by his wife Susan of their home in Wynnewood, OK; a daughter - Sharla Lunday (George) of OKC, OK; two sons - John Burton (Kristy) of Pottsboro, TX, Todd Burton (Malia) of Lakewood, CO; 10 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren - Please send online condolences to



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



James Hubert Choate (91), of McAlester, Oklahoma passed away at a local convalescent home on July 22, 2017. Hubert was born in Luther, the youngest of twelve children. He was baptized in the First Baptist Church in Tishomingo in 1939. On August 27, 1978, he married Jacqueline Steward in El Reno. She had two daughters who survive: Denise Nick (John) of McAlester and Jamie Lynn Condray (Jason) of Weatherford, Texas. He is also survived by two step-grandchildren, and six step-great-grandchildren. He retired on January 3, 1985 after working 31 ˝ years with the USDA Soil Conservation Service in the El Reno office. He then worked 10 years in real estate appraising while waiting for Jacque to retire so they could travel and be with family more. He was preceded in death by his parents, seven brothers, and four sisters.



Member Buell Milburn Ferguson (84) of Cape Coral, Florida passed away on June 30, 2017 after several months of declining health. Buell was born in Haywood County, North Carolina and at the age of 16 Buell moved to Brevard, NC where he graduated from Brevard High School in 1950 and received the Carolina Farmer Award in Future Farmers of America. He graduated from The Clemson Agricultural College, a military college with cadet corps, (now Clemson University) in June 1954 with a BS Degree in Agriculture Engineering. After graduation, Buell was stationed at Ft. Belvoir as a 1st and 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army from 1954 until 1956. He joined the Active Army Reserve in 1956 and then served in the North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania Army National Guard where he retired as a Major after 21 years of service. Buell joined the USDA Soil Conservation Service in 1956 as a Civil Engineer in Salisbury, NC. He became engaged and married Dolores Ray Plyler on December 22, 1956. Buell and Dolores moved to North Wilkesboro, NC where their daughter Stephanie Ra Ferguson was born on August 23, 1958. The family moved multiple times due to many promotions within U.S. Soil Conversion Service. Buell held multiple positions in SCS such as Pennsylvania State Engineer and Deputy State Conservationist, Director of the SCS Natural Resource Project Development and Maintenance Mid-West Office, Indiana State Conservationist, Director of Engineering, on multiple international exchange engineering groups, and retired as Assistant Chief of the Soil Conservation Service on Jan 1, 1987 after 32 years of federal government service. He enjoyed camping and being with Dolores and Stephanie throughout the years. After retirement, he and Dolores moved to Deep Creek, MD where Buell established a successful home appraisal business. In February 2002, Buell and Dolores had a mutual consent divorce after 45 years of marriage, and stayed in touch throughout the years. On August 1, 2002, Buell Ferguson married Jacqueline Jenkins Knight and they resided in Cape Coral, FL. Buell is survived by his sister Doris McGaha, his former spouse Dolores Plyler Ferguson, daughter Stephanie Ra Ferguson, and wife Jacqueline Jenkins Knight Ferguson.



Curtis Gooch (53) of Bolivar, Missouri passed away July 21, 2017 at his home. Curtis achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 1981. For many years, Curtis' job as a resource conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service meant moving around the state. The family eventually settled in Bolivar. The family planted firm roots in Bolivar, and Curtis took an active role in doing so, coaching sports for his children. Curtis was an incredibly gifted handy-man. After buying the family house 17 years ago, it has been in a perpetual state of renovation. Curtis is survived by his wife of 26 years, Vicky Gooch, his four children and his six grandchildren



Stanley Max Hamilton (76) of Bozeman, Montana passed away suddenly on August 16, 2017 from an ATV accident in the mountains of Gallatin County. He grew up on a farm outside Chinook, Montana, the oldest of six children. A well-rounded education was of paramount importance in the rural Hamilton household, so when young Stan was of age, his parents sent him to live in town with family to attend Chinook High School. He went on to graduate from Montana State University (Bozeman) with a B.S. in civil engineering, and served two years in the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey - a fateful decision that eventually led him to Kansas City, Missouri where he met Martha, his wife. The bulk of his career was spent in Bozeman with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Recalling his own parents' values, he chose to raise his five children in Bozeman, not just for the promise of plentiful outdoor activities, but to give each child the opportunity to attend MSU. Stan is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Martha, his children Cheryl (Will) Shelhamer, Steve (Kate) Hamilton, Curt (Molly) Hamilton, Jim Hamilton, and Christina Hamilton; seven grandchildren and five siblings. Memorials may be made in Stan's name to Gallatin County Sheriff's Search and Rescue or a charity of choice. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at



Member Herman W. Kopitzke, Jr. (86) of Boone, Iowa, passed away on August 18, 2017 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. He was born in Culbertson, Montana and graduated from Culbertson High School in 1949. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served during the Korean War as a Communications Officer. He was stationed in South Korea. After his service time, Herman entered college at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, earning his degree in Agricultural Engineering. He entered the work force employed with the USDA as a Hydrologist with the Watershed Planning Party, designing flood control projects. Herman retired in 1986. While employed, he resided in West Des Moines. Herman loved flower gardening, especially growing hostas and daylilies. Herman was a member of the Russ O’Hara Hosta Society, the Iowa Arboretum for many years, joined the Lions Club in the early 90’s, served as a District Governor 1999-2000, served on the Lions State Constitution Bylaws committee twice as chair and currently was club secretary-treasurer. He became active with the Iowa Lions Kidsight Program, screening over 10,000 preschool children and serving on the steering committee at the University of Iowa for many years and was a trainer and coordinator for his district. Herman also served many years on the Boone County Zoning Board and was currently serving on the Boone County Assessment Review Board. Herman is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Helen of Boone; brother Robert, sister, Shirley Kopitzke, and beloved extended family. In lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of Herman may be directed to the Iowa Kidsight Program or the Iowa Arboretum.



Berneice Schield Lunday (82) passed away August 1, 2017, at her home in Bismarck, North Dakota. She worked for the SCS briefly in the 1970's as a secretary. She is survived by her husband of 70 years, James Lunday; her daughters, Marga (Lonnie) Carlson of Bismarck, Amy (Darrell) Hinger of Fargo, and Bernelda (Randy) Lehmann of Bismarck; three grandchildren; three sisters and brothers-in-law; and many loving nephews and nieces. Berneice was preceded in death by her parents, a daughter Noeletta Seibold, two brothers, two sisters, and five brothers-in-law. Berniece always saw the best in others, hoped for the best, and praised God to the end of her life.



Glen Burrow Miller (70) passed away on July 23, 2017 at his home in Guthrie, Oklahoma. He was born in Lubbock, Texas and was raised on the family farm near Tulia. After high school he received his BS degree in geology from Baylor University and his MS degree in soil science from Texas Tech University. Glen worked for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Texas for many years (Bonham, Ft Worth, San Marcos and Waco) before leaving for Oklahoma. Glen joined the Chickasha Watershed Planning Staff in 1989. He came to the State Office as the State Geologist in 1991. Glen retired on April 30, 2009 after 35 years of service. In 1973 he married Carol Diane Currie in Tulia, Although Glen was initially diagnosed as being terminally ill in 2008, the original few months he was given to live turned into several years largely due to the prayerful, loving support of his family and many dear friends. He truly fought a good fight and kept the faith. The last 3 years of his life he was totally bedridden, and yet all who came to visit him at our home were continually amazed at his pleasant attitude, his calm spirit, and his unwavering. Glen is survived by his wife of 44 years, Carol, their two daughters: Brittany Miller of Troy, IL and Trevi (Ray) Holland, and two grandsons. He remained quite certain that there is going to be a Whataburger on every corner in Heaven. He went to meet Jesus in his Donald Duck undies. Because of his love of tennis memorial contributions can be made to The Stillwater Tennis Association (PO Box 1524, Stillwater, OK 74076).



Patricia Ann Miller (92), a lifelong Lincoln, Nebraska resident, passed away on August 9, 2017. She was born in York and graduated from Lincoln High School and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She retired as a cartographer from the USDA Soil Conservation Service after 21 years. Pat was a member of the Old Cheney Alliance Church. She is survived by her daughter, Sandra Lee Guida, Red Wing, Minn.; son, Michael (Sandra) Miller, Lincoln; daughter, Deborah Sue (J.R.) Venza, Suwanee, Ga.; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband, Wesley. Condolences online at



Tilmon "Tim" C. Mullins (93) of Arapaho, Oklahoma passed away on July 18, 2017. Tim had over a 30 year career with the Soil Conservation Service, serving as a Core Drill Specialist. He was born in Hammon, OK and attended school in Hammon. He did farm labor before enlisting in the United States Army in 1948 and served until 1950. He married Edythe Marie Downey on March 6, 1954 in Cheyenne, OK. They lived their entire married life in Arapaho. After his retirement he was employed at the Custer County Court House as their custodian. Tim was well known for antique collecting and he enjoyed gardening. Tim is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Edythe, son Ronald Gene Henderson, six sisters, and two brothers. He is survived by three daughters: Ramona Lund, Clinton, OK, Ree Corbin, Weatherford, OK, and Kaye Edwards, Oklahoma City, OK, one son: Eddie Henderson, Arapaho, OK, and one sister. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren. DeArman Funeral Home in Wynnewood is in charge of his service. A link to his obituary and online condolences:!/Obituary 



Phyllis Darlene (Hansen) Richard (84) of Spokane, Washington, passed away on August 6, 2017 surrounded by her family. Phyllis was proud of her farming and ranching background being born in Brush, Colorado. She attended Colorado State University and Pennsylvania State University. Phyllis resided in many states and overseas because of her husband's work, some 17 moves in all. She married Gerald Richard in 1952. Jerry has been the ARCSE state rep for Washington State for 23 years and has just completed his 5th term (10 years) as VP for the West. Phyllis will be remembered by her radiant smile, her generous love and support and her positive can do outlook. She loved to travel with her husband, read, cook, sew, garden, golf, volunteer, hike, camp, create art work, work with stained glass, paint and play the piano. In her professional world she was multi-talented, teaching school in Spokane and Lashkargah, Afghanistan, was a Welcome Wagon lady in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Census Bureau worker, secretary, and was a staff worker at the Tika Box Shop at USAID in Kathmandu, Nepal. Phyllis is a member of the Manito United Methodist Church. She is survived by her husband Gerald, her two sons, Don (Valerie) and Dale (Rashel), her two daughters Lori (James) Fosmire and Julie (Cole) Young, two sisters and a brother, six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations in Phyllis' remembrance may be made to Manito United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 8656, Spokane, WA 99203 or to Hospice of Spokane, P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210.



Joe Frank Roberts (85) of Lexington, Kentucky passed away on June 30, 2017. He was born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He attended Oklahoma State University where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. Joe served in the US Army (1955-1958) before taking a position in the USDA Soil Conservation Service. After moving to Lexington in 1975 he was Head of the Design Section where he worked until he retired in 1990. He also worked as a consulting engineer for Bell Engineering from 1990 until 2000. Joe was a member of Southland Christian Church. Joe was a lifelong member and supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the rank of Star Scout as a youth and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. Joe served many years as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 473 of Southland Christian Church. He was awarded the Silver Beaver in 2008 for work he did at Camp McKee. Joe is survived by his wife of 62 years, Loretta, his three children, his seven grandchildren, and his eight great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please make all donations to Friends of Scouting Donation, Bluegrass Council, BSA, 2134 Nicholasville Rd., Suite 3, Lexington, KY 40503. Hike on.



Philip R. Shaffer (75) of Salina, Kansas passed away on July 31, 2017. He was born in Wichita. He married Mary Diana Soderberg on Aug. 20, 1960. Mary Shaffer is a member of ARCSE and was a former Public Affairs Specialist for SCS/NRCS. Philip grew up in Lindsborg and served as judge of Municipal Court, as a workman’s comp hearing judge and small claims court judge in Salina from 1984-2005. Phil was recognized for his generosity, unbiased spirit, and passionate political discussions. Survivors: spouse, Mary; son, Dr. Matthew Shaffer (Rita) of Salina; daughter, Alison Suarez (Leo) of Conroe, Texas; and five grandchildren.



Marjorie J. Smith (98) passed away on July 12, 2017, at Good Samaritan Society, Hutchinson Village. She was born in Pittsburg, Kansas. Marjorie graduated from Pittsburg State Teacher’s College in 1941. She taught home economics, math, typing, and girl’s physical education. On June 2, 1946, she married Ivan D. Smith in Pittsburg. He retired from SCS as the District Conservationist in the Burlington Field Office and died August 28, 2007. Survivors include: two daughters, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson.



George L. Stem (73) of Littlestown, Pennsylvania passed away on August 21, 2017. George retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service as ASTC Programs, Raleigh, North Carolina. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Betty S. Stem; by a daughter, Kelly Rumbaugh (Bill) of Manchester; a son, Dr. Jesse L. Stem (Kristin) of Smith Mountain Lake, VA, two brothers, and a sister-in-law. George is also survived by 13 grandchildren, 3 great grand-children, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by brothers, Truman and Charles E. Stem. George graduated from Westminster High School where he was a star football player. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1966. He played football at Maryland and received the Outstanding Senior Athletic Award and the Unsung Hero Award. He was a charter member of the Carroll County Chargers and was a charter member of the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame. George was a member of Redeemers United Church of Christ in Littlestown, a member of the M Club, and the Terrapin Club. He was an avid golfer and sports fan.



Gerald Tussing (76) passed away July 8, 2017 at his Bellefontaine, Ohio home. He was a graduate of Reynoldsburg High School and The Ohio State University College of Agriculture. He retired from the USDA Soil Conservation Service as the Top of Ohio RC&D Coordinator, previously serving many counties throughout Ohio. He was a Veteran of the United States Army Reserves. He is survived by his wife, Linda (Colby); daughter, Ellie Link (Edward); son, Chad; five grandchildren, and a sister. Memorial gifts in his memory may be made to Universal Home Health and Hospice, 701 South Main Street, Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311.



Senior Conservationist Charles Stephen (Bub) Wallace (93) of Lincolnton, North Carolina passed away on July 2, 2017. Charles died just hours before his 94th birthday. He began his career working briefly in Cleveland County, N.C. He then worked the remainder of his career in Lincoln and Gaston Counties, NC where he retired from the Soil Conservation Service as a Soil Conservation Technician in January of 1984. After his retirement Charles worked part time for the Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District and then after that for the Gaston Soil & Water Conservation District. He also served as a Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor. Charles mentored and trained numerous soil conservationists and district conservationists who came through Lincoln County early in their careers. He was highly respected by his coworkers and clientele alike. He and his wife of 70 years, Mary Helen who died in February of this year, put out the welcoming mat for all these young conservationists by inviting them into their home for meals. Charles served in the US Navy during WWII on LST's. He ferried troops and equipment from ship to shore and returned wounded soldiers to hospital ships. He participated in North African, Sicilian, Italian and French invasions. He once got stranded from his ship and fought alongside Army troops until he could be reunited with his ship mates. Charles is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Mary-Charles and Patrick Murphy, and one sister, Nelle Jacobs.



Archie Daniel Weeks (81) of Lexington, Kentucky passed away on August 22, 2017 at Baptist Health Lexington. He was born in Gilmer County, GA and attended Berry College and was a graduate of the University of Georgia. He retired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service where he served as a civil engineer for 30 years. Archie was a former board member of the Friends of the Children at the Kentucky Methodist Home, and a member of Centenary United Methodist Church since 1965. Archie’s loves were faith, family, friends, and golf. He is survived by his wife Wenda Pritchett Weeks and three children, six grandchildren, and one great grandson. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Kentucky Methodist Children’s Home, P.O. Box 749, Versailles, KY 40383 or a charity of one’s choice.



Clarence Jennings Wilson Jr. (Sonny) (85) went home to his Lord and Savior on April 5, 2017. He was a resident of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and was at the home of his son in Avon, Ohio, at the time of his passing. He was born in Terra Alta, W.Va. He was a graduate of Kingwood, W.Va. High School. While stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., he completed his U.S. Army enlistment in 1956. Following military service, Clarence earned a Master of Science degree in agronomy from West Virginia University. Subsequently, he was employed by and retired from the USDA Soil Conservation Service. Clarence attended Harrisonburg First Assembly of God Church. Clarence is survived by Annette Benson Wilson, his wife of 58 years. Also surviving are three sons, David Kevin Wilson (Vickie) of Avon, Ohio, John Edward Wilson (Allison) of Harrisonburg, Va., and Joel Jennings Wilson (Paula) of Little River, S.C; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Mountain reflected in pond

Reflection Pond, Denali National Park, Alaska.