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In Memoriam (March 2015)

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Robert "Bob" L. Gee, 88, passed away Oct. 28 in Moorhead, where he had served as Clay County Extension agent; he is remembered for his many contributions to dairy farming, 4-H and community service.

June C. McAuliffe, one of the founders of Minnesota 4-H Expressive Arts programs, including Art-in-the Park Community summer programs, State Arts-In, and Holiday Arts-In, passed away on Dec. 2 at age 86. She is remembered for her 4-H work in Minnesota, South Dakota and at the national level in Washington D.C.

Evelyn (Quesenberry) McDonald, age 92, passed away on Dec. 10. She began her Extension career in 1949 in Maryland and concluded her work 33 years later in Minnesota where she was Extension program director in home economics and family living.

Curtis J. Overdahl of Ft. Wayne, passed away on Dec. 4, age 97. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota and doctorate at Purdue University. He was a faculty member in the University's department of soil science for 34 years.

Daniel Panshin After receiving a Ph.D. in oceanography in 1971, he worked as an oceanographer doing research and Extension work. Later in his career, he served on the Marine and Fisheries Congressional Committee and as an administrator at the University of Minnesota. He was 76 when he passed away on Nov. 17.

Retiree Updates

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Welcome new retirees:

Janet Bloomquist, administrative secretary, Watonwan County. Her 29 years of service and commitment to youth development, county work, and helping others was appreciated and recognized on March 17.

Bev Swenson, 4-H program coordinator in Kittson County , retired on April 30 after 16 years of service. She delivered new after-school programs and aquatic robotics to youth in Kittson County.

In Memoriam:

Rueben Myrum Boxrud, resident of Slayton, MN, and graduate of University of Minnesota, passed away on May 20.  He was an Extension agriculture agent for five years in McCloud County and Extension director for Murray County, 1958-1985.  Rueben was 89.

Sara Elvira Cina, 104, died April 24, in LaQuinta, CA. A 1933 University of Minnesota graduate with a bachelor of science degree in home economics, Sara worked as a home demonstration agent for Extension in Grand Rapids and Hennepin County. In 1944 she moved to California and served as a nutrition educator, taught cooking in schools as well as offering classes on television. She was member of the Home Economics Hall of Fame.

Ada D. Schroeder worked as an Extension home agent from 1935-1968 in Beltrami, Fairmont, and Pipestone Counties where she organized and taught 4-H clubs. Ada passed away on March 5 at age 103.

Retiree Updates

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Welcome new retirees:

Rosemary Heins retired on January 31 after a 31-year career as an Extension educator in family development/family resource management. She worked in Redwood, Nicollet and Anoka Counties, and at the Regional Office in Andover.

Kathleen A. Johnson retired in September after 14 years as Extension 4-H program coordinator. She provided leadership and learning opportunities in Dakota County.

Cindy M. Petersen, a family development/family resource management regional educator for 37 years, worked in Renville and McLeod Counties, and most recently at the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center in Minneapolis. She retired January 31.

Jeffrey K. Reneau, professor, Extension animal scientist and Extension program leader, retired on December 31. His 35-year career earned him the distinction of being one of the nation's leading authorities in dairy management.

Susan Shegrud, Clearwater County Extension support staff, provided support to the county 4-H program, agriculture and natural resources programs, Master Gardeners and the Clearwater County Fair for 23 years. She retired on January 24.

Maryann Woeste, office manager and payroll specialist, retired in December after 43 years of service for the Todd County Extension Office. Her work supported programs in health and nutrition, 4-H, agriculture, Master Gardeners, and county Extension committees.

In Memoriam:

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Richard W. "Dick" Brand passed away December 2, in Long Prairie, age 93. His B.S. and M.S. degrees focused on dairy production, economics and journalism. He started his Extension career as a summer assistant in Houston County. Later he worked in Carlton and Todd Counties and retired in 1982 after 33 years of service.

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Hazel M. Engelstad, 92 and a longtime resident of the Kasson area, died on February 3.  She attended the University and was a 4-H Club agent in Dodge County for many years.

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Carroll Fredrick Giesler, resident of Hibbing was 82 when he passed away on October 28. He received his B.S. degree in agriculture from the University and retired as county Extension director for St. Louis County.

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Doris Marie Hagedorn, 72 and resident of Blue Earth, died on January 26. She worked for 34 years at the Faribault County Extension office.

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Harlund G. Routhe (Hal) was passionate about the University, where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees studying agricultural education, economics and farm business management. His leadership positions during his 35-year career included state leader of Extension programs, program leader for agricultural production and associate director of Extension. He passed away on January 29 at his home in Falcon Heights, age 87.

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Gerald Wagner, Roseville, died October 19, age 83. He worked for Extension from 1970-1998, during which time he conducted numerous dairy and beef tours in the U.S. and led 26 international tours to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Europe.

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William F. Wilcke, 59, passed away on November 18. His background and degrees in agricultural engineering were well utilized when he joined the University in 1989. In addition to his teaching and research, he served as regional director for the North Central Region-Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program until he retired in 2010.

In Memoriam

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Retirees who passed away since the last update [note - sometimes notifications are received well past the time a retiree died]

View the online version of the newsletter to see photos of the Extension retirees listed below.

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Mary Bandow, 73, a graduate and longtime employee of the University who worked as an Extension human resource personnel assistant, passed away on August 17, Roseville.

J. William (Bill) Mudge, an Extension dairy specialist from 1960-1986, died on April 24, age 92. Bill received his degrees from Kansas State University, with his Ph.D. in dairy cattle genetics and management.  Bill's Extension responsibilities included development and education of dairy herds, making significant contributions to computerizing record forms and data for dairy producers to use in herd management. He was a great friend of the dairy industry.

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James L. Rabehl, Baxter, died June 4. After graduating from University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in agricultural education, he became the Crow Wing County assistant agricultural agent. He spent five years as Extension director in Scott County and returned to Brained as an Extension county director until retiring in 1992.

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Gerald J. Sullivan, age 88 of Grand Rapids died June 6. He worked for Extension for 13 years and retired in 1980 as professor emeritus at the University's Research and Outreach Station in Grand Rapids.


Richard D. Herman, Duluth, passed away October 21, 2012 at age 86.  He was an Extension county agricultural agent and director, first in Mora, then for South St. Louis County until he retired in 1983. Richard was a graduate of the University of Minnesota receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees in science.

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Norman H. Adams, Wadena, was 92 when he passed away on March 7, 2009. He worked in Extension agriculture programs for 10 years and retired in 1985. Norman also served as an adult leader of the Oakdale 4-H Club and participated in many county and state fairs.  

In Memoriam

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Charlotte W. Huckstead, 93, South St. Paul, died March 12. She was an Olmsted County Extension Home Economist in the 1970s and later was active in many volunteer positions from Dakota County Historical Museum to Ginnie Adams Watercolor group.

Nancy J. Nelson, the first full-time community resource Extension agent in Minnesota, passed away on April 8, age 58. She began her Extension career in 1992 in Moorhead where she worked with the local businesses until she retired in 2002.

J. David Radford passed away on February 27 at age 82. He received both a Bachelor of Science and Master's Degree from the University. He began his Extension career in Carleton County as an Extension resource development agent. His areas of expertise included dairy and small farms, and his long successful career continued until he retired in 1986.

Richard C. Walter, age 81, died January 15 in Red Wing. Richard graduated from the University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science. He worked for Extension in Goodhue County until he retired in 1989.

Charles E. Williams served in several roles for Extension. In 1981, he became the 4-H district program leader, followed by staff development coordinator, minority recruiting officer, Extension specialist and Extension's equal opportunity officer. Charles passed away in Minneapolis on September 9, at age 71.

In Memoriam

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(NOTE: Click on the thumbnail photo to view a larger version.)


Jean W. Bauer, age 67, of Falcon Heights, passed away on July 23. Jean grew up in Terre Haute, IN and earned degrees from Indiana State University, Purdue University and University of Illinois. She was a professor in the University's Department of Family Social Science since 1983. She provided exceptional leadership and mentoring to her department, college, the University, Extension and her research communities.


Harvey Bjerke, 93, passed away in West Concord on September 1. Harvey received his degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota and retired from Extension as an associate professor after 25 years. Harvey managed the Citizens' State Bank in Mantorville for 10 years; he was co-founder of Trinity Lutheran Church of West Concord and served on the school board and town council.


Norman A. Brown passed away on September 25, at age 73.  He received his B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. from Michigan State University and was an honorary recipient of the Doctor of Laws Degree at the University of Natal in South Africa. He was one of the original founders of EARTH University in Costa Rica. His distinguished academic career included faculty and administrative positions at Michigan State University, state director of Michigan 4-H, dean and director of Minnesota Extension, president emeritus of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as leadership positions with many national boards and foundations.


Paulene Mims died January 12 in St. Paul. An Alabama native, Paulene moved to Minnesota in 1968. She worked as an agricultural assistant at the Extension Office in Ramsey County, where she had the opportunity to utilize her passion for cooking, sewing and gardening. Paulene's positions were community-based, working with youth in 4-H programs, and with families as a nutrition economist. After retirement she continued as a Master Gardener.  She was 84 years old when she died.  


Lawrence R. Simonson, known by many as a pioneer in bringing the tourism industry to the forefront of Minnesota, died November 25 in Brainerd at age 87. He was a founding father of the Tourism Center at the University of Minnesota. Larry worked with many resorts and tourism industries doing workshops and resource development. He was the first recipient of the Outstanding Individual of Tourism Award and honored by the governor in 1987.  

In Memoriam (January 2012)

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(click on the thumbnails for a larger version of each photo)

susannefisher.jpgSusanne G. Fisher passed away on October 15, age 70. She was an inspirational leader, innovator, and tireless advocate for 4-H. Her contributions and impacts to the 4-H movement reached from county to state to national to international levels and she was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2005. Her career spanned over four decades and she held numerous leadership positions.


Myrna Johnson.jpgMyrna Johnson, 98, of Redwood Falls, died May 10. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Agricultural School in 1937. Myrna returned to Slayton where she worked with USDA and other federal entities, and later with Minnesota Extension as a 4-H club leader. She was named Redwood County Outstanding Senior Citizen in 2001.


Mary Mangum.jpgKathleen M. Mangum, age 70, died September 1 in Olivia, MN. Her career at the University of Minnesota included a doctoral degree and working 24 years for Extension. One of her many contributions was the development of the Farmer Credit Mediation Program.



McKinnon_Jane.jpgJane Price McKinnon, age 91, died October 25, in Spring, TX after a long and accomplished life. She was a faculty member in Horticultural Science, where she taught students and colleagues across the State.



Verna Mikesh.jpgVerna Mikesh passed away on September 4, 2011, in St. Paul, age 96. Her Extension career was rich with her many contributions as a 4-H agent in Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, Otter Tail Counties, as well as her work on campus including many years as the Beta of Clovia house manager.


edplissey.jpgEd Plissey, the first regional agricultural extension potato specialist in the Red River Valley, passed away on November 14, age 77. He held a joint position with North Dakota State, making research in the Valley more practical and useful. As a national expert on potato production, he continued involvement in the potato industry well beyond his retirement.


J_Eugene_Ellis.jpgJay Eugene Ellis, age 94, formerly of Buffalo and Litchfield, died on December 14. He started his Extension career in Sioux County Iowa. He worked for the University of Minnesota Extension as a county soils agent in Wright County from 1954 to 1967. From 1967 to his retirement in 1982 he worked as an areas soils specialist in six counties with an office in Meeker County at Litchfield.

In Memoriam (August 2011)

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John Edward Becker died on February 2 in Sioux Falls, SD, at age 93. Known as "Ed" to his friends and colleagues, he had a distinguished 31-year career with Extension working as an Extension agent, later as an area director in Grand Rapids and as a district director for southeast Minnesota.

Leonard B. Hertz, age 86, Roseville, died on January 28. He was a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science from 1967 to 1991; his research centered on cultural and chemical weed control methods for fruit and vegetable crops .

Clara "Pat" Pogalz passed away on November 20, 2010, at Fairview Care Center in Dodge Center. Pat was the Dodge County 4-H youth agent for a number of years. A celebration of her life was held on June 4 at Riverside Cemetery, Dodge Center.
Evelyn M. Falkoski , age 68, of St. Paul, passed away on July 13 after a battle with cancer. She worked as a receptionist in Coffey Hall and in Extension's Office of Special Programs.

In Memoriam (January 2011)

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Stanley R. Meinen, passed away December 17. His expertise in 4-H youth and volunteer leader development led him to serve as a member of the State 4-H staff as well as a key figure in development of the National 4-H Aerospace Program. Stan also provided leadership in the International Youth Exchange Program and the MN Camping program.

In Memoriam (September 9, 2010)

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Delores Andol passed away on August 5 at age 85. During her 47-year career with Extension, Dolores received awards and honors as President of Pi Chapter of ESP, first recipient of the ESP State Mini Ruby award, member of the National 4-H Hall of Fame, and State Extension faculty award for distinguished service.

Marlin Oscar Johnson, 80, area Extension educator and a longtime Crookston resident, died peacefully June 10. Marlin's career entailed numerous international agricultural assignments in Thailand and Chile.

Bud G. Crewdson, died on May 8, age 79. He was professor emeritus at the University's Department of Applied Economics, with a background in agricultural economics.

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