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In Memoriam
C. Reed Funk (20 Sep 1928 - 4 October 2012)

Dr. C. Reed Funk, world-renowned plant breeder, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend passed away on Oct 4, 2012, at the age of 84. He was born to Cyril and Hazel Funk on Sept 20, 1928, in Richmond, Utah, where he was raised on the family farm that he loved.

After completing an LDS mission to the Eastern States, he returned home to his college sweetheart, Donna Gwen Buttars, and on Feb 2, 1951, they were married in the Logan LDS Temple. He served honorably as 1st Lt. in the US Army during the Korean War.

Reed loved and valued education. He graduated from North Cache High School.

He received both a BS and MS degree from Utah State University and graduated with the highest GPA of his class. After a year of studying alfalfa breeding at Iowa State, he transferred to Rutgers University where he earned a PhD in Agronomy.

Reed was the leader of one of the world's most extensive turfgrass breeding projects. His selections comprise more commercially accepted varieties than any other breeder in the world. Reed has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, most notably: "Man of the Year" by l982-83 Oregon Seed Trade Association; "Man of the Year" by Landscape and Irrigation magazine, 1985; Distinguished Service Award for Agricultural Research from the United States Department of Agriculture, 1990; "Fred V. Grau Turfgrass Science Award," Crop Science Society of America, 1990; the Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 1991. Reed was inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 1991, and in 1994 he received an honorary doctorate degree of Agricultural Sciences from Utah State University. He has been written up in numerous trade publications, as well as The New York Times and US News and World Report. He authored and co-authored several hundred scientific publications.

At the age of 75 he became the George Hammell Cook Emeritus Professor at Rutgers University and founded the non-profit charitable organization, Improving Perennial Plants for Food and Bioenergy (IPPFBE). The IPPFBE mission is the scientific selection and improvement of underutilized perennial plant species for the production of food, timber, and energy and the preservation and enhancement of soil for the benefit of the entire world. Reed's dream was to eradicate world hunger.

Even with his extensive education, experience, and long list of impressive accomplishments, his family will remember him most for the personal example he set. His generosity, humility, honesty, modesty, kindness, hospitality, and integrity were unparalleled. He had a tremendous sense of humor and contagious smile. We can never express our appreciation for his love, patience and kindness that we have witnessed these last few years as he has treated his sweetheart, our mother, with the dignity she deserved during her ongoing battle with Alzheimer's.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, and their children: Bonnie (Jeff) Adams (Somerset, N.J.), David (Tamara) Funk (Richmond, UT) and Carol Jean (Brian) Petersen, (Tremonton, UT) and his siblings: Anna Wheeler (Chandler, AZ), Helen (Ken) Cutler (Provo, UT), Mary Lou Cordon (Ogden, UT), Ramona (Ken) Turner (Richmond, UT), Clarence (Joan) Funk (San Diego, CA). He adored and took great pride in his 10 grandchildren and soon to be 8 great-grandchildren.

Reed dedicated his life to making the world a better place and succeeded far beyond anyone's expectations. He is deeply loved and will be greatly missed.

A viewing will be held at Allen Mortuary, 34 East Center St, Logan, 6-8 pm, Tuesday Oct 9. Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, Oct 10, at the Richmond 4th Ward chapel, 150 South 100 West, with a viewing starting at 9:30 am. Please come and celebrate Reed's life with us.

In lieu of flowers or gifts the family requests donations be made to IPPFBE at any Lewiston State Bank office or on the website: www.ippfbe.org All donations to this organization are tax deductible. The website provides additional information about Reed and his research program.

 

 
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