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Necrology
Necrology

This page contains a list of members that have recently passed away. Please let us know if you know of anyone whose name is missing from this list. The Chair of the Necrology Committee is Dr. Martin Stewart of Middle Tennessee State University. He can be reached at: martin.stewart@MTSU.edu.

2017

Charles E. Magnuson

Dr. Magnuson received a BA in Physics from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1962 and an MS in Physics from SUNY Buffalo, New York in 1966. Dr. Magnuson taught physics at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City from 1966-1969. He continued to Texas A&M to earn a PhD in Physics in 1974. He was author or co-author of over 100 scientific publications.

Mildred B. Perry

Dr. Mildred B. Perry passed away in September 2009. Perry received a BS in Chemistry and MS in Biology from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She served as a public-school science teacher in Georgia and Tennessee from 1965-1977. She earned a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1983. Dr. Perry was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Conservation Educator of the Year and a TAS Fellow.

Rubye P. Torrey

Dr. Rubye P. Torrey passed away in October 2017. In 1968, Dr. Torrey was the first African- American woman to receive a PhD from Syracuse University. From 1988-2006 she was a Professor of Chemistry at Tennessee Tech University and served for many years as TAS section chair for Ethics in Science and Technology.

Roy W. Clark

Dr. Roy W. Clark passed away in May 2017. Dr. Clark received a BS from Middle Tennessee State University in 1956 and a PhD from Louisiana State University. Dr. Clark taught Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University.

2016

Harvey F Blanck

Dr. Harvey F Blanck died in May 2016. Dr. Blanck received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University and in 1964 joined the faculty of APSU, teaching instrumental analysis as well as general physical and analytical chemistry. Dr. Blanck’s research interests included physical and theoretical chemistry and chemical education. He was especially noted for science demonstrations with original apparatus built in his home workshop.

Thomas E. Hemmerly

Dr. Thomas E. Hemmerly died in February 2016. Dr. Hemmerly received his Ph.D. in plant ecology at Vanderbilt under Professor Elsie Quarterman and studied the Tennessee cone flower. He came to MTSU in 1964. He retired in 2007, but continued as an adjunct. Dr. Hemmerly taught general studies biology, botany, and a series of special topic courses. Dr. Hemmerly was the author of many papers and books including Wildflowers of the Central South, Appalachian Wildflowers, and Wildflowers of Tennessee.

Parris F. Powers

Parris F. Powers died in July 2016. He was a graduate of Tennessee State University and joined the faculty at Volunteer State Community College where he remained for 25 years. He was an outstanding educator, and students from across the country have positive remembrances of his teaching, mentoring and study abroad trips. He organized for the past 15 years the annual Volunteer State Science and Math Expo involving hundreds of secondary school student in hands-on science and math activities.

2015

George Benz

Dr George Benz was a Professor of Biology at Middle Tennessee State University from 2004-2015. Dr. Benz studied marine parasites of sharks and was formerly Director of Research at the Chattanooga Aquarium. Dr. Benz passed away February 2015.

Michael Harvey

Dr. Michael Harvey had been a member of the Tennessee Academy of Science since 1987. Dr. Harvey was Professor Emeritus and former Chairman in the Department of Biology at Tennessee Technological University. He authored number publications on bats and studied reptiles, amphibians and other mammals. Dr. Harvey died on 30 June 2015.

Exum Watts

Dr. Exum Watts received his PhD in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University and was retired from the Chemistry Department at Middle Tennessee State University after 37 years. In addition to coordinating the chemistry laboratories, he was a teacher and faculty advisor for pre-professional students.

2014

Andrew Barrass

Andrew Barrass received his M.S from Austin Peay State University in 1976 and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1985. He was an Associate Professor of Biology at Austin Peay State University and was a member of the Center for Excellence in Field Biology. He was very interested in animal behavior and his studies of bats are quite well known. He was the first to identify white-nose syndrome in Tennessee. He had a great impact on the lives of numerous students that remember him fondly.

Landon McKinney

Landon McKinney, received his M.S. from MTSU and continued his graduate research on violets throughout his career. As a botanist he was recognized and well-published as an expert on stemless blue violets. He was a proud Vietnam veteran, serving as a Marine Navy Corpsman. He died from cancer on June 5, 2014.

Wayne Price

Wayne Price, graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and faculty at Martin Methodist College for 24 years died on August 20, 2014. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and Navy and served in Vietnam.

Elsie Quarterman

Elsie Quarterman received her Ph.D. from Duke University in 1949. Professor emerita from Vanderbilt University, she was one of the first plant ecologists to study limestone cedar glades. Her students followed in her footsteps and studied endemic cedar glade plants. She was influential in the protection and conservation of thousands of acres of premier Tennessee land. Dr. Quarterman received the 2003 TAS Distinguished College/University Scientist award. She passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 103.

Robert Ward

Robert Ward received his B.S. and M.S. degree from Peabody College and a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University. He taught at Tennessee Wesleyan, Millsaps College, Peabody College, University of Tennessee-Nashville, and retired from Montgomery Bell Academy in 1987.

2013

Melburn (Mel) Mayfield

Founded the department of Physics at APSU in 1957. While at APSU he was the Department Chair, Director of the Center for Teachers and Vice President for University Advancement (when that was a VP position). He was 92.

Samuel Raymond Whitman

Samuel Raymond Whitman passed away on October 19, 2013. He taught General Biology (as we call it today) from 1978 to 1996 when he retired from TSU. However, he was well known as "Couch Whit" having been included into the TSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.

Florence Cox McFerrin

Florence Cox McFerrin passed away on October 4, 2013. Mrs. MdFerrin was employed by MTSU from September 1, 1951 until her retirement on June 3, 1978. She was an Assistant Professor in Mathematics/Computer Science.