In memoriam: Friends, colleagues remember Prof. John Dohms

March 10, 2014 under CANR News

In Memoriam: John DohmsThe University of Delaware extends condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of John E. Dohms, a retired professor of animal and food sciences at the University, whose death was confirmed by Newark Police on Feb. 28. Prof. Dohms had been missing since Sept. 13, 2012.

A member of the UD faculty for 32 years, Dr. Dohms retired in 2009 with the rank of professor of microbiology of infectious diseases. His research focused on the pathology of avian disease, and his former students have praised his inspirational teaching and the impact he has had on their lives and careers.

Mark Rieger, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), said, “We at CANR grieve the loss of a dedicated colleague and friend who touched the lives of numerous students, faculty and staff. John’s contributions and impacts to the ANFS program were unparalleled.”

Limin Kung, S. Hallock du Pont Professor of Animal and Food Sciences, wrote, “John was respected and loved by all of us to the highest degree. At the height of his career, he was one of the best teachers and an excellent researcher. Students UNIVERSALLY loved him, because of his kind and caring nature as a person and mentor. Students flocked to his classes and to him as an academic adviser. Colleagues regularly sought advice and collaborated with him. As important as all other things, John was a good friend to all of us!”

Jack Gelb Jr., chairperson of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, said, “John will be missed by many friends and colleagues in this country who benefited from his service and contributions to the field of animal health. His legacy is reflected in the many fine students he mentored and trained and his sincere desire to make the world a better place.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go to Dr. Kim Herrman, John’s partner of over 25 years and an alumnus of our ANFS program, as well as many other family members and friends,” Rieger said.

Born in New York City, Dr. Dohms graduated from Fair Lawn High School in New Jersey in 1966. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Bowling Green State University in 1970 and 1972, respectively, and earned his Ph.D. in veterinary microbiology from Ohio State University in 1977.

In addition to being a collegiate lacrosse player and lifelong fan of that sport, Dr. Dohms was an avid athlete and outdoorsman who enjoyed swimming, running, whitewater rafting or biking. He took many trips with his friends to experience the outdoors in Central and South America, Africa, New Zealand and the United States, and to pursue his passions that also included fly-fishing and birding.

He is survived by his partner, Kim A. Herrman of Newark, Del.; his brothers, Peter Dohms of Payson, Ariz., and James Dohms of Bradenton, Fla.; his nine nieces and nephews, as well as numerous friends and colleagues.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made in his name and suggests some of his favorite causes and institutions, including the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Delaware, Trout Unlimited and the National Audubon Society.

Details of a memorial service will be announced at a future date.

Condolences may be left online at


In Memoriam: Samuel Gwinn

April 13, 2012 under CANR News

Dr. Samuel Gwinn of Newark, former director of University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and former state director of Delaware 4-H, died April 10 at the age of 92.  A leading and beloved figure in the Delaware agriculture community, he was known affectionately as “Mr. 4-H.”

Born in Meadowbridge, W.Va., Dr. Gwinn began his lifelong interest in agriculture and animal husbandry on his family’s 200-acre farm in Lockbridge, W.Va. At the age of 10, he joined a 4-H club and participated in corn, pig and vegetable projects, as well as judging contests, camps and other 4-H activities.

Dr. Gwinn served in the U.S. Army during World War II and received a Purple Heart. After the war, he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University.

In 1948, Dr. Gwinn began working for UD Cooperative Extension as a Sussex County Cooperative Extension agent. He was appointed Delaware’s 4-H director in 1951. From 1955 to 1957, Dr. Gwinn took a sabbatical to earn a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. In 1962 he became the director of UD Cooperative Extension, a position he held until his retirement 22 years later.

Dr. Gwinn was responsible for a broad range of accomplishments but was said to be most proud of his work in creating the 4-H overnight camp at Camp Barnes in Assawoman Bay Wildlife Area. Prior to Dr. Gwinn’s arrival in Delaware in 1948, Delaware had no overnight summer 4-H camp.

Dr. Gwinn established the Delaware 4-H Foundation, the fundraising arm of the organization that helps to pay for special programs, including sponsoring children who couldn’t otherwise afford to participate in 4-H activities.

As a result of his many accomplishments, Dr. Gwinn was named to the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2003, the first Delawarean to be awarded that honor.

His survivors include his wife of 63 years, Dorothy Stanley Gwinn, whom he met at a 4-H camp in West Virginia; his son, Stanley M. Gwinn and his wife, Megan, of Newark, Del; and grandchildren, Jessica A. Gwinn and Ryan S. Gwinn of Pike Creek, Del. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Lonzo, Aubrey, Lester, Flonzie, Henry, and Thomas, and by his sisters, Icie and Dora.
A funeral service will be held at noon, Saturday, April 14, at Newark United Methodist Church, 69 East Main St., Newark, Del, where visitation will begin at 11 a.m. A committal service will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 17, at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, Del.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Delaware 4-H Foundation, 113 Townsend Hall, 531 South College Ave., University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 ( / 302-831-2509).

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In Memoriam: Ernest N. Scarborough

November 16, 2011 under CANR News

Ernest N. Scarborough, 89, of Newark, Del., died Nov. 9.

Dr. Scarborough retired from the faculty of the Department of Bioresources Engineering in 1983 after 28 years of service, including several years as department chairperson.

During his tenure at UD, Dr. Scarborough was honored with a National Teacher of the Year Award and, in 1964, with the Christian R. and Mary H. Lindbach Excellence in Teaching Award.

Among his many professional affiliations, Dr. Scarborough was invited by his peers to the membership of Who’s Who in the EastAmerican Men of ScienceWho’s Who In Technology and Outstanding Educators of America.

Born in Annapolis, Md., on May 21, 1922, Dr. Scarborough was the son of the late Dr. James Blaine Scarborough and Lessie Neville Scarborough. He served his country as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and would go on to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Iowa State University.

A gifted educator and researcher, Dr. Scarborough began his teaching career in Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University.

According to his famiy, Dr. Scarborough enjoyed gardening around his home and traveling with his wife and family. He was also an avid sports fan throughout his life.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Miriam Jacklitch Scarborough; children, James Scarborough and wife Carol of Earleville, Md., Barbara Scarborough of Greensboro, N.C., Betsy Kenyon and husband, Austin, of Park Hill, Okla., and Robert Scarborough and wife, Judith, of Newark, Del.; brother, William Scarborough and wife, Pat, of Hattiesburg, Miss.; and grandchildren, Michael, Rebecca, Nikki, and Tyler.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ernest N. Scarborough Scholarship Fund, University of Delaware, University Development Office, George Evans House, 5 Main St., Newark, DE 19716; or to Compassionate Care Hospice, 702 B Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19805.


Memorial service for Donald Crossan scheduled May 21

May 19, 2010 under CANR News, Events

A memorial service for longtime University of Delaware professor and administrator Donald F. Crossan will be held from 2-4 p.m., Friday, May 21, in Clayton Hall on the University’s Laird campus.

Dr. Crossan, 84, died May 3, as the result of a stroke.

A native Delawarean, he spent his entire 39-year career at the University of Delaware, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1950. He married Ruth Swanson, the “girl next door” while studying at UD.

After receiving master’s and doctoral degrees in plant pathology at North Carolina State College, he returned to his alma mater and worked in research, as a professor, vice president of University relations and business management, and dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. He was the author and co-author of more than 75 scientific research papers.

Upon retirement, an agricultural scholarship was established in his name to students with academic achievement and an interest in agriculture as a career.

Among his academic and community awards are the University of Delaware Medal of Distinction, the Lindbach Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Delaware Outstanding Alumnus Award, North Carolina State University Outstanding Alumnus Award, University of Delaware Wall of Fame, Arthur Trabant Women’s Equity Award, George M. Worrilow Alumni Award for Outstanding Service to Agriculture, New Castle County and State of Delaware Farm Bureau Awards for Outstanding Service to Agriculture, and the Delaware State Bar Association Liberty Award for Community Service. Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner declared July 26, 2001, as Dr. Donald F. Crossan Day for his leadership in permanently protecting more than 60,000 acres of farmland in Delaware.

Dr. Crossan served on the Boards of the Delaware Nature Education Society, Newark Senior Center, Delaware Partners of America with Panama, National Corn Breeders Association, Delaware Agricultural Museum, and he led a 37-member delegation to China for People-to-People Delaware. He was well-known for leading agricultural tours to many countries.

He served under three governors as chairman of the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board and was the first chairman of the Delaware Farmland Preservation Foundation. After serving on the Board of Trustees of Longwood Gardens Inc. for 36 years, Dr. Crossan was named Trustee Emeritus.

Before his first stroke 13 years ago, he was an avid outdoorsman, and later enjoyed reading, cultural events and traveling. Just before his death, he cruised to Antarctica, celebrating with his wife visits to all seven continents. He was “Swedish by Marriage” and enjoyed helping his wife entertain family and friends in the Swedish tradition.

The son of the late Samuel Davis Crossan and Anna Bertha Spinken Crossan, he was brought up on the east side of Wilmington where he learned about hunting and fishing in the nearby ponds and fields and was an assistant Boy Scout leader. After graduating from P.S. DuPont High School in 1944, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and subsequently was stationed in Guam where he served as a tail gunner in a B-29 in the Pacific Theatre of War with 15 combat missions.

In addition to his wife of 62 years, Ruth Swanson Crossan, he is survived by a sister, Dolores Brandt; three children, Connie C. Cox (Michael Cox), Donna C. Crossan and Eric R. Crossan (Karla Papen Crossan); four grandchildren, Matthew Cox (Mindy), Lauren Duckworth (Ryan), Kate Crossan (Eric Stauder), and Julie Crossan; five great grandchildren, Haley Everett, Emily Cox, Evan Cox, Colton Duckworth, and Cierra Duckworth; and nieces and nephews.

A private family service and interment will be held at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution, made payable to the “University of Delaware,” for the Donald F. Crossan Agricultural Alumni Scholarship, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 or the Donald Crossan Herbaceous Circle Garden, CANR, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716.

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