Forever Maroon

David Anderson (attended) 66, Baton Rouge – After leaving State he returned home to work on Longleaf Farms in the cattle, timber and farming operations. — Jan. 27, 2018

Vernon Clifton “Cliff” Bice (retired Extension agent) 81, Auburn, Alabama –He spent most of his career as an Extension agent for Auburn University and Mississippi State University, starting as an assistant county agent in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. He later worked for Auburn as a radio and television editor. In 1974, he became news editor for the MSU Extension Service. — Jan. 2, 2018

Jackson Brown (B.A. political science, ’69) 72, Starkville – He received a Juris Doctor from the Jackson School of Law, now the Mississippi College School of Law, and returned to Starkville to practice law for 46 years until his death. He became the first Mississippian to practice under the Limited Practice Act. He often performed pro bono work and was best known as a criminal defense attorney. He served as attorney for the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors for more than 18 years. — Feb. 24, 2018

Jimmie Anthony “Poppie” Bufkin (B.S. chemical engineering, ’70) 69, Cedar Park, Texas – He began working for Amoco Chemicals in 1973 and was recognized by the CEO for developing leading-edge organization and performance systems. He was managing director of Amoco-BP Chemical’s petrochemical plant in Malaysia from 1997 until his retirement in 2003. He then began to volunteer with SCORE, mentoring small business entrepreneurs in the Austin area. — Dec. 6, 2017

Martha Elizabeth Lampkin Colvard (friend of the university) 104, Charlotte, North Carolina – As the wife of former Mississippi State University president and namesake of the Colvard Student Union, Dean W. Colvard, she moved more than a dozen times and organized more than 300 functions as she supported her husband through his career. The couple settled in Charlotte where he was chancellor emeritus of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and she was a member of the Osage Missouri Historical Society, Clan Baird Society and the Manakin Huguenot Society. — Jan. 4, 2018

James E. Corley (B.S. mechanical engineering, ’63) 76, Lucedale – He worked in Huntsville, Alabama as part of the Saturn rocket design team before joining Saudi Aramco Oil Company in the 1970s. Actively involved with civic projects following his retirement, he was recognized with the DAR National Community Award and James Corley Day in Lucedale. Among his civic works, he was involved with the placement of a statue at the public library, a veteran’s memorial sundial and the Nancy P. Corley Bridge. — Oct. 11, 2017

Christine Weaver Danehower (B.S. chemical engineering, ’91) 49, Baton Rouge, Louisiana – She attended George County High School, during which time she worked with Mississippi Power. Following her graduation from State, she joined Dow Chemical, holding both technical and managerial positions during her career. — Oct. 11, 2017

Roy Derrell Doss (M.S. vocational education, ’70; retired Extension agent) 84, Oxford –He served two years in the Army after graduating from Mississippi State but later returned to the university to complete a master’s. He joined Extension in 1958, serving in Iuka and Aberdeen before retiring as county agent for Monroe County. He received the Distinguished Service Award from Extension. He served as president of the Monroe County Farm Bureau Board and received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the bureau’s federation. — Jan. 3, 2018

Lynn Holloman Fusinato (B.S. chemistry, ’68) 71, Richardson, Texas – Following her graduation from State, she earned a master’s from the University of Tennessee. She worked as a chemist until she decided to change career paths. She earned a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Florida before starting a career with Texas Instruments in Texas. She later earned a master’s in the field and went to work for Ericsson, a Swedish telecom company. — Jan. 11, 2018

George W. Garrison Jr. (B.S. animal science, ’64) retired Extension agent) 75, Greenwood – A graduate of Buena Vista High School, he was a state and national 4-H Swine Record winner in 1961 and a 4-H achievement record winner in 1963. While at MSU he was a member of the Farm House Fraternity, Alpha Zeta Fraternity, 4-H and Block and Bridle. He began his career with Extension in 1965 as a 4-H livestock agent in Leflore County. He received the Dixie National Livestock Show premier exhibit award 15 years in a row, in addition to numerous other honors for his work. — Nov. 30, 2017

Kenneth Ray Hall (B.S., M.S. aerospace engineering; ’65, ’68) 74, Fort Worth, Texas – After completing his degrees at Mississippi State, he received a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas, Austin before joining NASA at the height of the “Space Race.” He later worked on the faculty of both his alma maters and the University of Southern Mississippi. Throughout his career, he contributed his knowledge to projects not only at NASA but also Honeywell, Lockheed Martin MFC, Compass Systems, Insitu and L2 Aerospace. — June 21, 2017

William Thomas Hegman IV (B.A. political science, ’74) 66, Carthage – A native of Holly Bluff, he was a farmer; owner and operator of a charter flight business; pilot for Penske Racing team; transatlantic ship captain; real estate agent; and owner of the solar panel installation business, Mississippi Solar. — Jan. 21, 2018

Roy Gene Hicks (B.S. mechanical engineering, ’50) 92, Leakesville – He served in WWII as part of the U.S. Army Air Corps. He worked in the aerospace industry during the Apollo Program, where he was responsible for the hydraulics system on the Saturn V rocket booster. He later made a career shift to the petroleum industry, retiring from Shell Oil Co. A Greene County farmer for 50 years, he was a 32nd degree Mason and longtime member of First Baptist Church of Leakesville where he served as a deacon. — Dec. 16, 2017

Jimmie Hemphill Howard (retired Extension agent) 86, Columbus – A native of Louisville, she graduated from the Mississippi University for Women and retired from the Mississippi State Extension Service as the home economist for Lowndes County. She was a member of the First Baptist Church, where she volunteered for Love-in-Deed, and was a member of the Pilot Club. — Dec. 13, 2017

Dennis E. Johnston (B.S. animal science, ’52; M.S. animal science, ’56) 88, Memphis, Tennessee – He was raised in Starkville and served as a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force during the Korean War. He spent his career with the Upjohn Company. — Jan. 6, 2018

John Miles Johnson (B.S. agriculture and extension education, ’54) 87, Starkville – He was a veteran and lifelong member of the Freemasons, Scottish Rites and Shriners. — Feb. 22, 2018

Chelsea Clark Lanier (B.S. architecture, ’10) 30, Decatur, Alabama – Following her graduation from Mississippi State, she earned a master’s in design build from Auburn University. She was a graphic designer for Creative Design Circle of Huntsville, Alabama, and enjoyed drawing, painting and making jewelry. — Jan. 7, 2018

Charles E. Martin (B.S. industrial technology, ’62) 78, Stewart, Tennessee – A native of Yalobusha County, he was part of ROTC and president of the Baptist Student Union while at State. He worked as an industrial engineer for 13 years in Corinth; Albany, Georgia; and Grenada. In 1975 he made a career change to newspaper publishing, serving as publisher and general manager of the Tate County Democrat, the Yazoo Herald, and the Courier-Index in Arkansas. He relocated to Tennessee in 1988 after being named advertising director of the Daily Herald in Columbia. He was active in his communities and churches as president of several civic organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Jaycees, and Lions Club. He was also a deacon, church treasurer and Sunday School teacher, as well as a strong supporter of the March of Dimes and other charitable causes. — Feb. 19, 2018

William “Bill” Merritt Jr. (B.S. general business administration, ’79) 60, Gallatin, Tennessee – A native of Jackson, he was a member of the Army ROTC while at State, earning a commission as a second lieutenant. He served four years in Germany before being discharged as a captain. He was an entertainer driver for Roberts Brothers Coach and a member of Epworth United Methodist Church. — Feb. 8, 2018

James H. “Jim” Mitchell (B.S. finance, ’58) 84, Baton Rouge, Louisiana – A U.S. Army veteran, he worked in the professional banking industry for more than 30 years, spending most of that time with Fidelity National Bank. He was very active in the Baton Rouge chapter of the MSU Alumni Association. — August 2017

Danny Owen (retired Extension agent) 60, Iuka – He served as county coordinating agent for the Mississippi State University Extension Service until his retirement in 2015. An active member of his community, he served as board vice president for the Tishomingo County Farm Bureau, president of the Mississippi Master Gardeners and a board member with the county fair. — Nov. 21, 2017

Angelo S. Pagano (B.S. chemistry, ’52) 96, Alachua, Florida – A WWII veteran, he joined Rohm and Hass Corp. at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, following his graduation from State. He worked with a research group developing propellants for the Redstone Rocket Program, a forerunner of NASA. He retired in 1986 from a research laboratory in Pennsylvania. He was author or co-author of many technical articles and procedures in chemistry journals, and a patent holder. — Feb. 8. 2018

Clement Domenic “CD” Pangallo (M.S. education, school administration, ’71; Ph.D. education, ’73) 74, Washington, D.C. – He served as a captain in the Air Force and had a career with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management as chief of the Planning Division, Workforce Training Service. He most recently served as managing director for the American Institute of Architects. — Jan. 24, 2018

Alvin Ted Pullin (B.S. agricultural economics, ’51; M.S. agricultural economics, ’68; retired Extension agent) 89, Polkville – He taught mathematics at Taylorsville School before starting a 30-year career with the Mississippi State Agricultural Extension Service as a county agent and 4-H mentor in Lawrence County and later a fruit and vegetable marketing specialist based in Jackson. — Dec. 30, 2017

Col. Howard T. Richardson (B.S. general business, ’47) 96, Ridgeland – He joined the Air Force, earning a commission as a second lieutenant. He served with the Mighty Eighth Air Force in England, completing 35 combat missions. Upon returning to the U.S., he had assignments with the Pentagon and Strategic Air Command before returning overseas for assignments in Germany. He received the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation and European Campaign with four battle stars. He retired as a full-bird colonel after 30 years of service. — Jan. 20, 2018

Wallie Rone (B.S. aerospace engineering, ’54) 83, Marietta, Georgia – A native of Ethel, he joined the Air Force and served as a navigator for three years. He later enjoyed a 34-year career with Lockheed Aircraft. He was an elder at Mt. Paran North Church of God. — June 11, 2016

John B. Rosamond (B.S. finance, ’58) 81, Fairfax, Virginia – A former deputy assistant secretary of defense, he was a member of the golf team and SAE fraternity while at Mississippi State. — Jan. 28, 2018

Charles Wesley Sappington Sr. (B.S. dairy sciences, ’55; M.S. sociology, ’67; retired Extension agent) 84, Zachary, Louisiana – He was involved in ROTC at State and began active military service following his graduation. He served in Germany until 1957 and upon returning stateside spent nine years in the Army Reserve and Mississippi Army National Guard. He earned a doctoral degree from Florida State then returned to Starkville where he began working with the Extension Service. He served in a variety of positions before being promoted to state leader of 4-H Youth Development in 1970. He retired in 1989. — Jan. 29, 2018

Millie Sellars (B.S. horticulture ’57)(retired staff) 82, Starkville – She came to Mississippi State with a pre-veterinary focus, but soon changed to horticulture before moving to Germany with her husband, who was in the military. Upon returning to Starkville in 1973, she held teaching positions at both Starkville High School and Starkville Academy before joining the staff at MSU, ultimately retiring as business director of the Bagley College of Engineering Dean’s Office. She was actively involved in the preservation and restoration of historic buildings and worked with the Oktibbeha County Humane Society for many years. — Jan. 4, 2018

Guy Brown Springer (M.S. animal nutrition ’69; retired Extension agent and faculty) 76, Pontotoc – A native of Florence, Alabama, he spent more than 27 years with Mississippi State University, beginning as an Extension agent and retiring as the state equine specialist and professor. He worked extensively with 4-H and was a longtime member of the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association, which he served as vice president and president in the late 1990s. He served as Ring Master for Dixie National for more than 20 years. — Nov. 3, 2017

Danny Ray Thorpe (B.S. banking and finance, ’70) 69, Brandon – He worked as a consultant for Affiliated Computer Services and was a former member of the National Guard. — Feb. 8, 2018

David Young Jr. (B.S. entomology, ’48; M.S. entomology, ’49; Ph.D. entomology, ’65) 94, Ridgeland – He volunteered for the Navy Medical Corps and received an honorable discharge in 1945. Following his graduation from Mississippi State, he served as district entomologist with the State Plant Board in Tylertown until 1955. He then joined the Extension Service as assistant entomologist, and in 1970 was promoted to leader of Extension Entomology. He served on 16 national committees, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Committee on Pest Management and the National Cotton Council’s Boll Weevil Eradication Guidance Committee. He earned the MSU Alumni Association Faculty Achievement Award in 1970 and the Governor’s Outstanding Mississippian Award in 1973, in addition to many other honors throughout his career. In 1982, the Mississippi Legislature passed a concurrent resolution recognizing his major contributions to the Mississippi agricultural industry and was the only person to ever receive two USDA Superior Service Awards back to back. He served in numerous leadership roles in state entomological organizations helping bridge the gap between researchers and the people of Mississippi. — Nov. 25, 2017

Connie Glenn Wilkerson ( B.S. forestry, ’58) 81, Lucedale – A veteran of the Mississippi Army National Guard, he was a forester with International Paper Co. for 32 years and justice court judge for George County for 12 years. — Dec. 29, 2017


R. Rodney Foil, who dedicated 30 years of service to Mississippi State as an administrator, died Feb. 4, 2018. He was 83.

A native of Bogalusa, Louisiana, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Louisiana State University and was a doctoral graduate of Duke. He spent 11 years on the faculty at LSU before coming to Mississippi State.

As a Bulldog, Foil served as head of the Department of Forestry and dean of the then School of Forest Resources. He was also associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station before being named director in 1978. He assumed the role of vice president of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine in 1986 and held the position until his retirement in 1999.

Following his retirement, he served the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and oversaw the CSREES Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems. He also served as chair of the CSREES Board of Agriculture and, in 2004, was among the first to be inducted into the CSREES Hall of Fame.
Among a long list of accomplishments, he was recognized for contributions by the Society of American Foresters, Mississippi Seedsman Association, MSU”s College of Veterinary Medicine and LSU’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Management, among others.

The R.R. Foil Plant and Science Research Center, known to many as North Farm, is part of Foil’s legacy. It consists of approximately 750 acres, including 550 acres of tillable land for research projects in a diverse agricultural community. The Rosalind and Rodney Foil Teamwork Award is given for exemplary collaboration efforts in the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.