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Obituaries » Dr. William K. Griffith

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Dr. William K. Griffith

May 25, 1929 - March 27, 2018

U.S. Veteran
Obituary Viewed 3618 times

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LIMA, OHIO – DR. (PhD) WILLIAM K. “Bill” GRIFFITH, of Lima, Ohio, died on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. He was 88. Bill was born on May 25, 1929 in Henry, Illinois to Burdette and Mable (Glenn) Griffith who preceded him in death. On April 14, 1951 he married Dorothy Frances Dunsworth of Macomb, Illinois. Dorothy also preceded him in death.

He is survived by his children, Jann D. Hoke, attorney and director of the West Virginia Equal Employment Opportunity Office, (her husband, Judge Jay M. Hoke of Branchland, WV), and Dr. Kirk M. Griffith, pathologist, St. Rita’s Medical Center, Lima, Ohio, (his wife, Debra Ann) and five granddaughters: Jordan M. Bruns of Ottawa, Ohio; Marycait L. Hoke of Charleston, WV; Kori E. Bruns of Columbus, Ohio; Sarah C. Hoke of Charleston, WV; and Molly C. Hoke of Fairfax, Virginia.

Bill graduated from Fisher High School in Fisher Illinois in 1947. He lettered in three sports. Bill was especially proud of being recently inducted as a charter member of the school’s athletic hall of fame.

He graduated in 1951 from Western Illinois University with a degree in agricultural education. He played three years of varsity basketball (1949 – 1951). Bill was named All-Conference First Team in 1950 – 1951. In 1951 Bill was named a Small College All-American.

He obtained a Master’s degree in agronomy from the University of Illinois in 1952 and enlisted in the Navy that June.

Bill attended the Navy’s meteorology school and served three of his four active duty years at the Agana Naval Air Station in Guam, forecasting local weather, transmitting weather to other stations, tracking typhoons, clearing fighter and bomber planes to Korea and transport planes from Korea carrying the wounded to Guam’s naval hospital facility. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in June, 1956.

Bill’s first job after military service was for the University of Arizona extension service as a Pinal County Crop Production County Agent (1956 – 1958). In 1958, Bill accepted a research assistant position at Purdue University where he obtained a PhD in Agronomy in 1960.

Bill joined the international staff of the International Plant Nutrient Institute (IPNI) in 1960 and became one of its North American Regional Directors covering the territory of the eastern United States, Australia and New Zealand. Bill worked closely with dozens of university agronomists in conducting research studies. Bill shared his knowledge of agronomy as a speaker at many conferences across the United States and at international symposia in New Zealand, Australia, India, Thailand and Great Britain.

Bill was the author of numerous articles for the popular farm press, including Farm Journal, Hoard’s Dairyman, and Successful Farming. Bill also co-authored three textbooks on alfalfa and forage nutrition and management. Bill was an active member of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the American Forage and Grassland Council.

In 1974, Bill won the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Agronomy, which recognizes an individual or team who has made a transformational contribution to the profession of agronomy. Bill was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 1988.

There will be no local services or visitation. Bill will be interred in Macomb, Illinois next to his wife, Dorothy, at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Rita’s Medical Center to the memory of Dr. William K. Griffith.


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