Alumni > In Memoriam
Thomas J. Hess, Jr. (MS, wildlife, '75) passed away on 11 March 2014. Bob Chabreck was his MS degree advisor.
Obituary - Thomas J. Hess, Jr. Lake Charles - On March 11, 2014, Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and Cameron Parish lost a champion for the outdoors, Thomas J. Hess, Jr., age 63, passed away at his residence. Tom was born in Wilmington, Delaware, where he learned to hunt and fish and developed his love and passion for the outdoors. He was a graduate of Louisiana Technical University with a B.S. Degree in Wildlife Management and later went to LSU to receive his Master's degree in the Wildlife Management. His love of the great outdoors, with everything that it has to offer helped him in 1972 when he was hired as a Biologist Assistant at Rockefeller Refuge. In 1975, Tom accepted employment with Little Pecan Properties as the General Manager and the Wildlife Land Manager. Being a wildlife biologist allowed him the opportunity to work with Bald Eagles, Brown Pelicans and the Whooping Cranes reintroduction back to the Southwest area. His main passion was for the ducks in that habitat area of 75,000 acres he called "the Center of Duck Universe." He concluded his career as Program Manager of Rockefeller Refuge in Grand Chenier, LA. Tom was a mentor and roll model for his sons, grandchildren, community and the people he worked with. He showed what it meant to pursue your dreams and passion.
Those left to cherish Tom's memory are his loving wife of over 40 years, Charlotte Beach Hess of Lake Charles; his sons, Brandon Hess and wife Renee of Lafayette, LA and their children, Camryn and Andrew Hess and Timothy Scott Hess and wife Lacie of Laccasine, LA and their children, Taylon and Kaden Hess; and his two sisters, Marsha Stroud of Melborne, FL and Maureen Hess of Englewood, FL. He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Dorothy Hess, Sr.
In lieu of flowers, Tom requested donations be made to the Whooping Crane Foundations. Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.hixsonfuneralhomes.com
Don McFatter (BSF, 1949) Don was born on March 28, 1926, to John and Nannie Moore McFatter in Sugartown. He was a native of Sugartown and graduated from Sugartown High School in 1942. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 until 1946 with service in the Pacific Theatre. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry in 1949. Don was employed in 1949 by the Louisiana Forestry Commission and served at every supervisory level including the State Forester's position as head of the agency.
He retired in 1984 with 35 years of service. Eighteen of those years were spent in DeRidder as District Forester over Beauregard, Vernon, and Calcasieu Parishes. Don logged over 2300 hours flying fire patrol over Southwest Louisiana reporting fires and directing fire crews action on those fires. He led five crews with trucks and tractors into Cameron following Hurricane Audrey arriving in Cameron 18 hours ahead of any similar help including the Army.
Don received in 1960 the Charles E. Dunbar Career Service Award in recognition of distinguished public service. During 1969 - 70 he served as Rotary International District Governor for Rotary District 6200. Don served as president of the National Association of State Foresters during 1979-80 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of State Foresters and L.S.U. School of Forestry Alumnus of the Year in 1984. Don retired in 1984 and moved back to DeRidder in 1990.
Don died Friday, March 7 in Alexandria. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Bobbie Batchelor McFatter of DeRidder; one daughter, Donna Miller and husband Wade of DeRidder; two grandchildren, Stacy and wife Melissa and Mark and wife Kari and 5 great grandchildren.
Don became a Lifetime Member of the Louisiana Forestry Association in 2003. He used his woodworking skills to build the photo frame holders on the walls at the LFA office.
Dr. Robert H. Chabreck passed away on 30 December 2013. His personal life focused on family, hunting, and all things LSU sports. Dr. Chabreck was a retired Professor of Forestry and Wildlife in the School of Renewable Natural Resources. He was regarded as an expert on wetlands and marsh management with special emphasis in the area of plant and animal management in the coastal zone. Dr. Chabreck possessed a vast deal of experience in marsh management and pioneered many of the research techniques currently used today. He was a past recipient of the Louisiana Governor's Award - Conservationist of the Year as well as the Governor's Award for the Louisiana Conservation Educator of the Year. A rememberance of his life, and details about services for Dr. Chabreck are available online here
Dr. Stanley B. Carpenter passed away on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 in Baton Rouge, LA. Dr. Carpenter was the Director of the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources for nine years, from July 1988 to September 1997. A rememberance of Dr. Carpenter's life and his obituary are available online here.
Santiago "Sonny" Porcella (BSF 1942) Passed away on 19 January 2013. Among his life's work includes being past President of the New Jersey Society of American Foresters, past President of the New Jersey Soil Conseration Society, and chairman of the New Jersey Tree Farm System, member of the NJ Forestry Association, and various Historical Societes. His obituary is available here as a pdf of the newspaper reprint.
Dr. John Adams passed away November 14, 2012. He was a retired professor and director of the School of Forestry at Louisiana Tech University. He earned a BSF ’69, MS Forestry ’73, and PhD Forestry ’76 all from LSU. His obituary is available here.
Maurice Frank Hamm (BSF 1954), Selmer, TN
Michael Kelly, Jr (BSF 1965) Dagsboro, DE
Donald Louis Harper (BSF 1948) died on May 28, 2011 at the age of 79. He was a native of Monticello, Ark. and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was employed by Regions Bank for 30 years in Mobile, Ala., serving as vice-president and woodlands manager in the Trust Department. He was secretary of the southeast section of the Society of American Foresters. He is survived by his wife, two sons and five grandchildren.
Larry Hartzog (M.S. Fisheries 1975) of Mandeville, La. passed away on January 24, 2012 at the age of 65. His major professor was Dr. Fred Bryan. Larry had a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and recently retired with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Throughout his career he had professional relationships with many RNR faculty members. He was a strong supporter of the school and a friend to all he met. He was also an ardent jazz enthusiast and a member of Mystic Krewe of Brew. He will be missed.
Larry Eugene Miller (BSF 1977) died on January 8, 2011. He worked for 30 years with CLECO, serving as Administrator of Land Management. One of his projects was the restoration of 2,800 acres of land, where he passionately worked with Ducks Unlimited and Wheeling Wings to provide duck hunts for handicapped persons. He was a member of Xi Sigma Pi (the forestry honorary society) while attending LSU.
Harold Logan “Pat” Molloy (BSF 1939) died in 2011 in Crosby, Miss. He was the owner of Molloy Timber Co. and he was married and had three children.
Michael E. “Mickey” Richardson (BSF 1967) died July 13, 2011, at age 65, at his home in Holden, La. Born in Baton Rouge, he was a state-registered forester and worked for Cajun Contractors. He was an Army and Air National Guard veteran.
Milton E. Robinowitz (BSF 1942) died in 2011 in Richmond, Texas. He was a self-employed rancher and implement dealer in Richmond. He had three children. During his senior year at LSU he was president of the forestry club and an officer in honorary fraternities Alpha Zeta and Xi Sigma Pi.
George Wright (BSF 1939), passed in October at 96 years of age. He was active until the end, and followed The Tigers all the way.
Robert E. Noble, B.S.F. ’57, M.S. in game management ’58, Ph.D. Michigan State, died on November 10, 2010, at the age of 75, in Crockett, Texas. Born in Mississippi, he was a veteran of the U.S. Army. Dr. Noble was a professor in wildlife and forestry at LSU for 28 years, until his retirement. He traveled extensively in Alaska in his wildlife studies. He received the National Amoco Foundation Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching. In 2009 he was inducted into the Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Alumni Association Hall of Fame.
Robert G. Merrifield, ’58 M.F., died January 30, 2010 at College Station, Texas. He earned his B.S. at Arkansas A&M College and his D.F. at Duke University. After graduation from LSU, he worked for the LSU AgCenter’s Hill Farm Research Station at Homer until 1967, when he and his family moved to College Station. He was the first head of the Forest Science Department at Texas A&M University. In 1977 he was named associate director of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and director of the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. He was honored by becoming a Fellow in the Society of American Foresters. He retired in 1999.
Hoy C. Grigsby, ’47 B.S.F.,’52 M.F., died November 26, 2009 in Bienville Parish. He was born in 1915 on a farm near Heflin. His wife of 53 years, Eunice Geurin Grigsby, preceded him in death. He was a World War II veteran, serving overseas in the U.S. Army Air Corps. His forestry career began with the Mississippi Forestry Commission and he became a plant geneticist at the U.S. Forest Service Southern Forest Experiment Station in Crossett, Ark, and Alexandria, La. A 50-year member of the Society of American Foresters, he was an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America.
Edward D. Holcombe, ’49 B.S.F, died August 16, 2009 at Temple, Texas at the age of 83. A native of Bogalusa, he is survived byhis wife, Carol M. Holcombe, and two children. Holcombe served in the U.S. Navy for 33 months. He worked as a forester for many years for the Soil Conservation Service in Texas.
Vernon C. “Buck” Adkins, ’50 B.S.F., died May 9, 2009 in Monroe, La., at age 86. A veteran of the U.S. Army during WW II and in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he retired from Smurfit Stone Container as wood procurement manager after a 38-year career. He was active in the Society of American Foresters, the Louisiana Forestry Association, and the Lions Club. He is survived by his wife, three daughters, and six grandchildren.
Daniel C. “Danny” Cameron, ’50 B.S.F., died March 1, 2009 in Denham Springs, La. He was an Army veteran of WW II and retired from the Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel. He had a 43-year professional forestry career with Gaylord Container Corp. and Crown-Zellerbach and was active in the Society of American Foresters, the Louisiana Forestry Association, and the Methodist Church. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, one grandchild, and one great grandchild.
Robert F. “Bob” Westbrook, ’66 M.F., died Feb. 16, 2009 in Pineville, La. Before attending L.S.U. he earned his B.S. in forestry at La. Tech. in 1959. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service, State and Private Forestry Division, at the Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Athens, Ga., then in Pineville, La. from 1976 until he retired in 2000. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and one grandchild.