John Abernathy, former CASNR dean and research administrator, dies at 73
By: Norman Martin
John Abernathy, a long-time leader in the South Plains agricultural industry and former dean of Texas Tech University's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, died Sept. 18 in Lubbock. He was 73. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 22) at Combest Family Memorial Chapel with burial to follow at Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock.
Abernathy is remembered at Texas Tech as dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources from 1997 to 2003. Prior to joining the Tech administration, he served as the Resident Director and as a weed scientist at the Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station in Lubbock. The Oklahoma native held the position of resident director of the agricultural research center for two dozen years.
"John Abernathy truly was a superb leader because he was not only very good at recognizing the individual talents or contributions that people could make, but he would hire them, enable them and get out of their way in order for them to do their thing," said Eduardo Segarra, a long-time professor with Texas Tech's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. "He was a very humble gentleman who was always very proud of the accomplishments of the people under his care; the hallmark of a highly respected and effective administrator."
Honors for Abernathy included receiving the Southern Weed Science Society's Outstanding Young Weed Scientist Award; West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute Award for Outstanding Contributions; and the USDA Group Award for Excellence as a member of an AG-CARES team. In addition, he was named Fellow in the Weed Science Society of America, and honored by Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources with a Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturist Award.
Abernathy received his bachelor's and master's degrees in agronomy from Oklahoma State University. His doctorate in agronomy was from the University of Illinois. Separately, he worked as an international consultant of weed science and research from 1985 to 2017, and was a board member for the National Farm Life Insurance Company from 1998 to 2017.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or email@example.com
0920NM18 / Editor's Note: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the "Dean John R. Abernathy of the TTU College of Agriculture Memorial Scholarship" by check made out to the "Texas Tech Foundation" and mailed to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University, P.O. Box 42123, Lubbock, Texas 79409-2123 or online here
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Editor: Norman Martin
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