Memorial service announced for Thomas Bedell, former Extension specialist

Thomas Bedell, 1931-2012

Former Oregon State University Extension rangeland resources specialist Thomas Bedell has died. He was 80.

Bedell was born Dec. 21, 1931 in Santa Cruz, Calif. He was raised on a small poultry farm, and graduated high school in Santa Cruz in 1949. After graduating from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in Animal Husbandry in 1953, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in Korea in 1954-55. He then returned to university and received an M.S. in range management.

Bedell’s Extension Service career began in California where he served as a farm advisor before leaving to pursue his Ph.D at OSU. He received his degree in 1966 and remained as a teacher and research until 1970, when he left for a position at the University of Wyoming as their first Extension range management specialist in 1970. He returned to Oregon in 1973, first as a three-county agent and then as Extension rangeland resources specialist on the OSU campus from 1976 until his retirement in 1992.

Active in his profession, Bedell served the Society for Range Management (SRM) in many capacities. He was President of the Pacific Northwest Section in 1978 and chairman of the SRM Advisory Council in 1979. He was elected SRM President for 1989 as well as being given the highest Section award in 1991 and SRM award in 1995. After retirement, he was asked to be an elected Director for the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District in 1997 and he continued as the District Chairman since 1999. He also was on the Oregon Soil and Water Conservation Commission for 11 years and the Oregon State Board of Agriculture for six years.

He is survived by his wife Gretchen Bencene, and family Shelley Bedell, Kristin Bedell and Vincent DePillis, Robin and Jack McWalters and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 2945 N.W. Circle Blvd, at 1 p.m., July 21.

Charitable contributions may be made to Benton Hospice Service, 2350 N.W. Professional Drive, Corvallis 97330; Oregon Aviation Historical Society Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 553, Cottage Grove, OR 97424;  and/or  the Society for Range Management Endowment Fund,  100030 West 27th  Ave. Wheat Ridge, CO  80215-6601.


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