June 8, 1940-June 8, 2019
Dudley Templeton Smith, age 79, died June 8, 2019 from Lewy Body Dementia. He was raised on a tobacco and beef cattle farm in Southern Maryland, where he was active in 4-H and FFA crop and livestock projects and received the FFA State Farmer degree.
His parents were his first teachers, who instilled a love for learning and self-discovery. From his father, Dudley Smith from Kentucky, a world sugar agronomist and economist, he gained a practical ability to work, launch projects, and think in terms of global perspectives and agricultural systems. From his mother, Verta Templeton Smith from Washington State, he gained a compassion for helping people, ability to focus on tasks and to strive for excellence.
Dr. Smith earned a B.S. Degree in Agricultural Economics and an M.S. in Agronomy at the University of Maryland, a Ph.D. in Weed Science/Crop Science at Michigan State University in 1968, and an Executive MBA from the University of Houston in 1982. In 1965 he married Angela Remsberg, formerly from Middletown, MD, who was the love of his life and steadfast partner in graduate school, travels, and business partner.
Dr. Smith had three careers spanning 38 years with the Texas A&M University System (AgriLife Sciences) and a total of 47 years in USDA and Land Grant programs. Upon retirement the Smiths endowed several scholarships for graduate student travel in agronomy and horticulture, funded a fellowship for a Ph.D. student and undergraduate scholarships for Endowed Opportunity Award, aggieTEACH (STEM) in the College of Science, STEM teaching at Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland and the Department of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University.
In 1968 Dr. Smith established a weed research program in cotton in the High Plains at the Texas A&M Center at Lubbock, with emphasis on weed biology and competition, herbicide efficacy, and environmental studies. When the Smiths’ moved to College Station in 1973, Dr. Smith served as Assistant Director, and later Associate Director, of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station until 1996. He provided administrative oversight for state-wide research programs in crops, livestock and natural resources. One of his greatest pleasures was helping scientists, particularly new faculty to be successful and easing their administrative burdens. Over the course of two decades Dr. Smith visited every regional Research Center, and substation and most of the labs of on-campus TAES faculty in Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Smith handled tough administrative tasks quietly, with tact and ease, including research federal compliance reviews, hosting animal rights visitors, and regulatory programs in honey bees and feed and fertilizer compliance. He served as board chairman for international research consortiums on sorghum and later, peanuts.
In 1996, Dr. Smith assumed a faculty position in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. He worked closely with US EPA, USDA, and commodity groups to obtain pesticide registrations for specialty crops. He prepared numerous assessment/white papers on pests and pesticides on environmental and regulator issues at the request of industry groups and USDA. These papers provided objective research perspectives and outlined modified use patterns on otherwise contentious issues for use by US-EPA. Much of his work culminated in a book “The crops of Texas”, which described the production, pest problems, and marketing niches of 200 crops of economic importance to Texas and southwestern agriculture Other research included sustainable agriculture and IPM, economic impacts of chemical use, and international agriculture. He published over 100 scientific articles and papers, plus invited presentation at European conferences.
However, Dr. Smith’s most important contribution was in classroom teaching, where he excelled in helping undergraduate students to discover their potentials as he empowered them to strive for excellence. For a decade he taught an undergraduate course on career opportunities in agronomy, including turf. He met with each student individually at the beginning of each semester to better assist them in achieving their goals. Local and regional field trips helped students expand their horizons and career opportunities. A senior-level program focused on career orientation, enabling students to develop competitive resumes, research firms, and develop interview skills. Dr. Smith received Achievement Awards for classroom teaching. He was a member of several societies and was selected as a Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy. Dr. Smith retired May31, 2006 as Professor Emeritus.
Over 40 years, Dr. Smith and his wife, Angela, traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America and many European countries, attending agricultural meetings, visiting farmers and farm families, learning of their production systems and implications for U.S. agriculture. He also traveled to Saudi Arabia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Czechoslovakia for Texas A&M. Together the Smiths’ operated a cow-calf operation in Brazos County. He served as president of the OSR Water Supply Corporation during a time of community service expansion, delivering water to rural areas in Brazos and Robertson Counties. In addition to his professional work, Dudley enjoyed family, farming, working cattle, sailing, gardening, carpentry and construction, camping, meeting new people and traveling.
Dr. Smith was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Angela Remsberg Smith, steadfast companion of nearly 54 years; a son, Gresham R. Smith and wife, Barbara S. Smith; grandson, Wesley S. Smith; granddaughter, Emily S. Smith of Richardson, Texas; daughter, Beth R. Glasshoff; granddaughter, Sidney A. Glasshoff of College Station, Texas; two sisters, Mary Lou Burch of Griffin, GA, and Elizabeth Jones and husband, Bill Desmone of Bristol, VA.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial may be sent to the Texas A&M Foundation, for account 57967 (Graduate Student Travel Awards in the Soil and Crop Science Department). 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840-2811.