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Wassom, Clyde E. (2/6/1924-11/10/2012) | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: Wassom, Clyde E. (2/6/1924-11/10/2012)


Historical Note:

He was born February 6, 1924, on a farm near Osceola, Iowa, the son of Howard Oak and Nancy Elizabeth (Fugett) Wassom. When he was three weeks old, the family moved to Laurens, Iowa, where Clyde grew up and graduated from high school in 1941. Clyde attended Iowa State University for two years prior to being drafted into the United States Army in 1944. He served in several stateside camps and was a prisoner of war guard at several installations. He was discharged in June of 1946 and returned to Iowa State where he earned his bachelors in 1949 with a Genetics major and minors in mathematics and physics. He immediately started on an M.S. in Crop Breeding, completing the degree in 1951 working with brome-grass. His Ph.D. also was in Crop Breeding working with orchard-grass. Upon completing his Ph.D. in 1953, Clyde and family moved to Hiawatha, KS, where he became the first Superintendent of the Cornbelt Experiment Field at Powhattan.

In 1955 the family moved to Manhattan and Clyde became a professor in the Agronomy Department at Kansas State University. During his 38-year tenure at Kansas State University he exhibited conscientious dedication in his comprehensive field research programs in corn breeding and genetics. His research efforts led to the release of several inbred lines of corn, including ones with special characteristics, and white corn germplasms. Dr. Wassom was widely known for his corn breeding efforts and served as a consultant to several countries. He also supervised several graduate students who are serving in university and industry positions in the United States and in their native countries. While on sabbatical in Mexico City during 1967, he worked with CIMMYT, an international research organization supported by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. He was the faculty leader for three intersession courses to South America to compare agriculture practices.

Dr. Wassom was a member of the First Christian Church and was a life Elder. He was also a member of the Manhattan Kiwanis Club, Konza Kampers, Gideon's International, and American Legion Post # 17. Clyde held a private pilot’s license and was a former member of the K-State Flying Club and the Civil Air Patrol. Clyde was also an excellent trombonist and enjoyed playing at church and for family in recent years. On December 24, 1945, while on active duty he was married to Jane Lavonne Williams at Camp Grant in Rockford, IL.

Mrs. Wassom survives of the home in Manhattan. Additional survivors include three children: Jane Luanne Nelson and her husband Gary of Cottonwood, AZ, Steven Clyde Wassom and his wife Becky of Wamego, KS, and Karen S. Stewart and her husband Christopher of Manhattan; three siblings: Glenn Wassom of Johnston, IA, Scott Wassom of Alexander, AR, and Phyllis Stefani of Cedar Rapids, IA; nine grandchildren: Christopher P. Henton, Tracy A. McCabe, Richard T. Henton, Mark S. Wassom, Matthew C. Wassom, Laura L. Sylvester, Derek J. Wassom, Brandon C. Hagedorn and Brian S. Hagedorn; seven step-grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren and step great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Sources: http://www.ymlfuneralhome.com/main/obituary/1711



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