Kirkpatrick Lawton Kirkpatrick Lawton, 96, passed away peacefully on October 1, 2013 with family and longtime canine companion, Freddie, by his side in Green Valley, AZ. Kirk will be fondly remembered for a lifetime of helping others and his influential agricultural work at MSU and overseas, as well as for his kind, gentle spirit, his respect for nature and the environment, and his passion for hiking. Kirk was born to Harry and Helen Lawton in St. Paul, MN, where he spent his childhood. His love of the outdoors started with Boy Scouts, with whom he earned his Eagle Scout Award. Starting his agronomy studies at University of Minnesota, he earned his PhD at MSU. There he met and married his college sweetheart, Marjorie Patterson, and they began their 64 year adventure together. While teaching at MSU, Kirk became involved in international agricultural education with USAID and the Rockefeller Foundation. His work with universities in South America, Africa and Asia helped local students and farmers benefit from his knowledge and expertise in crop science. Retiring from MSU International Programs in 1980, Kirk and Marjorie moved to Arizona where Kirk started mountain hiking which he continued into his 90s. Kirk was a true citizen of the world who touched and influenced a great many lives. Please join the family at his Memorial Celebration and reception on November 16, 2013 at 4 p.m. at the MSU Greenhouse Conservatory, 1066 Bogue Street, East Lansing. Remembrances may be directed to MSU Lawton Endowment, 1066 Bogue St, EL 48824.
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Published in Lansing State Journal on Nov. 10, 2013