Willard Fox Croney

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Croney, Willard Fox

Rehoboth Beach, DE: Willard Fox Croney died September 2, 2013, peacefully at home and surrounded by family, in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Croney was born in Newport, DE, in 1928. He was married to Eileen Wise Croney, also a Delawarean, for 64 years. They lived most of their married life in upstate New York. Willard Croney was the last survivor of the John Wesley Croney, Sr. family of Wilmington and Newport. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters: Linda C. Christopher of Groton, NY and her daughters Katy and Brynn; Liesse C. Pollio of Hockessin, DE and her husband Gary and children Laura and Robbie; and Lori C. Poerio of Arnold, MD and her husband Mark and children Nate, Sonia, Alissa, and Julia. Croney served in Egypt, N. Africa, and Italy in the U.S. Army 1942-1945. He was educated in both the United States and Europe with degrees from the University of Delaware and Cornell University, and as a British Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Croney was active in soil and water conservation for 40 years, most of it as a faculty member in extension of the College of Agriculture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Upon the retirement of his longtime colleague and friend, Professor Harry A. Kerr of Cornell, Croney was appointed Executive Director of the NY State Soil and Water Conservation Committee by the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Cornell. His function was to guide county soil and water conservation districts of NY. Croney developed many techniques for using stereoscopic aerial photography and later satellite imagery to determine aspects of the natural sciences for planning land use and for agriculture. Croney retired in 1983 and, upon his retirement, the employees of the New York Soil and Water Conservation Districts established the Willard F. Croney Distinguished Conservation Award to be given annually to the outstanding conservation district employee in the state. A committal service with military honors will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 13, 2013, at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Rd., Bear, DE 19701. Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.melsonfuneralservices.com.

Published in Ithaca Journal on Sept. 4, 2013
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