JOSEPH RHODES HAUN
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ASHEVILLE - Joseph Rhodes Haun, 90, of Asheville, passed away on Jan. 25, 2013. He was born on May 13, 1922 in Edinburg, Virginia to Charles and Lydia Haun. He was preceded in death by his parents and wife of 33 years, Ruth Mary Smith. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Helen Newton Sisk; sons, Jeffery, Michael, David, Steven, Alan and Timothy; and grandchildren, Jonathan, Melissa, Jason, Carter, Teresa, Benjamin, Lindsey, and Leighton.
Joseph graduated from Berea College, Kentucky in 1946 after serving as U.S. Naval Air Corps pilot and flight instructor during World War II. With the assistance of the G.I. Bill he pursed graduate studies at the Univ. of Maryland where he received a M.S. in horticulture in 1950 and PhD in plant physiology in 1951. He worked as a research scientist for the DuPont Company and later for the New Crops Branch of the USDA. He joined Clemson Univ. in 1965 where he continued crop research until he retired Professor Emeritus of Horticulture in 1984. Much of his professional career was devoted to statistical analysis of plant growth as a means of predicting crop yields. His development of the "Haun Scale", a widely used method of characterizing morphological stages of plant growth, was one of his proudest professional achievements.
Joseph's retirement of nearly three decades was filled with travel and continuing education, especially in the in the fields of religion, philosophy and cultural evolution. A major achievement of his later life was his memoir, Unbelievable! Faith, Reason, & The Search For Truth published in 2011 that charts his life, personal intellectual development, and embrace of secular humanism. He actively sought ways to contribute to the betterment of those less fortunate through financial support to the American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, Habitat for Humanity, Amnesty International, American Friends Service Committee, The Carter Center, Planned Parenthood, and the American Institute for Cancer Research. He volunteered at the polls during elections and was a driver for the Meals on Wheels program. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to any of the organizations Joe supported. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sat. Feb. 2, 2013 in the Blue Ridge Rm. at the Deerfield Retirement Community, 1617 Hendersonville Rd., Asheville NC.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Jan. 29, 2013