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Dr. Roland Abraham

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Abraham, Dr. Roland - Harold Age 91. Professor Emeritus and Former Director, Agricultural Extension Service, U of M Roland Abraham served nearly 42 years in the Minnesota Agricultural Extension Service, beginning in 1938 as Assistant County Agent in Marshall County, 1939-1941 as Big Stone County Agent, 1942-1952 as Jackson County Agent, followed by a variety of state leadership positions, culminating with 12 years as Director of Extension from which position he retired in 1979. After retiring, he continued consulting on Extension program and rural development in Chile, the Caribbean English-speaking nations, Belize, and the Republic of Korea. Dr. Abraham authored Helping People Help Themselves: Agricultural Extension in Minnesota - 1879-1979, the definitive history of the Minnesota Extension Service, the seminal treatise Extension Administration, co-authored with Bob Clark, as well as 37 other books, articles, and papers. Born June 7, 1913 in Olivia, MN to Fred and Estella Abraham, he graduated from Olivia High School in 1930; from the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics, U of M, B.S. 1939 With High Distinction; from Harvard University, M.S. 1951 Master of Public Administration; from the U of WI - Madison, Ph.D. 1963 Cooperative Extension Administration. Dr. Abraham additionally served as chairman/president or board member of 41 separate national and state Extension-related coordinating or advisory bodies during his long career, most notable of which were past president of the Minnesota Adult Education Association, past national president of Epsilon Sigma Phi (the Extension Service professional honorary society), past chairman of the national Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, and past chairman of the National 4-H Foundation Policy Board. Among his many awards and honors were the 1968 Distinguished Service Ruby Award of Epsilon Sigma Phi (the honorary's highest award), the 1979 WCCO Radio Good Neighbor Award, and the Minnesota governor's proclamation of Roland H. Abraham Day in 1979. He was a member of St. Anthony Park United Methodist Church for over 50 years where he served in many church administrative capacities, as well as a choir member and soloist for over 40 years. He is preceded in death by parents and grandson Frederick J. A. Abraham II. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marie; children Lt. Col. (Ret) Robert (Hyang-Hwan) of Moreno Valley, CA, Jeanne (Dr. David) Schafer of Manhattan, KS, and Richard (Carol) of Blaine, MN; 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; brother Lyndon (Delores) of Olivia, MN; sisters Mariel (Delton) Evermann of Olivia, MN, Carol (Rodney) Boehlke of McGregor, MN, and Noreen (Bruce) LeVahn of Golden Valley, MN. Visitation Friday, Nov. 5th 4-8PM at the HOLCOMB-HENRY-BOOM FUNERAL HOME, 515 W. Hwy 96, Shoreview, MN (651-482-7606). Funeral service Saturday Nov 6th 11AM at ST. ANTHONY PARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, Hillside at Como Ave., St Paul with visitation beginning at 10AM. Interment Roselawn Cemetery, Roseville, MN. Family requests memorials to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation or the National Parkinson Foundation or St. Anthony Park United Methodist Church in lieu of flowers.
Published in Pioneer Press on Nov. 4, 2004
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