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Edward John Kormondy


1926 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Edward John Kormondy Obituary
June 10, 1926 - April 28, 2018 Edward John Kormondy, retired academic administrator, science educator and author, passed away at home on April 28, 2018, ending his battle with cancer. Ed was born in Beacon, NY, on June 10, 1926, to Anthony and Frances (Glover) Kormondy. He graduated from Beacon High School as class valedictorian in 1944 and joined the U.S. Navy, serving from 1944-46. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, Ed attended Tusculum College, graduating with a B.A. in Biology summa cum laude in 1950. It was there that he met many lifelong friends and his wife Peggy Virginia Hedrick. They were married the afternoon of graduation day, June 5, 1950, and moved shortly thereafter to Ann Arbor, MI, where both enrolled in master's programs at the University of Michigan. Ed earned a M.S. in Zoology (1951), a doctorate in Zoology (1955), and was a teaching fellow and curator of insects at the Museum of Zoology. Ed moved his young family to Ohio, where he was a professor at Oberlin College (1957-1968) and acting associate dean (1966-67). He spent a sabbatical year (1962-63) as a post-doctoral fellow in radiation ecology in the University of Georgia's project at the Savannah River Site. In 1968, he moved to Washington, DC, to head the Commission on Undergraduate Education in the Biological Sciences, promoting new approaches to teaching biology, and served as its director until 1971. Intrigued by the opportunity to open a new school, Ed was founding faculty of The Evergreen State College in 1971 and served as Dean of Natural Sciences (1972-73) and Provost (1973-78). Ed then returned to Washington, DC, as post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics at Georgetown University, and represented the U.S. State Department on a mission to Poland and Hungary to examine environmental education. In 1979, Ed became Provost and Professor of Biology at the University of Southern Maine. He returned to the west coast in 1982 as VP of Academic Affairs and Professor of Biology at California State University, Los Angeles. Catching the aloha spirit, Ed moved to the islands to become Chancellor and Professor of Biology at University of Hawaii – Hilo and University of Hawaii – West Oahu (1986-93) and was honored with Chancellor Emeritus in 2000. Ed came out of retirement to be the President of the University of West Los Angeles (1995-97), the Special Assistant to the President at Pacific Oaks College (2000-05), and Acting President at Tusculum (2007). Ed served many years on the Board of Trustees at Tusculum and at the University of West Los Angeles. He received an honorary doctorate from Tusculum in 1997, a distinguished Service Award in 2003, and a Civic Leadership Award in 2008. Ed was active in national professional organizations, including the Ecological Society of America (secretary 1976-78), the National Association of Biology Teachers (president 1981), the Southern California Academy of Sciences (board of directors 1985-86, 1993-97, vice-president 1995-96), and a member of the accrediting body, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (1987-96). He was a member of MENSA and a consultant in the life sciences to some 30 institutions, including the State of Florida and the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. A lover of music, a singer and piano player, Ed was active in arts and civic organizations in his home communities through the years. Ed authored more than 70 publications in ecology, biology, and science education, including on higher education of China's 55 minority nationalities. Concepts of Ecology, the best known of his 20 books, went through many editions and was translated into multiple languages. He was also editor of 15 books on the relationship of biological sciences and society. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Ed found time to tend his beautiful rose garden, to cook and entertain, to attend theater, opera, and music events, and to travel the world. Close to his family throughout his life, Ed is survived by his partner Noriaki Nakano, his children Lynn, Eric (Janet), and Mark (Susan) Kormondy, his grandchildren Michael (Hannah) Kormondy, Andrea (Asif) Baig, Laura (Adam) Krumwiede, Alisha Kormondy, his great-grandsons Cameron and Conner Kormondy and Crew and Jett Krumwiede, his sister-in-law Shirley Kormondy, his nieces and their children and grandchildren. His brother Paul and his ex-wife Peggy preceded him in death. Based on his wishes, no memorial service is planned and the family gathered privately to scatter his ashes July 28th. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to carry on his education legacy in the Kormondy-Hedrick Scholarship in the Life Sciences at Tusculum University, Alumni Office, P.O. Box 5040, Greeneville, TN 37743, or in another scholastic charity.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 7 to Aug. 12, 2018
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