Floyd Dominy


DOMINY FLOYD DOMINY Big Dam Builder and Public Servant Glen Canyon Dam Builder, Floyd E. Dominy, 100, died April 20, 2010 at his home, "Bellevue Farm," in Boyce, Virginia. Mr. Dominy was Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Interior, and has the distinction of being the only Commissioner appointed by four Presidents of the United States-Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. His tenure in that role was longer than any Commissioner since the Bureau was established by Act of Congress in 1902. Mr. Dominy retired from Federal Service on Dec. 1, 1969 after 37 years of participation in land and water resource development at all levels of government-County, State, National and Inter-National. Born on a farm in Adams County, Nebraska December 24, 1909, Mr. Dominy graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1933 with a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Agriculture and has since been honored with the Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1963 and an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree in 1967. Dominy began his professional work as a teacher of Vocational Agriculture at Hillsdale, Wyoming and in February 1934 was appointed County Agricultural Agent for Campbell County, Wyoming. In Aug 1938, he became Field Agent for the Western Division of the Agricultural Administration with headquarters in Washington, DC. During the first two years of World War II, Dominy worked with Nelson Rockefeller, the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, as Assistant director of the Food Supply Division. The role required extensive travel in South and Central America dealing with acquisition of critical war materials and helping resolve food shortages in the region. In 1944, Dominy was Commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve and served the last two years of WWII as a Military Government Officer on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, Guam and Iwo Jima. When mustered out of the Navy in April, 1946, Dominy joined the Bureau of Reclamation as a land development specialist responsible for establishing procedures by which newly irrigated land on public lands could be settled by returning war veterans. Dominy learned the Bureau from the ground up and advanced as Chief of the Repayment Branch, then Chief of the Irrigation Division, to Assistant Commissioner in 1957. When the new position of Associate Commissioner was created in 1958, Dominy was selected and on May 1, 1959, he was sworn in as Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation upon appointment by President Eisenhower. He continued as Commissioner by appointment from Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon until his retirement from Federal Service on December 1, 1969. Floyd Dominy has been one of our nation''s giants in water and land development projects and has been recognized here and around the world for his many contributions. For his work in the U.S. he was named one of the top ten "Public Works Men of the Year" in 1966. Spain and Thailand have awarded Dominy their nation''s highest Civil Award. The General Contractors of America bestowed the coveted Golden Beaver Award to Dominy in 1974 for "Outstanding Engineering Achievement in Heavy Construction". Dominy was featured in John McPhee''s book Encounters With the Archdruid and a reviewer wrote: "One of the most interesting people in the book is Floyd E. Dominy, former Commissioner of Reclamation, proudly responsible for the creation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Here is a man who having grown up in the dry lands of Nebraska, knew first hand the damage that lack of water has on livestock, crops and people. It was for this reason he dedicated himself to building dams that would supply society with necessary water for living and, through the creation of beautiful lakes, access to recreation. His energy and honesty come through each page loud and clear..." Following retirement, Dominy, a man of the soil, established residence at Bellevue Farm in the heart of the Northern Shenandoah Valley and devoted his energies to the Registered Performance Tested Angus cattle business. He served as Chairman of the Performance Testing Station at Red House, Va. and on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Angus Association. Bellevue Farm became a symbol of excellence for Virginia angus cattle and received the "Get of Sire Award" from the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association in 1978 and in 1979. In addition, Dominy was named "1979 Seed Stock Producer of the Year" for Virginia. His wife of 53 years, Alice Criswell Dominy, died in March, 1982. Survivors include his three children; Janice DeBolt of Grand Junction, Colorado, Charles Dominy of Oakton, Virginia and Ruth Swart Young of Marshall, Virginia and eight grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. Services private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Northern Virginia 4-H Educational & Conference Center, 600 4-H Center Dr., Front Royal, VA 22630.

Published by The Washington Post on Apr. 23, 2010.
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6 Entries
Dear Dominy Family,

May you find peace in knowing Floyd has left a great legacy for us all to strive for. I'm sure there is a grand reunion going on in heaven. I do not know any of the family but Floyd is a fifth cousin of my husband.
Marilyn & Larry Dominy
May 19, 2010
We learned of Great Uncle Floyd's death today on NPR. Our condolences to his children and grand children, great grand children, and great great grand child. I had lunch with Uncle Floyd when he was in San Diego a few years ago for a Water Law Conference. It was such an honor to sit at his table.

Blessings, Teresa Beck and family (daughter of Floyd's neice, Mary, of Hastings NE)
Teresa Beck
May 5, 2010
Our condolences in your loss - you are in our prayers.
Marvin & Lee Criswell
April 25, 2010
To Jan and Family
Our deepest sympathy to all.

Love, Bill and Elvira
April 25, 2010
To Chuck Dominy & Family,

My deepest and sincerest condolences go out to you and your family.

You are all in my thoughts at this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Barbara Young
April 23, 2010
You have my sincere condolences. May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared, comfort you now and in the days ahead.
Sharon Williams
April 23, 2010
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