Jeffrey Alan Wyman passed away Sept. 15 at his home in Oregon (age 73).
Jeff was always at home in his garden celebrating the gifts of the earth and enjoying time with family and friends. He also loved travel and new experiences, living life to its fullest in everything he did. His kind heart, thoughtful and generous nature, and easy smile touched those around him.
Jeff is survived and loved dearly by his wife, Patricia Ann Wyman (nee Dussling); children, Andrew (Wendy), Megan (Paul) and Benjamin (Heather); and grandchildren, James and Katherine. He will also be dearly missed by his siblings, nieces, nephews and extended family.
Born at Stable Cottage in Ampney St. Peter on June 10, 1945, Jeff grew up in the Cotswolds of England with his parents Sydney and Freda and his seven siblings (Raymond, Cecelia, Pauline, Ivor, Janet, Mary, and Lesley). He shared many fond memories of his childhood and young adulthood. After graduating from the University of Manchester, he traveled to the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar to pursue graduate school at UW-Madison. While at UW, he participated and enjoyed playing rugby and met the love of his life, Patricia.
They were married June 21, 1969 and started their grand adventure together. That adventure included moving back to England before returning to the States and taking a position at the University of California-Riverside. Jeff and Pat returned to Madison for his position in the Department of Entomology at the UW in 1979.
Jeff took a sabbatical to England (Wellesbourne) in 1988 with Pat and family, which gave them a chance to reconnect with his beloved family and roots. Although he loved England dearly, after returning to the States, he truly felt that the United States was his home, so he proudly became a U.S. citizen in 2002.
He enjoyed a fulfilling career as a Professor of Entomology at UW-Madison, specializing in Extension-based pest management research in vegetable crops. He chaired the department from 1984 to 1988. He was passionate about working closely with farmers, researchers, and industry colleagues to develop progressive and sustainable pest management systems that were both economically and environmentally sound.
Jeff mentored numerous masters and PhD students and followed their careers with interest. His work was based primarily in Wisconsin, but expanded to national and international levels, including work in Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. He received numerous honors and awards from a variety of organizations, such as the Entomological Society of America (Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension 1999, 2000), USDA (Secretary’s Honors Award 2003), Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (Researcher of the Year 1991, 1996, 2005), and Wisconsin Potato Hall of Fame (2008 Inductee).
He and Pat enjoyed many off-the-beaten-path road trips across the country, particularly loving New Orleans and the western states, sampling regional food and looking at outsider art and historic sites. Jeffrey was never without a hat.
He had a vast collection and delighted in finding gems anywhere from antique stores to high end haberdasheries. He always wore the appropriate hat to fit the occasion.
Jeff was a lifelong sports fan, attending many games across a variety of sports, particularly Badger and Packer games. After retirement, the development of the yard and garden took on a new dimension with expanded landscaping and the completion of the long-dreamed of pond. And, he did all the work himself. Jeff had incredible mental and physical strength and endurance throughout his life.
Jeff enjoyed lifelong friendships and close connections with a diverse community including fellow colleagues at the university, vegetable crop farmers and industry scientists, the rugby circle, fellow students and classmates, family friends, neighbors, and generally everyone he met. He will be missed.
A memorial service will be held at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum (1207 Seminole Hwy., Madison) on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 4-7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Jeffrey A. Wyman Memorial Fund to support student development in applied agricultural sciences consistent with Jeff’s wishes. To support this memorial fund, please make support payable to the “Jeffrey A. Wyman Memorial Fund” and send support to: Dr. Walter Dickey, University of Wisconsin, Intercollegiate Athletics, Kellner Hall, 1440 Monroe Street, Madison Wisconsin 53711.
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