Cover photo for Dr. Melvin Conrad's Obituary
Dr. Melvin Conrad Profile Photo
1927 Dr. 2015

Dr. Melvin Conrad

March 10, 1927 — June 26, 2015

Dr. Melvin Louis Conrad, 88, passed away on June 26, 2015, in Wichita, Kansas. Funeral service will be on Monday, June 29, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at the Kiowa United Methodist Church with burial following in the Riverview Cemetery. In Lieu of flowers memorials in Melvin's name may be made to the Kiowa United Methodist Church or Good Shepherd Hospice through Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. P.O. Box 42, Kiowa, Kansas, 67070.

Melvin was born March 10, 1927 in Kiowa, Kansas, to Marvin and Elsie Conrad and attended public schools in Kiowa from Kindergarten through High School, graduating in 1945. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Eula Conrad and sister, Etta Mae Coburn. He is survived by children, Albert Conrad (Michael) of Wichita, Kansas, Celia Theiler of Charlotte, North Carolina and Daniel Conrad (Lauree) of Cary, North Carolina. He is also survived by brother, Lawrence Conrad of Kiowa, Kansas; grandchildren, Christopher Theiler, Matthew Conrad (Marti), Gregory Conrad and great granddaughter, Lucy Theiler. He was also loved by nieces and nephews, Aline Grant (Brian), Annette Waisner (Kory), Brenda Dirks (Rick), Randy Conrad (Julie) and Foster Coburn.

Melvin entered active service in the V-6 program of the United States Navy Reserve April 16, 1945, where he was first assigned to the USS Welles at Bremerton, Washington after boot camp. Following V-J Day, their ship and the USS Renshaw escorted the USS Boise through the Panama Canal to New York City, where President Harry S. Truman reviewed the fleet on the Hudson River for Navy Day Celebration in late October, 1945. In December he was assigned to the USS LST 814 which participated in the occupation of Japan and transferred to the U.S. Naval station at Yokosuka, Japan until May, 1946. He received an honorable discharge from the navy at Norman, Oklahoma in May, 1946 with the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Melvin continued his education receiving a BA in Biology at Southwestern College in 1950, MA in Biology at George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, TN in 1956 and PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1980.

In 1954 he married Eula Montes Vieira in Cascatinha, Brazil, after serving as an educational missionary from 1950 - 1954. He taught General Science and Biology at McLeansboro (IL) Township High School 1956-1958; Asst. Professor of Biology at Oxford (GA) College of Emory University 1958-1967; and from Asst. Professor to Professor of Plant Taxonomy at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman University) in Kirksville 1967-1991, where he retired as Professor Emeritus of Plant Taxonomy in 1991.

Melvin was active in the Methodist Church all his life. He was a member of Lions Clubs International for many years, holding numerous club and state offices including District Governor of District 26-C, was director of Blood Services for the American Red Cross and helped found the Missouri Native Plant Society (MONPS) in 1979. In December, 1993, he and Eula moved to Kiowa, Kansas, where he led the Barber County Wildflower Tour each May. He had been a member of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Missouri Native Plant Society, Kansas Wildflower Society, Kiowa Lions Club, the American Legion, Post #146, the Kiowa City Tree Board, sang in the choir at the Kiowa United Methodist Church, served on the board of directors of the Kiowa Alumni Association and the Border Line Theatre.
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