Floyd Vance Pumphrey

Born: Thu., Feb. 9, 1922
Died: Tue., Sep. 13, 2016

Memorial Service

11:00 AM Mon., Sep. 19, 2016
Location: First United Methodist Church

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Floyd Vance Pumphrey

February 9, 1922 – September 13, 2016

Floyd “Vance” Pumphrey, of 1304 SW 23rd, Pendleton, passed away September 13, 2016, of natural causes.

A Memorial Service will be held Monday, September 19, 2016, at 11:00 am at the Pendleton First United Methodist Church.  Burial will be later in Western Nebraska at the family plot.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Kiwanis Scholarship Fund in care of Burns Mortuary of Pendleton, PO Box 489.  Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is handling arrangements.  Sign the online condolence book at www.burnsmortuary.com.

He was born to Floyd Douglas & Mabel Metcalf Pumphrey, February 9, 1922, in Ohiowa, Nebraska, at the home of his grandparents.  He began his schooling in Lyman, Nebraska.  In 1929 the family moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he attended country school.  They returned to the family farm in Lyman in 1933, where he graduated from high school.  He began attending the University of Nebraska in 1939.  In 1942 he joined the Navy which allowed him to first graduate in 1943 with a Bachelors of Agronomy (crop production).  He served aboard a subchaser in the South Pacific for two years, entered the reserves in 1946, and was later discharged as a Lieutenant JG in 1954.  He married Niola H. Chapman on December 28, 1945.  The couple moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Vance pursued his Master of Science Degree in Agronomy (soils).  He received his degree on the day his son Keith Vance was born, June 7, 1948.  The couple had a son, Wayne Douglas in 1951, who died August of 1954, and a daughter, Pamela Mae born April of 1954, who died November of 1954; each had blood complications.  Vance moved his family to Mitchell, Nebraska, in 1948, where he worked at the Scotts Bluff Experiment Station until 1957.  The family moved to Union, Oregon, in 1957, where he worked for the Eastern Oregon Experiment Station, OSU.  Vance was selected as Oregon’s Father-of-the-Year in 1970.  Shifting research to the Pendleton Experiment Station led the family to move to Pendleton in 1970.  Vance joined the OSU Wheat Team in Ankara, Turkey, for two years assisting the Government of Turkey to improve wheat production.  Publication of these results earned him advancement in rank to professor, and in retirement, professor emeritus, after publishing 125 articles.  He retired from OSU in 1987 and kept active with several part-time jobs and volunteering.  He loved spending time with family, and researching genealogy.  He enjoyed the local mountains, hiking, camping, fishing and hunting. He was accused of having the biggest collection of the smallest deer horns (he had shot) in the State of Oregon.  He was passionate about his work.  Agriculture changed terrifically in his lifetime; from horse-power to large tractors and machinery, application of fertilizers & pesticides, improved irrigation, and a great increase in knowledge about what various crops need for optimum growth.  Compared to dryland wheat farmers in the 1930’s today’s farmers have easily doubled annual crop production.  He rejoiced in that his small contribution made it possible for this great increase in food production.

Vance is survived by his son Keith & wife Jane of Walla Walla, WA, grandsons: Scott & wife Hillary, their sons Kyler, Cooper & Kase of Touchet, WA; grandson Curtis & wife Laura, their son Parker, and daughter DeLaney Jane (the first girl born in three generations of Pumphreys), all of Milton-Freewater, OR; his extended family Allan & Dorrine Kendrick and Barbara Palmer; his neighbors that took care of him so he could live on his own until the age of 92; and his good friend and hunting companion Dale & wife Judy Wilkins who together went on many elk hunting expeditions.

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Curt Howell
   Posted Sat September 17, 2016
I am sad to learn that Vance has passed. He was a great friend, researcher, and family man. A man I shall not forget.
Vance worked with Union Co. 4-H youth and was my crop and weed coach many years ago. He was excellent! I think all of his teams won the state title.
His work at the Union Experiment Station gave regional farmers solid research with soils and how to manage fertility with various crops. A base line just as valid today as in the 60's. His work has made farmers more prosperous for many years.
All the best to Keith and family.

Tod Case
   Posted Mon September 19, 2016
Keith & Family,

My prayers and thoughts are with you at this time. I have had the pleasure to know Vance the past 27 years through the Kiwanis Club of Pendleton. He was a wonderful and caring person and provided a lot of service to our community. When he was able to, he would put many hours into the Kiwanis Parking lot at Round-Up time and many times was the first person there in the morning. He also would serve popcorn or soda at the annual Community Halloween Party. And I remember many years where he would plug and unplug the lights daily on the community Christmas decorations by Burger King. These are just a few of the things that he participated in.

I have missed having the opportunity to visit with him the past few years and he will definitely be missed. I am not sure if I will make it to his service due to other commitments, but my thoughts will be with you.


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