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Kemper, Charles A. (ed.) / The passenger pigeon
Volume 39, Number 4 (Winter 1977)

Gromme, Owen J.
[In memoriam: Herbert Lee Stoddard],   pp. 320-331 PDF (4.3 MB)


Page 321


IN MEMORIAM: HERBERT LEE STODDARD
By Owen J. Gromme
(Ed. Note: This obituary previously appeared in The Auk, (Vol. 90, Oct.
1973) in an abbreviated and edited version. Because Herbert Stoddard
was an honorary life member of the W. S. 0. and a close friend of many
of our members and since most of our members do not see The Auk, we
felt it would befitting to reprint this in its entirety.
I first became acquainted with Mr. Stoddard when he visited me in 1963
to discuss TV tower mortalities. This was one of Mr. Stoddard's last
great preoccupations. He was a man of obvious keen intellect, great
personal magnetism and tremendous energy. I found him extremely
stimulating in my own on going studies of TV tower casualties.
Mr. Gromme has written a moving and interesting account of his close
friend - truly a monumental figure in Wisconsin ornithology as well as a
national figure of deserved reknown.)
The words ecology and environment stand out in headlines of the current
news media of the world. The science of ornithology plays a valuable role
in our attempt to solve our problems, and our knowledge is based upon
the pioneering efforts of the giants of the past upon whose shoulders
our biological scholars, technicians and administrators of today stand.
Herbert L. Stoddard was one of those giants of his time, and was not only
an outstanding ornithologist but also a great naturalist whose interest in
nature was as wide as his horizons.  Being academically tied to no
particular school of discipline, his keen and inquiring mind was free to
roam  the gamut of the interrelationship of all living things.  His
special emphasis was on ornithology and all of its interesting avenues of
pursuit. His accomplishments in his field and his mode of life stand out
as examples to the career men who wish to apply their ornithological
knowledge to the betterment of our living space in our trying times.
He was born in Rockford, Illinois on February 24, 1889, the second son
of Herbert A. Stoddard and Helen Eugenia Wallace Stoddard. He was
married to Ada Wechselberg of Milwaukee on June 26, 1915, and is
survived by a son Herbert Lee Stoddard, Jr. of Tallahassee; a sister, Mrs.
Rupert J. Stibbs, Rockford, Illinois; two grandsons, Herbert Lee Stoddard
III and David Spencer Stoddard, both of Tallahassee; and one grand
daughter, Marie Louise Stoddard, Tallahassee.
In the case of such a complicated but simple man, the biographer's
task is to find the key to "just what makes such a man tick." The
fact that he possessed no college degree and that his academic training did
not take him beyond the high school years makes his career the more
remarkable. He was self-taught and educated so superlatively that he
was offered a full professorship in one of our great universities and
the directorship of one of our important museums of natural history.
Probably his most outstanding contribution was his book, The Bob White
Quaii, which is a classic in its field and one of the most important and
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