In memory: Wayne F. Keim

Wayne F. Keim, 96, professor emeritus at Colorado State University, passed away in Fort Collins on February 11. He was born to Frank and Alice Voigt Keim on May 14, 1923. He completed three semesters at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln before being called into World War II Army duty. After three years of military service, he returned to the University of Nebraska where he graduated in 1947 with a BS degree, majoring in agronomy and mathematics. A basic genetics course taught by his father led him into a long career in genetics and plant breeding.

In September, 1947, he married Joyce Neumann of Lincoln, also a 1947 UN graduate. Wayne completed a MS degree in 1949 and a PhD in 1952 from Cornell University with a major in genetics and plant breeding. His academic appointments took them to Iowa State University, Purdue University, and Colorado State University. Additional short-term positions took them to the University of Hawaii, and the University of Lund, Lund, Sweden. At CSU, Wayne was Head, Department of Agronomy from 1975 to 1985. He retired from CSU in 1992.

Wayne received many honors and accolades during his career. Purdue students recognized him as “Best Teacher” twice. In 1999, he was listed in Purdue’s initial Book of Great Teachers. In 2007, Wayne was named one of twelve former faculty members to the designation of Legend at Purdue University. In 2009 at the Centennial celebration at CSU, Wayne was again honored as a Legend for his teaching and administrative accomplishments. Earlier he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Crop Science Society of America. He was a past president of the CSSA. Wayne was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Collins, the Kiwanis Club of Poudre Golden K, the Men’s Science Club at CSU, and Farm House Fraternity.

Surviving Wayne is his wife Joyce of 72 years, two daughters, one son, five granddaughters and five great-grandchildren. Preceding Wayne in death were his parents, a daughter, a grandson, and his sister.

A celebration of his life will be conducted at a later date. Friends may wish to contribute to the Wayne and Joyce Keim Scholarship, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 80523, the Keim Family Scholarship, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN, 47907, or the Frank Keim Scholarship, Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb., 68503.

Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at