Entomology professor Ronald J. Prokopy dead at 68

May 18, 2004

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Entomology professor Ronald J. Prokopy, 68, of Conway, died May 14.

Since joining the faculty in 1975, he was actively engaged in teaching, research and extension services related to fruit tree production. He was a founder of the concept of Integrated Pest Management as an ecological means of controlling insect pests on small fruit, especially apples.

He was internationally recognized for his work in insect behavior and ecological control. He traveled widely to collaborate on projects in Europe, Asia, Central America and Hawaii.

His honors included Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, the Distinguished Research Award from the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station in 1983, and the J.E. Buzzart Memorial Award from the Entomological Society of America in 1984. Also in 1983, he was named Wooster School Alumni of the Year. He also received the Chancellor''s Medal in 1985 as a Chancellor''s Lecture Series speaker and in 1998, was one of the first recipients of the Distinguished Academic Outreach Award.

He leaves his wife, Linda, of Conway; a son, Joshua; daughter-in-law, Linda, and granddaughter of Indianapolis; and a son, Max, of Northfield.

There will be an open service on Saturday, May 22 at 1 p.m. in the Prokopy family''s home apple orchard, 1230 Main Poland Rd., Conway. A potluck dinner with celebratory storytelling about his life will follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association (MFGA), Horticultural Research Fund, P.O. Box 9632, North Amherst, 01059.