Obituary: Denzel J. Hankinson, retired professor

Denzel J. Hankinson, 89, of Leverett, retired professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, died Dec. 6 at home of heart failure.

Born June 24, 1915 in Michigan, Hankinson received a bachelor''s degree in 1937 from Michigan State College of Agriculture, a master''s degree in 1939 from the University of Connecticut and a doctorate in 1942 from Pennsylvania State College.

Hankinson was a professor of Dairy Technology and head of the Dairy and Animal Science Department, with a specialty in the science of milk, ice cream and cheese.

He had been chair of the then-Department of Dairy Industry at the former Massachusetts Agricultural College. During his 31 years of service, he was named outstanding teacher at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture several times before his 1975 retirement.

He was also an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, a fieldman for the National Dairy Products Corp. and an associate professor at Texas A&M.

In 1964 he helped found an agricultural curriculum in the African nation of Malawi, and in 1974 undertook sabbatical work in Scotland.

Following his retirement, he was an adjunct professor for several years in the dairy science department at the University of Vermont and gave advice to Ben & Jerry''s during the ice cream company''s start-up days.

He was a member of the American Dairy Science Association, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Zeta honorary societies and Farmhouse Fraternity.

His wife of 63 years, Clarinda Elizabeth (Winegar) Hankinson, died in 2001.

He leaves two daughters, Judith H. Ricker and Nancy H. Paulin, both of Leverett, four sons, Denzel G. Hankinson and Richard E. Hankinson, both of Leverett, James A. Hankinson, of North Scituate, R.I., and Thomas R. Hankinson, of Framingham, a brother, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Memorial gifts may be made to First Congregational Church of Leverett, P.O. Box 324, Leverett, 01054, or to VNA and Hospice of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 168 Industrial Dr., Northampton, 01060.

A memorial service will be Saturday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Leverett. Calling hours are Dec. 10 from 4-7 p.m. at Douglass Funeral Service, 87 North Pleasant St., Amherst.