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Howard A. Crum
LSA Minutes

Howard A. Crum, 1912-2002

Age 79, died April 30, 2002 at his home. A world- renowned bryologist and University of Michigan Professor of Botany. Howard Crum was born on July 14, 1922, the son of Earl and Eunice Crum. A native of Mishawaka, IN, he began undergraduate studies at Western Michigan University in 1940. He voluntarily interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army Air Force, serving as a cryptographer in North Africa and the Middle East (1942-45). He completed his B.S. at Western Michigan University in 1947, and a M.S. and Ph.D at the University of Michigan in 1949 and 1951.

After a period as Research Biologist and acting Assistant Professor at Stanford University (1951-53), and as Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville (1953-54), Howard Crum served at Curator of Cryptograms at the national Museum of Canada (1954-65). He joined the University of Michigan in 1965 as Associate Professor of Botany and Curator of Bryophytes for the University of Michigan Herbarium. He was promoted to Professor in 1969, and served as Chair of the Department of Botany (1981-83). Upon retirement (1995), he was appointed Curator Emeritus and Professor Emeritus.
During his tenure at Michigan, Howard Crum taught courses in Bryology, Lichenology, and Wetlands Ecology on campus and, most notably, at the University of Michigan Biological Station. An accomplished scholar who loved his discipline, he authored half a dozen books and over 200 articles, and he also served as editor of The Bryologist, The Journal of Bryology, and The Michigan Botanist. He was widely considered one of the foremost international authorities on the taxonomy and phytogeography of bryophytes. He was also celebrated as a teacher of bryology, for which he was devoted equally to undergraduate and graduate instruction and mentorship.

Much as he received prestigious recognition for his scholarship and service to Bryology, he was also honored for his contribution to the teaching and counseling of students. Howard Crum personified the words and roles of gentleman, scholar, teacher, friend, husband, father, and grandfather. He was affectionately known by colleagues, friends, and family for his abiding dignity and endearing charm, friendly curiosity, subtle humor, quiet presence, easy conversation, honest humility, keen intelligence, ready warmth, and generous manner. And of course there was his smile that always was.

All that was Howard Crum is deeply etched in to the lives and memory of many, not least of whom are his wife, Irene (McCarthy) Crum and their daughter and her husband, Mary (Crum) Scholtens and Brian Scholtens of Charleston,SC; their son and his wife, Roger Crum and Robin (Eadie) Crum of Dayton, OH; and their grandchildren Michael and Lucy Scholtens, and John Howard (deceased), Raphael, and Ilaria Crum.