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In Memory

Lewis Grant

August 2, 2013

Lewis O. "Lew" Grant, who helped create Colorado State University's internationally renowned Atmospheric Science Department and founded the state's first certified organic farm, has died.

Lewis He was 90.

Lewis Octave Grant was born on March 29, 1923, in Washington, Penn. He passed away on July 29, following a severe fall. The son of Lewis Frederick Grant and Rita Jacqmain Grant, a brother, Don, and his wife, Joyce, survive him.

Lewis grew up in Henryetta, Oklahoma, and served as a weather officer in both the Air Force and in the Field Artillery during World War II. In 1947 he completed requirements for a B.S. in physics from University of Tulsa and then earned a master’s degree in atmospheric science from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., 1948.

Lewis married Patricia Lovelock Grant on July 23, 1949. In the early 1950s they moved to Colorado and eventually to Ft. Collins in the early 1960s. Their five children are Ann Grant Martin (Karla), Brenda Jacqmain Grant, Nancy Grant Mina, Andrew Lewis Grant (Nick and Mike) and Laura Lou Arnold (Peter Pleban). Lewis has seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. His German shepard, Chip II, will miss him greatly. He was preceded in death by his mother, father and wife, Patricia.

After serving in World War II, he was part of a team that was instrumental in helping the new State of Israel to develop their water resources, particularly in the Negev desert. The men on his team became life-long friends. Prior to moving to Ft. Collins, Lewis worked for the American Institute of Aerological Research in the areas of water resources, agriculture, cloud physics and weather modification. In 1959, he joined the Engineering Department at Colorado State University to establish the Atmospheric Science Department. He was a CSU emeritus professor from 1993 – 1998.

Internationally known for his pioneering research in atmospheric science, Lewis was also well respected in the field of agriculture. Aside from atmospheric science and farming, Lewis was active in the Ft. Collins community. He was awarded, as well as his son Andy, the Paul Harris Fellow award from the Rotary Foundation in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world. Boy Scout troop, 26 showed their thanks by giving Lewis an appreciation award for his service as a Chartered Organization Representative.

Lewis was a fellow of the American Meterology Society, the Weather Modification Association and a past member of the American Geophysical Union. He is a past member of the cloud physics, water resources and weather modification committees of the American Meterology Society. He has served as a member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Atmosphere Science, as the trustee from the university sector for the Weather Modification Association, and as the University representative and president of the Consortium for Atmospheric Resource Development. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and/or scientific conference papers.

Several of the many awards Lewis received as an Atmospheric Weather Scientist included the Colorado State University Andrew Clark award for excellence in research, the Vincent Schaefer award of Weather Modification Association, the 1993 Colorado State University Dean’s Council award, the 1976 Colorado State University Co-Interdisciplinary Environmental Research Award, and the Farm Bureau “Cloud Squeezer” award, 1977.

As a master agriculturist, Lewis, with his son, Andy, operated the first certified organic farm by the State of Colorado. He managed the farm operation that increased in size from 100 acres in the early 1960”s to about 2500 acres in 2011. Known as Grant Family Farms, the fields of vegetables were fully organic by 1987. He was the main force behind organizing many fall gleaning events on the farm. Hundreds of people, church groups and food banks came to harvest vegetables that were left in the fields. The farm contributed more than 1 million pounds of food to the Food Banks over the last many years.

Grant Farms was a popular spot for visiting international contingents, hosting visitors from Japan and Africa, and once freighted baby zucchinis to the White House for a dinner.His activities and awards in the field of agriculture include being a section chairman of the National Academy of Science committee on Climate and Food, a board member of the Organic Farming Research Foundation, and a member of the Larimer County Agricultural Advisory Board. He has served as a consultant to the Colorado legislature and received the 1994 soil and water resources conservation award of the upper South Platte Watershed Association. Lewis was member of the Colorado IPM Advisory committee and a member of the National Horticulture Committee of the Farm Bureau.

Lewis, known as “Lew” was known for his keen intelligence and clarity of communication. There were few conversations that weren’t peppered with “The thing of it is…..” Most sentences began with “What it amounts to……” and “so forth.” These were quintessentially Lew. Possessing an active curiosity, he was interested in a wide range of topics and was always ready to give quality time to young people who often stayed with him at the farm. Always the teacher, there were many who learned the basics of organic farming and about his specialty, irrigation and water. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. Lew was especially fond and proud of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren with whom he spent quality time. The father of five, he was always ready to lend a hand to smooth the way. He never failed to support the challenging events of his children’s lives in such a way that they knew they were loved and valued. Lew was a hard worker and dedicated napper.

He was very active in his church, Westminster Presbyterian. He will be deeply missed by that congregation and many friends and colleagues. The community of this congregation has taken such great care throughout his life.

A Memorial Service will be held at 3 p.m. on August 9 at The First Presbyterian church. Lew’s family asks that memorial contributions be given to The Legacy Land Trust,, 223 Linden St. Suite 200, Fort Collins, Colo. 80524 in the name of Lewis O. Grant to further the mission of creating lands perpetually used as farmland and natural land.

To CELEBRATE his life, the famikly invites all to come to the farm surrounded by the land he loved and cared for. The celebration will begin immediately after the service. Please bring bountiful potluck food to share with each other... all else will be provided. The farm is at  172 Starbright Ct, Wellington.

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Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Phone: (970) 491-6009