Obituary for Larry VanDruff
Larry W. VanDruff, age 75, of Pompey Hollow in Cazenovia, passed away after a long illness on January 18th, 2018 at his home with family by his side. Dr. VanDruff had been a resident of Central New York since 1970. He was a faculty member at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse for 30 years, retiring in 2000.
Born in Elmira, New York, Larry was raised on a dairy farm in Northern PA, earned a B.S. degree at Mansfield University (PA) in 1964, then an M.S. degree and a PhD in 1970 from Cornell University. His professional career involved teaching, research, and public service in the area of wildlife biology and management. Although his research included studies of loons in Minnesota and waterbirds in the Adirondacks, Dr. VanDruff was best known for his studies of urban wildlife. Larry and his students studied the mammal community in Syracuse, gray squirrels in Oakwood Cemetery and residential neighborhoods and Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, raccoon populations on Long Island, and mallard ducks in coastal New Jersey. His expertise in urban ecology, biology and management of birds and mammals, and the socioeconomics of wildlife in close association with humans led to many teaching, mentoring, and public service opportunities. In addition to numerous scientific publications, he trained over 35 graduate students at the Master’s and PhD levels. His former students hold positions in state and federal conservation agencies, with cooperative extension, as high school teachers, and as college and university professors. At ESF before his retirement, he served as advisor to several students seeking careers in public education, an endeavor long dear to his heart.
After his retirement, Larry remained active in the Oran Community Church, the Save The County Land Trust (CNY Land Trust), Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, public service efforts, and projects at his beloved VanAcres on Pompey Hollow Road. His love for travel took him to all 50 States, Canada and Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, and Costa Rica.
Surviving are his wife of 51 years, Mary Ann VanDruff, a daughter Brenda (Timothy) Ko of Fayetteville, NY, a son Thomas (Laura) VanDruff of Arlington, VA, and 3 grandchildren, Andi and Aaron Ko and Noah VanDruff.
A memorial service for family and friends will be held at the Newell-Fay Manlius Chapel, 8171 Cazenovia Road (Rt 92), in Manlius, NY on Saturday, January 27th at 11:00am. There will be a brief time for visiting with family just before and just after the service.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Roosevelt Wildlife Station at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry c/o the ESF College Foundation, One Forestry Drive, 214 Bray Hall, Syracuse, NY 13210 or to the Oran Community Church, P.O. Box 311, Manlius, NY 13104.