Theodore N. Taft, age 82, of Fredonia, N.Y., died Friday August 28, 2015 at Brooks Memorial Hospital after a lengthy illness. Theodore was born January 4, 1933 to Richard and Lorietta Taft. He was a lifelong resident of Fredonia and graduated from Fredonia High School in 1950 and Michigan State University in 1955 with a degree in horticultural science. While in college he was a member of the Theta Xi fraternity. Shortly after graduation, Ted went onto serve in the U.S. Army. While stationed in Killeen, Texas he married Jean Spencer in 1957. They were married for 49 years. Upon discharge in 1957, Ted worked for the Alleghany State Park system as a horticulturist. In 1959 he went onto become a Grape Research Specialist and resident entomologist at the Cornell Vineyard Lab (then located in Fredonia) until his retirement 30 years later. Once retired Ted increased his already active involvement in fishing, hunting, aquarium clubs, and especially his pursuit and raising of moths and butterflies. An authority on his subject he often gave “talks” on butterflies and dragonflies to area schools and organizations. If asked, he was always happy to hold forth on anything from bugs to birds to bogs. Besides this, he enjoyed participating in bird counts, and was member of the Lake Erie Bird Club, Ducks unlimited, the Xerces Society, the Lepidopterist’s Society, and the North American Butterfly Association.
Ted is survived by a son Theodore N. (Melissa) Taft, Jr., a daughter Lynda J. Taft, both of Fredonia and a brother Richard M. Taft of Buffalo, N.Y. He is predeceased by his parents and wife. Memorial contributions in Ted’s memory may be made to: The Lepidopterist’s Society 9417 Carvalho Road Bakersfield, Ca. 93311-1846 Website: http://www.lepsoc.org/. Calls may be made Saturday at the LARSON-TIMKO Funeral Home, 20 Central Avenue, Fredonia, N.Y. from 10 am-11 am, where a Memorial Service will follow at 11 am. On-line condolence may be made at larsontimkofuneralhome.com. Arrangements by David J. Dengler