Claude L. Rhyne Jr.: June 16, 2017

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

AMERICUS — Claude L. Rhyne Jr., Ph.D., age 96, passed away on Friday, June 16, 2017, at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.


Funeral services are planned for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 25, at First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Sommer Bower officiating. Burial with committal service will follow on at 10 a.m. Monday, June 26 at Andersonville National Cemetery.


The family will receive friends between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Hancock Funeral Home, 427 S. Lee St.


Born Dec. 17, 1920, in Benton, Ala., he was a son of the late Claude Little Rhyne Sr. and Blanche Stroupe Rhyne.


Mr. Rhyne was a retired educator, having worked in the Sumter County School System teaching science and math. He was a U.S. Army Air Corps veteran, having served during World War II. After the war, he worked for the USDA, and was a pioneer in the field of cotton genetics. He worked on the origin of domestic cotton and relationships with wild cotton species, linkage of inherited characteristics, transference of genes from wild to domestic, with an eye for environmental protection; maintaining stocks of edible cotton seed for humans and animals, that are supportive of beneficial insects such as honey bees; and inhibiting moth feeding in versions passed to cotton research workers in China and India.


He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Georgia Association of Educators, Who’s Who in Southwest America, Sigma XI (Scientific Research Society), and the American Genetic Association.


He was preceded in death by his wife, Bettie Tolson Rhyne; two sons, John Claude Rhyne and Paul Andrew Rhyne; one daughter, Bettye Grace Rhyne; one sister, Margaret Wagener; and two brothers: Peter S. Rhyne and Robert L. Rhyne.


Survivors include two daughters and their spouses: Portia and Ralph Menard of Fredericksburg, Texas, and Claudia and Michael Greene of San Jose, Calif.; one son, David Rhyne of Americus; one sister, Mary Downs of Apex, N.C.; one brother, Dan E. Rhyne of Americus; three grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.


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Hancock Funeral Home, 427 S. Lee St., is honored to be entrusted with these arrangements for Claude L. Rhyne Jr.