pruess-ken-obit-pictureDr. Kenneth P. Pruess age 84 of Lincoln died December 11, 2016.  He was born June 21, 1932 in Troy, Indiana to Elmer and Clara (Grass) Pruess.  Kenneth graduated from Purdue University in 1954 and earned his doctorate from The Ohio State University in 1957.  He married Neva Currie on June 15, 1963.  Dr. Pruess was Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska.  He was at the North Platte Experiment Station 1957-1965, Entomology Department at UNL 1965-1997 and Entomology Department UNL Emeritus 1997 until the time of his death, continuing his research until December 8, 2016.  He taught and researched range land grasshoppers, army cutworms, computer modeling for pest management, aquatic insects, black fly taxonomy and alfalfa weevil taxonomy.  Dr. Pruess was an academic coach for the Linnean Games which is an entomology graduate student competition.  His memberships include being a 60 year member of the Entomological Society of America, North American Black fly Association, Lincoln Stamp Club, American Philatelic Society, American Revenue Association, American Topical Association and Cornhusker Fly Fishers.

Survivors include his wife, Neva Pruess of Lincoln, their daughter and son-in-law, Carleen and Ken Coulter of Frankfort, Illinois.  Sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Don Johnson of Terre Haute, Indiana.  Numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his son, Cameron and his parents.

A memorial gathering will be held in the “Garden Room” at Wyuka Funeral Home beginning at 4:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 15, 2016.

Memorials in lieu of flowers to the Nature Conservancy or the American Philatelic Society.

25 Responses to Dr. Kenneth P. Pruess

  1. Larry Wheelock says:

    So sorry to hear of Kenneth’s passing. God bless him and his family.

  2. Krystal Campbell says:

    You lived life to the fullest with a smile on your face, I hope to follow the exam you set. :)

  3. David Frye says:

    Ken was a dedicated member of the Lincoln Stamp Club. He was a knowledgeable mentor and insightful teacher. I learned a great deal from him. We will miss him. God’s peace be with him and his family.

  4. Jeff Bradshaw says:

    Generations upon generations of entomologists knew and loved Dr. Pruess. Rest in peace dear friend.

  5. Jess Jurzenski-Putney says:

    Dr. Pruess will be dearly missed! I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am to have known him through the Entomology Dept., Linnaean Games, and the university bowling league.

  6. Mark Sellhorn says:

    Ken was a friend and fellow collector. I learned a lot from him and he will be sorely missed. My prayers are with Ken’s family. May God’s peace be with them.

  7. Jill Wheelock says:

    He will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with you both.

  8. Jodi Beltrani says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family during this difficult time.

  9. Koen Swennen says:

    Dear Carleen, Kenn & family,
    So sorry to hear about this.
    Think back a so much fantastic memories.
    Our prayers & thoughts are with you.
    Koen, Anja, Hanne & Emma
    Swennen – Vangeneugden
    Hasselt – Belgium

  10. Phil Mulder says:

    This marks the passing of an icon for our profession. Dr. Pruess was a wonderful man and incredible source of knowledge for entomology. He will be sorely missed. God bless Neva and the rest of the family as they work through this difficult time.

  11. Judy and Mitch Montgomery says:

    It’s been a long run for us in the University Faculty Bowling League. We will miss you Ken–especially on Mondays. Our hearts go out to your family.

  12. Sharon Dobesh says:

    So sorry to hear of Dr. Pruess’s passing. I was privileged to have him as my taxonomy instructor as an undergraduate at UNL. His knowledge will be terribly missed!

  13. Larry and Peg Dunkle says:

    Such sad news. Our hearts go out to you, Carleen and Ken. We are happy to have so many wonderful memories of breakfasts (cornmeal mush), dinners and conversations in Lincoln and Lafayette for over 45 years. We will truly miss our friend Ken.

  14. John witkowski says:

    He was my major professor 4 my master’s program. A brilliant and kind man.

  15. Joel Johnson says:

    Ken was a philatelic expert and he shared his expertise with numerous people interested in stamps. His knowledge and willingness to help will be missed and remembered.

  16. John Owens says:

    We were so sad to learn of the death of Dr. Kenneth Pruess. He was a wonderful and dedicated professor, and he stayed so very active and productive as an emeritus faculty member. While written and spoken words are inadequate to express the depth of our concern at his passing, we do want Neva and all of Ken’s family know they are in our thoughts and prayers. John and Virginia Owens

  17. Brent Elliott says:

    It was always a pleasure to run into Dr. Pruess at the North Central and National meetings of ESA. I don’t know that we were ever formally introduced but he always made time to talk. He will be very much missed.

  18. Tony Joern says:

    This is very sad news indeed. I always enjoyed my interactions with Ken immensely. I have no doubt that he was one of the most interesting individuals I encountered in my career and his massive understanding and knowledge of so many things was amazing. He taught me to tie flies with an entomologist’s attention to the goal at hand as well as what the fish might be thinking, and talking about grasshoppers was always the best. I will definitely miss my discussions with him. Thankfully, I never succumbed to his repeated suggestions that I should bowl – it would not have been pretty – but he sure loved it. I hope to have the same positive and friendly but properly skeptical attitude that so marked his life.

  19. Antonio R. Panizzi says:

    Use to talk with Dr. Pruess and his wife Neva every time we, my wife and I, meet them at the ESA meetings. we loved to chat and hear about his 64 shirts illustrated with insects.

    Our condolences to the family.

  20. Kathy Wheelock says:

    Neva,Carleen,Kenn So sorry for your loss. He will be deeply missed. Sending our prayers and love.

  21. Kirk and Susan Coulter says:

    Carleens’s Dad was a very special person and we will miss him. We were honored to have Ken, Neva, and of course Carleen as part of the Coulter family. They are very special to us. God bless and rest in peace Dr. Pruess.

  22. Ken Cradock says:

    This is indeed very sad news. On behalf of all participants of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Entomologists, our condolences to the family. Ken was a wonderful colleague and mentor, and at the conference his skill at horse shoes was formidable along with his kind guidance to those just starting out. Ken will be greatly missed.

  23. Lavon Sumption says:

    Ken and I were new arrivals to UNL in 1957–I met him at North Platte–he was cheerfully, fully dedicated to his work, a lift for his colleagues. May Ken’s family be supported among one another through memories of the best they shared with this good man.

  24. Blair Siegfried says:

    It’s hard for me to imagine UNL Entomology without Dr. Pruess. He was always willing to provide help to me and my students but never without challenging us to think and try to explain what we do. His main questions for me during my interview were whether I ever get my feet wet and if I bowled. Fortunately, I had the chance to do both with Ken and for that, I will always be grateful. With sincere condolences to Neva and family.

  25. Michael Pitcairn says:

    Ken was my major professor for my Master’s degree. He was an excellent mentor and allowed me a lot of latitude in performing the work. I made a lot of mistakes but learned a lot at the same time and I’ve always appreciated that from him. I had a very nice conversation with him at the International Congress of Entomology back in September. He was sitting outside smoking his pipe and we had a long chat. My condolences to Neva and his family.

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