1998 saw the retirement of Dr Earl T Gritton from the Pisum Genetics Association and the Coordinating Committee of which he was a founding member. No easy decision, his words below tell the story.
ďBecause I am no longer actively involved in pea research, I now reluctantly notify you that I will discontinue my membership in this fine organization. Along with this, Iíll relinquish my position on the Co-ordinating Committee. This is hard for me to do, since I am a charter member, but I earnestly feel that those of us who are not actively involved in research or the Pisum Genetics Association should not be carried along. It has been a worthwhile effort and Iím pleased to have been a part of it. My best wishes to you and the other active participants for future success.Ē
During his 30 years on the Coordinating Committee, Earl made a very valuable and significant contribution toward the running of the PGA. He could be counted on for prompt, sound and sensible comments and advice. He was always a thoughtful, constructive and helpful reviewer of manuscripts. His loyalty and enthusiasm for the PGA was always apparent. During my tenure as Chairman and Editor, I greatly appreciated the strong support and words of encouragement given by Earl which significantly helped in sustaining the load. Thanks Earl. I am sure also that Gerry Marx would have found your support equally valuable.
In 1996, Dr Gritton retired as Professor of Agronomy from the Department of Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison after 32 years of service including work on the Pea Improvement Program. During this time he made a significant contribution to both pea genetics and pea breeding. His work on pea covered a number of areas including pod and seed traits, foliage types, male sterility, standing ability and resistance to various pathogens including Pea Seedborne Mosaic Virus, powdery mildew and Aphanomyces root rot. In 1995, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the National Pea Improvement Association in recognition of his outstanding scientific accomplishments. In 1996, he received the Annual Service Award of the Midwest Food Processors Association in recognition of his many years of service and support to the processing crops industry.
Before retiring, Earl generously made available material and breeding lines stemming from his Pea Improvement Program (see Pisum Genetics 27:29-30, 1995). Thus the benefits of his work will continue to accrue.
I personally thank Earl for his loyal and valued support, and on behalf of all members thank him for his long and outstanding service to the Pisum Genetics Association. We wish him a long and enjoyable retirement. Perhaps now there will be time to get that Model A Ford in pristine condition.
Ian C. Murfet