Account Benefits

"Find an Aggie" Online Directory

HireAggies Career Services


Roll Call Tribute

Elwood "Woody" Hart '65 February 13, 2024 1:46 PM updated: February 13, 2024 2:11 PM

Elwood Roy "Woody" Hart 

March 6, 1938 - February 2, 2024 

Elwood R. "Woody" Hart passed away Friday, February 2, 2024.

Visitation was held on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care, 414 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa with services held on Friday, Feb. 9, at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2400 Bloomington Road. Memorial donations may be made to the Samaritan Fund at Ascension Lutheran Church or to the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University.

Elwood R. "Woody" Hart was born March 6, 1938, in Sioux City, Iowa to Roy Charles Hart and Ida Caroline (Cox) Hart. He was raised from an infant by his maternal grandparents, Albert Charles Cox and Anna Louisa (Wheeler) Cox, on the family farm and in the town of Rowley, both in Buchanan County, Iowa. Woody graduated from Rowley High School in 1955 and from Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa in 1959 with a B.A. in biology.

He was united in marriage with Carole Ruth Nielsen, Lamont, Iowa in 1960. He completed the requirements for a secondary teaching certificate at the University of Northern Iowa while working full time at John Deere Tractor Works in Waterloo, Iowa. After the birth of their child, Curtis Brian Hart in 1961, he taught physical sciences at West Delaware Community High School for 3 years in Manchester, Iowa and junior high physical sciences for 2 years at McKinley Junior High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In 1964, Woody received a National Science Foundation scholarship to enroll in a master's program at Texas A&M University. In 1967, he received a National Defense Education Act fellowship to continue at Texas A&M in a doctoral program in entomology. While a doctoral student, he participated in a National Science Foundation supported Organization for Tropical Studies summer program in tropical ecology in Costa Rica and received an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for 6 weeks study in Europe. In the final year of his doctoral studies, he was presented with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Southwestern Branch, Entomological Society of America. He received his Ph.D. in 1972, continuing at A&M for 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in forest entomology.

In 1974, he accepted a research/teaching position in the Entomology Department at Iowa State University. His teaching assignments, both undergraduate and graduate, were primarily in insect biology and forest pest management, the latter with Dr. Harold - "Sande" McNabb, Jr. In 1985, Woody participated in a research sabbatical with Dr. Donald Dahlsten in biological control of forest insects at the University of California at Berkeley, CA. Upon his return, he accepted an additional appointment in the Forestry Department at ISU. After this appointment, he became involved in international forestry programs under the leadership of his close friend and colleague, Dr. Richard B. Hall. His research involvement was in two areas, urban forestry and short-rotation fast-growth forestry for energy production. Woody always admitted that any success that he had as a researcher was especially due to his ability to recruit, train, and place outstanding graduate students. He retired as professor emeritus in forestry and entomology in 2002.

Among the honors bestowed at ISU were: the Louis M. Thompson Award for Scholarly Achievement in Teaching; Outstanding Advisor Award, Iota Nu Chapter of Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society; ESA Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, North Central Branch; Margaret Ellen White Award by the Graduate College for mentoring graduate students in a recognized research program.

Woody was especially blessed personally in his life. He was united in marriage with Nancy Louise Fues-Ryan in 1979, bringing three more sons into his life. In addition to his professional involvement, he enjoyed motorcycle touring and antique motorcycle restoration, and all facets of the shooting sports. He loved reading and community involvement. During the latter years of his life, he reaffirmed his Christian faith as a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Ames, where he had an opportunity to teach adult classes in Christian Apologetics and the history of Christianity.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents; his father and stepmother, Lone York Hart; his mother and stepfather, Clarence D. Young; a younger brother, Daniel Young; and granddaughter Emily Hart.

Woody is survived by his wife, Nancy; his four sons, Curt Hart, Chris Ryan, Mike Ryan, and Sean Ryan; grandchildren Angela Meyers, Brian Myers, Stephanie Ryan, Jamie Ryan, Ian Ryan, Catie Ryan, Zoe Ellis, and Ashley Cramer; seven great-grandchildren, and his brothers David Young and Charles Young. He and his wife were especially blessed for many years with a close relationship with his protege, former student, and friend, Nancy Duncan, and her family.

Online condolences may be directed to 


comments powered by Disqus

This article is visible to the public


505 George Bush Drive
College Station, TX 77840

Phone Number

(979) 845-7514

© 2024 The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University, All Rights Reserved