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Gordon M. Prine

Gordon M. Prine (2/16/28 to 10/17/16)
Gordon Madison Prine, the renowned professor emeritus at the University of Florida, died Oct. 17 after a long illness. He was 88.
Dr. Prine, who joined The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in 1958, had a 45-year tenure as part of research faculty. He remained involved even after his retirement in 2003, until recent health declines prevented him from coming in to the office. He was always available to his colleagues and graduate students who sought his advice and counsel, one of his favorite parts of his job responsibilities.
During his career at the UF Agronomy Department, Dr. Prine conducted research and developed new types of an array of crops, including soybean, corn, alfalfa, pigeon peas, various cover crops, red and crimson clover, elephant grass, annual ryegrass. Most notably, he championed the rhizome perennial peanut, a forage crop. Thanks to his diligence, Dr. Prine was responsible for the development of this plant from a small plant introduction plot to now more than 40,000 acres used for hay and grazing throughout Florida.
Evidence of his legacy in perennial peanut popularity can be seen along the lawns of the UF Campus and Florida highways where patches of bright yellow flowers-rhizoma perennial peanut—are being used as a ground cover derived from old original plots of Dr. Prine’s, or planted by UF Grounds Department and Florida Department of Transportation.
Born in Valdosta, Georgia, Dr. Prine was the only son of Surry and Mattie Lou Cothron Prine. He grew up in rural Lowndes County, Ga., on his family’s farm where his father raised cattle and grew tobacco and corn. His childhood years were spent struggling through the Great Depression. Despite the hardships, Dr. Prine learned a valuable lesson: the importance of hard work and education. Indeed, education was what Dr. Prine called the most important element of a human life.
He became the first member of his family to complete numerous college degrees. He earned his bachelor of science and master’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Georgia. His Ph.D was awarded by the Ohio State University in 1957. His education was interrupted between 1946 to 1949 when he was in the U.S. Army Air Corp., serving during the Berlin Air Lift. While studying at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) in Tifton, Ga., as part of his undergraduate degrees, Dr. Prine met and later married Mary A. Wells. Dr. Prine is survived by wife Mary; his son, Jeffrey Gordon, of New York City; his daughter, Leslie Prine Rosenfeld (Ronald Rosenfeld) of Jacksonville, FL; and his granddaughter, Hailey Madison Rosenfeld, a student at the University of South Florida. Other relatives include sister-in-law, Eloise Wells of Greenville, NC; his aunt, Maxine Cothron of Valdosta, Ga.; his cousin JoAn Cothran Mathis of Valdosta, Ga; and numerous cousins and nieces and nephews. His memorial service is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4, at 1:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 NE 1st St., in Gainesville. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Prine’s family requests memorial donations in his name to the American Diabetes Association, and University of Florida Foundation (checks payable to University of Florida Foundation: Memo: Prine Memorial, PO Box 110500, Gainesville, FL) 32611. Attn: Teresa Martin.

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In consideration of COVID-19, as well as the families we are serving, we would like for those of you whose immune systems are compromised please stay home and send the family a condolence card. We may also be forced to postpone services if this continues or worsens. Our profession as funeral directors is not only focused on serving families, but also protecting the families and the community at-large. Thank you and please take care!