Roy Wayne Shawcroft

Roy Wayne Shawcroft was born Aug. 17, 1938, on a warm summer day with the smell of newly cut alfalfa in the air. His parents J. Howard Shawcroft and MarVelle Reed Shawcroft resided on a farm in La Jara, Colo., in the San Luis Valley. Wayne loved living on the farm with his two brothers and one sister.  He remembers fondly the chores and responsibilities it required.  Those memories have been told many times to his children over the years. When it was time to start school, Wayne started the first grade with several of his good friends and close cousins.  That same group also graduated from high school together.  He learned to drive a tractor at the age of 9 and finished his senior year of high school driving the school bus.

Wayne attended CSU for both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He had decided he was still a farm boy so settled on degrees in soil science and meteorology.  In 1965 he crossed the country so he could begin his doctorate degree at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  It was during that time that he was introduced to Marian, his wife, through a close cousin. They were married in 1967 and resided in New York until he completed the Ph.D. in 1970 and then moved to Colorado.

When they were established there, Julie Ranae and Steven David joined the family.  They were a busy family with church, camping, and sports.  Wayne had been an avid athlete during his high school days and the family followed his love of all sports, especially football and the Broncos. The tradition continues with his grandchildren who all have been sports participants and fans.

Wayne was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and had many callings throughout his life.  He taught everything from Primary to Doctrine classes.  He also enjoyed being the chorister for 20 years and directed the church choir. He was a temple worker in the Ft. Collins temple.

Wayne retired from at least five different jobs throughout his career.  He had been affiliated with the town of Akron, Colo., and the USDA Research Station for over 33 years. After he had finished his education, he and Marian moved to Akron where he joined the staff of agriculture scientists at the Research Station for 12 years. In 1982, he switched over to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension as the Regional Irrigation Specialist for Northeastern Colorado. He continued his base of operation at the Research Station.

While working through the years at the Station, Wayne entered all the 100-plus years of weather records from the Research Station into the computer as they became available to the world.  When he retired from this job, the Station paid him a small stipend to continue to summarize and compile the weather data. Soon he was an expert on the local weather and climate history. He could create weather graphs of every kind and color like no other! Not only was this a side job, but it was his favorite hobby.  He loved when new data would come in every week.

A new life began for Wayne as he went to work for the local Farmer’s State Bank as their farm representative. He held that position for 15 years until he and Marian decided to retire for good in 2008 and buy a little getaway in Greeley and spend more time with their family. Peppered through his regular careers were three different teaching terms of calculus and physics classes at Morgan Community College.

When he retired from the Research Station, a friend told him he should sign up with an organization called ACDI/VOCA, an overseas agricultural agency that sends volunteers to foreign countries who needed help. Eight years later he got a call to go to Kosovo.  Other assignments came regularly after that.  Soon he was in Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.  Marian and her sister Nancy flew over after that one and they spent fun days seeing the sights around Moscow and St. Petersburg. Additional assignments took him back to Southern Russia, Jericho, Egypt, Georgia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan once again. Nine wonderful opportunities of a lifetime.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Lynn and Dale, his sister LaVonne, and a great-grandchild Zavier.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years Marian, his children Julie Reynolds (Tom), and Steve Shawcroft; grandchildren Jordan, Ryan, Aaron, Drake, Slater, and Savannah; great-grandchildren Mia, Max, and Maeve.

Wayne was a soft-spoken, kind, and gentle man. He had no enemies.  He had a big heart but one that got tired before he was ready.  He departed this life on October 24, 2023.  He was thoroughly loved by his family who will miss him every day.