Dr. Van C. Travis, Jr., of Pittsford, NY. Van is survived by his wife of 53 years, Clara Miller Travis; daughter, Karen A. Travis; son, Van C. "Chip" Travis, III (Kelly); and grandchildren, Zachary and Elena Travis. Van was also a cousin, brother-in-law, and uncle to many others who survive him.
Van was born in Syracuse, NY on September 24, 1938. He graduated from Syracuse Central High School, earned his BS from Cornell University, College of Agriculture in 1960, his MS from Michigan State University in 1971 and his PhD from Cornell in 1990. As a Cornell undergrad, Van was a member of the Cornell Marching Band and Zeta Psi Fraternity. Van was also an honorary member of Alpha Zeta, the oldest professional society devoted to agriculture. Van worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension his entire career, including field assignments in Jefferson and Delaware Counties before returning to Ithaca to work as a regional director supporting extension programs throughout New York State. Van was a member of Epsilon Sigma Phi, an organization dedicated to fostering excellence in the Extension System. While in Delaware County, Van was selected to participate in the International Rotary Exchange Program and traveled to Denmark for six weeks. Van served many times as a deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church and most recently was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford. He was always passionate about dairy science, farming techniques, and the New York State Bluebird Society. Van received The Herman Bressler Outstanding Service Award from the Bluebird Society in 2008 for his leadership in financial management and member support as treasurer and secretary. In his retirement, Van and Clara operated Patchwork and Pies, a quilt shop and tea room in McLean, NY, and he was President of the McLean Cemetery Association for many years. Van and Chip held Cornell men's ice hockey season tickets for 37 years! After moving to Rochester in 2005, Van started a photo inspection business, working for several State Farm agents in the area. He enjoyed spending time with Zach and Elena, was an avid reader, liked working in the yard, time each summer at the Chautauqua Institution and many trips to Clayton on the St. Lawrence River.
Friends may call Thursday, January 29, 4 to 7 p.m. at Anthony Funeral Chapels (2305 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14618). A memorial service will be held Friday, January 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford (25 Church St., Pittsford, NY 14534). All are invited to lunch immediately following the service. Burial will be in the spring at the First Presbyterian Church Memorial Garden.
Gifts in Van's memory may be made to Project Hope for the Children (6983 Chase Rd., Fabius, NY 13063), a Christian ministry founded by a family friend to improve the lives of orphans and needy children in Romania (projecthopeforthechildren.blogspot.com), or the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford for Youth Mission Work.
Condolences may be sent to the family at 26 Pepperwood Ct., Pittsford, NY 14534.
Date of Death: January 21, 2015