Obituary for Bill Flinn

Flinn, William (1938 - 2018)

William "Bill" Flinn passed away peacefully at his home in Columbus, Ohio on the morning of June 9th surrounded by family. He was born on November 22, 1938 in Piqua, OH to Margorie Marie Flinn and Charles E. Flinn of Houston, OH. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law, William Barber and nephew Charles Barber. After graduating from Houston High School, he went on to earn a B.S. in Agricultural Economics (1960), an M.S. in Rural Sociology (1961) and a PhD in Rural Sociology (1966) all from The Ohio State University. He had a long and distinguished career as a Professor at The University of Wisconsin and The Ohio State University where he received numerous teaching and research awards among other distinctions and honorary positions including a Fulbright Lectureship at the National University in Bogota, Columbia, President of the Rural Sociological Society, Distinguished Rural Sociologist by the Rural Sociological Society, Alpha Gamma Rho Brother of the Century Award and Sigma Delta's Outstanding International Award and Outstanding Research Award. He became the President and Executive Director of the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities in 1980 and remained in that position for over 20 years even though it was initially only supposed to be a short-term appointment. Under his leadership MUCIA enjoyed unprecedented international growth and success. Later in his career he returned to academics and his passion for teaching. He had a full and well lived life traveling the globe and making many friends along the way. He was dedicated to teaching and serving others with love and compassion and was an amazing story teller, the life of the party and a loyal friend and colleague.

Bill is survived by his wife of 52 years, Susan; two brothers Dick (Marla) and Gary (Susan) Flinn; sister Kathleen Barber; brother-in-law Glen Heller (Sandy); daughter Anne Clark and her husband Jim; son Jim Flinn and his wife Sara; five grandchildren Danny, Thomas, Johnny, William and Oliver along with nieces and nephews: Holly Flinn, Heidi McCabe (Tim), Victoria (Brian) McCurdy and Nick Flinn and their families; best friend Bob Caldwell and his family and honorary son Morgan Clark. Per his wishes, no formal services will be held but a celebration of his life at The Varsity Club will be announced at a later date. One last Bill Flinn party.

Published in The Columbus Dispatch on June 11, 2018
Obituary for Peggy J. Cook

Obituary for Peggy J. Cook

PEGGY J. COOK (née Johnston) of Gainesville, VA, formerly of Memphis, TN, Starkville, MS, Alexandria, VA passed away on May 18, 2018 at Capital Care Hospice in Aldie, VA.

She was born on July 25, 1936 in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee.

Her parents were the late Arthur Singleton Johnston II and Opal Griffin Johnston.

Peggy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Sociology from Mississippi State University in 1958. She was a founding member and President of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority as well as a life-long member of the National Rural Sociological Society.  She completed her Master’s Degree in Sociology in 1968 and earned her Ph.D. in Rural Sociology from The Ohio State University, 1982.

She was employed as a Rural Sociologist, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agricultural, Washington, D.C. for 25 years, retiring in 2001. Her career accomplishments included participating in many service and consulting activities, receiving many honors and awards, and authoring several publications and journal articles.

She is a former member of The Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C. and most recently a member of the St. Thomas United Methodist Church in Manassas, VA. Peggy’s interests and activities were many, including her involvement with various community volunteer services, advocating and mentoring prison inmates in Lorton, VA, volunteering at Novant Health Auxiliary and serving on various committees at Heritage Hunt Golf and Country Club, Gainesville, VA. 

She is survived by her husband of 25 years, Eugene C. Cook of Gainesville, VA; her 4 children Robin Street of Ozark, MO; Russell J. Ross and his wife, Heather, of Cape Coral, FL; Randall A. Ross of Ozark, MO and P. Ryan Ross and his partner, Tony Haugan, of Gainesville, VA. Her brother Robert G. Johnston and his wife, Bettye of Cleveland, MS, and her sister Faye J. Fillers and her husband, Jerry, of Knoxville, TN.

She is also survived by 8 grandchildren, Susanna H. Street, Joshua R. Ross, Jonathan Taylor Ross, Samantha R. Johnson, David M. Ross, Rachael D. Ross, Brandon and Braeden Ross and 4 great-grandchildren.


The family would like to express our thanks for the wonderful help and care from Capital Caring Hospice, Falls Church, VA.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her honor to the Novant Health Auxiliary, located in Manassas VA at 8700 Sudley Road. Condolences may be sent to the family at


NIFA Announces Funding Opportunity for Sustainable Agricultural Systems
NIFA announced the availability of up to $80 million in funding for integrated projects to increase sustainable production of food and agricultural products. Funding is made through a new program in NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)  Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program. AFRI is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, which aims to address challenges in food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences.
SAS program focuses on system-level approaches that promote transformational changes in food and agricultural systems within the next 25 years. SAS supports trans-disciplinary projects that aim to transform agricultural systems that provide safe, nutritious, abundant, and affordable food for a growing population, while enhancing economic opportunities for Americans, especially those in rural areas. Read the full request for applications announcement.