Earl Lemley Core Obituary

Noted historian and author dies

Dr. Earl Lemley Core, 82, a professor emeritus of biology at West Virginia University and a well-known local historian, died at his home at 460 Brockway Ave., on Saturday, Dec. 8, 1984.

Born Jan. 20, 1902 in Core, W. Va., he was a son of the late Harry Michael and Clara Edna Lemley Core.

Core is survived by his wife, Freda Garrison Core; a daughter, Ruth Miller of Loganton, Pa; three sons, Merle Core of Huntington; Harry Core of Painesville, Ohio, and David Core of Elkins; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a brother and a sister.

A West Virginia University spokesman described Core as "one of the giants in the history of WVU and an outstanding teacher and scholar."

Core received an A.B. degree from West Virginia University in 1926, an M. A. in 1928, and a PhD. from Columbia University in 1936. He received an honorary D.St. degree from Waynesburg College in 1967 and from West Virginia University in 1974.

In 1928, Core became a faculty member at WVU and served as chairman of the department from 1948 to 1966.

During 1943-45, Core was botanist of the Columbian [unreadable] Mission at Bogata.

Core organized the Southern Appalachian Botainical Club in 1936 and was editor of its journal, "Castanea," from 1936 to 1971.

He is the author of numerous books and articles on botany. The "Flora of West Virginia," a four volume series written with the late Dr. P. D. Strausbaugh, wa shis most extensive work. Core was also the author of "Flora of the Erie Islands," Spring Wild Flowers," "Plant Taxonomy," "General Biology," and "Vegetation of West Virginia."

Core held membership in numerous professional organizations including the Botanical Society of America, the West Virginia Academy of Science and the Association of Southeastern Biologists. Core was president of the Botainical Society of America's Northeastern section in 1950 and was honored with the Association of Southeastern Biologists' Meritorious Teaching award in 1971.

Core also held membership in Phi Epsilon Phi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Sigma Xi and Gamma Sigma Delta.

A member and past president of Phi Beta Kappa, Core was inducted into WVU's Order of the Vandalia in 1974. He was named Distinguished Professor at WVU in 1967 and the Core Arboretum was named in his honor.

Core also wrote extensively on local history. His series of books titled "The Monongalia Story," provide a comprehensive bicentennial history of Monongalia County, beginning with the establishment of the county in 1776. Material from "The Monongalia Story" was also included in Core's weekly column in the Dominion Post's Sunday magazine, Panorama. Core began writing for Panorama in the fall of 1973.

A native West Virginian, Core's family settled in Monongalia County in 1772. "The Chronicles of Core," published first in 1937, details the development of the Core community.

A member of the Monongalia County Historical Society, Core was also a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Morgantown. He was president of the Morgantown Public Library's Board of Directors and the library's local history collection room was named after him.

Core also served four years on Morgantown City Council and was mayor from 1956-57. Core was also a member of the Monongalia County Board of Education.

Also active in the [unreadable] Christian Church of [unreadable], Core authored [unreadable] Disciples," the history of the church. Core had been a member of the church since April 28, 1946, when he transferred membership from Dolls Run Christian Church. He served as chairman of the Building Committee of the present First Christian Church, located on the corner of Cobun Avenue and Grand Street.

Core was a well-known West Virginia Disciple, having written for the West Virginia Worker, the Disciples of Christ statewide magazine, and other periodicals on the history of the First Christian Church.

He was chairman of the church's Board of Trustees, a former chairman and current member of the Church Official Board, an elder of the church and a former chairman of the State Convention of Christian Churches (Disciples) in West Virginia. Core served as a Sunday School teacher, a lay preacher, a member of the Disciples Student Fellowship Board and as an outreach minister to WVU students.

Friends may call at the Williams Home for Funerals Monday [unreadable] and Tuesday [unreadable] body will be [unreadable] First Christian [unreadable] to lie in state from noon to 1 p.m. Services will be held in the church at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Eugene Derryberry officiating. Burial will follow at Dolls Run Cemetery at Core.

Newspaper obituary, date and source unknown (Greene County, PA)

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