Pamela M. Ludford
Pamela M. Ludford (nee Sutcliffe) died at 4:30 am on Sunday, July 22
2001 of complications arising from lung cancer.
Pam was born on October 19, 1928 in London, England. She was educated
at Haberdashers' Aske's School, and then went to Westfield College at London
University where she obtained a first class honors degree in botany in
On August 19, 1950, she married Geoffrey S. S. Ludford (deceased 1986).
They came to the United States where she supported him in his academic
career as a Professor of applied mathematics. Pam cared for her husband
in his final months of life and remained connected to the hospice community
for 15 years.
While raising two daughters, Jennifer and Susan, Pam decided to pursue
graduate studies with Professor F. C. Steward, one of the most eminent
plant physiologists of his time and known for the rigor with which he trained
students. She received her Ph.D. in 1971 from Cornell University, where
she remained as an Assistant (1977) then Associate (1983) Professor in
the Vegetable Crops department until she retired in 1995. She continued
to be active in her profession after retirement, spending many hours in
her office and participating in departmental events.
Her faculty career was devoted to research and teaching in the post
harvest physiology of vegetables, with a special interest in the role of
plant hormones. She was widely recognized as an authority on this subject,
as evidenced by her invitations to author book chapters and perform editorial
For many years Dr. Ludford was the Graduate Faculty Representative for
Vegetable Crops, in which capacity she went to great lengths to nurture
and counsel graduate students. Dr. Ludford was the first woman to be appointed
to the faculty in her department, and one of the first women in any of
the production agriculture departments. As such she served as a role model
for female graduate students and faculty, always ready with words of encouragement
and acts of kindness.
Pam loved the color purple, balloons, flowers, small children,
and her many wonderful friends. She will be remembered as a courageous,
generous and loving woman with an undying joie de vivre.
Susan Davidson (email@example.com)
She is survived by her sister Gillian Bell of Wallingford England and
two daughters: Jennifer Messing Ludford, married to Seth J. Messing, with
children Nicholas, Anna and Timothy Messing; and Susan B. Davidson, married
to Charles J. Davidson, with children Jeremy and Christopher.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospicare of Tompkins County. A memorial
service is planned for 3 pm on August 12, 2001 at St. John's Episcopal
Church in Ithaca, NY.