March 8, 1924 - September 6, 2009
Lois Hattery Tiffany was born March 8, 1924, on a farm near Collins, to Charles and Blanche (Brown) Hattery. She married F. H. (Hank) Tiffany May 16, 1945.
Held in high regard by the public as “Iowa’s Mushroom Lady,” and known by many students, colleagues and friends as “Dr. T,” she was the matriarch of the Botany (and more recently, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology) Department at Iowa State University. She joined the faculty of the Botany Department in 1950, served as department chair from 1990 to 1996, and was named as distinguished professor in 1994.
Dr. Tiffany’s degrees were all from Iowa State University: Bachelor of Science in 1945, Master of Science in 1947, and Ph.D. in 1950.
Dr. Tiffany taught mycology and field botany courses, both at ISU and Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. She advised many hundreds of undergraduate students and was the major professor or committee member for numerous graduate students. Many of the graduate students she mentored have added greatly to the field of mycology in teaching and research.
Her research, although mainly focused in Iowa, was broad in scope, and included studies of fungal diseases of native prairie plants in Iowa, a 10-year survey of Iowa’s morels, and a study of the fungus flora of Big Bend National Park, to name just a few of her projects.
She served in numerous capacities in leadership and service within and beyond ISU, including leadership in various ISU committees at all levels, the Iowa Academy of Science, the Mycological Society of America, the American Phytopathological Society, the Iowa Natural History Association, and other organizations.
She received numerous awards, including: first recipient of the Mycological Society of America W.H. Weston, Jr. Award for Teaching Excellence in Mycology, 1980; Distinguished Iowa Scientist Award, Iowa Academy of Science, 1982; first recipient of the Governor’s Medal for Science Teaching, 1982; ISU Teaching Excellence Award, 1989; Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame, 1991; First VEISHA Professor of the Year, 1993; Iowa American Association of University Women Distinguished Faculty Award, 1993; Distinguished Service Award, Iowa Academy of Science, 1994; Distinguished Professor, ISU, 1994; and most recently, an Honorary Outstanding Career Award at the 62nd meeting of the North Central Division of the American Phytopathological Society, 2009.
She is survived by her three children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
Proceeded in death by her parents, husband, and one grandson.
"Death is nothing at all… I have only slipped away into the next room… I am I, and you are you… whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used. Put no difference into your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner… All is well."
~Henry Scott Holland
Oxford Professor of Divinity