Rolfe A. Leary, Ph.D., 83, of Falcon Heights, died July 20, 2021. He served in the newly formed Peace Corps (1961-1963), helping to plant trees and maintain the central forest reserve in St. Lucia.
After returning to the U.S. he received a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in forestry from Purdue University. He and his wife moved to St. Paul in 1968 and Dr. Leary took a job with the USDA Forest Service at the North Central Forest Research Experiment Station on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. Leary spent his career modeling forest dynamics through differential-difference equations.
He worked for the Forest Service for 28 years. After retirement he worked for the Danish Forest Service in Horsholm, Denmark. He also volunteered for CTI (Compatible Technology International) in St Paul helping to improve people’s lives by bringing small technology that could be manufactured in-country to countries in the Caribbean and Africa.
Leary is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara; son Daniel; daughter Eleanor; and two grandsons. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Agnes; sister, Rhoda Latting and brother, Roger Leary.
A memorial service was held in July at Hamline Church. Memorials can be sent to the Arbor Day Foundation for their Emergency Forest Replanting Fund—ArborDay.org/replant or Arbor Day Foundation, 211 N. 12th Street Lincoln, NE 68508.