June 28, 2008

Native plant enthusiast dies

Farmer, rancher, teacher Dave DuBose was north state fixture

If you wanted to know anything about north state plants, you talked to Dave DuBose.

He was a past president of the California Native Plant Society, a farmer and rancher, and also a former instructor of agriculture and environmental conservation at Shasta College.

"He loved his job," said his wife, Sandy. "It was his total identity."

If you wanted to know anything about north state history, you talked to Dave DuBose.

"He was my No. 1 favorite history person," said Dottie Smith, former curator of the Shasta College Museum. "I'm gonna miss Dave."

Clyde "David" DuBose, 70, died Tuesday of complications with pneumonia. He had Alzheimer's disease and was showing symptoms of Parkinson's disease, Sandy DuBose said.

"He never complained about it," she said.

It wasn't his style.

Family and friends remembered his sharp and sometimes stinging wit, and his ability to laugh in almost any situation.

"He was just very vital, interested in everything" Sandy DuBose said.

And he wasn't afraid to speak his mind.

"He had opinions on everything," she said. "He was not religious at all -- it annoyed him."

Both he and Sandy were 30 when they married in 1968 -- they met at Shasta College -- and later had three children. Matt, 36, lives in Connecticut; Rebecca, 34, lives in Seattle; and Nathan, 30, lives in Mountain Gate.

An outdoorsman all his life, DuBose grew up on a dairy farm in Nelson just south of Chico. He earned his bachelor's degree in general agriculture from Chico State University and earned his teaching and administrative credentials at the University of California at Davis. He taught for two years at Red Bluff High School and two years at Etna Junior/Senior High School.

In 1965, Shasta College called him with a job offer. He began that year, building the first natural resources department in the California community college system. He retired in 1999.

Over the course of his professional life, DuBose served on the Natural Science Council at what was then Turtle Bay Museums and Arboretum on the River, helped with the arboretum's native plant program, gave history lectures around town, volunteered at the Sacramento River Discovery Center in Red Bluff and was a member of the Native Grass Society.

Sandy DuBose said her husband had been working on writing a book about the history of agriculture in Shasta County. She said it would likely go unfinished.

They bought a 300-acre ranch in 1970, one of the oldest in the county, and worked it for years. It sits near Parkville Cemetery where Dave DuBose's cremated remains will be laid to rest, Sandy DuBose said.

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