Entomology Department Bids Farewell to Emeriti Fred Baxendale

Friday, October 1, 2021

Dr. Fred Baxendale, faculty emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology, died on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Lincoln. Baxendale was well known as an entomology panelist on Backyard Farmer and an Extension and Research Entomologist for Nebraska.

Baxendale was a native New Yorker and was a member of the UNL Department of Entomology for 33 years before his retirement in 2018. He earned a BS in Entomology from Cornell University in 1977, and his MS and PhD from Texas A&M University in 1980 and 1983, respectively.

He was hired at UNL in 1984 after a brief postdoc at Texas A&M, and had a great career as a researcher, mentor, communicator, and friend. Baxendale was a popular panelist on the television program “Backyard Farmer” starting in 1985, becoming a celebrity around the state because of the energy, knowledge, and humor he brought to his performances. He served as interim department head from 2005-2006 and was appointed the director of the UNL Forensic Science Program in 2013.

"Fred garnered an abundance of awards over the course of his career, and also amassed a plethora of friends," said Dr. John Ruberson, current head of the UNL Entomology Department. "We will miss his energy and humanity, and his sheer joy at being an entomologist immersed in an endlessly remarkable world."

As Gary Brewer observed, "We lost one of the good ones in Fred." Brewer is a professor of entomology and a previous department head. 

At his retirement, Baxendale's Backyard Farmer co-workers created a YouTube tribute for him.

Baxendale authored or co-authored more than 220 Extension publications, trade journals, and other educational materials.  He authored or co-authored more than 280 research-related publications. Many of his publications may be found at the UNL Digital Commons.  

A celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, 2 p.m. at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, 6800 So. 14th St., Lincoln. An obituary may be found at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/lincoln-ne/frederick-baxendale-10382225 with more details to be added as they become available. An article, written by Dr. Bob Wright and Dr. Tiffany Heng-Moss, was published in the Winter 2021 issue of American Entomologist