Obituary Listings

James Allen Guikema

August 31, 1951 April 18, 2018
James Allen Guikema
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Obituary for James Allen Guikema

James A Guikema, 66,of Manhattan Kansas passed away on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. He was born August 31, 1951 in Grandville, MI. He was preceded in death by his father, Louis, his mother, Harriet and his two brothers, Henry and Louis. Jim is survived by his wife of 31 years, Sue Brown, his sister Judy (Jim) Vander May, and his step-dad Bert Stolk. He was a beloved uncle to his many nieces and nephews: Dennis (Trish) Guikema, Tom (Janel) Guikema, Susan Guikema, Josh (Rolan) Guikema, Amanda (Michael) Bates, Lorene (Thad) Senti, Marcy (Jason) Brink, Steve Vander May, Jodi (Jeff) Alcala, and Rob (Amy) Vander May.
Jim received a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College, MI, and a PhD in photosynthesis from the University of Michigan. After a 2 -year postdoc at the University of Missouri, where he met his wife Sue, he joined the Division of Biology in 1981, beginning 37 years of teaching, research, service and administration at Kansas State University. Over the next 17 years, he rose through the ranks to be named Associate Director of the Division. His research program in plant sciences transitioned into gravitational and space biology, with multiple experiments on the space shuttle. He is the only member of his family to experience weightlessness during a parabolic flight.
In 1998, Jim was recruited to central administration, where he served as associate dean of the graduate school and associate vice president for research, for another 17 years, before returning to Biology for the past three years, again serving as Associate Director. During his dedicated service in KSU central administration, he wore many hats, but he most enjoyed mentoring students and young faculty and supporting novel research and scholarly pursuits. His hobbies included scuba diving and crafting gourmet pizza for friends and family.

A memorial service to celebrate Jim’s life will be held at Konza Prairie Biological Station at 2 pm on Saturday, May 5, 2018.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Konza Prairie Research Excellence Fund (F53200),

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