BREWER, RICHARD DEAN 6/17/1933 - 3/25/2023 Born in Murphysboro Illinois in 1933, Richard was the only child of Ashton Richard Brewer and Helen Doolin Brewer. He was the first person in his family to go to college and was inspired by his High School Biology Teacher Miss E. Esther Smith, who not only taught Biology, but also led an after school science club which included students from all three grade levels. Miss Smith thoughtfully provided binoculars which her students were able to borrow for weeks at a time. She drove them all around the hills and hollows of Southern Illinois, which unlike the rest of Illinois was unglaciated, thus not flat as a pancake. She introduced them to field biology and birding, and in addition took them to compete in the State of Illinois Science Fair. Out of the science club that Richard was part of, she produced multiple Ph.Ds in Biology and Medical Doctors. Most of the students' parents including Richard's, worked at Brown Shoe Factory, the biggest employer in Murphysboro. Richard continued his education as a commuter student at Southern Illinois University, then went on to the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana to get his Ph.D in Biology specializing in Ecology and Ornithology. In 1957 he married fellow student Lucy Jane Sharp. They had two sons, Philip and Steven, and moved to Kalamazoo where he became a Professor of Biology at Western Michigan University. He was above all, a dedicated teacher. One of his students, Ralph Babcock wrote, "The rewards of teaching often tend to be small, yet the influence you have had on me and others have been immenseanother aspect is your respect and insight on recognizing the talents of your students and treating them as equals" In 1995 he married fellow birder, Kay T. Takahashi, whom he met at an Audubon Potluck and moved to her house in Oshtemo. They later moved to Friendship Village in 2018. Aside from his teaching, Richard has been passionately interested in preserving land. . . he lived for something bigger than himself. He was one of the founders of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, the author in 2003 of Conservancy, the Land Trust Movement in America, and in 2013, the donor to The Michigan Nature Association of his house and 40 acres of Beech Maple Forest on R Avenue in Scotts MI. A Stewardship Fund was added to help preserve the land forever. Richard is survived by his wife, Kay T. Takahashi, his sons Philip (Jacquelyn) Brewer and Steven (Alisa) Brewer; grandsons Charles and Daniel, and their grandmother Lucy S. Brewer; cousins Geraldine Richeson, Audrey and Linda Gengenbach; stepchildren Hugh (Georgia Acker) Cooney, Michael (Sarah) Cooney, Tamar (Eric Martin) Cooney; stepgrandchildren Shane (Rachel), Andrew (Chelsea), Leah, Jackson, Nathaniel, Mika Cooney and Alex and Jordan Martin. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m. at People's Church, 1758 10th St. N, Kalamazoo MI 49009. Memorial gifts may be sent to The Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy 8395 E Main St, Galesburg, MI 49053; The Michigan Nature Association 2310 Science Pkwy#100, Okemos, MI 48864; The Kalamazoo Nature Association 7000 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo MI 49009.