J. Benton Storey

J. Benton Storey passed from this life, Sunday April 4, 2010 after complications from a lengthy illness with his family by his bedside (81 years, 5 months and 11 days). Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, April 9, 2010, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home in Bryan. Funeral services are set for 10 a.m., Saturday, April 10, at A&M United Methodist Church in College Station. Interment will follow at the Aggie Field of Honor in the College Station Memorial Cemetery.
James Benton Storey – Professor Emeritus Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University was born on a farm in southeastern Red River County Texas, near the town of Avery October 25, 1928. Storey was a 1945 graduate of Avery High School and married his high school sweetheart Marie Cox in 1948. He earned his bachelors of Science in 1949 and Masters of Science from Texas A&M in 1953 and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1957. Benton joined the faculty of Texas A&M Department of Horticultural Sciences in 1957 and worked as a part of a team of researchers who released several cultivars of peach, plum, blackberry and pecan. In 1965, Benton began a long career in pecan research and plant nutrition in Texas and Mexico. He was honored by numerous awards in the state and national pecan industries. In the 1970s, Benton worked with a number of graduate students to solve a zinc nutrition problem for pecan producers in Western Texas and Mexico and greatly expanded the region for profitable production in the western United States. Dr. Storey was a leading scientist and authored over 200 manuscripts and three chapters over zinc nutrition including a patent for NZN, a Zinc foliar fertilizer used worldwide. Benton was elected a fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science in 1978 and served as president of ASHS in 1994.
Benton had a true passion for teaching and the great privilege of working with nearly 40 Ph.D. students as well as many masters and undergraduate students over nearly five decades of research and teaching. In the late 1980’s and into the 90’s, Dr. Storey began investigating the human health benefits of pecans and worked with other food scientists and medical researchers toward using pecans as an important source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids for human nutrition. He also cherished the opportunity to serve the greater university community as a representative on the faculty senate where he was able to work toward eliminating smoking in public areas on campus. The Association of Former Students honored him with their prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award at the College level in 1992 and at the University level in 1996.
Benton was a life long Methodist and was a member of A&M United Methodist Church. He served God through his church through many different ministry outreach activities at the local, regional and national levels. Dr. Storey loved his wife, children and grandchildren deeply and exemplified Christ by his humility, gentleness, kindness and generosity to all that knew him.
Benton is survived by his wife, Marie (Cox) Storey, of College Station; son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Lyn Storey, of Avery, Texas; daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Mark Olivieri, of College Station, Texas; grandchildren, James, Thomas, and Sarah Storey, of Avery, Texas, and Nicholas, Philip, and Ryan Olivieri, of College Station, Texas.
In lieu of flowers the family requests gifts be made to A&M United Methodist Church Building Fund (417 University Drive, College Station, TX. 77840); or the J. Benton Storey Endowed Scholarship in Horticulture (34165). Checks should be made payable to Texas A&M Foundation, (401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840-2811). Please include a note indicating that the gift is in memory of Dr. J. Benton Storey.


  1. I don’t have any words that will take away the sorrow, but I just want to say that the world has lost an incredible person, a superb scientist, a wonderful spouse, father, grandfather. I am sorry that I got to meet Dr. Storey in his late years, when his health started failing, but I am also happy to have had the chance to interact with him and appreciate his great passion for education and pecan research. I am deeply honored, and always will be, to have inherited his position at Texas A&M University, although I know that I will be able to accomplish just a fraction of what he has done in his long career. He was, and always will be, a real role model for me and the many students, growers, colleagues that were lucky enough to work with him.
    My most sincere condolences to Mrs. Storey and her family.

  2. I was saddened by the message of Benton’s passing. Please accept my sympathy. Marie, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I cherish the memories of Avery High School and your friendship.

  3. To the Storey Family:
    I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Storey’s passing. He was a great man and an incredible educator. I feel so honored and privileged to have known and learned from him. My thoughts are with you all.
    Priscilla Files

  4. To: Nancy Storey & the entire Storey family.

    As it reads in Psalms 30:5 “…weeping may endure for a night, but JOY cometh in the morning”. You honor him by “LIVING”. I will eat some pecans in his honor! 🙂

    Nicole Hill, HBPC/Texarkana VA Clinic

  5. Dr. Storey is why I majored in Horticulture, he’s why I chose my major, and why I’ve never stopped loving the field. When I was a freshman at TAMU in 1966 as an Agronomy major, I took a course from him in my first semester. I made straight A’s that first semester and when I went to register in the spring (back then it was fold up tables, cards, and faculty handling the registration) he saw me, and then took me by the arm and took me around to the tables of the other departments, introducing me with a “look at this young man’s transcript, he’s going to be a great Horticulture major.” I was so intimidated by his enthusiasm, I immediately switched to Hort, something I never regretted. Dr. Storey was made a huge impact on my life and was one of the most inspiring teachers in my undergraduate and graduate career. I will miss him. Dave Creech

  6. I did not have the opportunity to meet Dr. J. Benton Storey. But I am honored to be colleague with his son, Professor Mark Storey, and instructor to two of his grand sons, James and Thomas. It is obvious the impact of Dr. Storey on his family and a job well done. My most sincere condolences to Dr. Storey family. Mohammad Ganjizadeh

  7. We thank God for putting J. Benton Storey in our lives. He was a great teacher, a kind mentor, and a gentle soul who exemplified Christ’s admonition to love God through obedience, and love your fellow man through service. There were many good professors, but Dr. Storey was in a category of his own. He would rush into class carrying an armload of books, too enthusiastic to be late, setting a pace that demanded action. He always had at least 10 plates spinning in the air, but the twinkle in his eye let you know none would fall. He was available when you needed him. He knew your name. He carried a heavy load, but did it with grace and humor. God has received into His garden a true steward. We echo His praise…“Well done”. We will miss Benton. Marie, Mark and Lisa, you are in our prayers.

  8. Dear Storey Clan,I
    am sorry to hear of Mr. Storey’s passing. I remember him as a big, strong man who seemed to carry a tremendous weight on his shoulders. He was always kind to me and soft spoken…offering me a twinkle in his eye with a smile on his face. Of course I was only the neighbor kid next door who scampered in and out of your home to pester Mark. I had great times playing with Mark. Please know, many people will remember Mr. Storey and I’m sure all with kind thoughts. He was one of a kind. I know he has found his home with God. Many blessings to you all as God cradles you with love during your mourning. Sincerely, Charlotte Hopson-Hanson

  9. Mark, Lyn and family, you are in our prayers during this difficult time. Words are likely of little comfort, but know that we are here if we can be of any help to you. God Bless you and your families. Roy & Stacey Ervin and family.

  10. Dr. Storey was one of the first people I met when I joined the Horticulture Department. He was a true Aggie and loved to teach the new generation of Aggies. I will miss his smile and courage but he is now free of his earthy restraints to enjoy his true reward. My heartfelt sympathy to all of you.

  11. With deepest sympathy to Dr. Storey’s family we wish to state that Dr. Storey was a great influence in our lives as a teacher, scientist, researcher, and family man. Barbara and I first met Dr. Storey in 1974 when I was a Ph.D. student and Dr. Storey was my major advisor. I became an Aggie in 1977. He was a role model as a professional and as a person. We will miss Dr. Storey, but he will always be in our hearts.

  12. So sorry to read of Benton’s death. I know he had been sick a while but the horticulture community has lost a great member. He was a very brilliant man in his field. I know he will be missed by his loved ones. My prayers are with all of you at this time. But I know there will be many more blooms in heaven because of him. Phyllis Stanley – Avery, TX

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