NATCHITOCHES – Natchitoches Parish Farm Bureau made a contribution to the Jack W. Pace Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Northwestern State University in appreciation for the late Dr. Pace’s service to Farm Bureau as a member of the board since 1979. Pace was a past president of Natchitoches Parish Farm Bureau and was recently voted onto the State Farm Bureau Board. He passed away Aug. 3.
Pace was a member of the Northwestern State faculty for 41 years where he taught animal science and preparatory classes for the nursing curriculum, served as head of the Department of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and was advisor to the Rodeo Team and NSU Vet Tech committee. Through many years of teaching at NSU, he touched the lives and inspired hundreds of his students to become nurses.
The scholarship will be presented to a Northwestern State student from Louisiana majoring in biology who must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
“NSU was a real passion for him,” said Bonnie Pace, Dr. Pace’s wife, as former students shared stories in which Dr. Pace taught not only coursework but also soft skills in his classroom.
In October, the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences named Room 217 in Bienvenu Hall the Dr. Jack Pace Memorial Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory.
“Dr. Pace taught in that classroom for 35 years and inspired countless biology and nursing majors,” said Dr. Francene Lemoine, department head. Lemoine said Pace impacted not only students, but was also a wonderful colleague who always had encouraging words for his fellow faculty members.
Pace was a dedicated leader in all aspects of his service in education, agriculture and to his community. In addition to serving on the Farm Bureau board, he also served on the Natchitoches Parish Police Jury, Natchitoches Parish Fair Board, the Natchitoches 4-H board, the Natchitoches JC’s and was past Master of the Masonic Lodge and Shriners. He also served on the Louisiana Livestock Steering Committee, the Ark-La-Tex Ag Council, and was a former president of LACTA and State Chairman (Equine Division) of Morris Animal Foundation.
He was a member of the American Society of Animal Science and the American Genetics Association. Pace also served as a cattle and equine judge for Delta Dixie, Louisiana State Fair, Louisiana District Shows, and judged cattle and advised cattle ranchers internationally in Honduras and Columbia. He had great love and support for the National FFA Association. He and his son Wesley owned and operated Pace Farms.
Pace received many honors and commendations: Who’s Who Among American High School Students, 1977 Outstanding Young Man of America and the C. William Broomfield Memorial Award and Honorary State Farmer Degree. He was a Louisiana Master Cattleman and was a gubernatorial appointee as an advisor to the Sparta Groundwater Conservation District.
In addition to his wife, Dr. Pace is survived by sons Jacky Ray Pace and Wesley Ashley Pace, and three grandchildren.
“This is a special Scholarship and we are grateful for friends of Dr. Pace and the people of Farm Bureau for getting behind this,” said Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation and a former Pace student. “Dr. Pace meant so much to NSU and was a well-respected professor.”
“He loved Farm Bureau,” Bonnie Pace said. “And whether it was big or little, he always wanted to make a difference. He was a great husband and a great father. He loved his state and he loved his community. Farm Bureau was a passion of his. Hopefully this will be goal for some young person to receive this scholarship.