Friends and Co-workers Remember His Devotion to Work and Gentle Spirit

Dr. Craig Canaday
​Craig Canaday, a research plant pathologist with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, passed away May 25. In an additional image, Canady inspects snap beans during a harvest at the UT West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center near Jackson. Photos by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA. Download image.

JACKSON, Tenn. – Craig Canaday, a researcher in the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center died Monday, May 25, due to complications from a heat stroke. He was 66.
Canaday spent 29 years with the UT Institute of Agriculture. His work contributed to the improved control of seedling diseases in soybean and snap bean, two significant commodities in the U.S. and around the world. Co-workers remember Canaday, both for his work and his kindness.
“Dr. Canaday was a dedicated scientist who deeply cared for the good of the department,” says Parwinder Grewal, professor and department head of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology.  “He was very gentle and took time to train his students and coworkers. We will miss him.”
“I appreciated Dr. Canaday and will miss his collaboration. He believed in me and appointed me to my first editorial position, an act I will always remember,” says Steve Bost, professor and Extension plant pathologist, UTIA. “He left a lasting mark on our institution through his personal and professional attributes. I will always be grateful for Dr. Canaday.”
Canaday was born in Columbus, Ohio. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, serving as a communications officer. Following completion of his military service, he began graduate studies at The Ohio State University, where he received both his M.S. and Ph.D. in plant pathology.
After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri, Canaday made the move to Tennessee. He spent the entirety of his UTIA career at the AgResearch Center where he tackled disease control in soybean, snap bean, tomatoes, pumpkins and other crops. His efforts helped farmers in the Mid-South improve crop quality and minimize losses.
“Craig Canaday was a very dedicated scientist who always had the interest of producers foremost in his mind,” says Bob Hayes, center director, West Tennessee AgResearch Center. “He was a very kind, generous and detailed person who was willing to take the time to teach others.”
Despite dealing with complications from multiple sclerosis, Canaday remained passionately committed to his work. Just in March 2015, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the UT Research Foundation featured Canaday’s novel supplemental seed-coating treatment for soybean and snap bean at the Spark! forum.  According to field tests, the supplements increased snap bean yields by more than 50 percent.
Canaday is survived by his wife of 39 years, Teri Catanzaro Canaday, two daughters, Tiffany and Rachael, son-in-law, Robert and grandson, David.
Donations can be made in his memory to the Montessori Center of Jackson, P.O. Box 10516, Jackson, TN 38308.



Ginger Rowsey, UTIA Marketing and Communications, 731-425-4768