ORONO, Maine — Katherine Ogilvie Musgrave, a respected professor and nutritionist viewed as a mentor by many in the field, died this past weekend. She was 95.
Musgrave, an Orono resident, started teaching at UMaine as an assistant professor in 1969.
University of Maine President Susan Hunter on Monday called Musgrave “one of the stalwarts of the University of Maine faculty — the consummate teacher, both in the classroom and in distance education, and the untiring human nutrition education researcher and advocate.”
UMaine awarded Musgrave an honorary doctorate of science in 2006. In 2002, she was presented the New England University Continuing Education Association Faculty Member of the Year Award.
Barbara Frey, a dietitian at Eastern Maine Medical Center, took classes from Musgrave early on in her teaching career, and she later shared an office with her while pursuing a master’s degree in the early 1970s.
“She was very, very well thought of by the entire profession and served as a role model and a mentor for the majority of dieticians in the state,” Frey said during an interview Monday.
More than that, Musgrave was known across the nation for her many leadership roles and awards in the dietetic field, according to Frey. Those included recognitions from the American Dietetic Association, Maine Nutrition Council, Maine Dietetic Association and the former American Home Economics Association. She also served in leadership roles at the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“There’s no one in this field in the entire country that hasn’t heard of Katherine Musgrave,” Frey said.
Though Musgrave “retired” in 1986, she continued to work full time. She taught classes on campus and online, worked as a registered dietitian, a nutrition consultant to area physicians and corporate wellness programs and broadcast a weekly radio segment about healthy living on Bangor radio station WZON.
Childhood nutrition was among Musgrave’s biggest focuses. She took a no-nonsense approach to nutrition, arguing that unhealthy food was too easily available and moderation was key.
“My feeling is if we can get children, in the first eight years of their lives, to like food and really appreciate food, they’ll eat right the rest of their lives,” she said after a party celebrating her 90th birthday. “As a child, I got to feel important, and children would today if parents would take time to let ’em make a few messes in the kitchen and enjoy creating.”
In 2011, Musgrave was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame, alongside U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.
“Her passion for healthy living and good nutrition was nationally recognized, was award-winning and made a difference in Maine,” Hunter said. “[Musgrave] epitomized the teaching, research and community outreach mission of a public research university. We will miss her integrity, vision, wit and all-out love of life.”
A full obituary will be published in the Bangor Daily News at a later date. Brookings-Smith is handling funeral arrangements.
BDN reporters Jackie Farwell and Dawn Gagnon contributed to this story.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.