Bernie Machen's father dies at 94


Published: Friday, January 11, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 11, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Bernard Machen, the father of the University of Florida's president of the same name, died Wednesday. He was 94.

Machen, of Gainesville, spent 50 years in sales of chemical products used in agriculture. He retired in 1978 as national sales manager for U.S. AgriChemical in Atlanta, according to his obituary.

Machen, born in 1913 in Albertville, Ala., attended Howard College on a football scholarship. He was a graduate of Auburn University, and an "ardent fan for his Auburn Tigers," his obituary says.

He also served in the U.S. Army.

E.T. York, chancellor emeritus of the State University System, described Machen as a man of great intellect and personality.

"He was a very genial individual," York said. "He was just a lot of fun to be around."

York added that Machen was "very proud of his son, and I think he was delighted to see his son here (as UF's president)."

The elder Machen moved to Oak Hammock, a UF-affiliated retirement community, in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor Machen; a daughter; two sons; a brother; eight grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned at Oak Hammock for Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.

Williams-Thomas Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606.

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