George M. Darrow, 94, a retired chief of the small fruits division of the Department of Agriculture who helped develop varieties of strawberries suitable for large-scale commercial marketing, died of cardiac arrest June 9 at his home in Glenn Dale, Md.
Dr. Darrow was born in Springfield, Vt. A graduate of Middlebury College, he earned a master's degree at Cornell University, and in 1927, a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University.
He joined the Department of Agriculture in 1911 and during his career conducted research designed to make the strawberry a more flavorful, disease-resistant and commercially marketable fruit. He also did research on blueberries. He retired in 1957.
For several years afterward, he was a research consultant and conducted extensive breeding research on day lillies and azaleas.
In 1954, Dr. Darrow received Agriculture's Distinguished Service Award. His book, "The Strawberry--History, Breeding, and Physiology," was published in 1966.
His many professional memberships included the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Botanical Society and the American Hemerocallis Society. He also was a member of the Beltsville Garden Club and the Paint Branch Unitarian Church.
His wife, Grace C. Darrow, died in 1975.
Survivors include two daughters, Edith Box of Dickinson, Tex., and Carol Kiplinger of Concord, Calif.; two sons, Wilson L., of Glenn Dale, and Dan K., of Putney, Vt.; 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.