Dr. Dale Alden Thornburgh

Obituary
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Dr. Dale Alden Thornburgh Dale Alden Thornburgh was born on Dec. 1, 1931, in Tiffin, Ohio and passed away on Feb. 24, 2013, with his family at his side. He grew up in Missoula, Montana and Bremerton, Washington. He received a BS and PhD in Forestry from the University of Washington and a MS in Forestry from UC, Berkeley. While in college he was a champion hurdler and qualified for the national trials, barely missing the Olympics. In 1953 he was drafted into the Army and stationed in Brooklyn, NY. Along the way, he met the love of his life Pat Thornburgh and they were married for 52 years, enjoying their family of three sons and their wives, one foster daughter, and nine wonderful grandchildren. In 1965, Dale and Pat moved to Arcata where Dale was a professor of Silviculture and Ecosystems Management at Humboldt State University for 40 years. Dale exposed thousands of students to a "kinder and gentler" approach to forest management. Being an avid hiker and back packer, Dale scaled most of the notable peaks in the Pacific Northwest. As a professor at HSU, Dale prided himself on being able to beat the students up the trails and was known for always wearing shorts, no matter what the outside temperature was. He and his colleague, Dr. John Sawyer of the Botany Dept. spent many hours in the 1970's studying the ecology of the Klamath Mountains. In one diverse area, called the Miracle Mile, they discovered 17 species of conifer trees and over 400 plants. Dale traveled worldwide to study and admire trees, spending time in Europe, China, and parts of the Middle East. Dale was an original member of the City of Arcata's Forest Management Committee and served on it for 27 years. He helped bring scientific credibility to the City Forest and brought international attention to its programs. He was also a California Registered Professional Forester and received The Sequoia Award from the Pacific Forest Trust on 2005. Dale is survived by his wife, Pat, his sons Larry and Joel, his brother Gerry, his 9 grandchildren (Faye, Julia, Sara, Charles, Marlie, Scott, Avery, Sean, and Erin) and his loyal and trusted friend, Dr. Bill Sise. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Elaine Thornburgh, his sister Lois Thornburgh, his son Mark Thornburgh, and his grandson Gregory Thornburgh. The family is planning a memorial dedication at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Arcata Forest Fund of the Humboldt Area Foundation, 363 Indianola Road, Bayside, CA 95524. Please sign the guest book at www.Times-Standard.com, click obits.

Published in Eureka Times-Standard from Mar. 1 to Mar. 3, 2013
bullet University of Washington
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