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Frederick Thurberg

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Frederick "Fred" Thurberg 1942-2012 Frederick "Fred" Thurberg, 69, a longtime resident of Guilford, Conn., died peacefully at the Connecticut Hospice on April 22 after a long illness. He was the loving husband of 48 years to Barbara (Godek) Thurberg. Fred was born on August 31, 1942 in Weymouth, Mass., and grew up in the nearby town of Holbrook with his parents William and Dorothy, and sister Judy. He received his BA in Zoology and his M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Massachusetts, where he met his future wife, Barbara Godek, of Adams, Mass. He went on to the University of New Hampshire where he received his MS in Marine Biology and his PhD in Physiology. A devoted conservationist, Fred worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Milford, Connecticut from 1971 until his retirement in 2002. He served as Branch Chief of the Aquaculture and Enhancement Division with responsibility for Culture Systems and Habitat Evaluation. Fred made a significant contribution to the understanding of pollutant effects on marine organisms and played a major role in supporting a return to aquaculture research at Milford Laboratory. An author on more than fifty scientific papers and reports, and editor of several scholarly books on marine physiology, Fred also played leading roles in numerous national and international symposia and workshops. He was appointed a US Member of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in 1978, and was Chairman of the ICES Working Group on Biological Effects of Contaminants from 1987 to 1991. He had years of at-sea experience on NOAA marine research vessels out of Woods Hole, Mass. He enjoyed sharing his love of marine life with young students as Advisor and Instructor for the High School Student Aquanaut Program of the National Undersea Research Program (NURC/UCONN) from 1993-2001. And for over 30 years, he taught undergraduate Biology at Fairfield University as Associate Professor. Rarely idle, Fred always had ongoing personal projects: restoring his Karmann Ghia, repairing antique pocket watches, renovating his home, making wine and updating his bird list. He shared his enthusiasm for all these things and more with colleagues, friends and family. Outside of his work, Fred shared his passion for travel with his family, planning regular vacations to America's National Parks. For over 25 years, Fred and Barbara traveled annually to the island of St Barths, a seaside escape where they found respite from the bustle of everyday life. Fred assiduously researched every trip, seeking out local museums, architecture, restaurants and the best views of the area's natural landscape. He continued to plan trips even during the last days of his illness, and regretted the possibility of leaving his lists unfinished. He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; two daughters, Beth Thurberg of Newton, Mass. and Debbie DiMarco of Lucas, Texas; his mother Dorothy Thurberg of Plymouth, Mass.; his niece Kristen Aronoff of Quincy, Mass.; and his favorite mother-in-law, Elizabeth Godek of Adams, Mass. He was the adored "Papa" to three grandsons, Andrew, Daniel and Max DiMarco of Lucas, Texas. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated this Thursday, April 26th, at 10 a.m. at Saint Stanislaus Church in Adams, Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in his name be made to support Dr. Jackman's Thoracic Oncology Research Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168. The PACIOREK FUNERAL HOME, 13 Hoosac St., Adams, is in charge of arrangements. To leave a message of condolence, or for directions, please go online to www.apsfuneralhome.com

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Apr. 24, 2012
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