TRAINOR, Francis "Frank" Rice
Francis "Frank" Rice Trainor, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, died on February 12, 2013 in Storrs, CT, after a short period of declining health. He was 84. Frank's supreme optimism, kindness, and generosity endeared him to his family and friends, the town of Mansfield, CT, and colleagues around the globe. Frank is survived by Margaret "Peg" Trainor nee Swanton, to whom he was married for 56 years; sister Ruth Gruodis and her husband Ray; and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. He is predeceased by brothers Rev. James T. Trainor, Paul E. Trainor, Leo Trainor, John A. Trainor; and sister Mary L. Trainor. Frank was born in Pawtucket, RI, and there attended St. Joseph's Grade School and St. Raphael's Academy. He earned a B.S. from Providence College (1950), and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University (1957). Frank started a career at the University of Connecticut in 1957 and, in 40 years, he trained 19 doctoral students and many masters and undergraduate students. He was an inspiring teacher both inside and outside the classroom, conveying an infectious enthusiasm of the natural world, learning and exploration. Best known in the scientific community for his influential work on phenotypic plasticity, growth, and sexual reproduction in green micro-algae, his research covered an extensive range of topics. He received numerous professional honors, including an honorary doctorate from Providence College in 2010. Although retired in 1997, Frank remained active, teaching at the Mansfield Senior Center, writing, and participating in town and church committees. Frank was an expert on wood identification and carving, especially of simple, stylized bird forms. Many of these were sold at scientific conferences or local fairs to raise funds for non-profit organizations. He was a fan of the University of Connecticut basketball teams.
The visitation will be held on Friday, Feb. 22 from 4-7 p.m. at the Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St., Willimantic, CT. The Memorial Mass will be Saturday, Feb. 23, at 12 noon at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Storrs, CT, followed by a reception in the Aquinas Center. A private burial, and a celebration of Frank's academic life will take place at a later date. To express condolences, please visit www.potterfuneralhome.com for the online memorial guestbook. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a fund for graduate student research named in Frank's honor. To do so please make checks payable to: The UConn Foundation, Inc. to the Francis Rice Trainor Endowment Fund #30244. Forward to the following address: 2390 Alumni Drive Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06269 USA.