Robert Eugene Thurber

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New Bern - Doctor Robert Eugene Thurber passed away peacefully February 15, 2013 at the Brookstone Living Center, Pollocksville, North Carolina. Dr. Thurber was born in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York on October 11, 1932.

A passionate educator and researcher, he received his undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Holy Cross College, Worchester, MA, as well as degrees in Physics and Math and a Master of Science degree from Adelphi College in Garden City, N.Y. He went on to earn degrees in Physical Chemistry and Statistics at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. He earned his PhD in Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Kansas in Kansas City, Kansas.

He served honorably in the United States Army Medical Corps in Korea from 1954 through 1956.

His employment history includes: Research Assistant at Iowa State University from 1961 through 1962; Predoctoral Fellow at the University of Kansas from 1962 through 1964; Associate Professor at the Medical College of Virginia from 1964 through 1969; Associate Professor at Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia, PA) from 1969 through 1970.

He was among a number of professionals who planned and opened the School of Medicine at East Carolina University. He began this work as Chairman of the Physiology Department in 1970. Since 1977, when the first class of 28 students enrolled in the four-year School of Medicine, the institution has grown dramatically in its teaching, research and patient care roles.

He was elected President of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Heart Association in 1979 and belonged to the New York Academy of Science, American Physiological Society, Sigma Xi, and the Institute of Society, Ethics and Life Sciences.

He enjoyed golf, sailing, traveling, and working in his yard. He could absolutely fix anything!

Dr. Thurber is survived by his wife and best friend, Linda of New Bern, North Carolina, children Robert, Joseph, and Karl, step children Janet, Barbara, Karen and Robert, grandchildren Robert III, Matthew, Travis, Brandon, Chad, Kramer, Kara, Karla, Logan, Heidi, Paige, Lia, Vinnie, Abby, and Bo, great grandchildren Mason and Peyton.

Services will be held on Wednesday, February 20th at Garber United Methodist Church in New Bern, North Carolina, beginning with visitation at 11:00 a.m. in the Morris Hall Atrium, followed by A Celebration of Life in the Sanctuary. He will be buried with military honors at the Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, N.C.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Community Home Care and Hospice, 1319 S. Glenburine Road, Suite A, New Bern, NC 28562 and/or Brook Stone Living Center, 8890 US Hwy 17 S, Pollocksville, NC 28573.

Online condolences may be directed to

Arrangements by Pollock-Best Funerals & Cremations.

Funeral Home
Pollock-Best Funerals and Cremations
2015 Neuse Boulevard
New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 637-5111
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Published in Sun Journal from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20, 2013
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