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Harold Wooster Thorne Jr.


1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Harold Wooster Thorne Jr. Obituary
Harold Wooster Thorne, Jr.
Feb. 2, 1927- Nov. 25, 2016
Oakland, CA and South Conway, NH
Harry Thorne died at home on November 25, a few hours after Thanksgiving Day.
Born in Pasadena, California, Harry was the son of Harold Wooster Thorne and Margaret Comstock Thorne. His family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where Harry grew up. He graduated from Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, served in the Army until the end of WW II, and graduated from Yale in 1949.
Harry drove from New Hampshire to San Francisco in 1950 and began working for the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, leaving three years later to begin his career as an insurance broker with Johnson and Higgins. He was head of their international department when he retired in 1988.
Harry and Evelyn (Muffy) McKinstry were married in 1952 and lived in Oakland, where their three children were born and raised. Their house of 40 years was destroyed in the 1991 Oakland fire. They rebuilt on the same property and lived there until 2014 when they moved to an apartment on Lake Merritt.
Harry enjoyed all aspects of the great outdoors, especially fishing, backpacking, and whitewater canoeing. He and a great friend went steelhead fishing on the Klamath River every fall for three decades. Harry loved playing all sports and was able to play tennis until he was 88. While he relished competition, sportsmanship and giving his opponent a good experience were always his top priorities.
Harry and Muffy spent parts of 18 summer vacations bicycling in Europe and the last 30 summers in South Conway, New Hampshire, where Harry visited as a young boy and where his parents retired.
Harry looked forward to spending holidays and the summer in South Conway with his immediate and extended family. Conway Lake and its preservation were particularly close to his heart. He loved fishing in a canoe alone or with a family member and came to know every rock, and perhaps every fish, along the shoreline near his house.
Harry will be remembered for his huge, genuine smile, his respect for all people and his planet, and his absolute devotion to his family, his friends...and the loons on Conway Lake. He set an extraordinary example of humility, generosity and civility.
Harry is survived by his wife, Muffy; sons, Charles and his wife, Alisa, Nathan and his wife, Margaret; daughter, Ann Whalen and her husband, Timothy; six grandchildren, Wells, Nathan and his wife, Natalie, Nicholas and his wife, Alexandra, Andrew, Harry, and Ellen Whalen; sisters, Mary Gould and her husband, Kingdon, Lydia Lucy and her husband, Chester; and sister-in-law, Virginia. Harry was predeceased by his brother, Thaddeus Thorne.
Harry was devoted to environmental causes, particularly those dedicated to rivers and freshwater. Gifts in his memory may be made to Friends of the Earth, 1101-15th St., NW, Washington. D.C. 20005, Friends of the River,1418 20th Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95811 or The Conway Lake Association, P.O. Box 803, Center Conway, New Hampshire, 03813.
At Harry's request there will be no service.


View the online memorial for Harold Wooster Thorne, Jr.
Published in East Bay Times on Nov. 30, 2016
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