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Frederick F. "Buck" Thornburg

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Frederick F. "Buck" Thornburg In Memoriam

Frederick F. “Buck” Thornburg

Feb. 10, 1940 -Sept. 19, 2017

Frederick F. Thornburg passed away peacefully and surrounded by family at his home. He was born in Mishawaka, Indiana to James Fletcher Thornburg and Margaret Major Thornburg. He left behind his beloved wife, Patricia Malloy Thornburg and four children, Dr. J. Brian Thornburg, Christopher J. Herndon, C. Kevin Thornburg, and Christian Sean Thornburg, Esq., as well as 14 grandchildren whom he dearly loved. His sister and brother-in-law, Karin and G. William Brown; and brother and sister-in-law, James O. Thornburg and Mary Dunbar, also survive him.

Buck's career history and contributions to the community left a distinguished mark in the fields of law, industry, and academia. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity and graduated from DePauw University with a B.A. in Economics, and immediately after served two years as a teacher and coach in Columbia South America as a Peace Corps volunteer. Thereafter, he continued his educational endeavors as an honor student at the graduate school of economics and finance at the University of Notre Dame, and then graduated from the Indiana University School of Law with a Doctor of Jurisprudence, Magna Cum Laude. While in law school, he was admitted in to the Order of the Coif, held the Charles Halleck Scholarship, and was elected Associate Editor-in Chief of the Law Journal.

After being appointed as the Law Clerk to the Late Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals in Chicago, the Honorable John S. Hastings, Buck then practiced law for several years as an associate and partner with the multistate law firm Thornburg, McGill, Deahl, Harman, Carey and Murray (on merger renamed Barnes and Thornburg). Transitioning into the corporate world, he served on the Board of Directors and was the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Wackenhut Corporation, a multinational New York Stock Exchange company. As Buck retired from the business world, he focused on academia where he served as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement and General Counsel for St. Thomas University, where he successfully directed the University's legal affairs and managed the rebuilding of its athletic, development, alumni, and public relations departments. While there, he increased contributions by 1,000% and formed a University advisory board comprised of 43 civic, business, and religious leaders. Upon retirement, Buck remained active in his volunteer efforts and was honored for 15 years of service to the Miami-Dade County School System. His service included chairing the budget and finance committee for several years and serving on it for more. He also chaired the Ethics Committee during a period of investigations of the school system, and served as the Vice Chair of the Citizens Advisory Board for the South Florida-based PBS radio and television stations.

Most importantly, Buck felt that retirement allowed him to spend time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Above all, they are his greatest and enduring legacy.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Sept. 16, 2018
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