STEUBEN - Richard Thurston, 91, passed away Feb. 17, 2013. He was born Feb. 3, 1922, in Orono, the youngest of three sons, to Cleveland and Marion Haskell Thurston.
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He is survived by his daughter, Diane Thurston of Ellenville, N.Y.; son, Roger Lee Thurston of Lexington, Ky.; stepsons, Douglas Rees of Arcadia, Calif., and David Rees of Louisville, Ky.; stepdaughters, Kathy Rees Johnson of Lexington, Ky., and Jennie Rees of Louisville, Ky.; sisters-in-law, Ruth Thurston of Machias and Marie Thurston of Mount Pleasant, Mich.; a host of loving stepgrandchildren, nieces, nephews and honorary grandchildren; and friends too numerous to name. He was predeceased by his wives, Ann Templeton Thurston and Mary Alice Klingensmith Rees Thurston; and brothers, David and George.
Richard was educated in New Haven, Conn., and spent idyllic summers on and around the water at the family home in Steuben. He attended the University of Connecticut, then served the U.S. in World War II as a naval officer at sea in the Pacific Theatre. After the war, he earned a doctorate in entomology from Rutgers University, then launched a long and successful career as a professor and researcher at the University of Kentucky. There he became an avid Wildcats basketball fan and, during a research assignment in northern Thailand, developed an abiding interest in Thai food and culture. In his younger years, he was an intrepid tennis and ping-pong player, and he was a lifelong lover of history, poetry, nature, fishing, gardening and above all, picnics at the shore with family and friends. He was a founding member of the Lexington, Ky., Unitarian church and was a long-standing member of Unitarian Universalist Church, Ellsworth. Richard was known for his good humor, wit and generosity, and he will be sorely missed.
At his request, there will be no formal funeral or memorial. Donations in Richard's memory may be made to Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, care of UUCE, 121 Bucksport Road, Ellsworth, ME 04605 or to hospice organizations anywhere.
Published in BDN Maine on Feb. 27, 2013