BOSTON - Bronson Crothers died on Sunday, August 9, 2015, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor one year ago. Throughout his illness, he faced the Glioblastoma Multiforme with optimism, humor and fierce determination. Charles Bronson Hone Crothers was born June 11, 1961, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Joan Elizabeth (Pankratz) Crothers and Charles Gordon Crothers. The youngest of four children, he was raised in Lexington, MA, and during summers, in the coastal village of Sorrento, Maine.
He graduated from Tabor Academy, class of 1980, where he was awarded the prize for Excellence in Astronomy. He continued his studies at the University of Maine, Orono, where he earned a B.A. in Mathematics and took graduate courses in Electrical Engineering. During his school years, he worked as a welder at Bath Iron Works. In 1994, he married I. Marianne Lagerklint, from Sollentuna, Sweden, a graduate student in Quaternary Studies at UMO and Physical Geography at Stockholm University, Sweden. Together they lived and worked in the Orono and Bangor area for more than twenty years. For the University of Maine, Bronson worked with the Watershed Manipulation Project of the Sawyer Environmental Chemistry Laboratory and at the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology. In 2000, he became a founding partner of Stillwater Scientific Instruments in Orono; a Research & Development company designing Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometers for scientific and commercial applications. Later he worked with Robert H. Jackson III, a close friend and business associate for Jackson's R&D company, Borealis Physical Instruments. He also consulted for Environetix, Orono, ME, and Fairchild Semiconductor, Portland, ME. He and Marianne moved to Acton, Mass., in 2013, where he continued working on Ion Mobility Spectroscopy for Excellims Corporation until his death. Bronson was always experimenting and tinkering. He had an inquisitive and far-reaching mind. He developed an early interest in HAM radio operation, flying airplanes, soloing at the age of 15 and later building and flying model airplanes. There was hardly an internal combustion engine he did not have an affinity for, particularly if they belonged to old motorcycles and cars. He was Chief Engineer and Fabricator working on Rally cars for John Cassidy's team "Last Ditch Racing." He raced International One Design sailboats with his brother and loved to play ice hockey and wind surf. For a time, he played base guitar and sang in a local rock band. He had a keen interest in science, particularly astronomy, and volunteered for the AMSAT Fox Project's effort to put an amateur radio satellite in space.
Bronson was known and loved by many. He leaves his wife, Marianne Lagerklint of Acton, MA; his parents, Joan P. Crothers of Brunswick, ME, and Charles G. Crothers of Charlestown, MA; his sister, Bronwen Crothers and niece, Helena Crothers-Villers, of Brunswick, ME; his brother, Jock Crothers and wife, Lisa Heyward, niece, Brenna and nephew, Conlan Crothers, of Sorrento, ME; and his sister, Alicia Crothers Harrison and husband, Todd Harrison, and nephews, Miles and Ross Harrison, of Cambridge, MA.
A celebration of his life with family and friends will be held in Sorrento in September. The family suggests contributions in Bronson's memory be made to Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation/Fox Project, AMSAT-NA,
10605 Concord St. #304, Kensington, MD 20895, www.amsat.org or Frenchman Bay Conservancy, P.O. Box 150, Hancock, ME 04640, http://frenchmanbay.org.