Cover photo for William Q. Thornburg's Obituary
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William

William Q. Thornburg

d. October 30, 2009

was born Dec 28, 1932 in Des Moines, IA, he was 76 yrs old when he died Fri, Oct 30, 2009 in Bremerton, WA. He spent most of his adult life in Sacramento, CA, but moved to Bainbridge Island, WA in 2006.Bill earned an Engineering degree at Iowa State Univ. and was an avid swimmer. After college he served on a Navy minesweeper, traveling the world by sea. His passion for swimming led him to be trained as a Navy (EOD) diver.He worked for PacBell for many years, and retired early to pursue his passion, Astronomy. He was very proud of the Masters in Physics degree he earned from UC Davis in 1992; joking that his classmates could be his kids. This led to a second career as a Lecturer of Astronomy and Physics at Sacramento State Univ. He was a long time member of both the Sacramento Valley Astronomical Assoc. and the Congregation Beth Shalom. He remained a strong swimmer in his adult life and participated in many Masters events including a relay swim across Lake Tahoe. He was passionate about nature and particularly arctic exploration. He enjoyed a trip with his son nearly to the North Pole in 2003. His love for animals and the sea led him to spend time in the San Juan's tracking whales, and in Spain tracking dolphins with EarthWatch. He also helped raise puppies for Canine Companions. Bill struggled with Alzheimer's near the end of his life, but remained eternally positive. Bill is survived by Jeb and Belinda Thornburg (son) and their daughter Annika of Bainbridge Island, WA; Nan Huffman (daughter), and her children Lauren, Emily and Ben of Sacramento, CA; Sarah Thornburg (daughter) of San Diego, CA; and Ann Jensen (sister) of Tucson, AZ.Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend the Memorial Service on Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 2:00 PM at The Battle Point Park Observatory/Planetarium on Bainbridge Island, WA. (Directions). Memorial contributions can be made to PAWS of Bainbridge Isl. or the Battle Point Astronomical Assoc.

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