Robert W. Touchberry Sr., 89, of Ely, died Wednesday, June 29, 2011, at his home. Services were held July 6 at First Presbyterian Church near Ely. Burial followed in Rogers Grove Cemetery, rural Ely.
Robert was born Oct. 27, 1921, in South Carolina, the son of Samuel and Lynwood (Gibson) Touchberry. Bob proudly served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He graduated from Clemson University, class of 1944. Bob received his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in animal breeding and genetics at Iowa State University in 1947-48. Bob was a professor, teaching genetics and statistics at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), was chairman of the Animal Science Department at the University of Minnesota (St. Paul), and concluded his career as the Sesnon Endowed Chair of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis. He was a Fulbright Research Fellow in Denmark (1956-57) and served at the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington, D.C. (1967-68). Bob was involved in animal breeding and agriculture for over 44 years until retirement from university academics in 1992.
He remained involved in professional agricultural societies (ASAS, ADSA) and the family farms in Iowa and South Carolina. His giving to universities continues to aid the success of Ag students. Bob was active in the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in California and Iowa. He married Caroline Fuhrmeister on Sept. 1, 1948, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ely. Bob was a member of the Ely American Legion and First Presbyterian Church near Ely.
Bob is survived by his children, Bob Jr. (Jenny) of Longmont, Colo., Pam Touchberry of Marion, Lee (Cindy) of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Alan (Marlene) of St. Louis Park, Minn.; six grandchildren, Jenny, David, Natalie, Anna, Sam and James; and three great-grandchildren, Brenna, Joshua and Asher.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Caroline, on Sept. 12, 2006.
Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimers Association or to NAMI of Linn County.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com .