Norman Frederic Thomson, associate professor of science education in the College of Education, died peacefully at home on Nov. 13 after an 18-year battle with cancer. He was 70.
Born in Superior, Wis., Thomson earned his bachelor’s degree from Milton College in Wisconsin in 1968. He joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served in Africa for more than a decade.
Upon returning to the U.S. in 1979 with his family, he completed his master’s degree and doctorate in education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He was a faculty member of science education at the University at Albany (State University of New York) from 1993-96. He joined the science education department at UGA in 1996 as an assistant professor and became an associate professor in 2002.
Thomson is survived by his wife, Rose Jepkorir Chepyator-Thomson, a professor of kinesiology in the College of Education; his three sons, Jonathan Kiplagat of Hoboken, N.J., Patrick Kimutai of New York City; Robert Kipruto of Athens; his mother, Olive, of Mt. Horeb, Wis., his two brothers, Dennis (Joan) of Warriors Mark, Pa., Roderic (Linda) of Stevensville, Mich., and a sister, Elizabeth (Dean) Danielson of Steamboat Springs, Colo. His father, John, and his brother, Douglas, preceded him in death.
A memorial reception will be held Feb. 1 from 4-6 p.m. in Grand Hall ABC of the Tate Student Center. Additional memorial receptions will be held later in Mt. Horeb, Wis., and Iten, Kenya.
Friends who wish to make a memorial donation in his honor, may select their favorite nonprofit organizations, wherever located, to help underprivileged K-12 students learn science, particularly his favorite subject, evolution. In Kenya, a Norman Frederic Thomson Foundation will be established to help underprivileged students pursue high school and university education to continue his legacy. More information about the foundation will be available in the coming months.