Donald Lloyd Treworgy
October 03, 1938
- September 13, 2009
|MILO AND NOANK CT - |
Donald Lloyd Treworgy, Director of the Treworgy Planetarium at Mystic Seaport, died Sept. 13, 2009, at home with his wife, Lynn, in Noank, CT.
He was born Oct. 3, 1938, in Milo, the son of Lloyd and Edna (Hamlin) Treworgy. A 1956 graduate of Milo High School, Don went on to receive a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Maine at Orono in 1960. He was teaching mathematics and running the University of Maine planetarium and observatory when he was hired to work summers at the Mystic Seaport Planetarium under the planetarium’s first director, Dr. Frederic Keator, who became Don’s friend and mentor. Treworgy was hired full time in 1965, and retired as Planetarium Director on June 12, 2009, after a career of 48 years at Mystic Seaport teaching astronomy, celestial navigation, weather, and related subjects. He was delighted to be able to hand over the reins to his very capable and enthusiastic planetarium team.
Many residents and tourists remember him setting up his telescopes near the bridge in Mystic and inviting passers-by to view the moon, stars and planets, ask questions and listen to his voluminous knowledge of the sky.
During his 48 years at Mystic Seaport, he taught young and old with humor and patience. He befriended several generations of celestial navigation students, many of whom have kept in touch as they sailed around the globe, continued their lives and careers and passed on Don’s enthusiasm for knowledge and enjoyment of the stars. One of his joys was to teach young and old apprentices how to run the planetarium star machine, to develop and present astronomy programs under the planetarium dome and to understand the workings of our universe and beyond.
The Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies College Program dedicated the Don Treworgy Plaza at their new building at Mystic Seaport with a plaque that reads “Don Treworgy…Teacher, Celestial Navigator, Master Astronomer, Member of the Williams-Mystic Faculty for every semester since 1977 and Director of the Mystic Seaport Planetarium, Whose Infectious Enthusiasm for the Heavens and Sea Is Rivaled only by the Number of Stars in the Sky.”
On May 15, 2009, the 49th anniversary of the Mystic Seaport Planetarium, the planetarium was rededicated as the Treworgy Planetarium in honor of Don. A gilded sextant adorns a new sign made by his brother-in-law, carver Gary Anderson, above the planetarium door. An official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly recognizes Don for “Your Magnificent Accomplishment in Communicating the Wonder of the Cosmos to Generations of Stargazers as Director of the Treworgy Planetarium at Mystic Seaport. Your Ability to Explain Difficult Astronomical Concepts in Understandable Terms at Your Lectures and Star-Watch Evenings Has Enlightened and Captured the Public Imagination.”
Don met and fell in love with his wife, Lynn Anderson, the first day she began work at Mystic Seaport in 1967.
Besides his wife, he leaves his brother, Edwin Treworgy, and his wife, Ethelyn, of Milo; his brother, Alan, and his wife, Celia, of Lewiston; his sister, Lois Leckey, and her companion, Ken Massar, of Etna; his brother-in-law, Gary Anderson, and his wife, Ellen, of Pawcatuck; his father-in-law, Lawrence Anderson, of Pawcatuck RI and his companion, Kay Fish, of Ashaway RI; and many wonderful and loving nieces and nephews, whose lives have been enriched by “Uncle Don.” Don also considered the David Howell family of Madison CT as his own.
Don was proud to sing with both the Chorus of Westerly and the Christ Church Choir, where he was a dedicated participant for 12 years and where he made many cherished, life-long friends and enhanced his love of classical music, which had begun when he played trumpet in the Milo High School band and sang in the high school chorus.
From an early age Don loved to fix things. In an early photo of “Donnie” at about three years old he shows off his treasured suitcase of tools and string, ready, even then, for any opportunity to put them to helpful use. Friends remember that he always kept a toolbox in his car so that he would be ready to fix anything broken or work on any project where his help was needed. For many years Don spent hours during his visits to Milo repairing and maintaining the town clock in the Methodist Church. He is also remembered for mending problems with his thoughtful listening and caring help, which he kept at the ready for anyone.
In October of 2008, a biopsy showed that Don had cholangiocarcinoma, advanced bile duct cancer. With many referrals and much helpful advice, Don and Lynn found a fine and compassionate team of doctors who worked together to give him as much quality time as possible. In August we all agreed that we were at the end of cancer treatments and continued with palliative care and the excellent help of Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut. We are thankful that Don never needed pain medications.
Don’s last year was full of visiting and communicating with wonderful friends and family from all over the world. He considered himself lucky to have been given the knowledge that his time was short so that he could use his remaining energy to make and renew connections, enjoy the people who meant so much to him and to say farewell.
Please see carepages.com for more information, photographs, and to communicate with Don’s family.
It was Don’s wish that his body be donated to Yale University Medical School.
A memorial service and celebration of Don’s life will be held at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut on Don’s birthday, October 3, at 1:00.
A second memorial service and celebration of Don’s life will be held on October 10 at 1:00 at the United Baptist Church in Milo for friends and family.
Donations in Don’s memory will be gratefully accepted by :
The Treworgy Planetarium Endowment Fund at Mystic Seaport, PO Box 9000, 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic CT 06355-0990; or by the Milo Historical Society, c/o Allen Monroe, 23 Park Street, Milo ME 04463
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