Catherine (Tink) Thoburn died peacefully in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 21 after a short illness. She was 93.
Mrs. Thoburn was born in Washington, D.C., in 1921. After growing up in New York city, she served during World War II in the American Red Cross as a clubmobile driver, delivering coffee and donuts to American troops and helping them write letters home. After the war, Mrs. Thoburn earned degrees in psychology and education from Boston University and Harvard, where she met her husband Norman.
She had a long and successful career as a school teacher in Georgia and Massachusetts, as a psychologist for the Plymouth, Mich., school district, and as a clinical psychologist at Hawthorn Center in Livonia, Mich.
In the 1960s she was a founding member of the Plymouth Assembly for Equal Opportunity, which succeeded in having a fair housing ordinance — one of the first in Michigan — passed in her adopted hometown.
In retirement, Mrs. Thoburn was an avid traveler. She and her husband explored the world together, visiting every continent, including Antarctica. For many years she was actively involved in Learning in Retirement, serving leadership roles including president. She was a lifelong student, always interested in learning. Her main interests were theatre and classical music, and she frequently visited Stratford and attended plays and concerts locally. She was also an excellent bridge player, a lover of words and crossword puzzles, and an avid reader.
Mrs. Thoburn touched many lives, especially through her work at Hawthorn Center, where she took a personal interest in every patient. Her friends, family, neighbors and caregivers will miss her smile, good humor, generosity, common sense and kindness.
Mrs. Thoburn was predeceased by her husband, Norman Thoburn of Plymouth, Mich.; her parents, Rev. Gerald and Dumont Barry of Vineyard Haven; her sisters, Barbara Nevin of Edgartown and Patricia Billings of Concord; and her daughter in law Billie Jo Johnstone of Lebanon, N.H. She is survived by her son Stephen and daughther in law Linden of Brighton, Mich.; her daughter in law Elisabeth of Pinckney, Mich.; her grandson Martin and her great-grandson Tillman of Ypsilanti, Mich.; her granddaughter Annastasia of Los Angeles, and her stepson Leland of McMinnville, Ore.
Donations may be made to Huron Woods at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., or the Alzheimer’s Association.