Robert Ninde Thurston ’54 of Marco Island, Fla., and Antioch, Ill., died on October 21, 2007.
He was born on June 6, 1932, in Manchester, N.H., and prepared for college at Westwood (MA) High School, becoming a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation, he served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956. He began his business career as personnel and public relations manager at Fabric Research Laboratories, Inc., in Dedham, Mass. From 1961 to 1966, he was with Mead Johnson Company in Evansville, Ind., and, in 1966, he joined Quaker Oats Company in Chicago, Ill., where he worked until his retirement as executive vice president in 1985. He was elected to the board of directors for Quaker Oats in 1971. He was a member of the board of directors of the MacDonald’s Corporation from 1974 to 2004, and served on many corporate boards and non-profit boards over the years, including ACNielsen, Chas Levy Co., Daubert Industries, and the Stuart Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization in Lake Forest, Ill. He was a director of the Community Nutrition Institute and the Council for Community Services in Metropolitan Chicago, and was a trustee of the Illinois Council on Economic Education, the Highland Park Hospital, and the Council of the Americas. In Bowdoin affairs, he was the regional chair for the capital campaigns of 1972 and 1984. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne (Hamburger) Thurston, whom he married in 1956; two daughters, Deborah A. Wadden, of Westlake, Ohio, and Janet E. Travetto of Lincolnshire, Ill.; a son, David W. Thurston of Lake Oswego, Ore.; seven grandchildren, including Peter R.Wadden ’09; and a sister, Barbara L.Whyte of Stratham, N.H.