Dr. George Richard Harbison, aka “Richard”, 76, of Falmouth and formerly of Clearwater FL, died at home in Falmouth, MA on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. He was the beloved husband of Judith Lindsey Harbison for 27 years.
Richard loved learning things, and was always evolving through new passions. He began his Columbia College career as an English Major, ending up with a History degree, followed by his PhD in Biochemistry at Florida State. He came to Woods Hole as a postdoc to pursue the biochemistry, but fell in love with Biological Oceanography on his first research cruise.
Richard became a Senior Scientist in Biological Oceanography at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He studied gelatinous zooplankton, with a focus on the group Ctenophora. He loved to figure out their associations with other creatures, and had a special passion for working in the open ocean, deep sea, Arctic and Antarctic regions. He was particularly proud to collaborate with a great group of friends whose diverse interests (fish, siphonophores, salps, jellyfish, pteropods, etc!) lead to learning a great deal about the world’s oceans, largely using SCUBA, submersible and remotely operated vehicles. Together, they discovered many new associations among creatures, and many creatures which were new to science.
Richard married Judith Lindsey Harbison in 1989, and they enjoyed many years of great travel, music, theatre, etc. before welcoming triplet sons Arthur, Brian and Charles into the world in 2004. After the birth of their boys, Richard became passionate about Genealogy, and traced their family as far back as possible. His greatest passion has been to share as many of his passions as possible with his boys, including but not limited to: the love of learning, reading, science, history, languages, critters of all kinds (especially moose), cooking, eating, travel, logic, beauty, the NY Yankees, theatre, humor, genealogy, astronomy, and mostly his Christian faith.
He is survived by Judy, Arthur, Brian and Charles, all of Falmouth, MA, as well as loving extended family, friends and colleagues all over the world.
Visiting hours will be held from 3-6 PM on Sunday, March 26 at the Chapman Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth. A funeral service will be held at 10 AM on Monday, March 27 at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford Street, Falmouth, followed by burial at the Oak Grove Cemetery, Jones Road, Falmouth.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford Street, Falmouth, MA 02540.