Noble S. Proctor Ph.D., 73, of Branford, CT, died on May 28. He was born April 10, 1942 in Derby, CT to Alfred Proctor and Ruth Baldwin Proctor. He grew up in Ansonia where he roamed the valley, initiating his lifelong love for natural history. He attended Ansonia High School and upon graduation, entered the U.S. Army. After his Army years and before starting college, he was employed by Yale University to collect materials for Protein & DNA studies for taxonomy of bird classification. He received his B.A & M.S. at Southern Connecticut State University and his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. He was a professor of biology for 34 years at SCSU, teaching courses in ornithology, botany, and biogeography. He was also a wildlife photographer and has written & co-authored 10 books on birds and wildlife. For over 40 years, he led wildlife tours throughout the world, visiting 90 countries. 23 safaris to East Africa; 22 springs were spent in Costa Rica and 23 trips were made to Alaska where, for 14 years in a row, he spent up to five weeks on Attu Island in search for birds that wandered to U.S. shores from Siberia. He was among a group of scientists conducting avian field research in the Soviet Union for the U.S. Forest Service and spoke at the United Nations concerning the state of the environment on a world wide scale along with Jane Goodall. An ornithologist all of his life, he amassed a lifelong birding list of over 6,000 species worldwide, 814 species in North America and his most prized list of finding 512 species of North American bird nests. Noble worked with his close friend, artist, author, photographer Roger Tory Peterson during his revision of the Eastern Field Guide to Birds. He was among the founding members establishing the Roger Tory Peterson Institute for Natural History in Jamestown, NY. His organizational memberships include; the American Ornithologists Union, The American Birding Society, CT Botanical Society, CT Butter Fly Association, and member of the New Haven Bird Club for 46 years. His many awards include; Outstanding Professor of the Year (SCSU), Connecticut Environmentalist Award, Outstanding Conservationist Award from the CT Botanical Society, CT Ornithological Association Mabel Osgood Wright Award in 2002 and in 2013 the American Birding Association’s Roger Tory Peterson Award.
He is survived by his wife Carolyn George Proctor of 43 years, his sons Adam Proctor (Courtney) of Nebraska, Eric Proctor (Amy) of New Hampshire, and his grandchildren Braxton and Alexis Proctor. He is also survived by his dear friend and longtime field companion Margaret Ardwin, his brother Alfred Proctor Jr., his many loving members of the George family and nieces and nephews.
A memorial gathering in remembrance honoring Noble S. Proctor will be held on Tuesday June 9th from 6:30-9:00pm in the third floor auditorium of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (170 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT). Directions and Parking is available in the museum lot. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (311 Curtis St., Jamestown NY 14701). Cards of condolences can also be sent to his wife Carolyn and sons Adam and Eric and their families at 43 Church St, Branford CT 06405.