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Thor I. Eklund ’68

Published in Mar.9, 2005, issue

Thor died May 2, 2004, from esophageal cancer. He was 57.

Born in Philadelphia, Thor prepared at Holy Cross High School in Delran, N.J. At Princeton, he majored in aeronautical engineering, joined Key and Seal, and formed lifelong friendships with roommates Ken Kreis, Rich Jagacinski, and Alex Zarechnak.

Thor received a Ph.D. from Brown in 1975. After working at the Naval Air Propulsion Center in Philadelphia, he joined the FAA Technical Center in Pomona, N.J. He spent his career there, retiring in 1997 as manager of the fire research branch. He held two patents related to the ventilation of smoke from aircraft fires, and received numerous awards for his writing and research in preventing fuel-tank explosions and improving aircraft fire safety.

Upon retirement, Thor started a consulting company and became the stay-at-home parent for his two sons, while his wife began working full time. Initially treated in 1997, Thor continued to work, read extensively, travel with his family, and collect pottery while in remission.

To Thor's widow, Mary '76; sons Robert and Andrew; and mother Mary V. Eklund, the class extends heartfelt condolences.

The Class of 1968

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3 Remembrances posted for Thor I. Eklund

Alexander von Koch Says:

2011-05-02 10:07:34

Thor, Bob Martinez, and I were friends at Holy Cross High School. After high school we moved and lost contact. Thor was an outstanding person bright, caring, loyal I am sorry we were not in touch in later years. My condolences to the family, Axel

Hector Moreno Says:

2011-10-27 15:23:23

Thor and I were neighbors at Brown University in 1968. I will always remember his kindness to me as I was away from family then. He took me with him to spend Christmas with his family that year. He was very proud to be a Princeton alumnus, as evidenced by his satisfaction at the victory of the Princeton football team in their game with Brown that season. My deep condolences to his family and friends, I will keep him in my prayers.

William ("Bill") Leffingwell 67 Says:

2015-11-02 10:31:56

Thor was a great friend and a roommate for two years. He visited me in Ithaca in spite of transmission troubles that meant driving most of the way in second gear. He visited me again with his family in Puerto Rico. I wore the Princeton polo he gave me then just yesterday. He was a great human being and I'll remember him forever.
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Thor I. Eklund
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