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John Robert Nambu

May 26, 1959 - October 15, 2014

A Tribute to John Robert Nambu

May 26, 1959 ñ October 15, 2014

John Nambu passed away in the early morning hours of October 15, 2014, in Hermosa Beach, California, after a long and courageous battle with chronic heart disease which began in his childhood and ultimately ensued into complications of end-stage rena…read more

A Tribute to John Robert Nambu

May 26, 1959 ñ October 15, 2014

John Nambu passed away in the early morning hours of October 15, 2014, in Hermosa Beach, California, after a long and courageous battle with chronic heart disease which began in his childhood and ultimately ensued into complications of end-stage renal failure.

John is an alumnus of the schools on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and graduated with honors with a degree in biology from UC Santa Cruz and later earned his doctorate as a National Science Foundation Fellow at Stanford University. Upon completion of his post-doctoral research at Brandeis University and UCLA, he embarked on a career of teaching and research at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research most notably involved molecular biology, neuroscience and genetics and his papers were published in numerous scientific journals. In addition, he served on many grant review panels as well.

After almost 20 years at UMass Amherst, he continued his lifeís work at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. He also acted as faculty mentor to doctoral candidates continuing their studies of gene regulation and programmed cell death at the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience in Jupiter, Florida. He loved his work and often said working with such exceptional people made going to work a real joy each day. He treated everyone with kindness and respect and shared his knowledge without ego or an agenda of his own but always in an effort to help his students. On campus, he was renowned for his quick wit, his warm sense of humor and casual dress style.

John was truly a beautiful man with a beautiful heart. There are no words to honor him in the way he deserves. He touched and influenced the lives of many young people and was deeply respected by his family, friends, students and colleagues. Despite his countless surgeries and hospitalizations, he managed to overcome many obstacles and went on to make incredible contributions to science. Even in some of his darkest hours, he maintained an unshakable spirit and positive attitude, teaching classes between his many treatments, grading papers and advising students from his hospital bed, and continued doing exactly what he loved and, always, hoping for his recovery in the future.

However, what John treasured and cherished most of all were the times spent with his family and friends camping and fishing in the High Sierras or fishing off the coast of Redondo Beach, San Diego and Baja, Mexico. He loved being outdoors and near the ocean, surrounded by its natural beauty, and that is where some of his ashes will come to rest.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Dr. Barbara Schreader and their son, Declan, of Deerfield Beach, FL; his former wife, Patricia Ann Lloyd and their sons, Walker, Dakota and Jayden, of Amherst, MA; brothers and their wives, Richard and Marylee Nambu of Glendora, Drs. Mitchell and Maria Nambu of San Diego, and his sister and brother-in-law, Patrice and Steven Bach of Pleasanton, California. John was born at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, California, to Albert (deceased) and Dorothy Nambu of Rolling Hills Estates.

John will live on in the hearts of his children and his siblings, as well as countless nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles, aunts, and a legion of loyal friends he has made during his all too-brief- life on this planet. His passing leaves an aching void in the lives of all who knew him.

Thank you, John, for giving us this time on earth with you. You have enriched our lives tremendously.

Your loving and heart-broken family members

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