Donald Francis Wetherell of Storrs, CT passed away peacefully at the age of 92 on September 8, 2020, at Windham Hospital, having lived long and well. He was born on November 25, 1927, in Manchester, CT, son of Francis Wetherell and Estelle Thrall. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946. Don received a B.S. degree from the University of Connecticut and PhD degree from the University of Maryland, both in plant biology. He returned to UConn to teach plant physiology from 1958 to 1989. He was a pioneer in plant cell culture, working toward techniques for growing whole plants from individual cells, including research at NASA to adapt these techniques to plant growth in space. After retiring from UConn, he volunteered for many environmental projects and served as chairman of the Mansfield Parks Advisory Committee.
Don enjoyed spending time with his family and making many family trips in New England, the Adirondacks and the National Parks. He shared his love of nature with family, friends and the many people who participated in his nature walks. He enjoyed camping, hiking and identifying plants along the way. Favorite pastimes included tending his large vegetable garden, alpine and cross-country skiing, playing the violin, and taking photographs.
He is survived by his wife Victoria, his children Susan, Sara and Peter, and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife Sylvia and his son Jon.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Windham Hospital for their kindness. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Don’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice. To sign a memorial guestbook visit www.potterfuneralhome.com
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