In Memoriam: Russell Greenberg and Carol Parsons

Carol Parsons (1936 – 2013)

Carol Parsons

Carol Parsons

Carol Parsons, of Leesburg Va., died Sept. 3 in Leesburg. She was 77.

Carol was born Feb. 3, 1936 in New York to the late Charles and Ann Dinga. After a successful modeling career in Florida, she moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1972, where she began her career with the Smithsonian at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. When she retired in 2003 she moved to Leesburg where she enjoyed spending time with family, playing bridge and volunteering at several local nonprofit organizations.

In 2006 she was the proud recipient of the Loudoun County Senior Volunteer of the Year Award.

Carol is survived by her daughter Dina, son-in-law Pete and grandchildren Luke, Madeline, Sophie and William. She is also survived by two stepchildren, Brooks Parsons and Allison Dray; sister Patricia Draser; sister-in-law Joanne Dinga; and many nieces and nephews. Along with her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Charles.

Russell S. Greenberg (1953 – 2013)

Russell Greenberg, an ornithologist and founder of the National Zoo’s Migratory Bird Center, died Oct. 24 of pancreatic cancer at Montgomery Hospice’s Casey House in Rockville. He was 60.

Russell Greenberg

Russell Greenberg

Russ was a strong advocate for science education and for inspiring the public about the wonders of bird migration. He founded the Migratory Bird Center in 1991, and served as its director until his death. For most of his career, he studied the birds of tropical forests and wetlands, including wintering warblers, vireos, antwrens, swamp sparrows and rusty blackbirds, which helped him develop insights into avian behavior, evolution and ecology.

He is widely credited for initiating a movement for shade-grown, bird-friendly coffee plantations around the world, for which he received an award from the American Ornithologists Union earlier this year.

Russell Steven Greenberg was born in Washington and moved with his parents to California as a child. He displayed a precocious affinity for birds. He started his “life list” of bird sightings at age eight and maintained a passion for ornithology throughout his youth, hitchhiking around California in search of birds. He was a 1976 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where he also received a doctorate in zoology in 1981.

He began his Smithsonian career in 1977 at Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He lived in Takoma Park, Md., where he was a Little League baseball coach and a roller-blader.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Judy Gradwohl of Takoma Park; two children, Natalie Gradwohl of Takoma Park and Jeremy Gradwohl of Philadelphia.

Posted: 6 December 2013
About the Author:

Alex di Giovanni has been editing The Torch since August 2006. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she worked as a writer and editor for the National Geographic Society, Plexus Scientific, The Nature Conservancy, The National Foreign Language Center and St. Martin’s Press, among others. She has the best job in the world.