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George Taborsky

1928 - 2016

George Taborsky was born in Budapest, Hungary on February 12th, 1928, to Dr. Otto Taborsky, a historian, and his wife, Theresa. George passed from this life peacefully following a long illness, on Friday, June 3rd, 2016, in the presence of his wife of 63 years, Eva Taborsky.

Born and raised in Budapest, George left that city with his family at the age of 16, at the end of WWII. While residing as a refugee in Salzburg, Austria, George completed his high school education. He then studied as an opera singer at the University Mozarteum and it was predicted that, had he chosen to pursue this path, his would have been remembered as one of the great bass baritone voices of the century. George, however, had a competing love and went to study medicine at the University of Innsbruck, where he also met his future wife.

In 1949, George arrived in the United States on a full scholarship from Brown University. He graduated with a BS in Chemistry in 1951 and immediately answered the call of the United States Army. After basic training he served at Fort Riley, Kansas, and as staff sergeant in the department of psychological warfare at Fort Bragg, North Carolina’s “6th Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Group”. Honorably discharged in 1953, he and Eva were married two days later. The following week, George began his doctoral studies in biochemistry at Yale University. He graduated with his PhD in 1956, and the couple left for Copenhagen, Denmark, where George had a post-doctoral research fellowship from the Carlsberg Foundation, and where the focus of his life’s work on the bio-synthesis of phosphoproteins, began.

Upon returning to the United States, George returned to the Department of Biochemistry at Yale, as an instructor. In 1970, he joined the faculty of UCSB, and with Eva and their two young children, relocated to Santa Barbara. George worked in what is now known as the department of Molecular Chemistry and Developmental Biology until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1992. He was an active member of the UCSB community, a very well-respected biochemist, and an incredibly valued and beloved colleague and professor. As chair of the department, he oversaw a major organizational shift, and is remembered for his ability to bring streamlined solutions to such chaotic situations, with his singularly elegant sense of reason and clarity.

Much more of a man than his academic and professional accomplishments can ever speak for, George will always be remembered for his kindness, his gentle creative spirit, and his keen sense of social justice. He was a brilliant and talented man, outspoken in his values, and always a kind and loving soul. He was proud to be an American, and also of his Hungarian cultural heritage. He was a faithful member of the Catholic Church. Above all, he loved his family, and was a devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather, until the end. He is survived by his wife Eva N. Taborsky, sister Theresa Taborsky, daughter Andrea Moore McCormick, son Peter Taborsky, grandchildren Erik and Sena Taborsky, and a large extended family of in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews, both in the United States and overseas.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 11th, at Holy Cross Church at 10:00am.

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