Alvah Warren Sanborn (1914 - 2005)

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Birthplace: Providence, RI, USA
Death: Died in Lenox, MA, USA
Occupation: Wildlife Expert & Photographer
Managed by: John H. Nye
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Alvah Warren Sanborn

He was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran, beginning service in 1942 as an aircraft mechanic instructor in the Air Force Schools. In addition, he served as chief clerk in a separation center in Denver. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of technical sergeant.

In 1938 he joined with others to form the Rhode Island Ornithological Club.


He was secretary of the Rhode Island Audubon Society. In 1941, Sanborn accepted a position as a wildlife research assistant with the New York State Conservation Department to aid in the study of the ring-necked pheasant.

Throughout his career, Mr. Sanborn produced three 16 mm nature films, wrote many book reviews of natural history books, and illustrated and wrote articles for The Eagle's weekly magazines, Down East, Bird Watcher's Digest and the Massachusetts Audubon Society's various publications.

He was a member of the Pittsfield-based Hoffman Bird Club and a member of Richmond Congregational Church.

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Alvah Sanborn's Timeline

1914
October 23, 1914
Providence, RI, USA
1938
1938
- 1940
Age 23
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
1941
August 2, 1941
Age 26
Moravia, NY, USA
1942
1942
- 1946
Age 27
Denver, CO, USA

He was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran, beginning service in 1942 as an aircraft mechanic instructor in the Air Force Schools. In addition, he served as chief clerk in a separation center in Denver. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of technical sergeant.

1946
1946
- 1973
Age 31
Lenox, MA, United States

In 1946, Mr. Sanborn was appointed director of the former Bird and Wildflower Sanctuary of Berkshire County, later named Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, in Lenox, one of the wildlife sanctuaries of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Through the sanctuary, he taught many classes in local schools. He was also a well-known wildlife photographer and lecturer. He retired from the sanctuary in the early 1970s, after 27 years of service.

Under his leadership, he had integral roles in the development of the Trailside Museum, Pleasant Valley Day Camp, and the addition of numerous nature trails such as the Overlook Trail to Fire Tower.

2003
2003
- June 17, 2005
Age 88
Pittsfield, MA, USA

Before moving to Pittsfield in 2003, he had been a longtime resident of Dublin Road in Richmond.

2005
April, 2005
- June 17, 2005
Age 90
MA, USA
June 17, 2005
Age 90
Lenox, MA, USA

Alvah Warren Sanborn, 90, of 140 Melbourne Road died Friday at Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center in Lenox, where he had lived for the past three months.

Before moving to Pittsfield in 2003, he had been a longtime resident of Dublin Road in Richmond.

Born in Providence, R.I., on Oct. 23, 1914, son of Harry and Ethel Holway Sanborn, he attended schools there, graduating from Moses Brown Preparatory School.

He was a 1938 graduate of Cornell University, with a degree in vertebrate zoology. He also received a certificate from the Rhode Island School of Photography in 1934.

He was a World War II Army Air Corps veteran, beginning service in 1942 as an aircraft mechanic instructor in the Air Force Schools. In addition, he served as chief clerk in a separation center in Denver. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of technical sergeant.

In 1946, Mr. Sanborn was appointed director of the former Bird and Wildflower Sanctuary of Berkshire County, later named Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, in Lenox, one of the wildlife sanctuaries of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Through the sanctuary, he taught many classes in local schools. He was also a well-known wildlife photographer and lecturer. He retired from the sanctuary in the early 1970s, after 27 years of service.

Under his leadership, he had integral roles in the development of the Trailside Museum, Pleasant Valley Day Camp, and the addition of numerous nature trails such as the Overlook Trail to Fire Tower.

From 1938 to 1940 he took a graduate secretarial course at Bryant College in Providence and following that accepted a position with Brown & Sharp, a machine tool company. During these years, he joined with others to form the Rhode Island Ornithological Club.

He was secretary of the Rhode Island Audubon Society. In 1941, Sanborn accepted a position as a wildlife research assistant with the New York State Conservation Department to aid in the study of the ring-necked pheasant.

Throughout his career, Mr. Sanborn produced three 16 mm nature films, wrote many book reviews of natural history books, and illustrated and wrote articles for The Eagle's weekly magazines, Down East, Bird Watcher's Digest and the Massachusetts Audubon Society's various publications.

He was a member of the Pittsfield-based Hoffman Bird Club and a member of Richmond Congregational Church.

He leaves his wife, the former Virginia A. Crofoot, whom he married Aug. 2, 1941.

Besides his wife he leaves a daughter, Gail S. Platz of Belchertown; a son, Warren H. Sanborn, and two grandsons.

FUNERAL NOTICE -- A memorial service for Alvah W. Sanborn who died June 17, 2005, will be held at a later date. There will be no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory may be made to The Alvah W. Sanborn Memorial Education Fund in care of Pleasant Valley Sanctuary, West Mountain Road, Lenox, or in care of DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 Bradford St., Pittsfield, which is handling arrangements.

Mr. Sanborn is survived by his two grandsons, Joshua Kerson and Joseph Platz. He was predeceased by a sister, Virginia S. Burleigh.

http://www.pittsfield.com/obituaries_new.php?ob_id=5563