Daniel Lee Albritton
June 8, 1936 – April 1, 2023
Daniel Lee Albritton (Dan or “Dee”) was born in Camden, Alabama on June 8, 1936. He died peacefully on April 1, 2023 at Pathways Inpatient Hospice Care, Fort Collins, Colorado. He was 86 years old. Dan grew up in Camden and graduated from Wilcox County High School. He, his two brothers, and their peer group enjoyed growing up in rural, small-town Alabama, where life included Boy Scouts, Model A Fords, and numerous outdoor activities around the fishing and swimming holes of the Alabama River region. Dan left Camden in 1954 to attend Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Dan and his high school (and later, lifelong) sweetheart, Vera Elizabeth Bigger, were married in the Camden Baptist Church on August 1st, 1959. After graduating in 1967 with a PhD in Physics from Georgia Tech, Dan and the family moved to Boulder, Colorado where they lived the remainder of their lives. Dan’s career is best summarized in an excerpt on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s webpage celebrating 200 years of Science, Service, and Stewardship:
Dr. Daniel Albritton spent nearly 40 years as a scientist and administrator working to understand the chemical processes of the atmosphere and their implications for the health of living creatures and their effect on the global climate system. As head of NOAA’s Aeronomy Laboratory (now part of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory) from 1986 until his retirement in 2006, he was a leader in organizing research on stratospheric ozone destruction and helped develop international protocols for control of ozone-destroying chemicals. He has played a key role in understanding the causes of pollution in the lower atmosphere including understanding of the chemistry of acid rain. Dr. Albritton has also been a major spokesman in explaining the science of climate change to the public and government policy makers. His career has been a prime example of science and scientists serving national and international needs and using science for the benefit of mankind.
Dan was the loving father of three children: Daniel Miller Albritton (partner Penny Duncan), Eliz Albritton-McDonald (husband Jim Albritton-McDonald), and Vivian Albritton Cox (husband Arne Norton). In their retirement, Dan and Vera enjoyed traveling internationally together to many interesting places. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their children and spouses in Boulder in August 2009. In later years, his children treasured international trips that they took with Dan to check off locations on his bucket list. He enjoyed spending time with family, coworkers, and friends in retirement; staying connected with news from relatives in Alabama; and pursuing lifelong interests in astronomy, birds of prey, and history. Dan is preceded in death by his parents (Jessie McDaniel Albritton and Lena Tucker Miller) and wife Vera in 2014. He is survived by his two brothers, Haas Strother and Lee Albritton (“Mac”), his beloved niece Libby Hall and first cousin Beth McDavid, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins who are so dear to him. He is loved beyond measure and will be greatly missed in the lives of his three children, brothers, NOAA colleagues, and others close to him. He will be interred in the family lot in Camden Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held on August 5, 2023 in Camden, Alabama. The family requests that those who wish to honor Dan’s memory do so through a donation to the Larimer Human Society https://www.larimerhumane.org/ or the Alzheimer’s Association https://www.alz.org/.