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Albert John Nyberg, Ph.D., age 84, son of Vincent Nyberg and Pearl Cutsinger, passed away peacefully at Promedica Rossville in Baltimore, MD early in the morning of November 27, 2022 after suffering an allergic reaction to a medication followed by being infected with the COVID-19 virus. He is survived by his wife of 34 years Violeta Neric-Nyberg, his brother Ivan Nyberg along with his wife Norma, his daughter Nefreida “Peechee” Neric along with her husband Jimmy, son Edrrick Neric along with his wife Djhanice, and son Edvin Pagalilauan and his fiancée Cathy Alcala. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Alex Neric with wife Leah, Nechole Woolston with husband Jonathan, Brenton Pak, Lukas Traynor, Fredrick Neric, Joshua Neric, and Lilly Pagalilauan and one great-grandchild Addison Woolston, along with many nieces and nephew and their children and children’s children.
A Celebration of Life Gathering will be held on December 11, 2022 at 4:00 (doors open at 3:00). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on location, sharing of pictures and stories, and flower/plant donations.
Prior to his passing, Albert (known as Al or Uncle Al) wrote his own memorial to share with you. These are his words:
Al was born on a small farm in the Missouri Ozarks. His primary education was in a one-room rural schoolhouse, called Weissgarber. He went to Lebanon High School for Secondary school, where he ran track (one mile), and was a member of his High School’s Future Farmers of America.
After High School, he enrolled in the Agronomy Department at the University of Missouri – the first semester (1964) was financed by a scholarship provided by the widow of a prominent local Attorney. And had achieved the required number of credits for graduation after 7 semesters; but he had enrolled in the University’s NROTC (Naval Reserve Officer’s Training Corp.) and was not permitted to graduate, without completing the final NROTC semester.
After completion of the NROTC program, he graduated from U.Mo. with an Agronomy degree in 1968 and joined the USS Yorktown as an Ensign, serving 27 months on that ship and being promoted to Lt. after leaving active service (during the administration of President Eisenhower’s second term).
He returned to U. Mo. On leave in late 1960 to visit some of his former Agronomy colleagues and was surprised to discover they were unable to obtain Agronomy positions at alternative Universities. Consequently, Mr. Nyberg then interviewed many of his former professors, seeking their advice on options!
After considerable consultation, he ultimately agreed to change his major to Developmental Agricultural Economics and wrote seeking admission to the programs at Perdue and Cornell Universities: he ultimately selected Cornell, reporting at Ithaca in September 1962. While his Agricultural Economics assitanceship provided for tuition, he also maintained 2-3 jobs before and after classes in order to pay for needed amenities while a student (eventually ending up with a single job in the University’s Seed Laboratory.
After receiving his M.Sc. degree in Agricultural Economics, he continued for a Ph.D. degree. In 1965 he received a Ford Foundation grant to go to the Philippines, teach a course at the University, then use the balance of funds for Thesis research (given that the major food crop in the Philippines was and, and remains, rice). He selected its major export crop – coconuts and coconut products for analysis. After completing his obligations to the Ford Foundation, he returned to Cornell University to complete his Ph.D. thesis in the Autumn of 1965 and completed the work by the Spring of 1966 and commenced the task of searching for a more permanent job. After visiting several U.S. Universities, he eventually decided to join the Rockefeller Foundation’s program in Nigeria. In 1966 he traveled to Ibaden, Nigeria to join the program as an Administrator and a visiting Economics Lecturer in the agreed program between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Government of Nigeria, where he worked for the following six years.
Meanwhile, the Rockefeller Foundation had been expanding contacts with several international governments to expand the program and had reached an agreement with the Government of Indonesia to work jointly to improve the Gadjah Mada University, located in Central Java. Consequently, in 1978 Dr. Nyberg was transferred to work with that University. After a few months, the program administrator was dismissed and Dr. Nyberg was requested to serve as program administrator, as well as teach in the Economics Department.
As time progressed, he was requested to assume the role of “staff recruiter” for the Economics Department evaluating applicant C.V.’s and recommending (or not) individuals for consideration as STAFF. He continued in this position for the next several years except for the 1980/81 academic year – which he spent on sabbatical leave at the University of Wisconsin taking refresher courses.
During this sabbatical year, the World Bank and the Government of Nigeria contacted him to study “why the Country was not more food self-sufficient”. The Rockefeller Foundation agree and he traveled back to Nigeria to study the issue.
He returned to Indonesia for one more semester before resigning from the Rockefeller Foundation. He joined the World Bank in January 1980. During his tenure at the World Bank, he was responsible for conducting studies and implementing sector projects in several African, Middle Eastern, and Asian Countries including Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, China, and Vietnam. Following a comprehensive study of China’s agriculture, he was promoted to Senior Agricultural Economist in 1999. Following retirement, he continued working for the World Bank as a consultant in China, Vietnam, and Nigeria for 3 years but has done no agricultural sector work for several years prior to his passing. Instead, he devoted his efforts towards gardening.
(yes … he said The End)
The family would like to include that Al met his wife Violeta (Vee) at the World Bank in 1982 and after a long courtship were married on September 23, 1988. The two liked to travel and Vee joined Al during some of his missions to different countries during his time at the World Bank. They also spent numerous times babysitting their grandchildren. Al loved to take the grandkids to different places to give them more adventures, one in particular was the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Al definitely loved his gardening, being most proud of his roses. He retired to Hawaii just so he can garden year-round and some of his roses were even used as subjects of paintings that were then turned into cards by the artist. Missing the grandchildren and children, Al and Vee returned to the East Coast to be closer to family. Due to the cold weather, Al couldn’t garden all year long and therefore turned back to his love of coin and stamp collecting until his bouts of instability and memory loss reared itself in mid-2020. By October of 2021, he was diagnosed with HCN - hydrocephalus (water in the brain) and beginning stages of dementia. On December 2021, he suffered a big fall that became the turning point of his brain health and unfortunately spent Christmas in the hospital. In January 2022, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia along with the HCN. He stayed at home, being cared for 24/7 by his wife and daughter until he suffered what they thought was a stroke but was actually a lung collapse from aspiration. He went into the hospital in March 2022 then rehab where he suffered several falls where he hit his head. He returned home in May 2022 after suffering a huge fall at the rehab. He was only home for 5 days before the ambulance had to take him back to the hospital for his primary doctor feared he may have had a brain bleed. That was the last time Al was in his home. He stayed in the hospital for a few months and then was moved to rehab and eventually to long term care at the end of August 2022 at which time the family was told he was in the final stages of Parkinsons.
Al touched the life of so many and in so many different ways. Always ready to lend a hand when needed, even financially. A wonderful father to his children and even better grandfather to his grandchildren.
Fun Fact: Al wrote a book that is archived in the United States Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Fun Fact 2: Besides gardening, Al had a long-time running love of ice cream and would always run an “errand” just to sneak off to buy an ice cream cone or cup for himself. Many times he was caught walking into the house with trash evidence from Baskin Robins Ice Cream. As he got older, he later turned to his new favorite Haagen Dazs ice cream bars.
Fun Fact 3: Al did an intensive research and studies on religion and eventually chose to become a Lutheran. He loved all his churches and always found a way to volunteer his time and knowledge to the church counsel, the latest being Epiphany Luther Church in Baltimore, MD. He was always ready to help even to the point of redoing and maintaining the church garden.
Not-so-Fun Fact: Al passed away on November 27 … his daughter’s birthday. She chooses to believe that it was his final birthday gift to her – to set her free so she no longer has to worry about him or care for his ailing body any longer.
He will surely be missed by all the lives he has touched.
We all thought we had more time...