January 10, 2023
Memorial Service: Saturday, March 18th 11:00 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Sherborn
The service will be livestreamed: https://uuac.org/streaming-service/
Dr. Jens Nicolai Friis Touborg of Sherborn passed away peacefully on January 10. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend, and physician, Jens was born and raised in Tecumseh, Michigan and spent his adult life in the Boston suburbs and southern Maine.
As a boy, Jens (“Nicky”) was proud of the farmer’s driving license he earned at fourteen and the Model T Ford he tinkered with under the approving eye of his Danish engineer father. To earn money, he formed Nicodemus Seed Company and sold sunflower seeds grown on the family farm. Valedictorian of Tecumseh High School Class of 1957, Jens maintained lifelong friendships with his classmates, attending reunions and corresponding faithfully.
At Amherst College, Jens deepened his love of literature by majoring in English. He joined Phi Gamma Delta and was elected chairman of the fraternity house system where he used his leadership role to support the college’s eventual move to more inclusive rushing practices. “My only regret is that Williams (College) beat us to it,” he later reminisced. During his senior year, Jens had what he described as an epiphany, realizing that he wanted to become a doctor.
After graduating from Amherst in 1961, Jens married Margaret “Margo” Bowers and completed pre-med studies before entering Boston University School of Medicine. Upon graduation, he was proud to serve as Chief Resident at the Deaconess Hospital in Boston and later to launch a private practice. As an “old school” primary care physician in Wellesley Hills, Dr. T took time with each patient to get to know their circumstances and stories. He followed up with personalized letters and phone calls, earning patients’ trust and improving their lives.
The Touborgs settled in Lincoln where they raised their four children. Jens loved his Gravely tractor and used it to keep the lawn and field mowed, thatched, and raked. He coached little league baseball and made it to his kids’ games and races, all of which he chronicled with a progression of cameras.
Following divorce, Jens met Marilyn “Merry” Duffy and married her in 1990 after a whirlwind courtship. Among their many compatibilities was a shared love of flower gardening, the Red Sox, Golden Retrievers, and politics. They built a log cabin on Great East Lake in Acton, Maine which quickly became a family base camp. Jens applied his woodworking skills to carve a sign that grew with the family to include the names of spouses and grandchildren. At Moose Lodge, he played fierce chess games, read mysteries, popped popcorn, and blended whiskey sours in time for sunset.
In 2005, Jens and Merry relocated to Sherborn where they ultimately enjoyed a retirement full of family, friendships, and service. They joined and participated actively in the Unitarian Universalist Church. Ever the literary lion, Jens wrote poems with impeccably clever rhyme and meter, drafted mini-memoirs for family, and impressed one and all with his flawless memory of poems he loved.
Predeceased by Merry in 2022, Jens is survived and lovingly remembered by six children and step-children; Meg and Arthur Hodges; Annie and Bill Ward; Sarah and Greg Horn; Peter Touborg and Deena Duranleau; Matt Duffy and Jen Capozzi; and Neal and Allison Duffy; 12 grandchildren: Jens, Peter, and Molly Jebsen; Mimi Zimmer; William and Maggie Horn; Charlie and Margaret Touborg; Will and Katie Duffy; Shea and Jack Duffy; Jens’s sister and brother-in-law Margaret “Mugs” and Frank Klapperich; cousins Barbara Kennedy and Jane Colgrove; multiple nieces and nephews; and caregiver extraordinaire Renée Grant.
A memorial service for Jens will take place on Saturday, March 18th at 11:00 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Sherborn, MA. The service will be live-streamed at https://uuac.org/streaming-service/. Donations in Jens’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association or the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Arrangements are under the care of the Chesmore Funeral Home of Holliston.