December 6, 2000: Memorials


Steven J. Hirsch '17

Steve Hirsch, the last remaining member of the Class of '17, died on Sept. 2, 2000, at home in San Francisco. He was 105 and the oldest alumnus of the university. He is survived by two daughters, their husbands, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. The love of Steve's life, the former Ditsy Bloch, died in 1964.

Steve's career was in investment management. During WWI, he served in France, for which he recently received the French Legion of Honor. During WWII, he served in Air Intelligence in India as a lt.-col.

Other Princetonians in Steve's family include his brother Walter 1905, brother Harold 1912, nephew Larry '33, and granddaughter Susan Loebl Grasso '84.

Twice Steve won the Silver Cane as the oldest alumnus returning for Reunions, which he seldom missed. The Steven J. Hirsch '17 Scholarship will carry on his deep fondness for Princeton.

The Alumni Council

Walter B. Buck '33

Walter Buck died in his sleep at his home in Brooklandville, Md., on Sept. 12, 2000. He was 89.

He was a graduate of the Gilman School and received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins in 1939. He practiced internal medicine in Baltimore for almost 50 years. With his carefully hand-tied bow ties, Oxford button-down shirts, tweed jackets, and seersucker suits, he had the demeanor of the consummate country doctor. Calmly, and in practical terms, he dispensed medical advice with ample doses of understanding and empathy. He was adored by his patients.

During WWII, he served with the Johns Hopkins Unit, the 18th General Hospital in the Fiji Islands, Asia, and Egypt. He was discharged with the rank of maj.

Walter is survived by his wife of 64 years, Caroline Cromwell, sons, Walter B. Jr. and Thomas B., a daughter, Mary Cromwell, and six grandchildren. We will miss him very much.

The Class of 1933


After several years of declining health, Cec died Aug. 4, 2000, at his home in Washington, DC. He prepared for Princeton at St. Albans School in Washington and, at Princeton, majored in economics (second group honors, junior year), was news editor of the Daily Princetonian, and belonged to Colonial Club. After graduation, he entered Yale, got a law degree in 1938, spent a few years clerking in the US Court of Claims in DC and then became a partner in Kirkpatrick, Ballard & Beasley until he retired in 1990.

Throughout his working years as a lawyer, Cec specialized in aviation law and traveled widely, both in the US and abroad. But he still found time to participate actively in many civic and school organizations. For Princeton, he served not only as a director of the Princeton Club of Washington, and chair of DC AG campaigns, but also as a member of '35 class council.

His wife, the former Parthenia "Pats" Stubblefield, whom he married on Oct. 29, 1942, predeceased him in 1976. He is survived by their two daughters, Virginia Otis and Cynthia Cohan, and four grandchildren.

The Class of 1935


Harry died at his home in Glen Head, NY, on June 2, 2000. He was 87.

He prepared for Princeton at Pawling School [N.Y.], where he served on the student government board and ran with the track team. At Princeton, he majored in French and English and was a member of Charter Club and Triangle Club. In 1938 he added a Columbia law degree to his Princeton diploma. By then, he used to say he'd developed "an acute distaste for legal work." So, in 1941 he joined the Natl. Guard, which led him into participation in the Allied landing at Rouen during WWII, a march across Hitler's Europe, and postwar service in Berlin, where he worked at the Allied Commandatura - the four party headquarters - and became chief of staff.

Coming back to the US in 1946, Harry "wanted something entirely different." He began a 44-year career as a NYC art dealer, starting with E. Coe Keff Gallery, then Knoedler & Co., and finally Wildenstein & Co., where he became pres. before retiring in 1990. During this period, he also devoted time to a host of other organizations, including Princeton U.'s Art Museum, the Natl. Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame in Saratoga, N.Y., and the Racket & Tennis Club and Metropolitan Opera in NYC.

He leaves his wife, Helen M. "Holly" Brooks, two daughters, two stepsons (including Howard B. Lowell '76), and seven grandchildren.

The Class of 1935


A retired Center City lawyer whose entire 45-year career was spent working for Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll in Philadelphia, Carl died in Bryn Mawr Hospital on Mar. 19, 2000. He was 85.

He prepared for Princeton at Germantown H.S., where he played football and was a class officer. At Princeton, he majored in economics and was a member of the Glee Club, Whig-Clio, and Key & Seal. He received his law degree from the U. of Pennsylvania in 1938 and spent WWII in the European theater with the Army Field Artillery, emerging as a lt.-col.

Carl's interests ranged widely. His legal specialty was litigation for public utilities, but he also did selected corporate work for his beloved Philadelphia Phillies and hosted an opening day party for them for more than 30 years. He also was a board member of United Way, a hardworking fundraiser for Penn as well as for Princeton, an avid golfer, and member of both the Merion Golf and Cricket Clubs, and a former '35 pres. He served his church [St. Mary's Episcopal in Ardmore, Pa.] as everything from vestryman to Sunday School teacher. Survivors include the former Frances Hackett, his wife of 58 years, three sons, a daughter, eight grandchildren, and a sister.

The Class of 1935


Born in Bay Head, N.J., July 20, 1913, Frenchie died at the Rush Hospice Northshore in Evanston, Ill., on July 8, 2000. He was 86.

He prepped for Princeton at Chicago's Latin School and the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., where his membership in the band, orchestra, Glee Club, and choir heralded a lifelong love of music. At Princeton he majored in mechanical engineering for two years, then switched to economics. Again, music was his prime extracurricular activity.

After graduation, Frenchie worked for three years in Inland Steel's mills in East Chicago, Ind. At night, he took ferrous metallurgical engineering courses at Chicago's Illinois Inst. of Tech. Inland management noticed, and he was promoted to headquarters. Then, WWII broke out; his Princeton ROTC years were noted, and Frenchie spent a year in active service in the US, two in Panama, and two in Europe. He was decorated five times: twice by the US government, twice by France, and once by the USSR.

Frenchie married Marjorie R. Street in 1951. They settled in Winnetka, Ill., and he completed a 44-year career at Inland. Then, the Macombs traveled, indulging a joint interest in photography and birdwatching and (in Frenchie's case) increased volunteerism, especially in projects that involved abused or neglected children). Marj died in 1997. There are no descendants.

The Class of 1935


An internationally known linguistics scholar, Bill died June 2, 2000, in Exeter N.H. He was 86.

He graduated from Providence [R.I.] Country Day School, and at Princeton, majored in modern languages (German), made Phi Beta Kappa in junior year, and graduated with first group honors. Next came a year at Berlin U. studying German literature and a transfer to Yale, where he taught German and got his PhD in 1941.

In 1944 Bill joined the army. He became a language supervisor, provost marshal general's office in DC, then transferred to "reeducating" German war prisoners. His boss in the latter job was the late Henry Lee Smith Jr. '35. In 1946 Bill returned for another study year at Yale, then joined the Cornell faculty to teach for 12 years, during which he won a 1953-54 Fulbright research study grant to Holland and a 1958-59 American Council of Learned Societies grant to Switzerland to study Swiss-German dialects.

Then, in 1960, Princeton beckoned. Bill returned to teach at his alma mater. He also served as chair of its interdepartmental linguistics program until he retired in 1979. He also received numerous awards, including a McCosh faculty fellowship in 1963 and honorary degrees from Middlebury College and the U. of Munich. Bill is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jenni Karding Moulton, daughters Elizabeth and Susan, four granddaughters, and a brother, David S. '33.

The Class of 1935


Walter Drill died on Sept. 22, 2000, at St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.

At Princeton, Walt majored in economics. He was on the swimming squad, was drum major of the band, a member of Triangle Club, where he played in its orchestra. He also played in the Princeton Tigers Orchestra and was a member of Cloister Inn.

After graduation, he served during WWII as a navy lt. on destroyers in the Mediterranean and Pacific Theaters.

Walt was executive v.p. of Hudson-Manhattan Railroad from 1946-53 and was mayor of Hillsdale, N.J., from 1954-58. In 198, he retired as treas. of the Peelle Co. in Bay Shore, N.Y. After the death of his first wife, Frances Peelle Drill, he moved from his home in Ridgewood, N.J., to St. Augustine, Fla. In 1982 he married Isobel Graven Levas, who survives and lives at Westminster Woods, a retirement community near Jacksonville. In 1989 Walt was elected to the Natl. Eagle Scout Assn.

Also surviving him are three sons, three daughters, a stepson and a stepdaughter, 22 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and three step-grandchildren, to all of whom the class extends its sympathy.

The Class of 1938


John died from complications of emphysema on July 25, 2000, in Redlands, Calif., his home for more than 40 years. At Princeton, John earned '38 numerals as a sub back on our undefeated, untied, unscored-upon freshman football squad.

Our 1948 yearbook noted that he was growing orange trees, was an executive for a water company, and was a developer and a trustee of several family trusts.

His maternal grandparents were Severances, an old California family who owned the Muscupiabe Rancho in northern San Bernardino County and donated part of the land for California State U., San Bernardino. John served on the county Republican Central Committee, had been a Trinity Episcopal Church junior warden, and had also served on the Redlands Public Works Commission and as a PTA pres.

For many years, he coached Redlands Baseball for Boys, now Baseball for Youth, and served as league coordinator.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Marbeth; a daughter, Marci; a son, John Edward, a navy commander now serving aboard the carrier George Washington, and two grandsons.

The Class of 1938


Jim died July 5, 2000, at home in Wenham, Mass. He retired from the practice of law in 1990.

Coming to Princeton from Deerfield, he majored in English, graduating with high honors, and was a member of Cloister Inn. During WWII, he served as a marine pilot and flight instructor in the American theater.

After graduating from Harvard law school in 1948, Jim was a member of the law firms of Tillinghast Collins & Tanner in Providence and Ropes & Gray in Boston, before becoming affiliated with Sullivan & Worcester in 1959. He was a member of the boards of directors of the Charles Playhouse in Boston and the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset.

To his widow, Elizabeth; his daughters, Katherine and Nancy; his sons, Bill and Steve; his three stepdaughters; his nine grandchildren; and his two great-grandchildren the class offers profound sympathies.

The Class of 1942


Warren died Aug. 6, 2000, of a heart attack at a nursing facility in Dallas. A retired obstetrician, he delivered babies for over 40 years at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Preparing for Princeton at Lawrenceville, he majored in biology and was a member of Campus Club. After spending three and a half years in the Army Medical Corps, in the American and European theaters, during WWII, he earned his MD from Northwestern U. medical school in 1951.

He selected ob/gyn as his specialty because that seemed to be the happy side of medicine. He was also pres. of the Lion's Club and was active in children's charities.

To his widow, Patricia; his daughters, Debbie and Pam; his son, Warren; his four grandchildren, the class extends its profound sympathies.

The Class of 1942


Gordy died July 29, 2000, in Mantoloking, N.J. A renowned and highly respected obstetrician/gynecologist, he devoted his entire career to women's health care at hospitals in NYC. At the time of his death, he was professor, emeritus, at NYU's school of medicine.

Coming to Princeton from Catonsville [Md.] H.S., Gordy majored in biology and was a member of Cloister Inn. He spent two years in the air force during WWII and earned his MD at Johns Hopkins U. in 1945.

He was professor and chair of the dept. of obstetrics and gynecology at New York U. school of medicine and was director of obstetrics and gynecology at Bellevue Hospital from 1956-86. His colleagues said of him: "A superb surgeon, researcher, teacher, and true innovator in the field of women's health care."

To his widow, Jody; his sons, Gordon Jr. and Andrew; and his daughters, Laurel and Virginia, the class offers its most sincere condolences.

The Class of 1942


Dan died on July 21, 2000. He was 79.

An Atlanta native, he prepped for Princeton at the Episcopal H.S. in Alexandria, Va. After graduation, he served in the navy until 1946 as a gunnery officer aboard USS Bradford, a destroyer which saw heavy action in the Pacific.

Dan earned his LLB from the U. of Georgia school of law in 1948, after which he practiced with his father and the firm of MacDougald, Troutman, Sams and Schroeder.

For the past 35 years, Dan devoted himself to research and development of a program of character education and offender rehabilitation known as Emotional Maturity Instruction, and later as Laws of Living. Many thousands of people bettered their lives and turned away from delinquency and substance abuse because of Dan's initiatives.

While on campus, he majored in politics, rooming at various times with Don Jordan, Lew Reisner, A. C. Armstrong, and Bill Hedberg.

Dan is survived by his wife, June; six children, Dan III, Nancy M. Albert, Ann M. Ratthaus, Harry W., Mary Catherine Brooks, and Cynthia Czaja.

To the entire family, we extend our sincere condolences.

The Class of 1943

Ronald W. Scharff '71

Ron died on May 6, 1999. At his death, he was a resident of Kingston, N.Y. Ron came to Princeton from Garden City [N.Y.] H.S. He majored in electrical engineering, with a particular interest in computer science, and was a member of Stevenson Hall. He roomed with Sherm Bristow and Al Gilbert during freshman year, and with David Lyon during the rest of his time at Princeton. He worked during the summers for Grumman Aircraft, which provided him with a scholarship.

After Princeton, he worked for IBM for a number of years, but apparently became increasingly unwell, and by the time of our 25th reunion he listed himself as disabled. David Lyon writes: "Ron was cheery and easy to be around, but also irreverent, skeptical, and questioning. His casual ease with math not only awed me, but saved my [life] on a few projects, too." Ron is survived by his mother, Joan Owens Scharff, and by his sister, Virginia, to whom the class sends its deepest condolences.

The Class of 1971