May 16, 2001: Memorials

William M. Larrabee '25

Businessman, environmentalist, and retired executive of AT&T, William M. Larrabee died Aug. 31, 2000, at Fairfax, Va. He was 97.

William was a longtime resident of Great Neck, N.Y., and in 1983 he moved to Virginia. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton and held an MBA from Harvard.

He served on the local and national board of directors of the Nature Conservancy of the US and also was a professor and dean in the graduate school of business of Long Island U., in New York. In retirement he continued to be physically active in worldwide travel, golf, and activities centered on wildlife photography.

Survivors include his sons, Robert and Allan, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. After 63 years of marriage, Dorothy Larrabee predeceased her husband in 1991.

The Class of 1925


Hank Wilson died June 23, 2000, in Carmel, Calif. He was 95. His career was in life insurance, starting with his father's General Agency for Equitable Life. He took over the agency in 1936 and subsequently went on to become a senior vice president and director of Equitable, in charge of all group insurance. His career was interrupted by WWII. He started as a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery and ended in Washington, DC, as a lieutenant-colonel, where he earned the Legion of Merit.

Hank was active in Princeton affairs. He was class treasurer and one of the founders of the '25 Foundation. He also served on the boards of Lahey Clinic Foundation and Monterey County Symphony, and he was CEO of United Student Aid Funds. He was a member of the Nassau Club and the Princeton Clubs of New York and Northern California.

Hank's first wife, Alice Pratt, died after 45 years of marriage. He subsequently married Julia, who survives him, as do a daughter, Ann Wilson Evans, a son, John A. '50, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

The Class of 1925

John C. NORMAN '29

Jack died Mar. 2, 2001. He prepared for Princeton at Louisville Male H.S., where he was captain of the football team and held an individual scoring record that lasted 30 years. At Princeton he was an outstanding football player, president of Tower Club, and chair of the Inter-Club Committee. Following graduation he went into the lumber business in Louisville and became president of the Norman Lumber Co. He had been a member of the vestry and senior warden of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church. He was also a past president of Family and Children's Agency of Louisville, a board member of the Arthritis Foundation, Louisville Health and Welfare Council, Neighborhood House, and the Tuberculosis Assn. He was a member of the Louisville Country Club and the Wynn-Stay Club.

In 1933 he married Eleanor Evans, who predeceased him. They had three daughters and one son. Surviving are Martha N. Pepples and John Jr., five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, as well as a nephew, Jonathan V. III '59. To all of them, '29 extends its deepest sympathy.

The Class of 1929

Harold B. Wells Jr. '29

"Skip" died Feb. 17, 2001, at Moorestown, N.J. He was 94. He came to Princeton from Bordentown, Mich., and was a member of the Wesley Club executive committee and a member of Arbor Inn. After graduation he attended the U. of Pennsylvania law school and entered the practice of law in Bordentown with the firm of Wells, Hillman and Wells. He had been president of the Burlington county bar association, president of the Bordentown Rotary Club, and a member of American Judicature Society.

In addition, he was superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School in Bordentown, and a trustee of Burlington Library and the Visiting Nurse Assn. During WWII he was a member of the New Jersey Selective Service advisory board and Burlington County war price and rationing board.

He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Harold B. III and Mary Wells, a daughter and son-in-law, Viola B. and Elwyn Gibbs, a sister, Elizabeth Hann, a sister-in-law, Margaret Wells, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. To all of them, '29 extends its deep sympathy.

The Class of 1929

Harold R. Hawkey '32

Hal died Jan. 9, 2001, after a very brief illness in Medina, Wash., where he had moved from Montclair, N.J., just a year ago to be near family. He lived most of his 89 years within less than an hour's drive from Princeton. He was a member of the first crew team Princeton ever sent to the Henley Regatta in 1931. He was a member of Dial Lodge. In 1935 he graduated from Columbia law school.

For 55 years, Hal was manager and attorney for the Employers' Assn. of North Jersey, retiring three weeks before moving to Washington. (He said the only thing he disliked about the move was that he was now unemployed.)

Hal and Marion, his wife of 64 years, traveled extensively for pleasure but always had time for their beloved Truro, Cape Cod, where they had a summer residence for 45 years. Hal was an avid golfer and a longtime member of the Montclair Golf Club.

Surviving are Marion, a son, G. Michael Hawkey '63, a daughter, Marianne Langenbach, and five grandchildren.

The Class of 1932

William B. Kerkam Jr. '32

Bill, a retired patent, copyright, and trademark lawyer who had practiced in the Washington, DC, area for 50 years before he retired in 1985, died of respiratory failure Feb. 18, 2001, at his home in Lewes, Del. He was 89.

Bill was a graduate of St. Albans School in his native Washington. At Princeton he majored in chemistry and physics. In 1935 he graduated from George Washington U.'s law school. He served on active duty in the Army during WWII and retired from the Reserves in the mid-1950s as a lieutenant-colonel.

He began his professional career in 1935, when he joined his father's Washington law firm, Cameron, Kerkam & Sutton. He retired from the law as a senior partner in the Falls Church law firm of Kerkam, Stowell, Kondracki & Clarke.

Bill was a member of the Lewes Historical Society. His hobbies included sailing and woodworking.

His first wife, the former Elizabeth Howison Gill, whom he married in 1935, died in 1987. His second wife, the former Joan H. Goodwyn, whom he married in 1989, died in 1999.

Survivors include three sons from his first marriage, William III, James G., and Stephen H., and five grandchildren.

The Class of 1932

James Alfred Avirett '33

Jim Avirett died Feb. 10, 2001, at his home in Cumberland, Md., of a heart attack. He was 90.

I believe there was no member of our class who worked longer and more industriously than Jim. He practiced general law at One Washington Street in Cumberland from 1936 until his death. He graduated from Episcopal H.S. in Alexandria, Va., was Phi Beta Kappa, chair of the Democratic Campaign Committee, and on the 150 lb. crew at Princeton. Jim received his law degree from Harvard in 1936. He served for 30 years with the Department of Justice as the commissioner and magistrate for Western Maryland. He was legal counsel for Columbia Gas of Maryland, LaVale Sanitary Commission, and Allegany Community College and had been a member of the Federal Communications Commission. During WWII he served on the judge advocate's staff as a major. In 1949 he married Salena Sharp, who died in 1999. He was a communicant of Emmanuel Church in Cumberland.

Jim is survived by a son, Alfred Jr., and two daughters, Sarah Avirett Hoover and Anne Avirett Dilts, and five grandchildren. Our classmate has set a work record that will be hard to beat. He will be greatly missed.

The Class of 1933

Dwight Anthony Horne '33

Dee Horne, banker, golfer, sailor, and churchman died Jan. 4, 2001, at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass. He was 89. He attended Pomfret School. At Princeton he was on the gym team, 150 lb. football team, and was president of Cottage Club. He received an MBA from NYU in 1955. Dee was president of the Pomfret School Alumni Assn. and served on the school's board of trustees. During WWII he served as a major in the finance office. His banking career of 40 years was spent in its entirety at the Hanover Trust Co., where he served as secretary of the bank and for 15 years as vice president and manager of its Mayfair branch in Governor's Square. During that time he served as president of the American Overseas Memorial Day Assn., which arranged services honoring American war dead buried in England, and as the American member of the Hansard Society, which advised members of the newly formed British Commonwealth.

Dee was an avid golfer all his life. On weekends in New York, he and his wife, Dorothy Edwards, who predeceased him in 2000, sailed his English-made sloop Grenadier with the New York Yacht Club. On retirement he moved to an old family home in Hyannis Port, where he continued his interests in golf, sailing, printing, and collecting and making clocks.

Dee is survived by his daughter, Susan Anthony Horne Thomas, three granddaughters, and two great-granddaughters. We will all miss this classmate, a versatile gentleman.

The Class of 1933

William John Pyle '33

Jack Pyle died Feb. 19, 2001, at home, after several years of deteriorating health. He was 90. After retiring in the 1970s from positions as New England regional manager and national accounts manager at Sealright Corp., Jack operated a small business as a manufacturer's representative.

Jack was a member of the Playhouse Assn. of Summit, N.J., since 1934. He appeared in more than 70 of the group's plays, served backstage, and was president for two terms. He was a founding member of the Clearwater Club in New Providence, N.J., where he started its swim league. He was a former president of the Summit Taxpayers Assn. and a life member of the Old Guard of Summit. For several years he played Santa, telephoning children who wrote to Santa Claus care of the Old Guard.

Jack lived in Summit most of his life. He is survived by two daughters, Lindsay P. Behne and Susan P. Smith, and a son, William Jr., six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. We'll all miss this eloquent thespian.

The Class of 1933

Alexander Cameron III '36

Sandy, a resident of Reading, Pa., died Sept. 15, 1999. He prepared at St. George's School in Newport, R.I.

Most of his career was spent as a yarn broker to the textile industry. He was a past president of the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts, a school instructing students in various art forms such as music, dancing, painting, and sculpturing. One of his hobbies was old automobiles, of which he had a modest collection.

Sandy is survived by his wife, Rosemary Hoff Cameron, a son, Alexander IV, daughters Rosalie C. Brainard and Michaele C. Cooke, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Son Alexander IV's daughter, Cecily C. '89, is married to Derek Schrier '89.

The Class of 1936

Leon John Heuser '36

Lee, of Robbinsville, N.J., and Tubac, Ariz., died Dec. 8, 2000. He was 85. He prepared at Montclair Academy. At Princeton he majored in chemistry and was a member of Key and Seal Club. He received his PhD in organic chemistry in 1940 from Marburg U. in Munich, Germany.

He was a research chemist for 30 years with E.R. Squibb and Son, developing mass production methods for antibiotics at the Squibb Institute. He held 16 US patents. He retired in 1976.

Lee earned his pilot's certificate in 1949. He was an accomplished artist and an expert on contract bridge. He once raised champion boxer dogs.

In the late 1990s he and his wife, Josephine, endowed a fellowship in Princeton's department of chemistry supporting graduate students in chemistry.

Josephine, whom he married in 1946, died in 1999. He is survived by sisters-in-law Margaret V. Dinges and Alice V. Stanley and several nieces and nephews. We of the class are proud of Lee's meaningful life. He was a loyal Princetonian.

The Class of 1936

Howard Sumner Holmes '36

Howard of Ann Arbor, Mich., died Jan. 3, 2001. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy. He left Princeton after his freshman year and followed his father's footsteps to the U. of Michigan, where he earned a BS in mechanical engineering.

It is evident that he continued his affection for Princeton. Besides being listed in our Freshman Herald, he supplied information to be listed in our Senior Nassau Herald and our Fifty Year Book. Until his death he remained on our class roll, and he contributed over 50 years to AG.

For 50 years he provided leadership as president, director, and chair of the Chelsea Milling Co. He led a very active life in community affairs, being deeply involved in fundraising for the Catherine McAuly Center and the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. He was also on the development committee of the U. of Michigan cancer center and was chair of its United Way for five years. Howard was also on the boards of several organizations, including the Chelsea State Bank, Eastern Michigan U. Foundation, Cleary College, Washtenaw Community College, and the Boy Scouts of America.

Howard is survived by his wife, Mary Ernestine Blodgett, whom he married in 1945, sons Howard S. and William B., daughters Christine M., Kathryn W., Andrea L., four grandchildren, and his twin brother, Dudley.

The Class of 1936

Robert Abbot Sincerbeaux '36

Bob died at home in Hanover, N.H., on Dec. 6, 2000. He was 87. A graduate of the Hun School, at Princeton he majored cum laude in political science. In 1939 he received his law degree from Yale.

During WWII he served three years in the Navy and later in the USNR, attaining the rank of lieutenant-commander. From 1946-72 he was an associate, partner, and counsel of the NYC law firm Sincerbeaux and Shrewsbury.

Bob was president of the Eva Gebhard-Gourgaud Foundation and trustee of the Cecil Howard Charitable Trust, both organizations devoted to historical preservation. He was also a trustee of the Woodstock [Vt.] Foundation and the Woodstock Historical Society. He was a founding member of the Preservation Trust of Vermont and the Vermont Land Trust. He also aided in the creation of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. He was a past president of the Woodstock Country Club. In 1982 he received the Preservation Trust of Vermont Award and in 1984 the National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award.

Bob is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Morley Sincerbeaux, sons Richard M. '64, Charles M. '75, a daughter, Suzanne S. Brian, eight grandchildren including Caroline C. Sincerbeaux '98, three great-grandchildren, and a sister, Barbara.

The Class of 1936

Sydney S. Date '37

Syd Date, son of Lamson Date '43, died Jan. 15, 2001. A sales control manager and director of market research, he was a longtime resident of Winnetka, Ill. Wives Virginia (married in 1937) and Jane predeceased him, and he left a daughter, Winifred "Freddie" Hayes, and granddaughters Julia and Virginia.

At New Trier H.S., Syd was on the rifle team and in the dramatic and honor societies. He majored in economics at Princeton and was Phi Beta Kappa, graduating with high honors. He was a member of Dial Lodge and roomed three years with Norm Biorn, who died in 1987.

Syd started out with Lansing Bros. in Chicago before three years in the Navy, entering as an ensign and becoming a senior lieutenant, with domestic service. His business career was then mostly with Ditto, Inc., in Chicago and then Bell & Howell Co. until he retired in 1995 to Evanston. His hobbies were reading, tennis, bridge, and swimming. He described his life in his biography as "working and playing hard."

The Class of 1937


Woody died in Trumbull, Conn., on Sept. 29, 2000, four months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had been in private dermatology practice there for 45 years.

After Taft School he majored at Princeton in chemistry. He roomed with Bob Miller and Art Dowell and was in Triangle and Campus Club. During WWII he served in the Army and then studied medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where his father, a member of the Class of '13, had also studied. After studies at NYU medical school, he was called by the Air Force to serve in Korea, where he taught radio communications.

He and his wife, Audrey, whom he married in 1946, enjoyed showing their dogs, keeping as many as six St. Bernards and many Bearded Collies; they frequently took off in their trailer to compete in East Coast dog shows.

With Audrey and their children, Kenneth, Wendy, and Heidi, and six grandchildren, the class shares the loss of a man who cared for his fellow man while also caring for man's best friend.

The Class of 1944

James Edward Hardy '48

Jim died Feb. 7, 2001, at his home. He was 74. A native of Louisville, he spent his entire life in the lovely Kentucky city.

Jim's entire business life was spent with Brimly-Hardy Co., a family farm-equipment manufacturing and distributing business founded in 1839. He was the fourth generation of the family to head the company, becoming president in 1951 on the death of his father.

Jim joined us by way of Woodberry Forest School. At Princeton he was in Cottage, was active in the Press Club, and was in the Triangle shows of 1948 and 1949. He graduated with honors in economics. He and Barbara were married on Valentine's Day 1953. They had a son and two daughters.

Over the years Jim was involved in a broad range of civic affairs, including the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, the Child Guidance Clinic, and the Southern Farm Equipment Manufacturers Organization. Extracurricular interests centered on hunting, fishing, golf, tennis, and travel. He was involved as state chair and as a trustee of Ducks Unlimited for more than three decades.

Jim is survived by his widow, Barbara "Babs," son Edward, daughters Susan and Jane, and his sister, Jean Licklider. To them the class extends its profound condolences.

The Class of 1948

Thomas Neal Bramlett Jr. '49

Tom died June 18, 2000, in Greenville, S.C. He was 83. He was born in Laurens, S.C., and served in the Army as a staff sergeant from 1941-45. He attended Princeton for one term and then withdrew. He was married to Theresa Ann Greene, who, along with one sister, survives him.

All that is known of his life after Princeton is that he later retired from the US Postal Service.

However, he never removed his name from the class roster. The class extends its sympathies to his survivors.

The Class of 1949

Edward William Diehl '49

Rev. Edward William Diehl died at home in Waymart, Pa., on Mar. 15, 1998, of diabetes and heart problems. He was 76.

He served as a B-17 pilot in Europe during WWII, flying 52 combat missions and receiving a Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters. He transferred to Princeton from Dickinson College in 1945, majored in history, and was foreman of the monumental move of the university library from Pyne to Firestone in 1947.

His war experiences moved him to become a minister and he received his master's of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1951. Ed married Helen Lohenic in 1945. They had two sons born while Ed was a missionary to the Athabascan Indians near the Alaskan Highway. They later had a daughter. He served for 30 years as the first institutional resident chaplain to the criminally insane at Pennsylvania's Fairview State Hospital. He found helping inmates regain control to be very rewarding.

Ed is survived by his wife, Helen, sons Daniel and Michael, daughter Melanie, three brothers, and nine grandchildren. The class extends its deepest sympathies to all of them at the loss of this outstanding humanitarian.

The Class of 1949

Wade Fairchild '49

Wade died at home in Scottsdale on Mar. 6, 1998, surrounded by members of his immediate family. He was 75. He prepared for Princeton at Glen Ridge H.S. in Orange, N.J. He served as a naval aviator in the Pacific from July 1942 until Nov. 1945 with the rank of lieutenant (j.g.). At Princeton he majored in English and humanities, graduating with high honors. He worked for the Tiger and was a member of Cap and Gown Club. Wade married Jean Braekenridge in 1943, and they had three children. They later divorced.

Following Princeton, Wade worked for Fairchild Publications, Inc. as publisher of Electronic News and Metalworking News. In 1963 he moved to Scottsdale, remarried, and had two more children, and was president of Fairchild Aeromaps, Inc., taking aerial pictures of the growing area. He again divorced, and a third marriage also ended in divorce. He was a talented artist who founded the Scottsdale Artists' School.

Wade was one of those smart, gregarious, funny colleagues we are lucky to meet along life's path. He is survived by one son, Peter, five daughters, Carol, Nancy, Mary, Anne, and Elizabeth, two sisters, and eight grandchildren. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all of them.

The Class of 1949

Alexander Proudfit '49

"Sandy" died June 28, 2000, at Mercy Hospital in Miami, where he had been evacuated from his home on Great Guana Cay, Abaco, Bahamas. He died of injuries received in a fall after Hurricane Floyd severely damaged his home. He was 72. He prepared for Princeton at Choate and left Princeton at the end of our freshman year. He later graduated from Columbia with a degree in electrical engineering.

Sandy and a partner established a business monitoring air quality for municipalities across the US, and the work could only be done during the warm months. This allowed him to spend his winters in the Bahamas. Prior to 1980 he was based in Essex, Conn., but then moved permanently to Great Guana Cay. He powered his home there with a windmill and solar power and was an avid ham radio devotee with many ham friends around the world. He was married three times, but never had any children, and he was single when he died.

The Class of 1949

William C. Gardiner Jr. '54

Bill Gardiner died Nov. 17, 2000, following a bicycle accident.

Born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Bill majored in chemistry at Princeton. He was a member of Campus Club, played 150 lb. football, was president of the Student Unitarian Fellowship, and was a member of the Chapel Choir. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the U. of Heidelberg, obtained his PhD from Harvard in chemistry, and became widely published in scientific journals. He was awarded a second Fulbright scholarship, including a Humboldt Fellowship. The class extends its sympathy to his mother, brothers, his wife, three daughters, and two grandsons.

The Class of 1954

Charles Edgar Keller '54

"Chuck" Keller died Feb. 27, 2001, at his winter home in Palmas Del Mar, Puerto Rico. Subsequent to his bachelor's degree, he obtained his law degree from the U. of Michigan in 1957. He spent 40 years as a corporate law attorney in Detroit and Bloomfield Hills. He was a partner of Keller, Thoma, Schwarze, Katz and Duby and also taught labor law at Wayne State U. in Detroit. He actively taught young associates in his firm in the field of labor law. After he retired in 1997, he continued to work as a consultant to corporate boards, hospitals, and school boards. While at Princeton he was a politics major, a member of Cannon Club, and was active in basketball, baseball, and hockey. He also has served as our class secretary for a five-year term.

The class extends its sincere condolences to his wife, Joan, his daughter, Katherine, and his sons, Charles Jr. and Matthew.

The Class of 1954