October 23, 2002: Memorials

Ernest J. Brown ’27

Browny died of congestive heart failure on Dec. 31, 2001, in Houston.

Having prepared at Lawrenceville, Browny came to Princeton from Lake Providence, La., and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. After earning his LLB at Harvard, he practiced and taught law in Buffalo, N.Y., served in the Office of Strategic Services during WWII, had a brief stint as dean of the Buffalo Law School, and then joined the faculty of Harvard Law School. In 1970 he became professor in residence in the tax division of the Dept. of Justice, serving there, principally in the appellate section, until Jan. 2001.

Known as “the Professor” to generations of students at Harvard Law School (among whom are numbered five current justices of the Supreme Court) and to decades of colleagues at the Justice Dept., he was characterized as gentle, formal, scholarly, and demanding. Browny saw tax law as an intellectual exercise, viewing the tax code as similar to the Constitution — and the Constitution as similar to the code.

He is survived by a niece, a nephew, several grandnieces and grandnephews, and a host of admiring students and colleagues to whom the class extends its condolences.

The Class of 1927


Charles Bickley Baton ’30

Chuck died of pneumonia after a brief confinement. He was 93. He led an active life at Bermuda Village, N.C., where he resided since 1985.

Chuck chose Princeton to be with his friends from Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. At Princeton, Chuck ran track, served on the intracollegiate athletics committee, and majored in geology. He and Don Sperry, his roommate, belonged to Elm Club.

He followed his father into the coal business, becoming president of Baton Coal Co. and Greensburg Connelsville Coal and Coke Co. He served on numerous boards of directors, including those for Old Republic, H. K. Porter, and Joy.

Chuck served on the graduate council and was president of the Western Pennsylvania Alumni Assn. Initially opposed to coeducation, he relented when his granddaughter, Elizabeth Baton Lydon ’86, was admitted. He won a 50-year pin for perfect annual giving.

He married Caroline Murray, and after her death, Frances Wright. Chuck is survived by his three children, G. Scott ’58, Louise Coleman, and Linda Pool, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

The Class of 1930


Edmund Gilmour Anderson Jr. ’34

Ned died May 7, 2002, just 12 days before his 89th birthday, of continued complications following two strokes in 2000.

During WWII, Ned had a distinguished career in the Navy, serving from June 1941-Nov. 1945, first in the Caribbean, then in the Pacific as skipper of the minesweeper Scout. His division ended with more enemy mines swept under combat conditions than any other, for which he received a Bronze Star and a presidential citation. Ned spent most of his business career in the wholesale and retail side of the shoe business.

Ned is survived by his wife of almost 56 years, Marjorie Primrose, son Stephen, daughter Carolyn, daughters Nancy and Susan from a previous marriage, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

The Class of 1934


John Edward Arens ’34

Johnny, who retired in 1991 from Coupon Clearing Service in Costa Mesa, Calif., died Apr. 27, 2002, following triple-bypass surgery.

In addition to his business, which he acquired in 1969 and built into the second largest in the country, his hobby of racing ocean-going sailboats brought him international recognition and respect. He skippered his 51-ft. aluminum sloop with an 11-man crew in celebrated races off both US coasts, and to ports in Mexico, Hawaii, and Bermuda. In later years, “still alive and kicking, just not as hard as before,” as he wrote a classmate, he favored golf, “although it has suffered from some 40 years of sailing.” He also spent considerable time emailing back and forth with, among others, Warren Peters and John vanDyke.

In 1936, Johnny, a Plainfield, N.J., native, married Ruth Hamilton, a graduate of NYU, where he earned an MBA. The couple had three children, John ’60, William, and Barbara.

The Class of 1934


John Taylor Hamilton II ’34

Ham, former chairman of Merchants National Bank and former president of City National Bank, both in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died “unexpectedly but peacefully,” according to his wife, Gloria, on Feb. 8, 2002. He was 92.

Ham, who had lived in Florida since 1974, joined Merchants National after college, “following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather.” After three years in the Army Air Corps, he returned to the bank and was made president in 1946.

Ham was married in 1974 to Gloria Kelly, an expert dry-fly-fisher, and he and she tried “to get in a week or two of fly-fishing in northern Maine.” Gloria survives, as do his children from a previous marriage, son John III and daughters Victoria and Helen.

The Class of 1934


Albert Whitney Waldron ’39

Whit died Jan. 5, 2002, at a hospital near his home in San Diego.

He was a lifelong bachelor and an inveterate student. A social philosophy major at Princeton, he entered the Army and soon found himself in the weather school, and from there, at OCS. Upon receiving his commission, he transferred to the Air Force and from 1940-60 served in India, Burma, China, and Japan. A lieutenant colonel when he retired, he switched to the civil service, doing meteorological research for the Army at the Dugway Proving Grounds, near Salt Lake City. He had earned a master’s in meteorology at the U. of Chicago in 1950 and was a member of the American Meteorological Society. He retired in 1985.

The partial deafness that had been with him since a boyhood accident grew ever worse. He told us in our 50th book, “I play some golf despite a bad back, walk frequently, and do some photography. I am learning sign language because of my hearing problem, but find it harder than second-year French.”

With his surviving brother, Stoddard, we bid farewell to our old friend.

The Class of 1939


Samuel Reid Folger ’41

Sam died Mar. 6, 2002, of Parkinson’s. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Summit, N.J., he prepared at Summit HS.

At Princeton, Sam majored in electrical engineering, played 150-lb. football, and roomed first with Emmet Hughes, then with Phil Dale. Senior year he lived at Cannon Club with Paul Busse and Bill Coleman.

During WWII, Sam served in the Navy. After a stint at Harvard and MIT for radar training, he spent two years on destroyers, on convoy and carrier escort antisubmarine duty in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Following service on the cruiser USS Reno, he was separated as lieutenant in Dec. 1945. Sam returned to General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y., and was then assigned as a sales engineer for electrical power systems in the Philadelphia area. After 21 years there, he was recalled to Schenectady to become manager of systems engineering.

He retired in 1985 and moved to Doylestown, Pa. Always active in the Presbyterian Church, Sam was variously a trustee, elder, and lay minister.

Predeceased by his wife, Marilyn Makemson Folger, he is survived by his son, Peter; three daughters, Susan Hornell-Scott, Jane Folger ’81, and Ann Folger; as well as three grandchildren. As an ever-loyal reuner, he will be sorely missed.

The Class of 1941


S. Spencer Scott Jr ’46

Bud died May 9, 2002, of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Typically, to the end, he bolstered the spirits of his beloved Debbie, partner of 51 years, and their sons, Sam and Steve, daughter Suzette, and entire family.

Bud joined us from Andover, rooming with A. B. Whitcomb, Ben Britt, Meatball Shannon, and Herman Froeb. After service as an Army Air Corps 1st lieutenant, he roomed with Meatball, Ralph Gordon, and Moose Morris. Frustrated as a navigator and not a pilot, Bud began flying. His ratings grew to commercial, single- and multi-engine land and sea instrument instructor.

Retirement to Lyme, Conn., was idyllic but not blissful, as Bud struggled with a company that became the largest recycling operation in New York state.

A regular with Debbie at reunions, Bud was class agent and special gifts committeeman for our 50th. His many close friends were lifelong. More than 400 people attended his funeral, with his children and grandchildren participating. Especially moving was the prelude, “Old Nassau.” Representing ’46 were Grant Peacock and Al Lukens.

To Debbie, Sam, Steve, Suzette, and eight grandchildren, we extend our heartfelt sympathy. We, too, have lost a loved one. Bud was “a class act.”

The Class of 1946


Thomas Hutton Brown Boothe Jr. ’53

Tom died Apr. 16, 2002, in Bethlehem, Pa., of cancer. He came to Princeton from West Orange [N.J.] HS. At Princeton he was president of Dial Lodge, manager of the band, and a member of the undergraduate council.

After graduating cum laude with a degree in history, he served two years in the Army as a sergeant in Korea. He spent most of his career in sales for Bethlehem Steel. He retained his direct involvement with Princeton as a Dial Lodge board member, including 15 years as chair. He was married to Molly Newton for 45 years. Throughout his life, he pursued his love of politics and history, particularly of the Civil War and ancient Egypt, through reading, travel, and collecting. He served as the Republican chair of Hanover Township and was president of the Bethlehem Kiwanis Club.

Besides Molly, he is survived by daughter Anna, grandson Zoe, and two sisters. To them the class extends its condolences. Thanks to Pete Enander for preparing this memorial and saying: “Tom was people oriented; if he knew you, he also knew and remembered your family and friends. Those who knew Tom will miss him.”

The Class of 1953


David E. Rawnsley ’55

Dave Rawnsley died Apr. 3, 2002, of complications following successful aneurysm surgery.

Dave came to Princeton on a US Navy scholarship from Terrace Park [Ohio] HS. At Princeton he majored in religion and joined Dial Lodge. He earned JV letters in baseball and football.

After Princeton, Dave served in the Navy. During this time, he contracted a polio-like illness that confined him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He earned a master’s degree at Michigan State and took graduate courses at Stanford. He became a self-employed educational consultant, and there is little in the field that he has not been involved in. He also participated in civic affairs, including the Warren County historical society and zoning board. He enjoyed gardening and operated the Lavender Hill Herb Farm for 11 years. Dave will be remembered for his unceasing love of sports, his infectious good humor, and his incisive mind.

Dave is survived by Bernetta, his wife of 42 years, three sons, David, Chris, and Andrew, and three grandchildren. To all of them the class extends its deepest sympathy.

The Class of 1955


William James Bonthron ’58

Jim, known to many of us as Bonny or Boom Boom, died of throat cancer on Apr. 7, 2002, in Ottawa. A diplomat, soldier, and actor, Jim transcended the boundary between the US and Canada.

Jim entered Princeton from St. Paul’s School. At Princeton he majored in the special program in European civilization. A member of Tiger Inn, he was on the varsity track, hockey, and cross-country teams.

As an officer in the US Marine Corps, he served with the US Naval Mission to Haiti from 1959-61. He then joined the Black Watch Regiment in Montreal. His 30-year career with Canada’s Dept. of External Affairs took him to Belgium, the Congo, South Africa, Czechoslovakia, Baghdad, NYC, Austria, and Minneapolis.

After retiring in 1993, Jim accompanied his wife in her own diplomatic assignments to Costa Rica and China, where his roles in a Chinese TV series and as Edgar Snow in the film Mao Zedong and Snow made him a familiar face on Chinese screens. He had a lifelong love for sailing, hockey, and skiing.

The class extends its deepest sympathy to Gilliane, his loving wife of 14 years, and his daughters, Alexandria, Catriona, and Fiona.

The Class of 1958


Alfred Richard Seebass III ’58 *61

Dick died Nov. 14, 2000, in Boulder, Colo., after a short illness resulting from complications related to pneumonia. He came to Princeton from Colorado, earned his BSE magna cum laude, and then earned his master’s at Princeton and his PhD at Cornell in aeronautical engineering.

Dick taught at Cornell, where he became associate dean of engineering, and at the U. of Arizona, before returning to Colorado, where he became professor, dean of engineering and applied sciences, and chair of the department of aerospace engineering. Dick is credited with expanding and improving Colorado’s department of aeronautical engineering, bringing it to national prominence. He was an internationally known leader in aeronautical engineering and received many honors and prizes. Upon his death, the university lowered the flag to half-mast in recognition of his impact on the College of Engineering.

Dick was married to Nancy Palm, who died the day after he did. They are survived by their two sons, Scott and Eric, and by Dick’s sister, Linda S. Johnson, to all of whom the class extends its deepest sympathy.

The Class of 1958


Stephen Thomas Vehslage ’61

Stephen died on May 5, 2002, at Greenwich [Conn.] Hospital, after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

After preparing at the Haverford School, he joined Colonial Club and majored in history. His entire business career was spent at IBM, and he served for many years as a director of True North Communications.

Stephen had a remarkable athletic career. Princeton men’s squash coach Bob Callahan has described him as “the greatest player in Princeton men’s squash history.” After winning three US National Junior Squash Championships, he went on to win an unprecedented three consecutive intercollegiate titles. Following graduation, he won the Canadian National Championship in 1964, the US National Singles title in 1965, and the North American Open Doubles and US National Court Tennis Doubles championships in 1967. In Princeton soccer he was also two-time First Team All-Ivy, and he shared the William Roper Prize honoring the outstanding scholar-athlete in the senior class.

Stephen is survived by April, his beloved wife of 40 years, son Stephen Jr. ’89, daughter Cynthia Meyers ’85, and brother Ramsay ’59. The class will miss a good friend.

The Class of 1961

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