March 7, 2007: Memorials

Richard W. Leopold ’33

Richard W. Leopold, known to his family and friends as Dick, died on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, 2006. He was 94.

Born Jan. 6, 1912, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Dick had a deep, professorial voice. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Princeton and went on to receive a master’s and doctorate from Harvard. He served as an officer in the Navy during World War II.

Dick enriched the lives of students at Northwestern University, where he was on the faculty. He loved history and shared that passion with his students. In his last years, he made a point of attending annually a lecture the university had created in his honor. While at Northwestern, he raised his voice and fought to prevent the university from dismantling its Naval ROTC program.

He is survived by a nephew, John P. Leopold.

The Class of 1933



Frank Plant, who practiced law in Minneapolis with the firm Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett, died Jan. 1, 2007. He was 93.

Frank was a leader in creating opportunities for women, minorities, and the disadvantaged and sharing generously through many pro bono activities. He was an early participant in the Amicus program and active in legal-advice clinics and other groups seeking to help the poor and underprivileged. The Frank W. Plant Equal Justice Award is named in his honor.

During World War II, Frank worked at the Office of Price Administration in Washington, D.C., which he described as “very pressured but exciting and interesting.” He then spent three years as a Marine Corps officer who saw action in Tarawa, Saipan, and Tinian.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Mary Kennedy Plant; daughters Linda Simmons and Julia Plant; sons Hubert and Thomas Plant (a third son, Michael, predeceased Frank); and seven grandchildren.

The Class of 1934



Walt Thomas, a member of Princeton’s 1934 intercollegiate champion indoor polo team who went on to become vice president and secretary of the Valley Bank of Long Island, part of the Bank of New York holding company, died Dec. 25, 2006, of pneumonia in Barrington, Ill. He was 94.

Since 1998 he lived at Friendship Village in Schaumburg, Ill., northwest of Chicago. His wife, Edith Clark, died there in 1999, and after her death he continued making daily visits to the health-care wing, shaking hands and speaking with all the residents. He also entertained them by playing the piano several times a week. He was honored both within Friendship Village and in Schaumburg for his volunteer work.

During World War II he served with the 13th Armored Division in France, Germany, and Austria, separating in 1945 as a major.

In 1977, Walt, retired and living in Hartland, Vt., hosted our mini-reunion at the time of the Princeton football game at Dartmouth, winning praise from the 60 attendees.

Surviving are Walt’s two daughters, Margot and Pamela; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

The Class of 1934



Alexander Alfred Newton died Oct. 10, 2006.

Newt, as we knew him, was born in Chicago and also lived in Kenilworth, Ill. He prepared for Princeton at the Hun School and New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., where he was on the track team and active in drama. Newt was on the track team and majored in politics at Princeton.

After college, Newt roamed the world as a merchant seaman. Returning to the United States he worked at the H.W. Kastor & Sons advertising agency in Chicago. Later Newt re-entered the merchant marine as a chief bos’n and was assigned to the U.S. Maritime Service Training Station in Brooklyn. After his discharge, Newt returned to Chicago and worked for the Branham Co. before moving to California.

He and his wife, Harriet, bought and sold land. They bought an estate in Ireland, built a house in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and were living in Malibu, Calif., at the time of his death. Some of his hobbies were hunting, fishing, sailing, and horseback riding.

Newt and Harriet had a son and a daughter. We shall miss him and send our loving sympathy and fond remembrances to his family and friends.

The Class of 1937


Albert Kingsmill Baragwanath ’40

Barry died Nov. 24, 2006, at his Larchmont, N.Y., home, where he had lived since 1947.

Born in Lima, Peru, he prepared at The Hill School. At Princeton, he majored in philosophy, earned departmental honors, and won the Dickinson Prize. He was a member of the Philosophy Forum and Campus Club and was a philosophy tutor.

In 1952, Barry earned a master’s in political science from Columbia University. During World War II, he was with the Army infantry, antiaircraft, and cavalry in the Pacific and European theaters. He earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and rose to the rank of captain.

Barry became senior curator at the Museum of the City of New York. He authored several books on the history of New York and the lithographers Currier and Ives.

He was an avid photographer, chess player, and music lover.

Barry was predeceased by his wife, Eileen Flanagan, and his daughter Joan. His classmates wish to extend their deep sympathies to his survivors: son John, daughters Janice and Eileen Patricia, and four grandchildren.

The Class of 1940


James Richard Jones ’40

Dick, later known as “Digger,” died Nov. 15, 2006, from pneumonia complicated by post-polio syndrome. He had contracted polio at age 16.

A graduate of the Kingsley School in Essex Fells, N.J., he majored in geology at Princeton, achieving second-group departmental honors.

He was a member of the freshman track team, 150-pound football team, and Theatre Intime, and was an IAA basketball official, serving as head official his senior year. He earned a master’s in geology from Syracuse University in 1948.

Digger was a member of the Army Corps of Engineers from 1941 to 1945. He was a survivor of Pearl Harbor and served in eight campaigns in the Asiatic-Pacific and European theaters, winning a Purple Heart and eventually retiring from the reserves as a major.

He joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1948, becoming a district geologist and groundwater authority. He lived in various foreign countries with his family while assisting those governments in the development of their water resources.

Digger maintained his ties with Princeton, updating his class on his family, career, and activities those many years, then retiring to Arizona.

His classmates offer their sincere sympathies to his wife of 58 years, the former Suzanne Ludeking; their daughters, Lucinda, Sara Jones Ferguson, and Elizabeth; two grandsons; and two goddaughters.

The Class of 1940



Roman died Nov. 2, 2006, in Vancouver, Wash., at 84. He loved studying and research.

Born in Allentown, Pa., Roman prepped at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pa. At Princeton, he majored in chemistry, was on the dean’s list, and was a member of the International Relations Club, Catholic Club, and Gateway Club.

Many of us knew him as “Joe,” from his middle name, Joseph. After his 1944 graduation, Roman did ballistics research for the Navy. He took graduate courses in physics at Princeton and later earned a master’s and a doctorate in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley. Roman was a research chemist at Berkeley, and then became an authority on tissue cultures while working at VA hospitals in San Francisco and Tucson. These stints were interspersed with teaching at Texas Woman’s University and Bishop College. He later worked for the Bonneville Power Administration in Vancouver. Retired in 1986, he attended classes at Clark College almost to the end.

Roman was married to Phyllis Bourquin from 1947 to 1982. He is survived by a son, James; two daughters, Ellen Venable and Diana Colvin; a sister, Irene Kutsky; and four grandchildren. Our sincere condolences go to them all.

The Class of 1944



Alex died July 6, 2005.

He entered Princeton with a large contingent from Lawrenceville and as a resident of Atlanta, Ga. At Princeton he joined Campus Club, and was a member of Triangle and Theatre Intime.

Alex served in the Marine Corps and then returned to Princeton to earn a degree in philosophy in 1947. He moved to the West Coast, where he joined the faculty of the University of Oregon in Eugene and devoted his life to teaching in the Department of Philosophy.

There are no survivors known to the class.

The Class of 1945



Don died July 8, 2006.

He prepared for Princeton at Canterbury, joined Key and Seal Club, and graduated in February 1945 with a degree in chemistry. Don then received a master’s in 1948 and a Ph.D. in 1952 from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. For a short time, from 1951 to 1953, he fulfilled his ambition to work for E.R. Squibb in New Brunswick, N.J., but then moved on to an impressive career in education as a professor at New York University School of Medicine.

Meanwhile, in 1952, Don married Mary Lou Stevens. Don, the first deaf student to complete his education at Princeton, overcame his handicap in a most impressive fashion, not only serving as a distinguished tenured professor at NYU, but also publishing more than 100 biomedical articles and three books. Don was the recipient of many awards from his peers. After 40 years at NYU, Don semiretired and was designated a professor emeritus of surgery.

In addition to Mary Lou, Don is survived by his daughter, Patricia; his sons, Leigh and Paul; and three granddaughters. The class expresses its sympathy to all.

The Class of 1945



Bill died Oct. 8, 2006, in Dallas, Texas.

Bill entered Princeton from Little Rock (Ark.) High School and joined Tower Club. His World War II service was as a gunnery officer with Naval forces in the Philippines. Returning to Princeton, he earned a bachelor’s in aeronautical engineering magna cum laude in 1945, spent a semester in graduate study, and then joined McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. In 1957, Bill and his family moved to Dallas, where he worked for Chance Vought Corp., which later became LTV Corp. Bill worked for 36 years with that company until he retired in 1992.

Bill was a leading author of college textbooks about aeronautical structural analysis and design.

In 1946 Bill married Eloise Bailey, who predeceased him. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Creamer; his son, David; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Joyce McCombs. The class expresses its sympathy to all the family.

The Class of 1945



Gordon died suddenly Nov. 11, 2006.

He entered the Class of 1945 from Portsmouth (R.I.) Priory. His first accomplishment at Princeton, of which he was very proud, was to steal the clapper in his first week on campus. He played both freshman and 150-pound football and became a member of Cap and Gown. He joined the Army Air Force in 1943 and served as an intelligence officer in Britain and France. He returned to Princeton in 1946 and earned a degree in economics cum laude in 1947.

After leaving Princeton he joined Anheuser-Busch. He entered the brokerage business a few years later and eventually opened his own investment firm, J.G. McShane Inc. Gordon had a lifelong love for Princeton — the friends he met there and the opportunities it afforded him. Gordie joined ’45 on its recent journey to Scotland for a two-week Celtic odyssey with his third wife, Aloyse. His previous wives, Mary Tiernan and Susie Moore, predeceased him.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, three daughters, 12 grandchildren, and one great-grandson. One of Gordon’s sons and three of his granddaughters are Princeton graduates. Go Tigers! The class extends sympathy to the family.

The Class of 1945



Bonnie White died July 2, 2006, at his Fox Fire Farm in Harford County, Md. He was 84.

Bonnie entered Princeton from Gilman School in Baltimore. He was a member of Ivy Club and the Right Wing Club. He enlisted in the Army Signal Corps in 1943, served in France, and then was sent to the Pacific theater. He served in the occupation of Japan and was discharged as a first lieutenant.

Returning to Princeton, he roomed with John Kinder, Rufus Barringer, and Kenneth Gilpin ’44. He graduated with a bachelor’s in history in 1948 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He returned to Baltimore and joined the investment banking firm Alex Brown & Sons, becoming a general partner in 1958. He retired in 2003.

Bonnie was president of the Bond Club of Baltimore and served on the board of governors of the American Stock Exchange. He bred thoroughbred racehorses and was a member of the Maryland Jockey Club, the Elkridge Club, the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club, and the Maryland Club. He was interested in land conservation and was a member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The class extends its sympathy to his widow, Constance; his sons, Stephen, Lawrence, and William; and his daughters, Ellen and Louise.

The Class of 1945



Don Manders died Nov. 25, 2006, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. He was 82.

He prepped at Phillips Exeter Academy, majored in SPIA at Princeton, and graduated in 1949 after serving in the Army during World War II. He roomed with ’46ers R.S. Allyn and R.H. Webster, and was active in Whig-Clio, the International Affairs Club, and Tower Club.

After Princeton he graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and became the standards manager for Pepperidge Farm Inc. in Norwalk, Conn.

He is survived by his wife, Norma; children Robert, Marcia, Michele, and Melissa; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

To all, the class extends its deep sympathy.

The Class of 1946


John B. Lawson ’50

John died July 10, 2006, in Washington, D.C., from a noncancerous lung infection.

He was a literary editor of The Nassau Lit, and was a member of Whig-Clio and Key and Seal. John graduated with high honors in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he studied at Oxford, where he received a bachelor’s in English (and later the M.A. Oxon.). He enlisted in the Air Force, served as an officer in Germany, and used his fluency in French as an aide-de-camp in Morocco. While in Morocco, he met Joan Corbin, a Bryn Mawr graduate who was teaching there.

John returned to Washington as a civilian in 1955. It can now be told that after brief stints in two jobs, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1960, Joan, who was also employed by the CIA and was about to be assigned to Morocco, accepted his marriage proposal. They always hoped to get back to Morocco after retirement, but never made it.

He and Joan enjoyed many wonderful times together, including glorious summers in Brittany after retirement. Though not a “reuner” by nature, John always had a deep affection for Princeton.

We extend our sympathy to Joan, and their children Anne and David.

The Class of 1950


Richard Pivirotto ’52

Our classmate and friend Richard Pivirotto died Jan. 8, 2007, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was remembered at a memorial service at Christ Church in Greenwich, Conn., his longtime home.

Dick was raised in Pittsburgh and came to Princeton from Shadyside Academy. He was a key player on Princeton’s undefeated and nationally ranked football teams in 1950 and 1951. Following graduation, Dick attended Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA, and subsequently served in the Army.

His career in retailing began at the Joseph Horne Co., a department store in Pittsburgh. Over a 30-year period, Dick rose to the chairmanship of Associated Dry Goods and to influential positions on the boards of a number of America’s most prestigious firms.

From 1972 to 1987, Dick was a Princeton trustee. While on the board, he sat on the athletic steering committee and played a key role in helping Princeton raise funds in its highly successful Campaign for Princeton. He also served for more than 31 years as a trustee of Greenwich Hospital, including two terms as board chairman. He was active in the vestry of Christ Church and was a trustee of General Theological Seminary in New York City.

As important as Princeton and his many corporate and institutional relationships were to Dick, his wife, Mimi; their six children and their spouses; and their 14 grandchildren were the love and pride of his life. We offer them our love and profound sympathy.

The Class of 1952


Lorimer H. Brown Jr. ’54

Lorimer Brown of Cocoa, Fla., died Dec. 1, 2005.

A graduate of Blair Academy, he left Princeton during his freshman year. He entered military service in the Navy. Subsequently he did photographic research with the GAF Corp. and had an accounting practice with his wife.

Lorimer is survived by Bettie, his wife of 53 years; their children, Deborah and Jannet; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. The class extends its sympathy to his family.

The Class of 1954


P. David Ober ’59

Dave died Nov. 20, 2006, after a long struggle with colon cancer.

Known to many of us as “Obes,” Dave prepped at South Kent (Conn.) School, where he was class president. At Princeton, where he was preceded by his brother, Robert ’58, Obes was a member of Colonial Club, played freshman and intramural hockey, and earned his flying license with the Flying Club. Following graduation he served as a communications officer in the Navy, then graduated from Penn’s Wharton School with an MBA in insurance and finance.

Dave’s professional life was spent in the investment business. He started several small companies, one of which, run by his wife, Karen, continues today. He enjoyed sailing, golf, and tennis, but later in life he sought a more adventuresome pastime, rekindling his interest in flying by pursuing a helicopter pilot’s license. This endeavor was cut short after 9/11 when restrictions were placed on helicopter flying in the Chicago area. Not to be denied a new thrill, he began taking motorcycle lessons shortly before he was diagnosed with cancer.

Dave is survived by Karen, his wife of 34 years; and three sons, Thomas, James, and Douglas. We have sent condolences.

The Class of 1959


George Adam Rentschler Jr. ’59

George died Oct. 6, 2006.

Born in New York City, George attended Deerfield Academy. At Princeton he enrolled in the Woodrow Wilson School, joined Charter Club and served on its Bicker committee, worked as associate advertising manager of The Daily Princetonian, and participated in Army ROTC. He studied at the University of Heidelberg in 1958, and graduated cum laude from Princeton in 1960.

George served in the Army in Germany for three years, and after leaving the service worked for United States Lines, becoming assistant manager for Far East service. He moved from there to become vice president of Barber Oil Corp., then president of Charleston Corp., an investment company.

After leaving active duty, George continued his Army affiliation with the New York National Guard, where he commanded field artillery batteries. Transferring to the Army Reserve, George held several positions, ultimately serving as commandant of the 1163rd Reserve Forces School, attaining the rank of colonel, and receiving numerous military awards, including the Legion of Merit. He was a distinguished graduate of the nonresident program of the Naval War College.

Divorced, George is survived by two daughters, Farley Rentschler and Mary Montgomery; and two brothers, Fred and Charles ’61, to all of whom we express our sympathies.

The Class of 1959


Joel I. Tirschwell ’59

Joel died suddenly Oct. 6, 2006, in New York City.

Born in New York, Joel attended James Madison High School there, where he was captain of the New York City Championship Mathematics Team. At Princeton he majored in physics and was a member of the Orange Key Intercollegiate Committee, the French, German, and mathematics clubs, Prospect Club and Wilson Lodge, and an honorary member of the Greek Orthodox Foundation. He also participated in intramural basketball and tennis.

Following graduation, Joel received a master’s from the Columbia University School of International Affairs, where he was a National Defense Language Fellow specializing in Eastern European affairs and an honorary Columbia University Fellow. He worked for the CIA from 1962 to 1965, then for Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Co., where he became director of investment research and senior investment officer, responsible for the application of computers to investment research and portfolio management. In 1977 he founded Tirschwell & Loewy, an investment advisory firm.

He served many years as a trustee of St. Bonaventure University, for which he received an honorary doctorate.

Joel is survived by his wife, Susan; three sons, Peter, Robert, and Matthew; a brother, Perry; and several grandchildren. We have sent condolences.

The Class of 1959



Larry Jasper died peacefully at home in Clayton, Mo., Nov. 27, 2006, after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Elizabeth, N.J., Larry attended the Pingry School there for 10 years before transferring to The Hill School, from which he graduated. At Princeton he earned a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and was a member of Tiger Inn and NROTC. He was an outstanding varsity soccer player and also played varsity baseball.

Upon graduation, Larry served in the Navy as a communications officer aboard the aircraft carrier Wasp. He then joined Monsanto Chemical Co. in St. Louis, engaging in facilities design of chemical plants throughout the United States. Larry retired in 1993 after 31 years with Monsanto.

In 1968 Larry earned a master’s in chemical engineering from Washington University. After his retirement, he maintained close ties to Washington University’s Lifelong Learning Institute, a retiree-education program, often giving 40-50 hours a week to the program.

Larry’s intelligence, spirit, sense of humor, and friendship will be missed. The class offers its condolences to his wife, Kathy Osborn; and his children, Kathleen, David, and Elizabeth.

The Class of 1960


James A. Chmiel ’61

Jim Chmiel died of cancer Jan. 29, 2006, at Alle-Kiski Medical Center in Natrona Heights, Pa.

Born in 1939 in nearby New Kensington, he lived there for most of his life, moving only recently to Vandegrift, Pa.

A graduate of New Kensington High School, he majored in chemistry at Princeton. He was president of the Chemistry Club and was a member of Terrace Club, the University Band, and the German Club. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry at Northwestern and subsequently taught at Louisiana State University, later returning to western Pennsylvania. We know little of his life after that, except that, according to his brother, Tom, some stability returned after he joined Alcoholics Anonymous about a decade before his death. We can only wish that we had known him better.

Never married, Jim is survived by his brothers, Thomas and Edward, and their families; several nieces; and a nephew. We join them in mourning his passing.

The Class of 1961


James D. Mosher ’68

Jim died Nov. 14, 2006, in Palmer, Mass., after a yearlong battle with metastatic cancer. He was 60.

Jim came to Princeton from McDowell Senior High School in Erie, Pa. At Princeton, he majored in politics and ate at Elm. He was a captain of the 150-pound football team and played varsity baseball.

Jim was self-employed in New Jersey prior to his illness and spent his last four to five months with his sister in Palmer, Mass. His favorite pastimes were golf, Civil War history, and cooking and baking, at which he excelled.

He is survived by his daughter, Kimberly Bailey, her husband, Kenneth, and their children, Auburn and Hannah; and his son, James, and his wife, Kristen. Jim also leaves a sister to whom he was extremely close, Barbara Lukis, and her husband, Kenneth. To them all, the class extends deepest sympathy.

The Class of 1968


Douglas M. Ely ’79 *81

A traffic accident on the Washington, D.C., beltway claimed Doug’s life March 2, 2006. He was 47.

Doug was one of the most traveled members of the class, from his birth in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to his high school years at St. Stephen’s School in Rome, to business travels in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. At his death, Doug was vice president and assistant general counsel for Marriott International in Washington.

At Princeton, Doug majored in architecture and urban planning, remaining at the University after graduation to earn a master’s in architecture in 1981. In our 25th-reunion yearbook, Doug wrote that after finding architecture to be a less personally rewarding career than he had imagined, he entered law school at Columbia. In 1985 he earned his law degree and married Sarah Burneson Selby, his high school sweetheart.

Doug and Sarah lived in Paris for several years, returning to the States to start their family. Their son, Alexander, was born in 1993 and their daughter, Julia, in 1995. Many of us last saw Doug at our 25th, which his father said he thoroughly enjoyed.

To Sarah, Alexander, and Julia; Doug’s parents, Michael ’52 and Cynthia Ely; his sisters, Caroline and Lydia; and the rest of his family, the class sends deepest sympathy.

The Class of 1979



Tragically, Chris took his own life June 23, 2006.

A magna cum laude graduate of Princeton, Chris majored in operations research and was a member of Tower Club. He also earned a master’s degree in economics from the University of Oklahoma. At the time of his death, he was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, the culmination of a 17-year military career that began with Princeton’s ROTC program. Chris had more than 2,500 flying hours and over 1,300 hours of combat and combat support time

Chris loved the outdoors, whether he was sailing, kayaking, or playing soccer. He also made a special effort to keep in touch with classmates as he traveled the world in the nation’s service. His family described him best: “Chris was a caring, kind, thoughtful young man with an acute intellect and a great sense of humor, a person who put everyone else ahead of himself, and who never really accepted how special he was.”

Chris is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his son, Craig; his father, Merton; his mother, Martha; and his brother, John. To his family, our class extends its deepest sympathy.

The Class of 1988

Graduate Alumni

Ralph A. Ranald *62

Ralph A. Ranald, a professor of English at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, died Sept. 24, 2006, of a heart attack. He was 75.

Ranald received a bachelor’s in 1952 from UCLA, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received a master’s there in 1954 before earning a master’s and Ph.D. from Princeton. He then taught at Fordham and NYU before joining CUNY, where he taught for more than 30 years. While at Princeton, he was a student of Willard Thorp *26 and Richard P. Blackmur, who recommended him for a Carnegie fellowship to study at Harvard Law School prior to receiving his doctorate.

A contributing life member of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni, Ranald was an active graduate alumnus. He served on the alumni schools committee, and was a frequent attendee at APGA honorific dinners, Alumni Day, and Reunions.

During his active military service from 1953 to 1956, he was a paratrooper, and rose to the rank of colonel in the Army Reserve. He was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1983.

In 1997, he also earned a law degree at Fordham University Law School.

Ranald is survived by his wife, Margaret, whom he married in 1955, a daughter, and a grandson.


STANLEY W. HARBAUGH *74, History, Feb. 5, 2006

Vojtech F. Jirat-Wasiutynski *75, Art and Archaeology, July 8, 2006

Michael A. True *77, Astrophysical Sciences, Oct. 16, 2006

This issue has undergraduate memorials for Roman J. Kutsky ’44 *46, William Frank McCombs ’45 *47, and Douglas M. Ely ’79 *81. end of article

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