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Letter Box


John Sanborn ’67

Posted May 22, 2002

May 22, 2002

John died at home in Eatontown, New Jersey, on September 22, 1998, of lung cancer. He was my freshman roommate, and, throughout his life, one of my best old friends.

He met Nora, his lifelong sweetheart, at Princeton, and they married in 1962 while he was training to be a language specialist in the U.S. Army. We took Russian classes together during the Cold War. He wore his Rusian Persian Lamb hat on N.Y. subways pretending to be a spy.

"Molashevski, you have the pwaypers?" — he would whisper loudly, so everyone on the train could hear him.

He loved to make us laugh with his wild flamenco songs and intense all-night reveries. John was a townie, and always promised to hook up his pals with the loveliest of the local young ladies.

Two of his best Princeton buddies from our class, Dan Javich and Bill Harman, were able to visit him before he died.

After returning to Princeton for a short time after the Army, John went to sea as a deckhand. Within a few years, he was a tugboat captain, a job which suited him perfectly — the water, the adventure, the independence, and the schedule which gave him lots of home time with Nora. He was a linguist, a painter, a gardener, a conga drummer, a passionate letter writer, an Episcopal vestryman and a student of Santeria. Most of all, he was a tireless father for his daughter, Elizabeth, his son, Jack, and his beloved grandaughter, Tess, who lived with him and Nora. I'm leaving people out whose lives he touched with his strength, his grace, his great warmth and his mischievous sense of humor.

We miss him very much and consider his memory a blessing. Sincere condolences to Nora, Elizabeth, , and Jack, and also to his sister, Dorothy, and his brothers, Donald Jr, & Gilbert.. Unfortunately, his stepfather, the great math professor Donald Spencer, recently died.

Stephen Molasky '63
Chicago, Ill.

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