Did you know that seven of our classmates served in the Peace Corps? Click here to read their stories.
Dear George [Brakeley],
Ruth and I were taking a Seabourn cruise up the coast of Norway with someone who had belonged to the Princeton Club in NYC, when someone at our table said, “I’m Princeton class of 61-engineering,” and it turned out to be Rick Butt.
We talked about classmates here and gone and ran into each other the next day when Ruth took this picture. Unfortunately, I came down with Covid — supposedly one of 6 people out of 600 of guests and crew — and so we didn’t get a chance to meet again. He’s in great shape and enjoying himself.
Ruth took this pic (I’m the bald wizened little guy).
George P. Landow ’61 P91
Paul E. Oppenheimer
Paul, age 83, of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, died peacefully July 28, 2022.
A poet, writer, prankster and professor, Paul taught for 55 years in the English Department at The City College of New York and The CUNY Graduate Center. He published numerous books and articles on wide-ranging subjects such as evil, vampirism, the birth of modern thought, guilt, and Till Eulenspiegel. An expert in medieval literature and fluent in seven languages, he wrote biographies of Peter Paul Rubens, in which he discovered the origins of film, and Niccolo Machiavelli, and in which he found mischief and machinations. He wrote several novels, four poetry collections, and many essays. Academically, his primary interest involved the development of ideas from historical origins to modern incarnations, including scientific concepts.
Oppenheimer graduated Horace Mann School, Princeton (BA) where he joined the Woodrow Wilson Society, and Columbia (MA, PhD). In addition to CCNY, he taught at Hunter, the Sorbonne, University College London, and Osnabruck University, as a Fulbright Fellow.
Oppenheimer is survived by his wife Assia Nakova; daughters, Julie (Daniel) and Rebecca from a previous marriage to Linda; granddaughters Audrey and Hazel; and siblings, Miriam and Tony. A memorial celebration will take place in September.
On July 21, I gave a talk on US-Russia Relations at the Public Library on Shelter Island as part of the Great Decisions series of the Foreign Policy Association. It was a hybrid event in which over 80 participated in person at the library or on Zoom. Prior to the event, I prepared a background reading list which included
- the article "Can Putin Survive: the lessons of the Soviet Collapse", which is in the current issue of Foreign Affairs (July/August 2022)
- the article by Yale Professor of History Timothy Snyder "The War in Ukraine is a Colonial War" which appeared in a recent issue of The New Yorker
- an article which I wrote with three other lawyers who had spent substantial time in Russia and the Soviet Union entitled "The Number One Priority in Setting a New Course in Putin's Russia" which appeared in the National Interest two years ago
- a YouTube video entitled "A Brief History of Ukraine (and why Putin wants to control it).
George and Tamara Brakeley and Peter and Ellen Boer got together for dinner in Manchester. VT, on July 19 when the Boers were in Vermont making their annual pilgrimage to Ellen's family homestead in nearby Danby. The book George is holding is the Boer's latest travel book, entitled "Grand Tourist 3, A Lifetime of Travel."
David H. Gordon
David died in his sleep on July 15, 2022, in Westchester County, NY. Born in Brooklyn, he came to us from Jamaica High School. At Princeton he majored in Chemistry, ate at Court Club, was a member of the University Band, and played tennis and squash. He roomed with Marty Fechner in his senior year.
Following Princeton, David earned his M.D. at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and, after serving in the US Public Health Service during the Vietnam war, embarked on a career in Radiology at Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn, where he worked for almost 30 years and retired as a full Professor in Interventional Radiology and CT and as Acting Chairman. He was proud of having helped to create several new fields of medicine in CAT scanning, Endourology and Interventional Radiology.
He continued working for the next 14 years as a Professor of Radiology at the Jacobi Medical Center, in the Bronx, NY. His lifelong commitment to squash and tennis having been complicated by orthopedic challenges, he was active in table tennis in his later years at the national level.
A New York resident for most of his life, he and his wife retired to Lake Worth, Florida, in 2016. He is survived by Rosalind, his wife of almost 61 years; daughter Padma, sons Eric and Jeffrey, and three grandchildren.
Charles F. Reusch
We lost Charlie on April 8 when he died at home in Chevy Chase, MD. Born in Brooklyn, he came to us from Bellport High School. At Princeton he majored in Chemical Engineering; played trumpet and French horn in the Marching Band, the Concert Band and Triangle, and took his meals at Terrace. His senior year roommates were George Wilson, Bill Michelsen, Bob Sholz and Steve Babcock.
Then followed an impressive academic record – a Master of Science from Michigan, a PhD in Philosophy from Carnegie Mellon, and a JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. His civil service career with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission spanned nearly 50 years. His avocational passion was scouting, and he was deeply involved with the Boy Scouts of America over 70 years as an Eagle Scout, recipient of the Order of the Arrow Honor Society, and adult leader. An avid soccer fan, he attended matches in Spain and South Africa. He was also a committed Tiger, having served as President of the Princeton Club of Washington and being active in class activities, especially as a Reunions “regular.”
He is survived by his wife Judith, sons Peter and Robert, and his brother Victor ‘66.
Peter B. Fisher
Peter B. Fisher, age 84, of Whitehouse, Texas passed away on Sunday, March 6, 2022. Peter was born January 23, 1938.
He came to us from Larchmont, NY and St. Paul's School. Major at Princeton unknown. Member of Quadrangle Club.
Harry M. Tollerton
Harry died on January 26, 2022 in Port Republic, MD. He grew up in Syracuse and came to us from Pulaski Academy. At Princeton he majored in History, was Phi Beta Kappa, was on the Princeton Senate of the Whig-Clio Society, and took his meals at Court.
Harry earned a J.D. at Yale and then went to Washington to work in international science and technology policy with the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) and the National Academy of Sciences. Along the way he served as Director of International Affairs for the American Association of Engineering Societies.
He was a frequent attendee at our reunions and we last saw him and his wife Kathy in person at our 55th. He is survived only by Kathy, whom he married in 1970, to whom the class sends its condolences.
From MacMurray to the Class Secretary:
Charlie Rippin charmed me into the unlikely role of soldier in Class AG solicitations, from which I have enjoyed the unexpected collateral reward of resurrecting (really founding de novo) of relationships with Classmates .
Mo Morris and I have discovered heretofore unknown common interests to our delight (hot rodding Henry Ford's Flathead V-8's, for example —-pre Princeton and still abiding ).
But, more impressive to me has been to see the fruit of his career post Princeton . I have been staggered by his Company's manufacture of process plant tanks and heavy equipment, combining the beauty of buffed stainless steel fabrications rendered in arch utilitarian.and exquisitely engineered components, some just barely able to be moved on a 20 Wheeler. And he is still in the saddle.
Perhaps as impressive have been unknown cross connects. When I showed Mo a water color portrait I am doing of my friend, Philippe Petit ( he walked his wire between the Twin Towers in 1974), Mo told me of the awesome achievement of his company having manufactured and put in place all the HVAC equipment in those Towers.
The securing of the contract, the marshaling of plans and time schedules, the logistics of manufacture and installation in fast track construction and timely execution to critical standards is exhausting to think about. Particularly for such as I, whose greatest strain amounted to putting thought to paper, sitting down.
"We sold and ran the contract for all the HVAC equipment—in the pic you can see two equipment floors (there were four)—hundreds of fans and coils. What an experience—had to go up and down the entire two towers on creaky wooden elevators on the outside of the building because the real elevators and most of the outside walls did not exist. Total energy consumption more than the entire city of Syracuse, NY.
Alexander J. Williamson
Alexander Mansfield Williamson, known by family and friends as “Sandy” also known to many as “The Man with the Hat” age 82, of Roswell, Georgia passed away peacefully on January 17, 2022.
Sandy, son of Leonor Mansfield and Archie Williamson, was born on May 10, 1939 in Portland, Oregon. During his early years, his father's line of work took the family both across the country and abroad. Several places during his childhood Sandy called home: Tucson, Arizona; Washington DC; and Godalming, England. In 1949, the Williamson family moved permanently to the leafy suburbs of Greenwich, Connecticut.
Professionally, Sandy was a “Jack of all trades”. At Princeton University, he played soccer, joined the Air Force ROTC, and ate at the Woodrow Wilson Society. After his graduation, Sandy went on to become a hard-working geophysicist, a capable import/export agent, a talented architect, a passionate high school teacher, and an excellent community college instructor. But throughout his life, Sandy's most important and cherished job was fatherhood. And after the passage of time, Sandy was also fortunate enough to take on the role of loving grandfather as well.
Sandy is survived by his devoted wife of 57 years, Roberta Williamson and their sons Stephen Williamson (Erin) of Maine, Derek Williamson (Darla) of Alabama, daughter Wendy Williamson of Washington, DC, and Sandy and Roberta's three grandchildren up in Maine (Trent, Elana, and Connery).
Perhaps having grown up in post-war England, Sandy developed a great love of “far off things and battles long ago”. From the ancient Romans to the modern Russia of today and everything in between, Sandy left his mind free and open to receive all the gray and vivid impressions of the world's many civilizations. He was a voracious reader who gobbled up the world like a wide-eyed boy devouring a stack of cookies neatly placed before him on a plate.
And like that wide-eyed boy, Sandy had a great appreciation for the chocolate chip cookie no matter its origin (store bought, fresh from the oven, or pinched from the freezer). His Union Jack roots always prevailed in regards to the cookie; a habit he never broke as Sandy faithfully celebrated Elevenses and tea at 4PM.
As technology developed, Sandy became a web searcher and watcher of films online. It would not be uncommon for him to spend hours watching historic news reels and documentaries on YouTube.
He was most comfortable in (and loved wearing) his flannel as well as his Reyn Spooner Hawaiian print shirts, but to those who travelled in his circle he was best known and recognized for being The Man with the Hat.
There will be a memorial service for Sandy at The Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, 1795 Johnson Ferry Rd in Marietta, Georgia at 11am on February 25, 2022.
In lieu of flowers and for those who wish to make a donation in Sandy’s name, please consider North Fulton Community Charities (“NFCC”) where he was a volunteer in the food pantry for over 10 years.
Jay died on February 17, 2022. Born in Trenton, he came to us from the Hun School. At Princeton he majored in Oriental Studies, was president of the Princeton Russian Club, and was a member of the Chinese Calligraphy Club, the Outing Club and the Savoyards. He took his meals at Court.
After completing his undergraduate degree (he was one of the first Chinese studies majors), Jay received a Fulbright fellowship to Taiwan before completing his PhD in Chinese intellectual history from Stanford. He also received National Defense Foreign Language, Carnegie and Republic of China fellowships as well as the Chiang Ching-Kuo Fellowship and a Pacific Cultural Foundation Research Grant. He went on to teach as Professor of Chinese Studies at the California Colleges Program in Taipei and Associate Professor of Chinese at National Taiwan University, where he taught research methods in Chinese studies at the graduate level. He also taught at World Campus Afloat and served as Director of the Chinese Language Program at the University of Denver, where he was one of the founders of the China Humanities Program. Jay also worked for the State Department for a number of years as a consultant and escort interpreter.
Jay is survived by his wife Lina, a daughter, Felicia Yao, and two sons, Colin Sailey and Mark Sailey.
Richard C. Riggs
Richard Cromwell Riggs Jr., the former owner of the Barton Cotton printing firm who led the restoration of the Maryland Club after its 1995 fire, died of Parkinson’s disease complications March 23, 2022 at his Poplar Hill home. He was days short of his 83rd birthday.Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Richard C. Riggs Sr., who bred Hereford cattle, and his wife, Eleanor Allen Reifsnyder, a world traveler.
He attended the Calvert School and was a 1957 graduate of Gilman School. He earned an economics degree with honors from Princeton University, where he ate at Charter Club. His senior roommates were Kellogg, Robertson, Thomas and Torell. He earned a master’s degree in business from Harvard University.
Mr. Riggs then was a research assistant in corporate finance at Harvard Business School and from 1966 to 1973 worked privately with business partners in venture capital.
He met his future wife, Sheila Benhan Kayser, at a Christmas party in Boston. They married in 1970.
In 1973 Mr. Riggs acquired a financially troubled printing business, Barton Cotton Inc. He expanded its scope and moved it into the direct mail and fundraising fields. Mr. Riggs later sold Barton Cotton to American Capital Strategies.
Dr. James Gieske said, “I met him in kindergarten and Dick was private and dignified then and he never changed. He was skilled at hiding his intelligence. He was an understated person and a great listener. He did a lot of charitable work in Baltimore under the radar for causes that promoted the disadvantaged in the city.” The Maryland Club, a Mount Vernon neighborhood landmark at Charles and Eager streets, erupted in flames on a Saturday night in Aug., 1995. Mr. Riggs was its president. Reached by phone while vacationing with his family in Colorado, he flew home and initiated plans for the restoration of the structure. He convened a meeting of the club membership at Gilman School days later and vowed the club would survive. He assured them it was fully insured.
Mr. Riggs was a member of the vestry and treasurer of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. He served on the boards of the Baltimore Economic Development Corporation, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Waverly Press and Ducks Unlimited. He was a past chair of Baltimore’s Off-Street Parking Commission. In addition to the Maryland Club, he belonged to the Elkridge Club, Bachelors Cotillon, the Jupiter Island Club and the Nantucket Yacht Club.
Mr. Riggs spent his free time wing shooting, fishing and sailing. He was an ardent traveler and enjoyed sampling the foods of the places he visited.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease many years ago and had to give up skiing and his other sports. He enjoyed reading and most recently finished a book about the mathematician Euclid. “Although he spoke very little about his own struggle with Parkinson’s, he was often asked to speak with a person facing a new diagnosis, and to share thoughts about what had helped him,” said his wife.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. April 22 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 232 St. Thomas Lane, in Owings Mills.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 52 years, Sheila Benhan Kayser, former board chair of the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center; a daughter, Charlotte Cromwell Riggs Schaffel of New York City; a son, George Benham Riggs of Baltimore; two sisters, Mary Cromwell Riggs Wolfe of Baltimore and Jane Carew Riggs Garcia-Mansilla of Long Island and New York.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 40007, New York, NY 10163 or to Thread (please notate “in Memory of Richard Riggs”) c/o Sarah Hemminger, P.O. Box 1584, Baltimore, MD 21203.
James H. Buxton
James Haley Buxton loved ideas and was a delightful conversationalist. He was an educator, former chairman of Philosophy at ODU and Computer Sciences instructor at TCC. He had a passion for books and math, and had been a runner, a drummer, an amateur magician and golfer. He fought against mysticism, superstition and exclusion; though he didn't believe in a next world, he truly loved this one.
Haley seemed in great health and good spirits yet passed unexpectedly in his sleep on Monday, September 16, 2019 at age 79. His wife Suzanne passed on four years ago. He leaves behind sisters Pat and Kate, his son Brenton of Austin, Texas, a daughter-in-law, and wonderful grandchildren who will all miss him dearly.
At Princeton, he was in the Band, but no other information is available.
Nick Newens '61 and Tim Newens '64
Enjoying 18 holes of golf in Palm Desert, CA last month
Younger brother beat older brother significantly!
For an interesting report on a San Francisco alumni meeting that Jim Diaz sent to secretary Brakeley, click here.
Quentin P. Almstedt
Rev. Quentin Preston Almstedt, known to most as "Casey," loving husband and father of two children, died Sunday, November 15, 2020 in Weldon Springs, MO at the age of 81. Casey was born on June 11, 1939 to Theodore and Evelyn Almstedt in Kirkwood, MO, and married LaVerne Ann Auler on December 29, 1962 in Skokie, IL. They were blessed with two sons, Timothy and Jonathan.
He was with us only freshman year, and then graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, IL in 1961. In 1963 he received his Masters of Arts degree in Mathematics from Northwestern University. Casey taught in Lutheran elementary and high schools for four years before answering his calling to enter the ministry. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary (LCMS) in Springfield, IL in 1969. During his career he served four congregations throughout the Midwest: First Lutheran Church, Lufkin, TX (1969-1971), St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Liberty, MO (1971-1975), Trinity Lutheran Church, Burr Ridge, IL (1975-1987), and St. Peter Lutheran Church, St. Joseph, MO (1990-1997).
He retired to St. Charles, MO in 1997, where he continued preaching and conducting Bible classes at area Lutheran churches, as well as actively teaching children through the Oasis Tutoring Program with LaVerne. Upon her passing he moved into the Lutheran Senior Services Care Center at Breeze Park, regularly attended church services and Bible classes, and lead classes on occasion.
He loved to tell the story behind his nickname (from the poem "Casey at the Bat") to anyone willing to listen, always adding emphasis to the last line with a chuckle: "But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey HAS STRUCK OUT."
He is preceded in death by his parents and wife, and survived by his two sons: Timothy (Karen) Almstedt and their daughter, Leah, and Jonathan (Rachel) Almstedt and their children, Janessa and Julia.
Memorials may be made to the Memory Care Assisted Living program at Lutheran Senior Services, or the music program at Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. Charles, MO.
So far so good down here [Naples, FL], despite Omicron.
Here's a pre-Christmas shot of me and my daughter's family after a sightseeing ride around Marco Island. Me, James, Doug and Claire Adams.
From: David Marshall to Class Secretary:
George, while reading the current issue of the PAW, I hatched a plan to write you as I've done so only once since 1961. I have lived a multitude of lives since then and I'm moved to write them down.
One week after my Princeton graduation I married Lucy Smith, who I had been courting for three years. Over the next two decades she gave me four terrific children. I am eternally grateful to her for that huge undertaking
After Princeton, where I studied geology, I earned a master's degree in mineral economics at Penn state. That turned out to be a most important part of my education as most of my career progression counted on my economics learning more than my geology. After Penn State I joined Alcoa where I thought my geology would contribute to their need for new and economic sources of bauxite. Not to be…. I was promoted out of their training program into a position as financial analyst in corporate planning.
That was a wonderful learning period for me, and after three years there I moved from Pittsburgh to New York with Freeport Sulphur Company, which was just then growing into Freeport Minerals Company. Again I was in economic analysis and planning. No geology. I remained with Freeport from 1965 until 1982. It was a grand first major career, they sent me to Australia in 1968 for 4 plus years as president of Freeport of Australia. That was a mineral exploration arm of Freeport and finally my geology got involved.
I left Freeport in 1982 when it was acquired by a fancy Texas oil man whose ideas did not mesh with mine. I quickly found myself at the Pittston company which I thought of as a coal company, but which also owned Brinks Inc and Burlington Northern air freight company. By 1985 I had spent 2 years as chairman of Brinks and been relocated to Irvine California to be CEO of the air freight company. I also carried the tag as CFO of Pittston. I stayed in the air freight biz until 1997 when I moved back east to serve as Pittston's vice chairman.
So in that 25 year period from 1982 to 1997 I learned three very different businesses. 3 challenging careers. When I retired for real in 1998, I started a fourth career selling flooring at Home Depot, and after that driving for Uber. Only after Uber did I start my current career as a professional caregiver at Home Instead Senior Care. I'm still there but now at 82 I'm down to 4 days a week.
Back in 1999 I married Lynette laLond and took on her 4 and 8 year old sons, that has kept me young. We moved to Sparks Nevada in 2006 and there we opened a Pilates studio which I managed while she taught. Timing is everything and the studio did not survive the Great Recession of 2009-10. That allowed me to put all my energy into caregiving. We are still in Nevada and love it.
My 4 kids have produced my 12 grandkids and they are so wonderful, but all live on or near the East coast.
That was a long hello, thank you.
Thank you to Jim Adams for pointing out that our classmate Steven E. Rhoads had his latest book mentioned in the Princeton Bookshelf section of the December 2021 PAW (p. 8 & p. 12). It is entitled "The Economist's View of the World And the Quest for Well-Being". It is currently available on Amazon and other book sellers. One note liner (from Alan Blinder ’67) says, “The first edition…...became a classic. Rhoads has packed this edition with new insights, up-to-date examples and delicious nuggets of all sorts.”
Cookie Krongard stopped by the Turnbull’s home in Pawleys Island, South Carolina on his drive down to his Florida home. Luck with the weather allowed a couple of nice days fishing together for Ben and Cookie, who landed a very nice oversized redfish from the local creeks aboard Ben’s boat, Kabul Express, Jr.
All of us enjoyed reminiscing and catching up on family and friends.
A major gift from alumni will provide the Princeton Bioengineering Initiative funding to pursue some of the biggest questions and opportunities emerging at the intersection of biology and engineering.
The Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D, '61 and [Gil's wife] Martha A. Darling *70 Fund for Grand Challenges in Bioengineering will allow the recently created initiative to move rapidly on several fronts, including hiring post-doctoral investigators, seeding research, and starting a series of lectures on technical and societal frontiers of bioengineering.
"Research and innovation in bioengineering are going to yield incredible, transformative impacts over the next decades," said Clifford Brangwynne, the June K. Wu '92 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. "This gift from Martha and Gil comes at a key moment for Princeton Bioengineering, and will give us resources and flexibility to expand the scope of our growing program, to create new understanding and improve health for people and the environment, and to understand the broader societal implications."
Among the big questions that researchers will pursue are the genetic and cellular origins of disease and how to harness and manipulate cells to improve health. Scientists and engineers will also investigate how to use bioengineering to mitigate the world's environmental challenges. Brangwynne said that across these areas, further challenges are to maximize university-industry collaborations to speed innovation and to examine policy and ethical implications that arise from the work.
Click here for the full article.