Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 16
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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John H. Marks

Elizabeth B. Carter

Frank A. Tylus

Eunice B. Kelting

Clotilde F. Bruno

Jean M. Vandermark

Jane S. Detwilers

John H. Marks

John H. Marks, Professor Emeritus in Princeton University’s Near Eastern Studies Department, died peacefully in his home in Princeton, New Jersey on April 15, 2009. He was 85 years old.

The son of Ira and Clara Dralle Marks, Professor Marks was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. During the Second World War he served in Europe as a Chaplain’s Assistant, a position to which he was appointed because he answered affirmatively when his platoon was asked whether anyone could play the organ. When the war ended, he returned to Denver, where he completed his studies at the University of Denver, receiving a B.A. in Classics in 1946. Following his graduation he matriculated at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he would meet his future wife, Aminta Willis. After graduating in 1949 with a BD, he moved to Switzerland to study Theology under Karl Barth at the University of Basel. He returned briefly to Horseheads, New York during July of 1951 to marry Aminta, who then joined him in Basel for two years as he completed a Th.D. in Old Testament.

Following their return to the United States and his subsequent ordination, Professor Marks intended to pursue a life as a minister and theologian. While he did teach homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary for a year, his plans changed dramatically when Princeton University invited him to teach ancient history in what was then the Oriental Studies department. Though initially ambivalent, he accepted the invitation and continued teaching there happily for the next 40 years. His early course offerings at the university included Akkadian, biblical Hebrew, and Ugaritic. He later gave up the ancient languages to concentrate on Syriac language and literature, but was perhaps best known for his two survey courses: the Stone Age to Alexander, and Alexander to Muhammad. In his own words, his “interests and publications [were] … religiously directed … What we mean or intend when we say ‘God’ and the historical development of our perceptions of and appeal to ‘divinity’.” Scrupulously reasonable and instinctively sensitive to the needs of others, he lived what he taught.

In 1959, and again in 1966, he spent sabbaticals at the American School of Oriental Research in what was then Jordanian Jerusalem, serving during the second trip as director for nearly a year before fleeing with his family to Amman at the outbreak of the six day war. He later served as President of the American Center for Oriental Research, a sister organization based in Amman, Jordan (1969-1979), and as a trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1971-1986).

Following the retirement of Dean Ernest Gordon in 1980, Professor Marks served as Acting Dean of the Princeton University Chapel while participating as a member of the search committee. He was also active in the Westminster Foundation, which supports the work of the Presbyterian Church at Princeton University.

His publications include Der Textkritische Wert des Psalterium Hieronymi Iuxta Hebraeos (1956), A Beginner’s Handbook to Biblical Hebrew (with V. M. Rogers; 1958), Genesis in The Interpreter’s One Volume Commentary on the Bible (1971), and Visions of One World: Legacy of Alexander (1985). His chief focus, however, was his teaching — and his graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom remained life long friends.

Professor Marks served only briefly as a pastor, but his two summers as Minister of the Grindstone Methodist Church introduced him to a community in the Thousand Islands that he would serve for nearly 40 years as church organist. His belief in community service was manifested in Princeton by a commitment to the public school system, which he served as President of the school board, and a three year stint as a member of the Planning and Zoning Board. At Princeton University, he served for two years as Director of the Program in Near Eastern Studies, and for three years as department Chairman. Following his 1993 retirement, he took great pleasure in the Old Guard — whose weekly meetings he introduced by sounding his “note” and leading the members in the singing of the fourth verse of “America”. Professor Marks’ spheres of influence were broad, and his care for the world and its people was full of love.

He is survived and will be greatly missed by: Aminta, his wife of nearly 58 years; his son Peter; his daughter Fleur Rueckert, her husband William and their children Cleveland, Elizabeth, and Julia; and his son John (“Pom”), his wife Belle and their children Phoebe, Anna, and Eliza. He was predeceased by his sister, Miriam Dalton.

A memorial service will be held at the Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, N.J. on Friday, April 24 at 11:00 A.M. The service will be followed by a reception. All are welcome.

Contributions may be made to the Princeton Theological Seminary or the Westminster Foundation.

Elizabeth B. Carter

Elizabeth Baker (Betsy) Carter, 70, of Eastham, Mass., formerly of Princeton, died April 5 at home. The cause was congestive heart failure.

Mrs. Carter was the daughter of Carlos Baker, the Hemingway scholar and official Hemingway biographer who served for many years as the Woodrow Wilson Professor of English at Princeton University. When Prof. Baker died leaving an unfinished manuscript on Ralph Waldo Emerson and the transcendentalists, his daughter completed the manuscript and arranged for its publication as Emerson Among the Eccentrics: A Group Portrait in 1996.

Mrs. Carter was born in Princeton in 1939. After attending Miss Fine’s School, now part of Princeton Day School, she met her husband, Paul, at Oxford University while her father was lecturing at New College on a Fulbright grant. She subsequently attended Wellesley College and graduated from the University of Minnesota with honors in Greek. She later received an MA in art history from Columbia University.

She taught at the College of Mount St. Vincent, worked for the American Numismatic Society, spent many years as a free-lance editor, and tutored in the Adult Literacy Program.

She is survived by her husband, Paul D. Carter of Ridgewood, N.J.; her children Michael of Paris, France, Catherine of New York City, and Stephen of Middletown, Calif.; a brother, Brian Baker of Marietta, Ga.; a sister, Diane Wagner of Mendham, N.J.; and three grandchildren.

The funeral services were private. A memorial service in New York City will be announced at a later time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the James H. Beck Memorial Fund, Department of Art History, Columbia University; or to International House, 500 Riverside Drive, New York City.

Frank A. Tylus

Frank A. Tylus, 81, of West Windsor, died suddenly April 17 at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore.

Born and raised in Trenton and a 50-year resident of West Windsor, he most recently lived in Carroll Valley, Pa.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Business Administration, Mr. Tylus worked for RCA Laboratories, E. R. Squibb Corporation, and the Siemens Corporation.

Known as “Smokey,” he excelled in track and football for Trenton Catholic High School. He continued to represent Trenton Catholic as a member of the alumni committee for the Class of 1946.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean Conflict. While there he passed up an Olympic invitation for track to remain with the Army in Korea. Deeply patriotic, he served in numerous capacities with American Legion Post 76, the Korean War Veterans Association, and the Spirit of Princeton Memorial Day Parade Committee.

He was a lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at St. Paul’s Church, and a lector at St. Mary Church in Fairfield, Pa. and the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Emmitsburg, Md. He was a Fourth Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus in Mercer County and in Fairfield. He attended daily Mass at St. Mary’s where he was a member of the pastoral council, men’s club, and Landings.

Early in his life he was an actor in New York City. He was also an avid gardener, civil war aficionado, and supporter of numerous youth sports and arts organizations. He most enjoyed his service as a volunteer to senior citizen organizations as a tax preparer.

He was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Catherine Diaforli Tylus; his parents, George and Agnes Tylus; brothers George and Joseph; and sisters Alice Kelly, Agnes Tylus, and Stella Dunlap. He is survived by his children, F. Kevin of Skillman, Karen E. Graff of Carroll Valley, Pa., and Jennifer Metzger of Hamilton; a brother, Stanley J. Tylus of Trenton; six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. He is also survived by his fiancée, Mary Ann Yanus of Carroll Valley, Pa.; her children Mark, Margaret Lechowicz, Donna Marie Cecil, and Thomas; and her grandchildren.

Friends and relatives may call from 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, April 23 at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Friday at St. Paul’s Church, followed by interment at Princeton Cemetery. A memorial Mass is also scheduled for St. Mary Church, Fairfield, Pa. on April 29 at 6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Francis School of Nursing Catherine D. Tylus Memorial Scholarship Fund, St. Francis School of Nursing, 601 Hamilton Avenue, Trenton 08629, Attn: Bonnie Ross; or to St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542; or to Divine Mercy Church, 201 Adeline Street, Trenton 08611; or to the Felician Sisters of Lodi, 260 South Main Street, Lodi, N.J. 07644.

Eunice B. Kelting

Eunice B. Kelting, 91, of Princeton, died March 28 at Buckingham Place.

Born in Ivoryton, Conn., she resided in Centerbrook, Conn. and Port Saint Lucie, Fla. before moving to Princeton in 2003.

Daughter of the late Henry and Julia Post Bump, she is survived by her husband of 70 years, Richard A. Kelting; two sons, Dick H. Kelting and Donald L. Kelting; a daughter, Harriet Anzek; two sisters, Rachel Coleman and Julia Maynard; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

The funeral service was private.

Arrangements were by the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Clotilde F. Bruno

Clotilde Francesca Pompeia Rosaria Bruno, 60, of West Windsor, died April 14.

Born in Rovito, Italy, as an American citizen, she came to the U.S. on the USS Constitution when she was 3 years old. She retired in 2004 with over 28 years of service as a teacher with West Windsor-Plainsboro High School.

Daughter of the late Philip Bruno, she is survived by two daughters, Alexis Z. Vassilious and Victoria A. Vassilious; her mother, Anna Reale Bruno; two sisters, Tina Dressner and Phyllis Hatala; and a grandson.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated April 20 at St. David the King Church, Princeton Junction. Burial followed at Princeton Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to AFTD, 1616 Walnut Street, Suite 100, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103; or at

Jean M. Vandermark

Jean McKee Vandermark, 61, of Hamilton, formerly of Princeton, died April 10 in St. Francis Hospital, Trenton.

Born in Teaneck, she lived most of her life in the Princeton/East Windsor area before moving to Hamilton three years ago. She was an administrative assistant in the Peddie School Athletic Department for the past 14 years.

She is survived by her husband, William Vandermark; her mother, Margaret McKee; two daughters, Anne Kahwaty and Susan Heil; a son, Robert Vandermark; two brothers, Robert and Richard McKee; a sister, Lois McKee Cormack; and two grandchildren.

Her family will have a small private ceremony.

Memorial donations may be sent to the American Lung Association.

Arrangements are by The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Jane S. Detwiler

Jane S. Detwiler, 81, of Princeton, died March 30 following a short illness.

She was born in Lambertville to John D. and Emma M. Stockton in 1927. She completed secondary school at Lambertville High School and then went on to the New Jersey College for Women, now Douglass College of Rutgers University. She moved to Princeton in 1956 and remained a resident until her death.

Her first love was always history. She was an avid genealogist and a long-serving and well-known docent at Morven and the Princeton Historical Society.

She was predeceased by her husband, W. Sanderson Detwiler, and a stepdaughter, Kelly Wiley. She is survived by a son, Thomas Rowe of Sacramento, Calif.; a stepdaughter, Noël Detwiler of Richmond, Va.; a sister, Elizabeth Murray of Skillman; a brother, John D. Stockton of Asheville, N.C.; and three granddaughters.

The family will hold private services in late May. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. Condolence cards may be mailed to Thomas Rowe, c/o Jane Detwiler, 35F Chicopee Drive, Princeton 08540.

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