Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 18
 
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

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N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

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Weichert, Realtors



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Weather Forecast


Obituaries

Mark S. Nicholson

Shane A. Kinney

John M. Geisel Sr.

Harris M. Findlay Jr.

Harriet H. Eubank

Ann D. Ferrara

Robert B. Gibby

John “Jack” Servis


Mark S. Nicholson

Mark S. Nicholson, 53, died suddenly April 27 at his home in Rocky Hill.

Born in West Union, Iowa, the long-time postal clerk with the U.S. Post Office in Princeton was a resident of Rocky Hill most of his life. He graduated from Montgomery High School and attended Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio.

He enjoyed automobile shows and was active with the Miata Club.

Son of the late Jack O. Nicholson, he is survived by his mother, Nancy K. Nicholson of Rocky Hill; his brother and sister-in-law, Merle and Bonnie Nicholson of Florida; and his two nephews Ryan and Christopher Nicholson.Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 1 at the First Reformed Church of Rocky Hill. Interment will follow in the Kingston Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of service.

Contributions in his memory may be made to either the First Reformed Church of Rocky Hill, P.O. Box L , Rocky Hill, NJ 08553, or to the Rocky Hill Fire Dept., P.O. Box 327, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553.

Arrangements were under direction of The Kimble Funeral Home.

Shane A. Kinney

Shane Austin Kinney, 32, of Princeton, died suddenly and tragically April 24 in Princeton.

Born in Rochester, N.Y., he moved to Princeton with his family when he was six. He attended Community Park School and John Witherspoon Middle School, then graduated from Princeton High School in 1993. At PHS he was active in high school sports, excelling in ice hockey and football. After high school he went on to follow his hobby and love of music by earning a degree from the New York Institute of Audio Research. While a student there he took an internship with a world renowned bass guitar maker. He went on to receive a B.A. in communication from Northeastern University.

During the events of 9/11 he was an editor and amateur photographer who sat documenting people coming across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan. That experience may have led Mr. Kinney to make a life career change, as he then started pursuing a nursing career. He was enrolled in the Mercer Community College Nursing program while working in the emergency room at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

His interests varied from the love of music, skate boarding, drawing, and writing poetry to riding his motorcycle. But he will be remembered most for always being there and caring for his friends. He was a gentle man who put his heart and hard work into all he did.

He is survived by his father, James Kinney of Wisconsin; his mother, Tina Clement of Princeton; two brothers, Anawa of Princeton and Devin of Boston; and a family friend, James Firestone of Princeton.

Those wishing to celebrate the life and share the memory of Shane Kinney are asked to join the family on Saturday, May 2 at 2 p.m. at Rosedale Park off Federal City Road, Hopewell.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

———


John M. Geisel Sr.

John M. Geisel Sr.

John M. Geisel Sr., 90, of Pennswood Village, Newtown, Pa., formerly of Princeton, a member of both the USTA Middle States and Mercer County Tennis Halls of Fame, died April 20 peacefully at home, with his wife of 66 years, Frances, at his side.╩The Geisels had lived in Princeton for 38 years until their move to Pennswood Village in 2003.

Mr. Geisel grew up in Harrisburg, Pa., where he was a ranked junior tennis player.╩He graduated from Princeton University in 1940 with a B.A. He spent most of his career with Rohm and Haas Company, joining its Research Division in 1946.╩In 1950 he was appointed personnel director at the company’s Redstone Arsenal Research Laboratories in Huntsville, Ala. In 1953 he returned to Philadelphia where he was ultimately named corporate manager for urban affairs, managing the company’s Social Responsibility Initiative for ten years until his retirement in 1978.

He then began a second career under the name Tennis Activities that involved tennis instruction, refereeing, and tournament directing. Together with his wife he also organized and led tour groups throughout Egypt, Kenya, Russia, and Spain with the intent of promoting international goodwill through tennis tournaments.

The Geisels’ most rewarding endeavor was their volunteer work with the National Junior Tennis League. They coached an inner-city team in Philadelphia for ten years and helped several of their players earn college degrees.╩After retiring to Princeton, the Geisels co-founded the Trenton Chapter of NJTL and continued their work with disadvantaged youth.╩

Mr. Geisel also served on the board of Green Circle in Philadelphia and was an advocate for inclusion in breaking down racial barriers.

A nationally ranked Super Senior tennis player, he was inducted into the Mercer County Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996.╩In 2001 he was similarly honored by the United States Tennis Association, Middle States Chapter.

He was predeceased by his parents, Edyth Mae and Henry Geisel; and three brothers, Cameron, Richard, and William.╩In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John Jr. and Ritchie; four grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, June 13 at 2:30 p.m. at the Princeton University Chapel.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Trenton Chapter of NJTL, P.O. Box 951, Pennington 08534, or online at njtloftrenton.com.

Harris M. Findlay Jr.

Harris M. (Tom) Findlay Jr., 85, died April 27 at the Princeton Medical Center after a short illness.

Born in Richmond, Va., he was the son of Martha Blair and Lt. Colonel Harris M. Findlay.

He attended Davidson College, and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity before entering West Point. After graduation from West Point in 1945, he served with the Infantry in Japan and Korea and with the Arlington Cemetery 3 Infantry Guard before resigning from the Army as a Major. He then became a vice president with the Life Insurance Company of Virginia in Richmond.

He had lived in Princeton since 1981 and was a Friend and long-time volunteer of the Princeton Public Library. He was an avid stamp collector, a master crabber (enjoying summers on Cape Cod), and a genealogist for both sides of his Virginia family.

He is survived by his sister, Jean Findlay Gorman, and many nieces and great-nieces.

Funeral arrangements are by the Kimble Funeral Home. There will be no calling hours. A service will be held at Trinity Church at 10:30 a.m. today, April 30. Burial will be in the Findlay plot in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Va.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Friends of the Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08540.

Harriet H. Eubank

Harriet Hinman Eubank, 80, of Princeton, died April 27.

Born in Newport News, Va., she attended Mary Baldwin College and graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1948 with a B.S. degree in mathematics. While at William and Mary she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.

She came to Princeton in 1959 with her late husband, Dr. Harold P. Eubank, a physicist who worked at the Forrestal Plasma Physics Laboratory.

A licensed real estate broker, she also volunteered at the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic for more than 30 years. She was a member of the Present Day Club.

She is survived by two sons, H. Porter Eubank of New York and Princeton and Charles S. Eubank of Bloomfield, Colo.; a daughter, Elizabeth E. Stern; two granddaughters; and a loving friend and companion of 30 years, Edward Kopp of Princeton.

Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Ann D. Ferrara

Ann D. Pietrinferno Ferrara, 94, of Princeton, died April 24 in Sea Crest Village, Little Egg Harbor. She was born in Princeton to Piagio Pietrinferno and Maria Riovitta Pietrinferno. Her father worked in Moses Taylor Pyne’s greenhouses.

She attended St. Paul’s School and graduated from Princeton High School in 1933. Her mother died in childbirth at Princeton Hospital, and she took over the motherhood of the family of eight other children. She married her high school sweetheart, Basil Ferrara, who helped her raise that family.

Mr. Ferrara later became Princeton’s first postmaster, elected by the postal workers in 1970. Mrs. Ferrara returned to take a degree at Trenton Jr. College as a dental hygienist. She worked for Dr. Pickering for ten years.

She was predeceased by her husband, Basil; an older sister, Elizabeth of Rossmoor; four brothers, Alfred, Frank, William, and James R. Pietrinferno, all from Princeton; and a sister, Jean Procaccino of Lawrenceville. She is survived by a daughter, June Sullivan of Little Egg Harbor; two sisters, Margaret Campbell of Princeton and Mary Alice Karnas of Hightstown; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

The funeral was April 28 at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Paul’s Church. Burial followed in Princeton Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Tuckerton Seaport, P.O. Box 52, Tuckerton, N.J. 08087; or to St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542.

Robert B. Gibby

Robert B. Gibby of Meadow Lakes in Hightstown and Pocono Lake Preserve, Pa. died April 21 at home. He was the grandson of William James Gibby, a two-term mayor of Princeton in the 1880s.

Born in Roselle, N.J., Mr. Gibby was educated at The Pingry School, class of 1931, The Hill School, class of 1932, and Princeton University, class of 1936. At the time of his death he had served two terms as president of his Princeton class, known as “The Pride of Nassau.”

He was in the office furniture business in New York City and worked at Desks, Inc. for 50 years, entering as a salesman and later becoming a co-owner. At the end of 50 years, he was hired by Merck & Co., Inc. as a consultant for the next five years.

Mr. Gibby served in World War II as an aide to Major General Donald C. Cubbison at Ft. Bragg, N.C. and in U.S.F.E.T. Headquarters, Frankfurt, Germany in the Adjutant General’s Division in charge of Top Secret Control and Cable Distribution for all of Europe. He was honorably discharged after 30 months of service as Captain.

As a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church (later Third-Westminster Pres.) in Elizabeth, he served as deacon, elder, and trustee and later was twice elected president of the board of trustees.

He was active in education, serving on the Pingry School board of trustees for 40 years. He was awarded Pingry’s highest honor, The Letter in Life, and elected Pingry’s only Life Trustee. At the time of his 60th reunion at Princeton, Mr. Gibby donated an all-Washington Garden to the Princeton Campus consisting of 19 English Boxwoods grown from hedges planted by Washington in 1798 and 36 varieties of flowers, all from Mt. Vernon. He was later awarded the Alumni Council Award for service to Princeton.

He was also a former president and member of the board of Evergreen Cemetery in Elizabeth, a trustee of The Elizabethtown Historical Foundation, and a member of The Life Guard at Mount Vernon, Va., the home of George Washington.

In 1949, Mr. Gibby began a hobby collecting American historical prints that illustrated events in the life of George Washington. During the ‘60s and ‘70s he lectured and showed the prints to schools, historical societies, and civic organizations, and in the mid ‘70s, the New Jersey Cultural Center of Trenton asked for the prints to be exhibited at the museum in Trenton. The prints traveled for 10 years and in 1984, Mr. Gibby gave the entire collection of 200 prints to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association in Mt. Vernon, Va.

He was predeceased by his wife, Anne Willard Gibby, and four siblings — a brother, Edgar; a sister, Isabel Leeberg, and two half-sisters, Elizabeth Jane Osborne and Barbara Steelman. He is survived by four children, Robert B. Gibby Jr. of Bloomfield, Conn.; Susan Gibby Gillim of Chatham; Alan W. Gibby of Burlington, N.C., and James M. Gibby of Bethesda, Md.; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be private under the direction of the A. S. Cole Funeral Home, Cranbury.

Memorial donations may be sent to Mount Vernon Ladies Association, Box 110, Mt. Vernon, Va. 22121, marked for George Washington Lesson Plan.

John “Jack” Servis

John E. “Jack” Servis, 87, a lifelong resident of Princeton, died April 24 in the Merwick Unit of Princeton University Medical Center.

The only son of John Pittenger Servis and Edith Cooper Servis, he attended Princeton public schools and graduated from Princeton High School with the class of 1938. While at Princeton High, he excelled in football, track and field, and basketball. He was a standout on the 1937 and 1938 basketball teams that won consecutive state championships. After his graduation from Princeton High School, he spent a post-graduate year at Blair Academy in Blairstown, where he made valuable contributions to the swimming, track and field, and basketball teams, and was a starting end on Blair’s undefeated 1939 football team.

Mr. Servis then matriculated at Cornell University where his education was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. He enlisted in the United States Coast Guard on December 8, 1941, his 21st birthday. For the first part of the war, he served as a swimming instructor at the Hotel Sutton in New York City, where he taught hundreds of enlisted men swimming and water survival techniques. During the second half of the war, aboard the U.S.S. Joyce, he served in both the European and Pacific theaters of the war.

An avid and talented magician, he performed magic shows both during and after the war.

He returned to Cornell as a veteran and distinguished himself as president of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and as captain of Cornell’s track team in 1949. He broke Cornell’s record in the 35 pound weight throw in the 1948-49 season.

Following his graduation from Cornell in 1950, he married Lucinda P. Servis, a 1949 graduate of Cornell who was, like Jack, also a graduate of Cornell’s College of Hotel Administration. After their wedding in Elmira, N.Y. they moved to Princeton where Mr. Servis began working for Servis Electric, a business his father had founded in the early 1920s. He took over the ownership of the company upon his father’s retirement in 1967. Under his leadership Jack Servis Electric did installation and repair work for the Borough and Township of Princeton, Princeton Regional Schools, Princeton University, Princeton University Store, and many other private businesses and residential customers.

Mr. Servis was active in the life of Second Presbyterian Church (St. Andrew’s) in Princeton, serving on the board of elders when the church voted to merge with First Presbyterian Church to become Nassau Presbyterian Church. He was also active in the Cornell Club of Princeton, organizing picnics and other alumni social events. From 1975 to 2003, he volunteered as a coach of the weight events for Lawrenceville School’s track and field team. He coached numerous Mercer County and State prep champions and four school record holders.

A lifelong summer resident of Ocean Gate, N.J., he delighted in the many activities that a life at the shore offered. He enjoyed boating, fishing, clamming, crabbing, swimming, sailing, and waterskiing, and sharing these experiences with friends and family.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Lucinda; and a son, John P. Servis of Allentown, Pa.

The funeral service was yesterday, April 29 at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery, Hamilton.

Memorial contributions may be made to Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 529, Princeton 08542.

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