Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 2
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
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William P. Zeller

Percy H. Wood

Oleg Grabar

Leonard J. Hackenberg

Leland Lyon Moyer

Memorial Service for Edith M. Martin

William P. Zeller

William “Bill” Paul Zeller died January 5 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born on October 23, 1983 to George and Anna Zeller of Middletown, Conn., he was a 2002 graduate of Middletown High School. In 2006 he graduated from Trinity College and was a fifth year computer science doctoral student at Princeton University where he worked with his esteemed advisor, Dr. Edward Felton, and with his loyal team of co-workers. He was involved in summer internships at Yahoo in Calif. and Google in New York City.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his brother John, his grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. William Zeller, three uncles, and four aunts .There will be a private family burial in Shippensburg, Pa., the ancestral home of the Zeller family. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 15 at 2 p.m. in the Garden Room of Prospect House at Princeton University.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to William Zeller ’08 Memorial Fund, Princeton University, Alumni & Donor Records, P.O. Box 5357, Princeton, N.J. 08540. Gifts should be made payable to the Trustees of Princeton University, with William Zeller ’08 noted in the memo line.

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

Percy H. Wood

Percy H. Wood

Dr. Percy Hoxie Wood Jr., 89, died January 5 at the Vermont Veterans Home.

Born in Memphis, Tenn. on June 20, 1921, he was the third child of Amelia Russell Wood and Dr. Percy Hoxie Wood.

Educated at the McCallie Military Academy in Chattanooga Tenn., the University of Virginia, and the University of the South, he was a member of Admiral Halsey’s staff on the U.S.S. Missouri in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

In 1944, he married Nancy Tate, the daughter of the novelist Caroline Gordon and poet Allen Tate. After the war he went to medical school at the University of Tennessee, completed his internship at the Bethesda Naval Hospital and his psychiatric residency at the University of Pennsylvania. His mother suffered from bipolar disorder, which he identified as his inspiration for becoming a psychiatrist.

He spent his career as the Clinical Director of the Carrier Clinic, a private psychiatric hospital in Belle Mead, N.J. As the clinical director, he sparked a resurgence and transformation of the hospital, turning it into a teaching center, which attracted many renowned and dedicated doctors. He and Nancy raised their four children in Princeton, then moved to San Cristobal de Las Cases, Chiapas, Mexico, in 1979.

For 25 years he and Nancy hosted dozens of world travelers in their guesthouse in San Cristobal. They took their friends and guests on horseback into the mountains to see the flora and fauna of the Mayan highlands and to visit Mayan villages. They entertained anthropologists, poets, students, and multitudes of wanderers in their colonial house in San Cristobal.

A lover of life, he engaged in it with extraordinary vigor and joy. He boxed in college, was a poet, passionate gardener and tree-lover, healer, tennis player, downhill skier, and at age 70 learned to jump on his black stallion, Zar. He was also a great dancer and loved music and parties. His mercurial charm and almost psychic ability to see deep into the hearts and souls of his patients, family, and friends, endeared him to all different kinds of people. He had a wicked and bawdy sense of humor and loved to play tricks.

In 2007 he moved to Bennington, Vt. to live with his daughter, shortly after his wife died. In the brief period before the symptoms of the rare neurological disease Progressive Supranuclear Palsy appeared and destroyed his ability to speak, walk, or move, he walked four miles a day around Old Bennington, making friends in the neighborhood and in the community. At 86, he was more irreverent, dashing, curious, charming, and on the ball than most people half his age.

In his final years in Vermont, it was astonishing to observe his graceful transition from man of constant action into a person unable to walk, move, or communicate. He accepted everything that came and never expressed one moment of self-pity or regret.

He is survived by his four children, Percy Hoxie Wood III, Allen Tate Wood, Caroline Wood Fallon, and Amelia Wood Silver; seven grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

At his request, no services will be held.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Amnesty International or the Natural Resources Defense Council through the office of Mahar & Son funeral home, 628 Main Street, Bennington, Vt. 05201.

Oleg Grabar

Oleg Grabar

Oleg Grabar, 81, of Princeton, died January 8 at his home.

Born in Strasbourg in 1929, he studied at the University of Paris, Harvard University (A.B. 1950), and Princeton University (Ph.D. 1955) and he became a U.S. citizen in 1960.

A distinguished scholar of Islamic art and architecture, he was a professor at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton from 1990 to 1998. He was also a professor at Harvard University from 1969 to 1990, and at the University of Michigan from 1954 to 1969.

He was a prolific and inexhaustible scholar, teacher, and author. He wrote more than 30 books in English and French, which have been translated into many languages, and more than 100 articles. The Formation of Islamic Art, first published in 1978, and the two-volume Pelican history of Islamic art and architecture are standards in the field, as are his monographs on the Dome of the Rock, the Alhambra, and the Great Mosque of Isfahan.

He was a mentor to several generations of scholars of Islamic art, an organizer of colloquia, scholarly organizations, journals, and prizes, and the recipient of numerous honors. Most recently in November 2010, his life’s work was recognized by the Chairman’s Award from the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

His days were animated by a spirit of curiosity, energy, and wonder, and by his gifts of enthusiasm and generosity towards his students, colleagues, friends and family.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Terry; his son, Nicolas; and three grandchildren. He will also be remembered by his family in France, his many friends in Princeton, Cambridge, and elsewhere, and an immense circle of colleagues, students, correspondents, and readers throughout the world.

A funeral service was held at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, on Tuesday, January 11. Burial followed at Trinity — All Saints’ Cemetery, Princeton.

Arrangements are by Kimble Funeral Home, Princeton.

Leonard J. Hackenberg

Leonard Joseph Hackenberg, 84, died January 6 at his home at Windrows in Princeton.

The youngest of five children, he was born on March 6, 1926 in Wheeling, W.Va. to Frank and Katharine Hackenberg. After graduating from Wheeling Central Catholic High School, he enrolled at the University of Virginia and left to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Following his service in the Navy, he attended the University of Cincinnati where he met his future wife, Sally Halpert of New York City. They were married on October 4, 1947 and subsequently moved to New York City. He obtained a degree in Industrial Engineering from NYU in 1951.

Known to everyone as “Hack,” he spent his entire professional career with IBM. Following stints in Poughkeepsie and Binghamton, N.Y., he and his wife settled in Princeton where they raised their family. As an engineer and planner with IBM, he was responsible for scouting and establishing new plant sites including those in Dayton, N.J., Boulder, Colo., and San Jose, Calif. among others. He retired from IBM in 1988 and traveled abroad extensively.

He was known as an athlete and a fierce competitor whether playing poker, tennis, squash, or golf with his friends at the Springdale Golf Course.

Predeceased by his wife of over 50 years, Sally; he is survived by his daughters, Valerie Hackenberg, Marjy Ersbak, Marion Hughes, Dr. Virginia Hackenberg, and Ann Ross; and six grandchildren.

A memorial mass will be held at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton, on Saturday, January 15 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to the Princeton Public Library Foundation, Sands Library Building, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, N.J. 08542.

To extend condolences or share memories in the guest book, please visit

Leland Lyon Moyer

Leland Lyon Moyer, 69, died January 6.

Born and raised in Wilmington, Del., he was the son of Margaret Lyon Moyer and Gilbert Bishop Moyer. He attended Wilmington Friends School and The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., graduating in 1959. He then attended Trinity College, graduating in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

After graduating, he joined the Marine Corps and served his country until 1965. Afterward, he worked at Dupont, Burlington Industries, J.P. Stevens, and Atari while attending classes at New York University to earn his MBA. He was involved in several business partnerships, including the cofounding of Specially Adaptive Products, a company that handled uniquely designed apparel for individuals suffering from diabetes. In 2005 he became the vice chairman of the Connecticut based marketing and PR firm, Penn Gardner Inc.

An avid golfer, he played on the college circuit and continued playing throughout his life. Growing up in Wilmington, Del., he was exposed to the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies, and remained a passionate fan of the teams until his passing. His true passion, however, was his work and the projects and clients to which he was dedicated.

He is survived by his business partner, Penelope Forman; his sister, Peggy Bennett; his former wife, Nina Vosters Moyer and their three sons, Leland Lyon Moyer, Jr., Michael Vosters Moyer, and James Dawson Moyer; and one grandchild.

A celebration of his life will be held on January 13 at the Ridgebury Congregational Church at 1 p.m.

Contributions may be made in his honor to Ann’s Place, located at 39 Old Ridgebury Road, Ridgefield, Conn. 06810.

Memorial Service for Edith M. Martin

A memorial service for Edith M. Martin, who died on December 26, will be held at the Princeton University Chapel on Saturday, January 15, at 10 a.m.

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