Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 31
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors

Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast


Michael Mahoney

Marion M. Sinuk

Ramona B. Alegria

Thomas Phox

Jean Gaston Woodward

Michael Mahoney

Michael Mahoney

Michael Mahoney, who earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University and then dedicated his 40-year academic career in the history of science to the University, died Wednesday, July 23, at the University Medical Center at Princeton. The 69-year-old professor of history did not recover from cardiac arrest suffered Friday, July 18, during his regular swim at Dillon Pool on campus.

“His was a vigorous personality, and he was a superb teacher both of undergraduate and graduate students as well as a brilliant interlocutor in scholarly, or indeed other, discussions,” said Charles Gillispie, the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History Emeritus, with whom Mahoney studied as a graduate student.

A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, he came to Princeton in 1962 after studying for two years at the University of Munich as a German Foreign Exchange Service Fellow. While working on his doctorate in history and in history of science at Princeton, he served as an instructor and was appointed an assistant professor upon the completion of his degree in 1967.

He divided his research and teaching between the development of the mathematical sciences from antiquity to 1700 and the recent history of computing and information technology. He was the author of The Mathematical Career of Pierre de Fermat, 1601-1665; a series of monographs on the mathematics of René Descartes, Isaac Barrow, Christiaan Huygens and Isaac Newton; and dozens of articles on the development of computer science and software engineering as new technical disciplines.

For several years, he served as director of the Program in History of Science and the Program in Science in Human Affairs. He was a member of the former at the time of his death.

In an interview on the history department website, he explained his fascination with the human side of the technological revolution. For example, he cited software glitches with the baggage-handling system that caused the 16-month delay in opening the new Denver airport in the 1990s.

“The point is, we have made ourselves dependent on a technology we have not entirely mastered, and it is not yet clear how to master it,” he said. “It’s not often that a historian gets to watch a scientific and technological revolution as it is happening.”

He also worked with secondary teachers through his involvement in the National Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Sciences. He was a member of this group of 600 college and university professors from 1975 to 2001, and chaired its board from 1994 to 2001.

Active in the community, he was a member of the Princeton Regional Schools Board of Education from 1982 to 1986, serving as president in 1985-86.

An avid swimmer, runner and cyclist, he was a faculty adviser to the University’s swim teams. He was heavily involved in youth athletics in the community, including the Princeton Soccer Association, the YMCA swim team, the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association and the Nassau Swim Club. He served as a starter at swim meets and developed computer programs to assist with scoring.

Born in New York City on June 30, 1939, he is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jean, who retired in 2000 after 25 years as a staff member at the University, most recently in the Office of Research and Project Administration. Survivors also include a son, Colin, and his wife, Lisa Miller, and two grandchildren, of Lawrence, Kan.; and a daughter, Bridget, and her husband, Jonathan Samuel, and two grandchildren, of Natick, Mass. He was predeceased by his father, Thomas Mahoney. Other survivors include his mother, Dorothy Mahoney, and an aunt, Jo Turner, both of Delray Beach, Fla; three brothers, Daniel Mahoney of Andover, Mass., Timothy Mahoney of Los Angeles and South Dartmouth, Mass., and Patrick Mahoney, of Long Beach, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews.

Arrangements will be private. A public memorial service is being planned for the fall.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory may be made to Andover, which he attended from 1953 to 1957, by mailing: Andover, 180 Main St., Andover, MA 01810; or visiting the school’s website.

Marion M. Sinuk

Marion M. Sinuk

Marion M. Nicola Sinuk died on Thursday, July 24, 2008 at her home in Skillman where she lived with her loving husband John Sinuk for 25 years.

A graduate of St. Peter’s High School Class of 1950, she was the first female sports editor for the Cardinal Newspaper.

Marion was not afforded the opportunity to further her education, but as soon as her children were in college and graduate school, she enrolled as an “older” student at University College at Rutgers. She was selective in her classes so that her life as a wife and mother could remain her priority. She was always a person with enthusiasm for learning and sharing her learned knowledge with others. She was selected to become a peer counselor as well as a contributing columnist for the University College paper, “NITEBEAT”. Her specialty was writing about the experience of the “older” student. Her enthusiasm knew no bounds. She was absolutely thrilled when a University Dean called her to tell her how much she enjoyed her articles and asked if one of them could be read at the upcoming 50th anniversary ceremony for University College.

Marion was an avid reader and talented writer of letters, articles and rhymes. Through the years, various articles were published. She had a talent to write about the very essence of a person, idea, personal or political philosophy. At each Christmas gathering she would write funny rhymes about each guest, read them to all, and accompany her reading with a token Christmas present.

In addition to her academic achievements, she also excelled in sports as an avid tennis player, runner and golfer. She was also a swimmer and her smiling face could be seen almost daily at the YWCA and Princeton Wellness Center.

Honesty and truth were her unassailable virtues. Everyone always knew her views on politics. She was proud of her beliefs and stood by them. Justice for the downtrodden and the oppressed was her “battle cry”. Her virtues were reflected in her writing, contributions and participation.

Marion was a CCD instructor, peer counselor, and reading instructor at Skillman School for Boys. She participated in Meals on Wheels and the Santa Clause Project. Marion was a member of the Middle East Society, American Farmland Trust and CNI Foundation. She was an avid animal rights activist.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 48 years, John Sinuk; her children — John Charles Sinuk and his wife Bonnie. Paul Joseph Sinuk and his wife Nelda and Linda Marie Sinuk and her two grandchildren John Paul and Bonnie Marie.

Predeceased by her older sister, Lillian Nicola Kollar and her younger brother, former mayor of North Brunswick, Charles Nicola, she is survived by her older brother George J. Nicola, retired Middlesex County Court Judge.

Burial was private. A Memorial Mass was celebrated Tuesday, July 29, 2008, at St. Charles Borromeo R.C. Church, 47 Skillman Road, Skillman, NJ. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Selover Funeral Home, 555 Georges Road, North Brunswick, NJ.

Ramona B. Alegria

Ramona B. Alegria, 94, died on May 8 at the Pavilions at Forrestal in Princeton.

She was born on Christmas Eve in Nicaragua, Central America. After graduating from El Colegio Frances in Granada, Nicaragua and marrying her beloved Carlos, she and her husband moved to Panama, where they lived during the time of World War II, while Carlos was working for the U.S. Army at the site of the Panama Canal. They moved to the United States in the late 1940s, settling in New York City. From that point, she spent the majority of her life as a New Yorker; she came to Princeton ten years ago.

While residing in Greenwich Village, she and her husband started a chain of authentic Mexican restaurants called Mexican Village. In the original Mexican Village, just steps away from NYU and Washington Square Park, she honed her skills as an innovative chef, developing and perfecting all the recipes contained on the restaurants menus.

She will truly be remembered as a generous friend, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

Predeceased by her husband Carlos in 2001, she is survived by her two daughters: Ruth Alegria Lubin of Mexico City and Eve Yancy of Princeton, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Private services were under the direction of the Kimble Funeral Home in Princeton.

Thomas Phox

Thomas Phox

Thomas “Buddy” Phox, 87, died at the University Medical Center at Princeton on the morning of July 24. Born in Pails, Virginia, he had been a resident of Princeton for 80 years, attending Princeton High School and later serving as a Buffalo Soldier in the 92nd Division of the Army in World War II. He was stationed in the European Theatre, and upon his honorable discharge he was highly decorated. He then went on to work in the film industry for 50 years. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Princeton, the Princeton V.F.W. and American Legion.

He is preceded in death by his parents Emma and Pleasant Phox, a sister Mary Alice Gee, three brother-in-laws, and a sister-in-law. He is survived by Delores, his wife of 62 years; two daughters, Victoria and Beverly; five grandchildren; a great granddaughter; two sisters, Evelyn and Martha; five brothers, Alfred, Floyd, Charles, Harold, and Lindsey; his close childhood friend Robert Wright, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Funeral service will be 12 p.m., Wednesday, July 30, at First Baptist Church, John Street and Paul Robeson Place, Princeton. Calling hours will be from 10 a.m. until time of service at the church. Interment will be at Princeton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made on behalf of Thomas Phox to Princeton Healthcare System Foundation, 253 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08540. Arrangements are by the Hughes Funeral Home.

Jean Gaston Woodward

Jean Gaston Woodward, 89, died July 24, in her residence at Stonebridge at Montgomery, Montgomery Township, of natural causes. Born Olive Jean Gaston in Fairhope, Alabama, she attended the Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education. Her father, James E. Gaston, owned a Ford dealership in the center of town. In 1939 she married Oakley MacDonald (Woody) Woodward, an electrical engineer from Davis, Oklahoma, who was working with an oil company as a member of a team prospecting for oil and doing testing in Mobile Bay. The oil prospecting work would take them to Mississippi for a year, then to Trinidad, and eventually to Princeton, where her husband’s electrical engineering degree brought him to the David Sarnoff Research Center (RCA). The small group of antenna engineers and their wives worked and played together. A popular hostess at their frequent gatherings, Jean was stimulated the Princeton culture, becoming a skilled bird-watcher and mushroom collector; her green thumb was evident in the colors and shades that rimmed the back yard of her home. She made many of her own garments during the period of World War II when so many things were rationed, and she filled the kitchen pantry with jars of preserves. Her skills in the kitchen drew upon her Southern heritage and her meals were anticipated and enjoyed by many.

In 1943, she gave birth to her son James G. (Jim) Woodward and three years later her daughter Judith Mary (Judy) Woodward. When the children were attending Nassau Street School, she began working at the Princeton University Store, when it was a small operation behind Nassau Hall and continued working at the U-Store for three decades. She also became a member of the Nassau Club, the Present Day Club and the Princeton Garden Club. She and her husband traveled together to Norway, Kenya and Alaska after he retired from RCA. Several years after suffering a stroke, Woody died in 1995 and a few years later she moved into Stonebridge.

She is survived by her daughter Judy; her son, Jim; a sister, Clara Louise Wengert; a granddaughter and a step-grandson.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Marietta Johnson School of Organic Education, 8 Marietta Drive, Fairhope, Alabama, 36532. Private services were entrusted to the Kimble Funeral Home, 1 Hamilton Avenue, Princeton.

Return to Top | Go to People

Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton — McCaffrey’s, Cox’s, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszer’s (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell — Village Express; Rocky Hill — Wawa (Route 518); Pennington — Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.