Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 24
 
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
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Obituaries

Gilbert Hunt

Stephen H. M. Plum

Rebecca C. Kent

Mark B. Levin

Donald D. Jones Jr.

Palmer L. Williams Sr.

Memorial Service for Hugo Stange


Gilbert Hunt

Gilbert Hunt, 92, of Princeton, a professor emeritus of mathematics at Princeton University and one of the world’s recognized authorities in the fields of probability theory and analysis, died in his sleep May 30 at home. He had been recovering from surgery.

A scholar, war veteran, and, in his youth a top-ranked amateur tennis player, Prof. Hunt made important contributions to the field of probability theory. The “Hunt Process,” a key mathematical model used in probability theory, is named for him.

He was also a man of broad interests. “He was very interested in all areas of mathematics, not just his own specialty,” said Simon Kochen, a Princeton professor of mathematics. “He was a Renaissance person, with a deep interest in literature and music as well as many other areas.”

Prof. Hunt served as chair of the Princeton Department of Mathematics from 1966 to 1968. His first Princeton appointment as a faculty member was from 1959 to 1962. He rejoined the faculty in 1965, having spent the previous three years at Cornell University. He taught at Princeton until he retired in 1986.

Born in Washington, D.C., he was the only child of Gilbert Hunt, an engineer and bridge-builder, and May Jane Winfield Hunt, a homemaker. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for two years, but left to play tennis, a sport at which he had excelled since childhood.

“The great love of his life was tennis,” said his daughter, Margaret Hunt of Princeton. At ages 16 and 18, he was ranked No. 1 in national junior indoor tennis, and during his college years he was listed as one of the top 10 national tennis players. After he defeated Bobby Riggs, the nation’s No. 2 player, in 1938, the Washington Post reported, “Riggs had been a 10 to 1 favorite when he took the court, but the frail Washington mathematician constantly outmaneuvered and pressed the husky Chicago ‘playboy.’” A Washington Post writer said of the young Hunt: “He is an extraordinarily gifted mathematics scholar and teacher, but somewhere in his curious makeup is a streak of daffiness that occasionally prompts him to remove his shoes in the middle of a match, and entertain his galleries by picking up objects with his toes. But shoeless or shod, when he is hot he is the hottest thing in an otherwise cold and clammy crop of cup defenders.”

After a brief hiatus, he returned to college and resumed his scholarly work at George Washington University, earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1938. He continued his studies at Brown University, until he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He was assigned principally to the research section of the air weather service. During that time, he achieved the rank of captain and used his mathematical prowess to help develop weather forecasts to ensure the success of D-Day and the Allied invasion of the Normandy coast.

From 1946 through 1949, he served as an attaché to the computing pioneer John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study and completed his doctoral studies at Princeton University, earning his degree in 1948. He taught first at Cornell, then returned to Princeton.

Prof. Hunt suffered from macular degeneration and started losing his sight in the 1960s at the height of his mathematical powers. Colleagues said he developed methods to think about math in a new way as it grew increasingly difficult to read equations. He remained vitally interested in mathematics until his death, at times reading a text by listening to a recording for the blind.

He is survived by the children of his first marriage to Mary Hunt, who died in 2003, Laurence Hunt and Margaret Hunt, both of Princeton; and by four children from his second marriage to Helen Hunt, from whom he was divorced: Diana Hunt of Hamburg, Germany; Christopher Hunt of Boston; Lisa Hunt of Berkeley, Calif.; and Gregory Hunt of Griggstown.

A memorial service is being planned for the future.

Memorial donations may be made to Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, 20 Roszel Road, Princeton 08540.

Stephen H. M. Plum

Stephen Haines Malcolm Plum, 90, of Hightstown, formerly of Brandon, Vermont and Morristown, N.J., died June 7 at his home in Meadow Lakes, Hightstown.

Born in Quogue, Long Island, he was raised in Madison, N.J. He graduated from Yale University in 1939 and received his M.D. from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1944. He was a Captain in the U.S. Army during World War II, stationed at an Army surgical hospital in the Philippines.

After a career in general and thoracic surgery in Morristown and Rutland, Vermont, he moved to Meadow Lakes, where he enjoyed the Princeton area social and arts scene, especially at the University.

He is survived by four sons and two daughters-in-law, Terry and Sydney Plum of Holyoke, Mass., John and Mimi Plum of Saddle River, N.J., Robert Plum of Convent Station, N.J., and Michael Plum of Clinton, N.J.; a daughter, Nancy Plum of Yardley, Pa.; and four grandchildren in New York, California, and London.

A memorial service at St. David’s Church, Cranbury is planned for a later date. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to St. David’s Church.

Rebecca C. Kent

Rebecca Cupples Kent, 47, of Waterbury, Vermont, formerly of Princeton, died June 4 at Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vermont.

Born in Princeton, she was a graduate of Princeton Schools. She moved from Princeton to Stowe, Vermont in 1988, then to Waterbury in 1995. She worked for Kirby House Inc. in Waterbury.

Sister of the late Tracey Cupples Breetveld, she is survived by her parents, Andrew B. and Teresa Cupples of Princeton; three sons, Dylan Hullfish of Stowe, Trevor Hullfish of Princeton, and Oliver Kent of London, England; and a brother, Daniel Wilson of Belle Mead.

The funeral was June 10 at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at St. Paul’s Church. Burial was in Princeton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Health Care Ministry of St. Paul’s, Inc., P.O. Box 1517, Princeton 08542.

Mark B. Levin

Dr. Mark B. Levin, 61, of Princeton, died June 8 at the University Medical Center at Princeton. He was a practicing pediatrician for more than 30 years.

Born in Philadelphia, he had been a resident of Princeton for the past 24 years.

A graduate of Queens College and the Upstate Medical University College of Medicine, he was a partner with the Pediatric Group in Princeton.

Dr. Levin was the former president of the Pediatrics Department at the University Medical Center at Princeton and served on numerous committees, including the ethics committee. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He was a founding member and former president of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mercer County. He was also a member of the Jewish Center, and one of the founders of its nursery school.

He is survived by his wife, Joan Levin of Princeton; a daughter, Dr. Janna Levin of Winston-Salem, N.C.; a son, Dr. David Levin of Winston-Salem; a daughter, Rachel Levin of New York, N.Y.; and two brothers, Gary Levin of New York, N.Y. and Stephen Levin of Dallas, TX.

Funeral services will be Thursday, June 12 at 10 a.m. at the Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street. Burial will follow at Princeton Cemetery. The period of mourning will be observed at the residence of Ginny Mason and Bobby Willig in Princeton.

Memorial contributions may be offered to the Mark B. Levin, MD Memorial Fund, University Medical Center at Princeton, Princeton Health Care System Foundation, 253 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08540; or to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Mercer County, 180 Ewingville Road, Ewing, N.J. 08638; or to the Steven Levine Special Needs Educational Fund, the Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street, Princeton 08540.

Arrangements are by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, 1534 Pennington Road, Ewing Township.


Donald D. Jones Jr.

Donald D. Jones Jr.

Donald D. Jones Jr., 56, of Princeton, died June 2 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Somerville, N.J., he was a graduate of the University of Virgin Islands where he received his B.A. degree, and the College of New Jersey, where he received his M.A. He was the Assistant Dean of Enrollment and Student Services at the Mercer County Community College James Kerney campus in Trenton.

The grandson of the late Thelma Jean Miller, he is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Donald D. Jones Sr.; his wife, Mirtha N. Jones; four sons, Michael Gonzalez, Wilfredo, Carlos, and Luis Rodriguez; three sisters, Gail, Renee, and Jean; and several grandchildren.

A celebration of the life and legacy of Mr. Jones took place from 6 to 9 p.m. June 8 at MCCC’s James Kerney campus. The funeral service was June 9 at Grace Cathedral Fellowship Ministries, Trenton. Entombment was in Greenwood Cemetery, Hamilton.

Arrangements were by the Hughes Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association.


Palmer L. Williams Sr.

Palmer L. Williams Sr.

Palmer L. Williams Sr., 76, of West Windsor, died May 30.

Born in Salisbury, N.C., he had been a West Windsor resident since the early 1990s.

Educated in the Springfield, Ohio public school system, Mr. Palmer continued his education at Ohio State University. He had a long career in telecommunications and information technology, retiring in 1994 as a managing director with Marsh & McLennan in New York City.

A faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Princeton, he served as a church trustee, chairman of its finance committee, and former president of the Unity Choir.

Predeceased by his mother, Janiel Hawthorne, and a sister, Lucille Goldston, he is survived by his wife, Gwen Williams; six children, Palmer Jr., Valerie, Ricky, Blane, Davia, and Rosalind; two stepchildren, Stephen and Stacey; 14 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren.

The funeral service was June 6 at First Baptist Church, Princeton. Interment was in Princeton Cemetery.

Arrangements were by the Hughes Funeral Home, Trenton.

Memorial Service for Hugo Stange

A memorial service for Hugo Stange, Ph.D., Cmdr. U.S. Navy Ret., who died December 30, 2007, will be held Saturday, June 21 at 2 p.m. at The Unitarian Church of Princeton, 50 Cherry Hill Road.

The family has requested no flowers.

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