Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 19
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
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

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast


Charles W. Cornforth Jr.

Simeon F. Moss

John DiBianco

Elwin E. Smith

Charles W. Cornforth Jr.

Charles W. Cornforth Jr.

Charles William Cornforth Jr., 95, of Chattanooga, Tenn., a resident of Princeton from 1953 to 2005, died in Chattanooga.

He was born in Nashville, Tenn. to Charles William and Gertrude Mayo Cornforth. A distinguished student, he graduated from Knoxville High School in 1929 as class president and as president of the school's Honor Society. In 1936, he earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee and received a scholarship from MIT for his M.S. in 1937, where he was elected a Fellow of Tau Beta Pi.

In 1937 Mr. Cornforth and his wife, Mary Maskall, settled in New Jersey where he began to work for PSE&G. He eventually became Manager of Industrial Relations and retired in 1977.

He served during World War II and during the Korean conflict, eventually retiring as Lt. Colonel after many years in the Reserve.

Active in community affairs, he was elected to the Princeton Borough Council, serving not only as Finance Committee chairman but also as president. He served on the Princeton High School Expansion Commission, and as a deacon of Nassau Presbyterian Church.

He was a member of the Nassau Club and the Old Guard.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; two daughters, Jo Coke of Chattanooga and Julia Holofcener of Florida and southern France; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Simeon F. Moss

Simeon F. Moss

Simeon Francis Moss, 87, of Kingston, a longtime resident and community leader in Princeton, died peacefully April 29 at Merwick Care Center.

Born in Princeton Hospital, he was the son of Mary and Simeon Cato Moss.

He received his early schooling at Princeton's Witherspoon School and at Princeton High School, where he played on the football and soccer teams, graduating in 1937.

After high school, he attended Rutgers College (now University), where he joined ROTC, played 150-pound football and lacrosse, and was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He graduated from Rutgers with a B.A. in history in 1941.

After college he was drafted into the U.S. Army, reporting for duty in the spring of 1942. During World War II he served in the U.S. Infantry, Engineer Corps, in Italy with great distinction, winning a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and a Silver Star for his valor in combat.

In 1946 he was discharged from the Army as a first lieutenant. He was called up again for service in the Korean War, from 1950 to 1952. He later served as an officer from 1955 to 1972 in the New Jersey National Guard. He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1980.

Returning to Princeton after World War II in 1946, he married Edith Ashby of Newark.

An educator throughout his life, his first positions were as a teacher, field representative, assistant principal, and coach at the New Jersey Manual Training School in Bordentown. After his Korean War service, he became a teacher at Princeton High School, then head of the history department at Witherspoon School, where he taught for six years.

He left teaching in 1960 to become special assistant to the commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Labor. He later became coordinator of community relations and then assistant superintendent for elementary education for the Newark Board of Education. In 1969, he was appointed superintendent of New Jersey's Essex County schools, whereupon he and his family moved to South Orange.

After retiring as Essex County schools superintendent in 1975, he became vice president of Essex County College in Newark (1975-77), assistant superintendent of Essex County Vocational and Technical Schools (1977-80) and secretary-treasurer of Metro Educational Services until his full retirement in the mid-1990s.

A member and elder of Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, he also served as a volunteer and on the boards of a number of organizations and charities. He was a member of the executive committee of the Mercer County branch of the NAACP and helped organize the Princeton delegation to the March on Washington in 1963.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Edith; a brother, Joseph (Peter); and two sisters, Marcia and Lydia. He is survived by his second wife, Lois Craig; a daughter, Deborah Crute of Washington, D.C.; a son, Simeon of Ithaca, N.Y.; a stepson, Kim Craig; three grandchildren; and a step-granddaughter.

The memorial service was May 5 at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., with full military honors later this year.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Rutgers University Foundation, Class of 1941 Fund, Rutgers University Office of Gift Planning, Winants Hall, 7 College Avenue, New Brunswick 08901; or to Princeton University Annual Giving, Princeton University, Princeton 08543-5357.

Arrangements were by the Hughes Funeral Home, Ewing.

John DiBianco

John DiBianco

John DiBianco, M.D., 79, of Princeton, died suddenly May 5 at home.

Born in Padula, Italy, he graduated from the University of Rome Medical School in 1955. At the time of his death, he was a Senior Attending Physician at the University Medical Center at Princeton specializing in gastroenterology, having served on the hospital's staff since 1968.

Dr. DiBianco introduced endoscopy to UMCP and, using his own equipment, performed the hospital's first endoscopy in 1968. He was also the first physician in the world to document the healing of a gastric ulcer by cine endoscopy in 1960 during his fellowship at Seton Hall University.

He taught gastroenterology for 47 years. He began his teaching career in 1958 at Seton Hall and was a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at New Jersey's first medical school, the New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He turned down a teaching position at Yale University School of Medicine in order to start his private practice in New Jersey.

As a pioneer in the field of gastroenterology, he published over 50 papers in numerous medical publications, including Annals of Internal Medicine, American Journal of Digestive Diseases, Gastroenterology, Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Journal of Medicine, and Journal of the Medical Society of New Jersey. He was twice elected governor of the state of New Jersey for the American College of Gastroenterology, and served as president of the New Jersey Society of Gastroenterology.

He recently received the Golden Merit Award from the Medical Society of New Jersey recognizing his 50 years of medical practice. He also earned national recognition as a 2004-05 Top Doctor by the Consumer Research Council of America.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Marie; four children, Francesca, Gabrielle, John, and Richard; and nine grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated today, May 9 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul's Church, 214 Nassau Street. There will be no calling hours at the funeral home. Burial will be private at Princeton Cemetery.

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

Elwin E. Smith

Elwin E. Smith, 84, of Darien, Connecticut, formerly of Princeton, died April 25 at home. He was a Princeton resident for almost 25 years.

He had a distinguished career as an oil and mining executive with AMAX Inc., Lithium Corporation of America, and Cities Service Oil. As senior executive vice president at AMAX, his responsibilities included being Chief Operating Officer of the company's Energy and Chemical Group and president of AMAX Iron Ore. After retiring from AMAX in 1986, he started Elwin Smith International, an energy and minerals consulting business. Over the years, he served as a director on numerous corporate boards including AMAX, Lithium Corp., Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold, Essex Chemical, Gulf Resources and Chemical Co., Mt. Newman Mining Company, and Asia Lithium Corp.

Before joining AMAX, he was president and CEO of Lithium Corporation of America. Under his leadership, LCA was instrumental in developing lithium carbonate for use in the treatment of manic depression as well as the use of lithium in Corning Glass photo color lenses.

He was a member of many professional organizations and societies, including the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, American Petroleum Institute, American Chemical Society, Japan Society, American-Australian Association, and Far East-American Council of Commerce & Industry.

He was also a member of the Nassau Club, Springdale Golf Club, Winged Foot Golf Club, and Wee Burn Country Club, and a member of the board of Household Concerns at the United Church of Rowayton, Conn.

Born in Ellicottville, N.Y. to Henry and Beatrice Smith, he attended the University of Alabama, majoring in chemical engineering. During World War II, he saw combat as a paratrooper in the Pacific Theater, where he was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army's 11th Airborne Division. As part of the 11th Airborne, he served as an honor guard during the Japanese surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri in September, 1945. He spent an additional two years in Japan as part of the U.S. Army's occupation force.

Predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Mary Ellen Smith, he is survived by three sons, Pietro of Princeton Junction, Michael of Madison, Conn., and Timothy of Rowayton, Conn.; two brothers, Joe Smith of Tampa, Fla. and Charles Smith of Randolph, N.J.; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service was held May 5 at The United Church of Rowayton, Rowayton, Conn. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The United Church of Rowayton, 210 Rowayton Avenue, Rowayton, Conn.

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