Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 39
 
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Obituaries

William K. Selden

John H. Rhubart

Homer Daniel Jones Jr.

Ivan E. Becker

Todd Lawton Stafford

Mary-Peale Schofield



William K. Selden

William K. Selden

William K. Selden, 97, of Newtown, Pennsylvania, formerly of Princeton, died September 21 at Pennswood Village in Newtown, where he had been a resident since 1993.

Born in Oil City, he was the youngest child of Edwin van D. Selden and Cornelia Earp Selden.

He graduated from the Gilman School in Baltimore. After his graduation from Princeton University in 1934, he served in the administration of that university for several years, then in the administrations of Brown and Northwestern Universities before assuming the presidency of Illinois College. Beginning in 1955 he was for 10 years the executive director of the National Commission on Accrediting in Washington, then vice president of the American Assembly at Columbia University, at which time he moved to Princeton.

In the 1960s he was asked to conduct studies in higher education for the New Jersey Department of Education and for the American Church Institute of the Protestant Episcopal Church. These assignments led to his resignation from the American Assembly and a series of appointments to national and regional boards and commissions concerned with education for the professions and military services. He was also appointed as an educational consultant in India, first by the U.S. Department of State, subsequently by the Danforth Foundation.

At the request of the dean of the School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University in the 1980s, Mr. Selden undertook to write a history of the founding of what is now identified as the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. During the succeeding 25 years he wrote fifteen monographs and histories of various institutions in Princeton. They included Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton Day School, the Nassau Club, Drumthwacket, the Princeton Public Library, and various aspects of historical interest related to Princeton University and other educational institutions. Throughout his life Mr. Selden participated in many voluntary capacities as a member of national boards and commissions concerned with higher education and the professions. During his residency in Princeton he served on the Borough Council, as co-chairman of the Princeton Joint Municipal Consolidation Study Commission, chairman of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Long Range Planning for the Princeton Public Schools, and founding president of the Arts Council of Princeton.

He was predeceased by three older brothers and a sister, and, in 2004, by his wife of 66 years, Virginia Barr Selden. He is survived by two sons, Edwin van D. Selden II and Joseph Barr Selden; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

A memorial celebration will be held October 24 at 10 a.m. at The George School, Newtown-Langhorne Road, Newtown. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be sent to the Pennswood Village Endowment Fund.

Arrangements are by the Swartz/Givnish Funeral Home, Newtown, Pa.

John H. Rhubart

John H. “Jack” Rhubart, 83, died peacefully Monday, September 28, 2009 at Park Place Center. Born in Bordentown, he was a 61-year resident of Princeton. Retiring from Educational Testing Service (ETS) in March 1988 after 40 years of service, he was a member of the Princeton Hook & Ladder Fire Company for 54 years, and Secretary of the company for 16 years, a member of the NJ Exempt Firemen’s Association, a former president of the Delaware Valley Data Processing Management Association, a former member of the Hopewell Valley Golf Club and the Princeton Meadows Golf Club. He was also a member of the Dennis A. Roland chapter of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Association, Project Liberty Ship Association, American Legion Post #76 of Princeton and B.P.O.E. Princeton Chapter #2129. A founder of the Nassau Federal Credit Union and its first president, he retired from the Board of Directors in 1989. He was named as Director Emeritus of the NFCU shortly after and was active in the capacity until his death. He was active in softball and golf in the Princeton area, and in 1961 was named the most valuable player in the Princeton Business League. For over 35 years he served as the scoreboard operator at Princeton University football games in Palmer Stadium and Princeton Stadium.

Son of the late Edith and Harold Rhubart and brother of the late Raymond and Kenneth Rhubart, he is survived by his wife of 61 years, Catharine E. “Dolly” Rhubart, a son, John H. Jr. of Lincoln, N.H., a daughter Marcia Lynn Crossley of Manchester, N.H., three grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held 8:30 am Friday, October 2, at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Ave., Princeton. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Friday at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau St., Princeton. Interment will follow in the Princeton Cemetery. Calling hours will be held 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, October 1, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau St., Princeton NJ 08542 or the Health Care Ministry, PO Box 1517, Princeton 08542.

Homer Daniel Jones Jr.

Homer Daniel Jones Jr., 92, a resident of Princeton from 1960 to 1998 and of Hightstown from 1998 to 2009, died September 13 at Meadow Lakes Retirement Center in Hightstown.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, he graduated from the Choate School, Wallingford, Connecticut, and from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, where he was elected to the Virginia Academy of Science. During World War II, he served in the Third Fleet aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, receiving ten Battle Stars and a Commendation Ribbon. After the war, he completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

After years with the coal industry in Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia, he moved to Princeton to be the Director of Development of Princeton Theological Seminary. After three years there, he became Director of Development of the Presbyterian Board of National Missions, later National and World Missions, in New York’s Interchurch Center. During his tenure there, he took many groups on tours of church missions from Cameroon in Africa to Mindanao in the Philippines, and from Appalachia and Navajo Reservations to Point Barrow, Alaska. From 1978 to 1998, he worked with Warren Wilson College in western North Carolina. In his work he brought together business leaders, the unchurched, and the privileged to meet and get to know clergy and missionaries personally and socially.

He was a member and elder of Nassau Presbyterian Church and a former board member of the American Boychoir School, Valley Forge Council Boy Scouts of America, Military Officers Society of Princeton, Nassau Club, Princeton Club in New York, English-Speaking Union chapter in Princeton, New Jersey Orchid Society, and Belvedere Club in Charlevoix, Michigan.

He was married for 63 years to Helen Cornwell of St. Louis, Missouri, Charlevoix, Michigan, and Sweet Briar College, his partner in all his varied careers. He is survived by three sons, H. Daniel III of Alexandria, Va., Jonathan C. of Bronxville, N.Y., and Lawrence A. of Mercersburg, Pa.; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Nassau Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 9. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Homer and Helen Jones Scholarship of Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina; or to the Meadow Lakes Presbyterian Congregation, Hightstown, New Jersey.

Ivan E. Becker

Ivan (Van) E. Becker of Princeton, retired president and CEO of Blessings Corporation, died September 17 of pancreatic cancer.

A 40-year resident of Princeton, he was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1929, the only child of Kato and Deszo Becker, both victims of the Holocaust. He was rescued from a death march at age 15 by Raoul Wallenberg, who issued him a Swedish passport to protect him from the Nazis at the end of the war in Hungary. He considered himself one of Wallenberg’s children.

After the war he left Hungary with the Aliyah Bet, organized by the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, and traveled to a displaced persons camp in Austria where he remained for a year.

He came to the United States in 1946 as a war orphan. Although he did not speak English, he worked from the time he arrived, was self-educated, and became a proud American, serving in the U.S. Army as a photo intelligence interpreter from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War.

He began his career in the early days of the plastics industry and rose up the corporate ladder, ultimately leading a respected and innovative company listed on the American Stock Exchange.

During the 15 years since his retirement, he had been actively involved in SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), which he served for two years as chairman of the Greater Princeton Chapter.

In 2004, he was appointed by President Bush to a five-year term on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the governing body of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He served on the Museum’s Audit and Education Committees. He also lectured widely to adults and children on the Holocaust and its lessons on how one righteous person could make a difference.

A world traveler, he was also an outstanding photographer and noted pastry chef.

He is survived by his wife Nancy (Greenglass), whom he married in 1962; two sons, David and Kenneth; and four grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

The funeral service was September 21 at the Princeton Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street.

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

Todd Lawton Stafford

Todd Lawton Stafford, 49, of Lawrenceville, died suddenly and tragically on September 20 while riding his motorcycle in Bucks County on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

He was a skilled driver who loved to cruise the open road on his Aprilia, and a talented alpine skier who spent much of his free time every winter carving turns at the Mad River Glen ski area in Vermont. His family and friends knew him as a hero, a loving brother and uncle, a gentle man, and an endless source of fun, laughter, and inspiration.

He is survived by his brothers Paul, Tim, and Mark; his half sister Lucile S. Proctor; and his dear friend Terri L. Spencer.

A memorial service will be held on October 2 at 11 a.m. at The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, 2688 Main Street, Lawrenceville.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Todd L. Stafford Memorial Fund, c/o Steve Harding, 1251 Eaton Road, East Madison, N.H. 03849. The fund was created to provide financial assistance to families wishing to send their children to summer camp at Camp Tohkomeupog in East Madison, where Mr. Stafford spent many summers and began several lifelong friendships.

Mary-Peale Schofield

Mary-Peale Schofield, 86, of Stonebridge at Montgomery, Skillman, formerly of Princeton, died August 31.

A descendant of the American artist Rembrandt Peale, she was the daughter of Edgar Lawrence and Sidney (Lewis) Smith of New York, Darien, Conn., and South Dartmouth, Mass. She graduated from Milton Academy and Smith College (class of 1945).

After writing advertising for the Milgrim Department Store for Women and Macy’s while studying acting in New York City, she attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London for a year. She then became a member of professional theater groups in Erie, Pa. and Rome, N.Y. Lacking experience to get the character parts she wanted, and unwilling to take the parts offered to gain that experience, she enrolled in the graduate program at Columbia University and received an M.A. in European History. She then taught at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Conn. until her marriage to Dr. Robert E. Schofield in 1959, after which she became supportive as a faculty wife at Case Institute of Technology (later Case Western Reserve University) and Iowa State University.

She also became a gifted amateur historian of architecture with several published papers and a book, Landmark Architecture of Cleveland (1976). She was a member of the Society of Architectural Historians and of architectural preservation commissions in Cleveland and Ames.

Having visited Princeton when her husband was an undergraduate at Princeton University and later when he was at the Institute for Advanced Study, Mrs. Schofield was happy to return to Princeton in 1993 when her husband retired. The couple moved to Stonebridge at Montgomery in 2007.

She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Dr. Schofield; a son, Charles Stockton Peale; and two sisters, Jean Fowle of Williamstown, Massachusetts and Sidney Walker of Peterborough, New Hampshire.

A private funeral has been arranged by The KimbIe Funeral Home. A memorial with the family is planned in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

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