January 23, 2013

Obituaries 1/23/13

1-23-13 Gilvarg ObitCharles Gilvarg

Charles Gilvarg, former and founding chairman of the Biochemistry Department at Princeton University and recently senior research scientist and professor emeritus in the Molecular Biology Department at Princeton University has died in Scottsdale Arizona at age 87. Born in New York City in 1925, he attended Stuyvesant High School, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science (BChE 1948), and received a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Chicago in 1951.

His interest in science began early and was helped along by a landlady who gave him a chemistry set when he was 8 years old. His parents, Rose Kreitzer and Hyman Gilvarg, Jewish immigrants from Romania and Ukraine who left their families to come to New York, indulged him in early experiments, allowing volatile chemicals to be kept on their dresser, and permitting the occasional dead mouse in the refrigerator. His two doting older sisters, Marion and Eva, broadened his interests by introducing him to art and literature. His academic career was started in a time when quotas for Jewish students were still operative, but Stuyvesant and Cooper Union provided academic rigor and free tuition to all. Although he was not a religious man he was always proud of his Jewish heritage, and made a point of taking his family to Israel.

A World War ll veteran who served in the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army, he contracted spinal meningitis on a troop ship on his way to his first station in New Guinea and was an early recipient of penicillin, surviving a disease that was often fatal before the use of antibiotics. His unit arrived in Japan days before the armistice was signed in order to set up the communications link, and Charles spent many months there with the occupation forces.

In 1949, while at the University of Chicago, he met and married Frieda Mueller, who was getting a Masters in Zoology. Her devout protestant family did not immediately approve of the marriage, and only the groom’s family and friends attended the wedding in New York City. However, after the birth of their first child, in Chicago, the bride’s family softened their opposition; and the large extended Mueller family has remained close, occasioning travel across the country. In sixty-three years the marriage wore out at least one set of wedding bands.

His early scientific career began in the laboratory of Dr. Konrad Bloch (1964 Nobel laureate) who advised his thesis, and then invited him to spend a post-doctoral year, continuing work on amino acids. With Bloch’s recommendation he returned to New York joining the laboratory of Dr. Severo Ochoa, also later a Nobel laureate (1959), at New York University School of Medicine. He also spent time in the laboratory of Dr. Bernard Davis, where they worked on aromatic biosynthesis of amino acids, and it was at NYU that he began his teaching career.

A few years after winning the Paul Lewis Award of the American Chemical Society in 1963, for promising scientists under 40, he was offered a full professorship at Princeton and moved his family to the leafy suburbs following a six-month sabbatical at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Known as a rigorous and methodical teacher, he worked with many graduate students and post-doctoral fellows and his lucid explanations inspired some undergraduates to pursue scientific research careers.

His passion was organic chemistry wherever it led: lysine pathway to pancreatic cancer. Colleagues noted his prodigious memory for detailed organic chemical syntheses years later. Mentoring graduate students and technicians was his favorite occupation and he enjoyed following their professional careers after they left his lab. He loved teaching chemistry on a one-to-one basis and tried valiantly to do this with his grandchildren with limited success, but he had much better luck with bridge and blackjack. His wide range of scientific knowledge was a great family resource that computers cannot replace. He enjoyed his contact with colleagues at Princeton, notably his sixty-year relationship with Dr. Jacques Fresco, and took great pride in the distinguished careers of many of his students. He was active in research to the end, publishing 131 papers in a career that spanned sixty-two years and earning 10 U.S. and international patents and numerous grants. He was receiving funding from the Axelrod Foundation for validating a new serum biomarker for early stage pancreatic cancer when he died.

His wife Frieda, his four children Karyn, David, Martin, and Gail, eight grandchildren, Amos, Ian, Alexander, Megan, Charles, Thomas, Katherine, and Patrick, sister-in–law Elizabeth Mueller, many nieces and nephews as well as hundreds of former students and research collaborators survive him. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science in Art, Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, Attn: Brooke Bryant, 8th floor, 30 Cooper Square, New York, New York 10003. A memorial in Princeton will be held at a later time.


Beryl Gwyn Curschmann

Beryl Gwyn Curschmann (née Davies), age 75, died Friday, January 18, 2013 while visiting family in Delaware. She has lived in Princeton since 1963.

She was predeceased by her son, Paul Curschmann. She is survived by her husband Michael Curschmann, daughter Jane Curschmann and grandsons, Yannick and Max, as well as family in Wales and Germany.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 1 p.m. in the Kimble Funeral Home, 1 Hamilton Avenue, Princeton. Cremation and burial will follow privately.

Visiting hours are from noon until the time of service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions may be made, in her memory, to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, P.O. Box 872, Trenton, N.J. 08605.

Extend condolences online at TheKimbleFuneralHome.com.


1-23-13 Chan ObitTucker Ryan Chan

Tucker Ryan Chan, 23, died accidentally on January 5th in Menlo Park, California. He was a student at Stanford University pursuing a PhD in high energy physics.

The son of Winston Chan and Barbara Ryan, of Princeton, Tucker was born July 29, 1989. He moved to Princeton from Iowa City, Iowa as a child and attended Princeton public schools, graduating from Princeton High School in 2008.

Tucker loved the physics and mathematics departments at PHS and was an active participant in their Science Olympiad program. He was twice selected for the U.S. Physics Team and in 2008 won a gold medal for the United States at the International Physics Olympiad competition held in Hanoi, Vietnam.

After high school, Tucker’s creativity and intellectual curiosity led him to MIT where he explored, among other things, astrophysics, metal casting, musical composition, and jujitsu. An accomplished pianist, he continued to play throughout college. He graduated in 2012 with degrees in mathematics and physics.

In addition to his parents, Tucker is survived by his brothers, Walker, of Boston, and Philip, of Princeton, as well as his grandmother Rose Chan, aunts Marjorie Chan and Darlene Chan, all of Los Angeles, an uncle Douglas Ryan, of Dublin, Ohio, and cousins Tisa Chan, Enzo De Palma, Austen Ryan, and Hailey Ryan.

A private ceremony was held in San Mateo, California. A memorial service to celebrate Tucker’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Tucker’s memory to the Physics Olympiad Fund of the American Association of Physics Teachers: AAPT Donations, One Physics Ellipse, College Park, Md. 20740 or www.aapt.org/Donations.


Julie (Poentje) R. A. Chytrowski

Julie (Poentje) R. A. Chytrowski, of Bradenton/Sarasota, Florida passed away January 8, 2013. Born Julie (Poentje) Dubach, on July 2, 1928 in Antwerp, Belgium she married Dr. Allan M. Chytrowski on June 26, 1959. She resided in Manhattan, Bronxville, N.Y., the Princeton region of New Jersey, Bird Key in Sarasota, and last in Bradenton, Fla.

Surviving family members are her husband Allan M. Chytrowski, her daughter Nancy Reinson, her son-in-law Kerry and grand-daughters Alexandra and Brittany. Also surviving: in Belgium is her sister Kiki Swysen, brother-in-law Dr. Remy Swysen and their children Dr. Christine Verschroeven, Christine’s husband Guy, Michele Swysen, her children Arthur and Alize, and Philipppe Swysen; in Japan, Pierre Swysen, his wife Mie and son Ken.

Julie was a graduate of the Belpaire School and the Women’s College in Antwerp, Belgium. Fluent in English, Flemish, French and German, she worked for various shipping and transportation companies in Belgium and at the Belgian Consulate in New York City. Later, she was an independent literary agent regularly attending the Frankfurt, New York, and Chicago Book Fairs. She was active in the support of women’s causes, serving as president of the Women’s Club in Princeton and president of the Women’s Club of Sarasota. She was instrumental in pioneering orthopedic medical assistance for handicapped children from Poland thanks to Sarasota’s Sahib Shriners and the Polish American Association of Sarasota. She was extremely well-read, and was honored, several years in a row, with the Women’s Club Prize for having read the most books, some 200 to 300 books per year. She was wise, optimistic, independent, and always ready to help others; truly a joy to live with and be around. She lost her battle with Alzheimer’s, a brutal disease and will be greatly missed by her entire family and all who knew her.

A memorial reception was held to commemorate Julie’s life at her residence in Bradenton, Florida, 6916, 67 Terrace East, Bradenton on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 4 p.m. In honor of Julie’s life and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the women’s support group of your choice.


Frank J. Clark, Jr.

Frank J. Clark, Jr., 98, of Rocky Hill died Friday, January 11, 2013 at St. Joseph Skilled Nursing Facility of Lawrenceville, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Utica, N.Y., he lived in Rocky Hill for 50 years. Frank was a graduate of Hamilton College, the Westminster Choir College, and received his masters from Columbia University. Frank retired from teaching at the Peddie School. He taught most of his career at private schools such as Pennington Prep School and Princeton Day School. Frank was an accomplished violinist and the conductor for the DuPont Chorus and Orchestra, director of US Steel Chorus and also played with several jazz groups in town. He headed up the Hamilton College Alumnae Association in the Princeton Area and was an avid tennis player.

Son of the late Frank J. and Gladys (Roberts) Clark, Sr., brother of the late A. Kermit Clark, and Douglas Clark, he is survived by his wife Jean C. (Craig) Clark, 3 daughters Christine G. Kerr, Abigail C. Ford, Jennifer Clark, 3 grandchildren Tyler Kerr, Adam Ford, Molly Ford Slenker, and 4 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 19, 2013 at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton.

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

Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Church.


1-23-13 Peterson ObitBurnetta Griggs Peterson

Burnetta Griggs Peterson, 82, of Princeton passed away Thursday, January 17, 2013 at Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center in Plainsboro, after a brief illness.

A native Princetonian, Burnetta was the daughter of Burnett Griggs, owner of the Griggs Imperial Restaurant, and Ruth Evans Griggs, a well-respected teacher at the Nassau Street Elementary School. She attended the Witherspoon Street School for Colored and graduated from Princeton High School. She pursued a career as an educator upon her graduation from the Child Education Foundation and Adelphi College in 1951. She taught second grade at the Parker School in Trenton, the Nassau Street Elementary, and Valley Road Schools in Princeton.

Burnetta married Chester Peterson, DDS in 1956 and moved to his hometown of New Brunswick, where his dental practice was established. After seven years in New Brunswick, they returned to Princeton to raise their two daughters. The importance of education was a value she stressed throughout her life and passed this life lesson on to her children.

Her strong sense of community influenced her decision to select the developers of Princeton Community Housing to sell her family owned property on State Road. She recognized the need for affordable housing in Princeton and was pleased that Griggs Farm would offer to many young people the dream of owning their own home.

Burnetta loved creating beautiful flower arrangements, art, music, reading, and history.

Predeceased by her husband, Chester Gaylord Peterson, DDS, she is survived by her two daughters; Wendy Peterson Osborn and her husband Loren of Oak Hill, Va. and Kim Peterson of Princeton; two grandchildren, Christopher and Chloe Osborn; and cherished life-long friends.

Graveside services will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 2 p.m. in Princeton Cemetery.

A memorial service will be held at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, Princeton on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Princeton Committee of the Legal Defense Fund, c/o Deborah Raikes-Colbert, 137 Lawrenceville-Pennington Road, Lawrenceville, N.J. 08648.

To extend condolences or share memories in the online guest book please visit TheKimbleFuneralHome.com.


Andrew J. Sofranko

Andrew J. Sofranko, 89, died on January 8, 2013, of complications from influenza/pneumonia. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 68 years, Lorraine Trump Sofranko, who died in 2012. Andy was born in Allentown, Pa. to Andrew John Sofranko and Elizabeth Lesho, both originally from Czechoslovakia. Andy graduated from Thaddeus Stevens Technical College in Lancaster, Pa. as a machinist, in 1943. He met Lorraine in a roller skating rink in Allentown; they married in 1944. Andy left soon after to serve as a B-17 bombardier in the 15th Army Air Corps in Foggia, Italy, surviving numerous harrowing bombing runs into northern Italy. He retired in 1964 from the active reserve with the rank of Major. He attended Muhlenberg College in mechanical engineering, but left after a year to support his growing family. Over a long career in the steel industry, Andy designed steel forming machines, authored four U.S. patents, and retired as vice-president of sales for Morgan/SMS in Pittsburgh, Pa. Andy and Lorraine lived from 1985-2007 in Pawley’s Island, S.C., where they forged new friendships, were active golfers, and enjoyed visits from their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In 2007, Andy and Lorraine moved to Elverson, Pa. to be closer to their children. He was a 32nd degree Freemason. He is survived by his sister, Marie Mickel, his children, Sandra O’Brien and John, granddaughters Stacy Kripas and Kathleen O’Brien, and great grandsons Michael and Benjamin Kripas.

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


1-23-13 Rogerson ObitElizabeth M. (Betty) Rogerson

Elizabeth M. (Betty) Rogerson, 89, died on Friday, December 21, 2012 after an extended. illness.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Mrs. Rogerson was the daughter of the late Frances and Lillian Van Doren. She was the wife of Dr. John B. Rogerson, her devoted, loving husband of almost 70 years. Mrs. Rogerson was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Princeton, and spent 23 years volunteering her time to provide Meals on Wheels to needy families in the communities of Central New Jersey, all while raising 3 sons. She and her husband moved to Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pa. in 2001. Mrs.
Rogerson (Nana) was a warm and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was an inspiring role-model who only saw the good in those around her.

Surviving, in addition to her husband are two sons, Dr. John N. Rogerson and wife, Sherri of The Villages, Fla. and Alan M. Rogerson and wife Chrysa of Tucson, Ariz.; grandchildren, Jennifer Azzano and husband Chris (Colonel USAF) of Edwards AFB, Calif., Betsy Wolf and husband Derek of Danville, Calif., John D. Rogerson and his wife, Christine of Howell, N.J. and Jason Rogerson of Trenton; great-grandchildren Allison and Steven Azzano, Emmy and Drew Wolf, and Jerry and Jake Rogerson. Mrs. Rogerson was predeceased by a son, Jerry Rogerson and she will be deeply missed by family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, February 2, 2013 in Penn Hall, Pennswood Village, Newtown, Pa. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial contributions to a charity of one’s choice.


V. Carolyn Hingher

V. Carolyn Hingher, 72, of Kingston, peacefully passed away on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at Princeton Care Center, Princeton, NJ, with her loving daughter by her side.

Born in Princeton, Mrs. Hingher resided in Plainsboro for many years before moving to Kingston over 40 years ago.

After starting as a secretary in the mid 1970’s, Carolyn retired as the director of human resources for Caliper Inc. in 2005. In her leisure time she was an avid tennis player, reader, and lover of the New Jersey Shore. She was known for her beautiful smile and gift of conversation that could make anyone feel right at home.

Predeceased by her beloved husband Owen E. Hingher (1988) and parents Guy and Ruth (Dellinger) Lamkin, she is survived by a daughter and son-in-law Beth and Joseph Tolin and their son, Matthew, all of Kingston, a son and daughter-in-law Jeffrey and Kimmra Hingher and their children, Owen and Aubrey, all of Tennessee, a brother Dean Lamkin of West Virginia, a niece and two nephews.

Funeral services will begin on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 10 a.m. in the Kimble Funeral Home, 1 Hamilton Avenue, Princeton, followed by burial in the family plot at Kingston Cemetery, Kingston, N.J.

Visiting hours are on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions may be made, in her memory, to the Princeton HomeCare Services, 208 Bunn Drive, Princeton, N.J. 08540 (please designate Princeton Hospice Program on the memo line), National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation, P.O. Box 310, Fort Atkinson, Wisc. 53538, and/or the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-60111.

Extend condolences at TheKimbleFuneralHome.com.