Arthur Szathmary, a Princeton University professor emeritus of philosophy, died of natural causes July 1 at his home in Princeton. He was 97.
Over the course of his nearly 40 years at the University, Szathmary’s work probed the philosophical significance of art and the relations between art and philosophy as modes of understanding human experience. He also concentrated on the principle of aesthetic criticism of art and was intrigued by how art enables people from different cultures to understand each other. He retired from Princeton in 1986.
Paul Benacerraf, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, who earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Princeton in 1952 and 1960, respectively, and served twice as department chair, says he felt Szathmary’s influence both as a student and a colleague.
“Arthur was an important member of the Princeton faculty,” Benacerraf said, “partly because he was one of very few with his particular sensibilities and interests — a broad and deep interest and competence in the arts and how to think about them — but especially because of his personal kindness and openness.”
Benacerraf said Szathmary helped him find a place for himself at Princeton in the early 1950s. “As an undergraduate, I wandered around pretty lost for a couple of years, until I found Arthur, and although my philosophical interests eventually diverged from his, he had been the link that enabled me to think that I could make it at Princeton — that there was a place for me here after all.”
Szathmary joined the Princeton faculty in 1947. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University, the last in 1942. Working with Japanese prisoners as a Navy intelligence officer during World War II sparked his interest in Japanese culture.
His commitment to the arts led to his appointment as chair of the Creative Arts Committee from 1958 to 1967, which oversaw the Creative Arts Program. Under Szathmary’s leadership, along with program director R.P. Blackmur, a succession of poets, writers, and critics taught in the program. Szathmary also served as a senior fellow in the humanities.
“His great contribution was in his teaching and his close personal relations with his students,” said Alexander Nehamas, the Edmund N. Carpenter II Class of 1943 Professor in the Humanities and professor of philosophy and comparative literature. Nehamas met Szathmary as a graduate student in the late 1960s, when he led the precept for Szathmary’s undergraduate course on the philosophy of art.
“His courses, especially the undergraduate courses he taught, attracted large groups of students, including, among others, the painter Frank Stella,” Nehamas said. “He was an infectiously enthusiastic teacher, with high standards, but always profoundly generous, encouraging, and full of good will.”
Szathmary’s impact on his students often lasted long after they left Princeton. In 2008, Gregory Callimanopulos, a member of the Class of 1957 and a noted art collector, donated the first Picasso painting to enter the Princeton University Art Museum’s collection, “Tête d’homme et nu assis (“Man’s Head and Seated Nude”), in honor of Szathmary.
Chris Homonnay, Class of ’83 says: “Arthur was an inspirational, creative, and thought provoking teacher. He opened our minds to new directions. Most significantly, he cared about each of his students. In some of my low moments, he was always available to talk or take walks around campus or Lake Carnegie. His memory will always be a blessing.”
Szathmary is survived by his wife, Lily Hayeem; his brother, Bill Dana; and his children, Robert and Helen.
Both the family and the department of philosophy are planning a memorial service.
Jerome Saldick died at home on July 17, 2013. Born on March 24, 1921 in Astoria, N.Y., he was the son of the late Elsa (Rimalover) and David Saldick and was predeceased by his sister Sally Mackler.
Known for living life on his own terms, he graduated from Townsend Harris High School. He received his BA cum laude in chemistry in 1940 and his MA in 1941, both from Brooklyn College.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War II attaining the rank of Captain. He was stationed in Rome as a weather forecaster and it was during his army years that he began his lifelong love of travel, catching rides to many exotic destinations including Egypt and Palestine.
After the war he earned his PhD from Columbia University. He was a member of Phi Lambda Upsilon and Sigma Xi honorary societies. He was also a member of the American Chemical Society.
In 1951 he married Evelyn (Diamond). They had two daughters and moved to Princeton in 1960. Jerry and Princeton took an instant liking to each other. During his career at FMC and afterward, he enjoyed many diverse activities including sailing on Lake Carnegie, fixing cars, taking painting classes at the Adult School, swimming regularly at the Community Pool, and auditing classes at Princeton University. He relished the afternoon lectures at the University Art Museum and dialogues with Rabbi Silverman at The Jewish Center.
A two-time cancer survivor, he enjoyed volunteering with the local prostate cancer support group.
A devoted family man, he is survived by his wife of 62 years, Evelyn, and his loving daughters Barbara and Diane. A founding member of the 55 Plus Club, contributions may be made in Jerry’s memory to the 55 Plus Club, The Jewish Center, or The Jewish Center Library Fund.
Haruo Nakayama, 80, of Princeton died Thursday, July 18, 2013 at home.
Born March 10, 1933 in Manhattan, his father had a business in New York City. During World War II, he returned to Japan with his parents and a sister. He graduated from school in Japan, majored in electronics, joined the U.S. Army for three years and transferred to the U.S. Air Force, having served in the military for a total of 26 years. He was employed as an electronic engineer with the U.S. Department of Defense at the Air Force Base in Wiesbaden, Germany until his retirement. He returned to the U.S. in 1998 to reside with his mother and sisters in Princeton. He was a quiet person who spent most of his time with family and friends. He enjoyed bird watching, reading books, listening to classical music, opera, and taking photos.
He is survived by his sister, Michiko Nakayama of Princeton.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Princeton Hospice, 88 Princeton-Hightstown Rd., Princeton Junction, N.J. 08550.
“I Did It My Way”
Richard DuFour, 81, passed away peacefully on July 14, surrounded by family. He was born October 5, 1931 in Bound Brook, New Jersey to Louis and Frances Paternoster DuFour. Mr. DuFour was a resident of Central New Jersey until he retired to the Dallas area in 1996. He was a graduate of Rutgers University and a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. Richard was retired from his construction business and was an artisan stonemason.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, son Jeffrey of Hopewell, son Brian of Albuquerque, N.M., son Mark of Piscataway, N.J., daughter Diane of Renton, Wash., son Darren of Jamesburg, N.J. and stepdaughter Sandra of Keyport, N.J.. He also had many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Joseph. His brother, Warren, recently passed away on July 19. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Joan Sullivan, and granddaughter Malloree.
All funeral services are private by Turrentine Jackson Morrow of Allen, Tex. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org/tribute). Condolences and acknowledgements may be offered on the funeral home website www.tjmfuneral.com or sent to the family c/o J. DuFour, P.O. Box 2310 Princeton, N.J. 08543, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cynthia A. Stevens
Cynthia A. Stevens, 58, a resident of Hamilton Township, New Jersey, died peacefully at home on Friday, July 19, 2013. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, she lived in Princeton until young adulthood, and thereafter principally in Hamilton Township. She graduated from Princeton High School in 1972, and attended the Moore College of Art. Cynthia was very passionate and knowledgeable about horticulture. Her home garden was literally a sea of plants, including a number of exotic varieties that were in bloom from early spring until late fall. Her garden was her pride and joy, and the results of her labors were a joy to behold. For a number of years Cynthia served as a volunteer at the annual Philadelphia Flower Show.
Cynthia is survived by her husband, Keith D. Stevens of Hamilton Township; her parents, Nancy R. and William C. Becker of Princeton; her sister Pamela B. Haberle and her husband Robert of Pennington; her brother Christopher R. Becker and his wife Chia-lin of Oakland, California, Taylor MacGregor Haberle, a nephew, and Alexandra Claire Becker, a niece.
Cremation will be held privately and there will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, 100 North 20th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19100, www.PennsylvaniaHorticulturalSociety.org or any other organization of choice.