Roald Buhler, the primary developer of the P-STAT statistical software program died on November 17 in Princeton. He was a graduate of Oberlin College where he majored in music and minored in pinball and bridge. He started graduate work at Rutgers the year they acquired an IBM 650 computer — the “cat’s meow” of the day. For him computer programming led not to a degree but to a profession that he loved: a profession where he would be paid to play.
In 1960 Educational Testing Service hired Roald to work on the RCA 501 computer. Soon he began consulting for Princeton professor Harold Gulickson who needed his data analyzed but viewed computers with awe. In 1961, there were no computer application programs. If you wanted computer output, you wrote the instructions yourself or you paid someone else to write them for you in an assembler/machine language. Eventually, Princeton decided it would be cheaper to offer Roald a job. He jumped at the chance without even asking what his salary might be.
His tenure (1963-1979) at Princeton University was during a period of enormous expansion in computing. As computer center director (1966-1970), he was responsible for both the choice of the first real “main frame” computer and the construction of the computer center. The job was a fascinating experience but entailed countless meetings and left little free time for the real fun of writing programs, playing tennis, or watching the Princeton basketball and football teams.
Princeton’s resources were abundant. John Tukey was a strong influence and many of his algorithms were included in what was developing into the program of statistical routines eventually named “P-STAT”(R). These routines were the easy part. The real work came in preparing real-life data such as medical records or survey responses, which were keypunched onto cards or tape. Data cleaning, manipulation, and portability is where Roald’s programs excelled. P-STAT has been his life’s work. It has been commercially available since 1979 and has customers worldwide.
His life was not just a working life. The brain that was so brilliant with computer code was also the brain of a musician, a poet with an extraordinary sense of humor, and a wordsmith with a zest for life. He was a gentleman, a scholar, an athlete, a good father and a wonderful husband. We will miss him.
He is survived by Shirrell, his wife of 62 years, four children and their partners; Eric and Nancy, Sebbie and Chas, David and Karen, Marc and Jenny; and grandchildren Wade and Owen.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in Roald Buhler’s name to WWFM The Classical Network, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, N.J., 08550. (online WWFM.org).
A celebration of Roald’s life will coincide with the 50th Anniversary of P-STAT in 2014. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Dr. Thomas L. Hilton
Dr. Thomas L. Hilton, 89, died at his home in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, after a long illness on Friday, November 15, 2013. Dr. Hilton was a noted researcher, teacher, and author in the field of educational psychology and career guidance. His books encompassed management science, quantitative analysis and data management, and career training and preparation. He spent most of his career as a Senior Research Psychologist at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, where he contributed to the early development of the Scholastic Aptitude Tests; graduate, law, and business school exams; and vocational testing.
Thomas L. Hilton was born in Bangor, Me. on June 7, 1924, the son of the late William and Florence (Rogers) Hilton. After graduating from Bangor High School as valedictorian, he entered M.I.T. Soon thereafter, however, he joined the US Army Air Force where he served as a B29 pilot in the 5th Bombardment Squadron, 40th Bombardment Group based in the Marianas in the Pacific.
When the war ended, Hilton returned to M.I.T. He subsequently earned his doctorate in the field of educational psychology from Harvard University. While attending Harvard, Hilton served as assistant dean of students at MIT. He started his teaching career as a Harvard instructor before accepting a position as professor of psychology at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) in Pittsburgh in 1956. Dr. Hilton moved to ETS in 1962 and remained there for more than 30 years.
Dr. Hilton loved natural history and the outdoors. As a youth he spent many summers as a guide on Mt Katahdin and the woods surrounding Chesuncook Lake. He took great pride in the fact that his father, as vice president and director of woodlands for the Great Northern Paper Company, worked closely with his friend Governor Percival P. Baxter in the creation of Baxter State Park on formerly Great Northern land. Like his father, he was a skilled cabinetmaker, and also enjoyed watercolor painting. He shared his love of Maine and knowledge of botany and horticulture as a docent at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.
He was predeceased by his loving wife Alice (Robertson) Hilton, his grandson James Robertson Hilton, his brother William Rogers Hilton, and his sisters Marie Klausmeier and Jane Mealy. His cousin Louis O. Hilton of Greenville, Me., also predeceased him.
Survivors include his three sons: Robert Robertson Hilton, and his wife Dale, of Cleveland, Ohio; William Hilton II and his fiancée Maria Giustizia, of Patchogue, N.Y.; and Thomas L. Hilton Jr., and his wife Lydia, of Springport, Mich. His grandsons Whitney Hilton and his wife Jenny of Los Angeles, Calif.; and Skye Hilton and his wife Kimberley of Brooklyn, N.Y. also survive him, along with his great grandchild Poppy Hilton of Brooklyn.
Dr. Hilton’s death is also mourned by 11 nieces and nephews, whom he loved dearly, and close friends.
The family has requested that memorial donations be made to the Children’s Garden at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, P.O. Box 234 Boothbay, Me. 04537.
You are invited to share condolences, memories, and photos with the family by visiting their Book of Memories page at www.
Arrangements are entrusted to Simmons, Harrington, and Hall of Boothbay, Me.
Johnsie Lee Broadway Burnett
Johnsie Lee Broadway Burnett, first born child of John R. Broadway, Sr. and Jossie Gaddy Broadway, entered the world on June 4, 1926 in Anson County, N.C. The birth was a challenging experience for mother and daughter, and while both came through the ordeal successfully, there were many tense and anxious moments. The birth was so difficult for Johnsie Broadway that her father and mother, David and Nancy Gaddy of Wadesboro, N.C., took it upon themselves to care for and raise Baby Johnsie themselves, along with their own children, her aunts and uncles. Johnsie attended Deep Creek Elementary and High School, graduating in 1945, interrupted by several years in Princeton, in the home of her mother and father.
Johnsie attended Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., graduating magna cum laude in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. While enrolled at Shaw University, Johnsie met and fell in love with Zaron W. Burnett of Steelton, Pa., a returning veteran of the United States Navy who was discharged following the end of World War II. They married in 1949 and lived in Chatham and Danville, Va. until 1959. In 1959, they moved their family, now including five children, Errol, Zaron, Jr., Irving, Douglas, and Rosalind, to Lancaster, Pa., where Zaron Burnett, Sr., newly graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan, accepted employment from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Johnsie accepted employment from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Assistance.
Afterwards, promotions relocated the family from Lancaster to Harrisburg and Meadville, Pa., and finally to Hamilton Township, N.J. in February 1964. They made their home there until Zaron passed away in June 1999, after which, Johnsie moved to Columbia, Md., to share a home with her youngest son, Douglas, and his family. She resided with them until her peaceful passing on Saturday evening, October 26, 2013.
Johnsie was a devoted member of the United Methodist Church, having affiliated with congregations in Meadville, Pa., Trenton, N.J., and Columbia, Md. She was a loyal and active member of the Top Ladies of Distinction, an organization dear to her heart, as well as the National Association of Methodist Women, and the American Association of University Women. She belonged to many service organizations over the years and was always prepared to pitch in and lend a helping hand. Johnsie possessed a love of learning and scholarship that guided her through life on a journey of curiosity, discovery, and investigation. She was known for her sense of humor, her love of a good book, and her fondness for marathon discussions of current affairs. She presided over a household that raised five children, each of whom graduated from high school and enrolled in colleges and universities of their choosing.
Predeceased by her husband Zaron, Sr. and her daughter Rosalind Burnett Harris, Johnsie is survived by four sons, Errol, Zaron, Irving, and Douglas; three daughters-in-law, Patricia Bacon Burnett, Pearl Cleage, and Hanifah Huntley; beloved sisters Frances Broadway Craig, Nancy Burch Shelton, Doretha Burch Tucker, Eula Burch Sharrock, Alice Burch Powell, Barnia Burch Young, and Irma Jean Burch Tillman; three brothers Herbert, John and Romus, having been predeceased by brothers John R., Jr., Henry, Lee, James, and Housted and a sister Lina Broadway Boone; a nephew Daryl Boone with whom she shared a special relationship; and a brother and sister-in-law Leo and Maggie Burnette of Harrisburg, Pa. She also leaves 8 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and a host of nephews, nieces, and cousins, all of whom were dear to her.
Annette Ella (Sparks) Evans
Annette E. Evans, 96, died peacefully at her residence at Stonebridge at Montgomery in Skillman, New Jersey of heart failure. She was born on September 13, 1917 in Fall River, Mass. She is predeceased by her loving husband of 38 years, Richard D. Evans. She is the daughter of Floyd John Sparks and Jeanne (Briere) Sparks. Annette grew up at 504 Barnes Street with her sisters Rita, Flossie, Cecelia, and Kathleen and her brother John. She always had fond memories of her youth in Fall River even though she left Durfee High School at 16 and her dream of college in order to help support the family during the Great Depression. In 1940 she met Richard D. Evans, Jr. and they were married on October 6, 1941. Dick was the son of Richard D. and Winifred (O’Donnell) Evans, also of Fall River. She and Dick had four children and the family moved to Holbrook, Massachusetts in 1951 to be closer to Dick’s job at the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety. She loved living and raising her family there. Because her education was interrupted by the Depression, she took a special interest in assuring that her children had the best education possible. After her children were grown she went back to school and obtained certification as a Licensed Practical Nurse. In 1974 Dick transferred to the Cape and they moved to Centerville, Massachusetts. She was very happy to be living on the Cape and near her sister Rita. She worked as a nurse at Cape Cod Hospital and loved her job there. Dick passed away in 1980 soon after retiring from the Dept of Public Safety.
Annette became very involved in life in Centerville and was busy every day with many friends and various organizations: the Quilters’ Group: Designing Women, The Garden Club, Centerville Historical Society, and the Ladies Sodality of Our Lady of Victory Church. In 2004 her hip broke and after successful surgery she decided to move in November of 2004 to Stonebridge at Montgomery Senior Living facility in Skillman, N.J. to be near her daughter Jeanne and son-in-law, Lou. During the last nine years, she has enjoyed independent living and more recently assisted living at Stonebridge. She always said that she had a wonderful life and she married a good man, and was proud of her children.
She is survived by her children, Richard (Ruth Anne), Robert (Barbara), Jeanne (Lou McNeil), and David (Karen Webster), and her sister Kathleen Costa, seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by sisters Rita Bearse, Cecelia Sullivan, Florence Borden; brother John Sparks: and daughters-in-law Virginia (Richard) and Geraldine (Robert) Evans.
Visitation was held on Sunday, November 24, 2013, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Doane, Beame, and Ames Funeral Home, 160 West Main Street, Hyannis, Massachusetts and at 8:30-9:20 a.m. on Monday, November 25, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. to which relatives and friends were invited at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville, Mass. Interment will be at Beechwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Annette’s name to the Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, Maryland 21297-0303.