April 30, 2014

Obituaries 4/30/14

Obit Sigmund 4-30-14Paul E. Sigmund

On Sunday, April 27, Paul E. Sigmund, 85, who retired in 2005 as a politics professor at Princeton University, died of complications from pneumonia at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.

His wife, Barbara Boggs Sigmund, was mayor of Princeton from 1984 to her death at age 51 in 1990.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Sigmund earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, at Georgetown University in 1950, studied on a Fulbright scholarship in 1950-51 at the University of Durham, England, and earned a master’s at Harvard University in 1954 and a doctorate there in 1959.

In 1956-57, as a lieutenant, he was a political analyst at the European headquarters of the Air Force in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Mr. Sigmund was director of the Latin American Studies Program at Princeton in 1969-70 and for several terms in the 1980s and 1990s.

Among Mr. Sigmund’s several books, Liberation Theology at the Crossroads: Democracy or Revolution was published by Oxford University Press in 1990.

Among his several appointments, Mr. Sigmund was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington in 1985-86.

He is survived by two brothers and two sisters, sons Stephen, David, and Paul IV, and four grandchildren.

A visitation is set from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, May 1, at Stuart Country Day School for the Sacred Heart, 1200 Stuart Road, Princeton. A Funeral Mass will take place at 1:30 p.m., Friday, May 2, at the Princeton University Chapel. Burial will be in the Princeton Cemetery. A reception will follow at Prospect House at 3 p.m.

Donations may be sent to www.handstogether.org. Condolences may be offered to the family at http://thekimblefuneralhome.com.


Obit Brower 4-30-14Brock Brower 

Author and journalist Brock Brower, whose literary output ranged from novels to television writing to political speeches, died on April 16, 2014 in Santa Barbara, California, at the age of 82. His family gave the cause of death as cancer. Among his seven books, Brower was the creator of The Late Great Creature, a satiric Hollywood novel featuring an aging horror film star who uses his last movie to scare America into confronting its own frightening psyche. The Late Great Creature was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1973 and was recently reissued by Overlook Press. Brower also left his mark as a magazine journalist, contributing to Life, Esquire, Harper’s, and New York Magazine, among other leading publications in the 1960s and 70s. He later worked in television, helping to originate Hugh Downs’s 20/20 broadcast for ABC News, as well as The Children’s Television Network science show, 3-2-1-Contact!.

In the latter half of his career, Brower brought his pen to the political fray in Washington, D.C., as a speech writer for Attorney General Richard Thornburgh during George H. W. Bush’s administration and as co-author, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ David M. Abshire, of Putting America’s House in Order (Praeger, 1996), a salvo in the budget policy wars.

Born in Plainfield on November 27, 1931 and raised in Westfield, New Jersey, Brower was the eldest of three children of advertising executive Charles H. Brower, who was chairman and CEO of ad agency BBDO during the Madison Avenue heyday portrayed in the popular cable TV drama Mad Men. Brower’s mother, Betty, once held the women’s world record in the 200-meter dash. His younger brother, Hon. Charles N. Brower, a barrister with 20 Essex Street Chambers in London and former negotiator in the Nixon State Department, is a leading international lawyer, a judge at the Hague, and noted expert in international financial arbitration. Brower’s younger sister, Dr. Anne C. Brower, was a highly regarded bone radiologist, leader of academic medical departments and Episcopal priest in Norfolk, Virginia, before her death last fall.

Brower graduated from Westfield High School and went on to Dartmouth College as a member of the class of 1953, serving his senior year as editor-in-chief of the college newspaper, The Daily Dartmouth. He attended Harvard University Law School for a year, but left when he received a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University’s Merton College, where he earned his master’s degree with First Honours in English Literature. While visiting Paris, he met American fashion model Ann Montgomery. They were married at Oxford’s St. Peter-in-the-East in 1956 and returned to the U.S., where Brower joined the Army, serving for two years in an intelligence unit based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He and Mrs. Brower then decamped to New Jersey, settling in Princeton, where they raised their five children — son Monty, 55, and daughters Emily, 52, Elizabeth, 50, Margaret, 49, and Alison, 43.

As a magazine journalist, Brower was noted for his political profiles of such figures as Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, Senator Edward Kennedy, and George Romney. Brower’s first novel, Debris, published by Atheneum in 1967, is a Faulknerian tale of a narrator trapped in a duck blind with a murderous man bent on avenging marital betrayal. His collection of essays and reportage, Other Loyalties: A Politics of Personality (Atheneum) came out in 1968. Other books included a children’s poem, The Inchworm War and the Butterfly Peace (Doubleday and Co., 1970), illustrated by Arnold Roth, and Brower’s last novel, Blue Dog, Green River (David R. Godine, 2005), a mystical tale of a Western whitewater odyssey narrated by a mongrel dog and her rafting guide owner. Brower’s literary honors included an O. Henry Prize for his short story, Storm Still, and A National Endowment for the Arts Award, both in 1968, as well as a 1973 Guggenheim Fellowship. In his later years, Brower particularly enjoyed helping aspiring writers in Dartmouth’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, where he taught journalism from 1996-2006.

Brower leaves his wife, Ann, five children, and five grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Serenity House, the hospice where he spent his final weeks: VNHC Foundation, 509 East Montecito St., Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93103; www.vnhcsb.org.


Margery Ann Rittmaster

Margery Ann Rittmaster, 89, of Beaufort, N.C., died on April 21, 2014. A memorial service will be held at a later date. She was born to the late William and Mindelle Lewis on March 8, 1925 in Chicago, Ill. After moving to New York City as a teenager, she met her husband, the late Arthur Rittmaster. They eventually settled in Princeton, where they raised their three children: Glenn, Roger, and Keith. She volunteered at the Princeton Hospital, and in the 1970’s, she worked for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Later, she and Arthur moved to Beaufort, N.C., where she was a volunteer for the Carteret General Hospital and the North Carolina Maritime Museum. She loved family, theater, and music. She made people smile and laugh.

Margery is survived by her sons, Keith and Roger; four granddaughters, Dana and Robyn Rittmaster, and Olivia and Lindsey Thayer; and two great granddaughters. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Carteret General Hospital P.O. Box 1619 Morehead City, N.C. 28557, Hospice of Carteret County P.O. Drawer 1619 Morehead City, N.C. 28557, or the Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum 315 Front St. Beaufort, N.C. 28516. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.mundenfuneralhome.net. Arrangements are by Munden Funeral Home and Crematory Inc. of Morehead City, N.C.