Ann Harris Yasuhara
Ann Harris Yasuhara, 82, died at her home in Princeton, New Jersey, on Wednesday, June 11. A logician and computer scientist, she was known for combining her Quaker faith with action focused on peace, social justice, racial equality, and the environment. Her life balanced her love for the sacredness of all life, the compassionate concerns of a Quaker activist for the world and the local community, her delight in music, gardening, and art, and her generosity to friends and family.
Born on March 8, 1932 in Madison, Wisconsin, her parents were Julian Earle Harris (a noted French language educator at the University of Wisconsin) and Elizabeth Marshall Harris, a sculptor. She studied cooking and fashion design in Paris, attended Swarthmore College, and earned her bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Illinois.
In 1970 she and her husband, Mitsuru, settled in Princeton in a cozy little house and garden and pursued their vibrant interests in mathematics, music, and art. Ever adventurous, they traveled widely, including regular trips to visit his family in Japan. Perhaps her favorite place was her garden.
In 1972 she joined the new department of
computer science at Rutgers University, where she was an associate professor; she supervised the PhD theses of Frank Hawrusik, Venkataraman Natarajan, and Elaine Weyuker. Ileana Streinu, now the Charles N. Clark Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at Smith College, remembers Ann Yasuhara’s classes on Recursive Function Theory and Logic and her textbook. “It was an exquisite topic, beautiful mathematics that Ann was conveying to generations of graduate students. In a department with only a few women on the faculty, she was a model to look up to. With grace and generosity, she touched my life and the lives of many students like me.”
Ann Yasuhara belonged to the living tradition of Quaker spirit-led peace and justice activists. Unflagging in her resistance to war and violence, she studied the philosophy and methods of non-violent resolution of conflict with George Lakey, the noted Quaker peace activist. In turn, she led training groups for inner city children.
Within the Society of Friends (Quakers) she served terms at Princeton Friends Meeting as Clerk of the Meeting and clerk of the committee on peace and social concerns. She also served on committees in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, an association of 103 Quaker meetings.
Most recently she enthusiastically supported — and went on protests with — the nonviolent direct action group, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), which works to end mountaintop removal coal mining. On her 79th birthday she protested on a strenuous mountain climb in West Virginia mining country. In January, just before she was diagnosed with cancer, the Philadelphia-based group honored her as one of its outstanding “wise elders.”
“Ann was a leader in the Quaker faith and an inspiration to all of us. She set the bar very high and gave us confidence to fight for a better world,” says Janet Gardner, a documentary film maker at the Gardner Group and a member of Princeton Friends Meeting.
Within the Princeton community, she helped found Silent Prayers for Peace, which keeps silent vigil every Wednesday in Palmer Square. She was a founding member of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF). As a founding member of Princeton’s Not in Our Town (NIOT), an interracial, interfaith social action group committed to racial justice, she was instrumental in creating programs that honor and support youth of diverse backgrounds. She also teamed with the Princeton Public Library to develop, through NIOT, thought-provoking community discussions on race, white privilege, bullying, and the environment. Her work with students was notable. She was a volunteer tutor, supported Committed Princetonians (a mentoring group), and served on the Minority Education Board of Princeton Regional Schools.
She is survived by Mitsuru Yasuhara, her husband of 49 years; her godchildren Josue Rivera-Olds,
Grecia N. Rivera, and Julio R. Rivera; cousins including Sarah Rogers Pyle Sener (Pikesville, Maryland), Jan Marshall Fox, J. Laird Marshall, Nancy Marshall Bauer (Madison, Wisconsin), Jane Marshall (Birmingham, Alabama), Richard H. Marshall (Toronto, Canada), James R. Marshall (Gardnerville, Nevada), and Barbara Figge Fox (Princeton, New Jersey) and their families.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 5, at 2 p.m. at Princeton Friends Meeting. Donations in her memory may be made to any of the many charities she supported and/or to Princeton Friends Meeting, 470 Quaker Road, Princeton N.J. 08540.
Susan Bird Kittredge
Susan Bird Kittredge, born Susan Elizabeth Bird, 74, died peacefully on May 9, 2014 at the University Medical Center of Princeton in Plainsboro, New Jersey. Born in Framingham, Massachusetts, she grew up in Wayland and Andover, Massachusetts, and spent summers in York, Maine. She attended Skidmore College and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.
In 1964, while working in New York City, she met and married Ernest Kittredge. They moved to Princeton and then South Brunswick, her home for the last 42 years. As a practicing artist, she created exuberant fine art pieces, clothing, and wall hangings in fabric, paper, and mixed media. Her work was exhibited throughout New Jersey and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Since 1983, she served as assistant director of the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. In 31 years of public service, she was a passionate advocate for the role of arts and culture in a vibrant community, helping to bring countless public programs to the county and to central New Jersey.
She enjoyed spending time at the family home in York, Maine, a community she loved dearly, and traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean. She was predeceased by her father and mother, Johnston and Edith Bird, her husband, Ernest Kittredge, and her brother, John Nicholas Bird. Surviving are her son, Neil Philip Kittredge, his wife Kirsten Shaw, and grandson Asher, all of Brooklyn, New York, and her sister-in-law Mabel Bird of Milford, New Hampshire. Burial was in York, Maine, and a memorial service will be held in New Jersey in late June. Memorial contributions may be made to the York Land Trust, www.yorklandtrust.org.
Ann D. Johnston
Ann D. Johnston died on June 11, 2014 at her home in Stonebridge.
Born in Boston to Arthur and Lillian Wilson on January 13, 1931. She was educated at Girls Latin School in Boston, Radcliffe College, MIT, and Washington College.
She started her career as an engineer at RCA, then was a pioneer in the computer programming field. In 1970 she began her 28 years at Princeton Regional Schools teaching math, 12 of those years as president of the Teachers’ Union.
She was an activist and her love for all people was always evident. She initiated or joined in almost every local and national peace and civil rights project in the 50s and 60s. This included peace walking and civil rights marching all over the east coast, selling thousands of boxes of UNICEF cards from her home, traveling to New York every week to cook soup with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker house of hospitality, and participating in the American Friends Service Committee integration projects. She was also involved in many local organizations, one of which was serving on the board of Princeton Community Housing.
She traveled the world with friends and family and joined various volunteer projects in the U.S. and abroad. She had a passion for the arts, becoming a serious painter. She also tried her hand at a variety of crafts including glass blowing, weaving, knitting, basketry, jewelry making, and rug making.
After moving to Stonebridge, she maintained her active engagement in outside interests while contributing to the Stonebridge community as president of the Residents Association and the first resident trustee on the Springpoint CCRC Board.
Predeceased by husband Loren B. Johnston and brother Charles Wilson, survived by daughters Beth and her husband Bill Stafford, Ellen and her husband Brian Clark, 5 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Audrey Wilson,
cousins Sheldon and Fay Rothman, Bill and Cherie Artz, Kathy and Jerry Sorokin, Jane McCloud, nephew Steven Wilson, niece Andrea Wilson, and many many very dear friends.
Contributions can be made in her name to Mercer County Friends Food Bank online at www.mercerstreetfriends.org or by mail to Mercer Street Friends, 151 Mercer Street, Trenton N.J. 08611-1799.
Roderick Davis Pannell
Roderick Davis Pannell, 73 of Ewing, departed this life on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at his residence. Born in Princeton, Roderick was educated in the Princeton Public Schools and was a graduate of Rutgers University. “Rijo” or “Rod” as he was affectionately known was employed by ABC Imaging and worked at Parsons Brinckerhoff in Lawrenceville. He retired from ABC Imaging in 2012. He was also formerly employed by Mathematica Policy Research in the survey division for many years.
He was predeceased by his parents, Irving and Frances Pannell; a son, Peter Pannell; a sister, Rose Marie Pannell and a brother, Stanley Pannell. Surviving are his former wife, Denise M. Dunn; two sons, Roderick Davis Pannell, II and Aaron Maurice Pannell; a daughter, Taj A. Pannell; James Luther whom he loved as a son; a brother, Henry Pannell, Sr.; a niece, Rheny Merril; four nephews, Robert, Dean, Clyde, and Henry Pannell, Jr.; several great nieces and great nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
Funeral Services will be Friday, June 20, 2014 at 1 p.m. at Campbell Funeral Chapel 1225 Calhoun Street Trenton, N.J. 08638. Interment will be in Princeton Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the chapel.