Merrell Noden passed away May 31, 2015, in Princeton, New Jersey, peacefully and in the loving company of his family. The cause was lung cancer. He was 59.
Born in Trenton, New Jersey on July 31, 1955, Merrell was the oldest child of Judge J. Wilson and Mrs. Cecily Noden. With his siblings, Hilary and Geoffrey, Merrell loved athletics of all kinds and especially running. As a student at The Lawrenceville School, Merrell ran a 4:11.9 mile on a distance medley team that set a U.S. high school indoor record; and, on his own, he set an Eastern high school indoor 880 record of 1:54.0. He is a member of the school’s Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame, and in Lawrenceville’s Lavino Field House, many bronze plaques bear Merrell’s name; his records for the 1-mile run; 2-mile run; and 880 yards still stand.
Merrell was a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton, where he ran cross-country for four years. After college, he taught for several years at Princeton Day School before earning an MPhil in English Literature at Oxford University. While at Oxford he trained and raced with the North London Athletics Club and earned an Oxford Blue. He would continue to run for pleasure and competition throughout his life.
Merrell wrote his Oxford master’s thesis on the work of Charles Dickens, and he was as passionate about literature — especially Shakespeare, Dickens, and the British poets — as he was about sport. Fittingly, his long career as a journalist began with a celebrated article for Sports Illustrated about Dickens’s practice of walking up to 20 miles per day.
Merrell was intensely intellectually curious — quick to laugh, to critique, and to praise — and deeply committed to racial equality and social justice. He had many passions, and as a writer, he took great pleasure in writing about topics that allowed him to bridge his interests, research deeply, celebrate human genius, and explore broader social issues. He wrote about sports and eating disorders, steroids, the science of comedy, the sport of word play, and great Americans, including Chuck Berry and Louis Armstrong. Through writing about Oprah Winfrey for People Magazine, he was hired to help write a memoir of the segregated South. Locally, he was honored to edit The Lawrenceville Lexicon, a history of The Lawrenceville School, and some of his most cherished experiences in recent years were his interviews with Princeton alumni and professors whose talents he celebrated in articles for Princeton Alumni Weekly. Through his writing he was able to keep learning about new subjects, supporting causes and institutions dear to him, and meeting people he admired so much.
Merrell was accompanied on his many journeys by his wife, Eva Mantell, a native of Princeton, whom he met while he was a graduate student, and she an undergraduate, at Oxford in 1984. On May 27, 1990, they were married in Central Park, in a service presided over by the musician Sun Ra. Merrell and Eva lived in Manhattan until 2002, when they moved with their two children, Miranda and Sam, back to Princeton.
In both New York and Princeton, Merrell served the community as a teacher and coach. He taught literacy for The Fortune Society in New York City and at Trenton State Prison. He worked with many individual runners. He coached Little League in Princeton. Since 2011 Merrell coached cross-country at Princeton Day School, where his children were students.
Merrell was known and revered especially for his love of family and gift of friendship. He made deep and lasting friends wherever he went. He stayed in close touch with and enjoyed personal visits from close friends even to the very end of his life. His loss is felt keenly by literally hundreds of classmates, colleagues, and dear family friends.
Merrell is survived by his wife, Eva; daughter Miranda; son Sam; parents Wilson and Cecily, sister Hilary and sister-in-law Kelly Hanson; brother Geoffrey and sister-in-law Suzette; mother-in-law Marianne Mantell; brother-in-law Michael Mantell and sisters-in-law Ann Mantell, Harriet Fier, Sonia Mantell; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Friends and family are encouraged to celebrate Merrell’s life by giving a gift to the Merrell Noden Fund at HomeFront, an organization that helps families in New Jersey break the cycle of poverty. Donations to the fund may be made online at www.homefrontnj.org/Donate.cfm or mailed to HomeFront, 1880 Princeton Avenue, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-4518.
In the words of William Shakespeare, one of Merrell’s literary touchstones: “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.”
Jane Ellen Groth
Jane Ellen Groth, née Stevenson, born in Champaign, Illinois on April 12, 1946, moved with her family to Santa Monica, California at the age of eleven. She earned a degree in English at the University of Southern California and after graduation in June 1968 married Edward John Groth, III and moved to the Princeton area where she spent the remainder of her life. After starting her family, Jane earned a degree in accounting from Rider College in 1983 and passed the CPA exam in 1988.
Jane worked at the Los Angeles airport, the Prince-ton airport, Educational Testing Service, Techne Inc., Arnold Associates, Lewis W. Parker, III, CPA, and as a self-employed tax preparer. She served on committees of the Society of CPAs, volunteered at the YWCA, was active with Little League, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, including serving as a Brownie Troop Leader.
Jane was a warm, caring, and generous person who loved and supported her family and friends and had a smile for everyone. Whether it was the physics department, the neighborhood, the workplace, or even a cycling club, Jane made friends everywhere and it was important to her to make everyone feel special. In addition to spending time with loved ones, Jane enjoyed art, reading, puzzling, decorating, entertaining, and traveling.
Jane died in her sleep on June 12, 2015. She was predeceased by her parents, George Thomas Stevenson, Jr. and Alice Marjorie Stevenson, née Hilderbrand. She is survived by her husband; their son, Jeffrey Todd Groth of Saratoga Springs, New York; their daughter, Amy Carina Groth of North Windham, Connecticut; and by her siblings Julia A. Rogers, of Banning, California; G. Thomas Stevenson, III of Marietta, Georgia; Betsy J. Cleavinger of Garland, Texas; and many other relatives and friends.
An informal remembrance will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, June 21, 2015 at Jane and Ed’s home, 15 Elm Ridge Road, Pennington, NJ, 08534. Details may be found at the web site http://EdandJane.net. Parking may be limited, so carpooling is encouraged.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington. Condolences are welcome at www.wilsonapple.com.
Alvin J. Salkind
Dr. Alvin J. Salkind, 87, of Princeton died Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital of New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Born in New York City, he had resided in Princeton since 1958. After service in the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1945 to 1946, he returned to his academic studies at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. In 1958 he received a DChE in chemical engineering, chemistry, and x-ray physics. Dr. Salkind was an emeritus professor of bio-engineering in the department of surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick and emeritus professor of chemical engineering at Rutgers University. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Miami, Case Western Reserve, and CUNY. From 1989-2001, he served as the associate dean for research in the school of engineering at Rutgers. He was co-author along with Uno Falk of Alkaline Storage Batteries and co-author with Ernest Yeager of Techniques of Electrochemistry. From 1970 to 1979, he was vice president of technology at Electric Storage Battery in Yardley, Pa. He was a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Electrochemical Society, and the N.J. Academy of Medicine. Dr. Salkind held numerous patents and played a pivotal role in the development of technologies ranging from heart pacers, defibrillators, electric vehicles (both terrestrial and lunar), and fuel cells. Outside of his professional life, he loved his family, skiing, swimming, and sailing. He had been a member of the Miramar Yacht Club in Brooklyn since 1949 and was a founding member of the Princeton Ski Club.
He will be remembered fondly by former students, colleagues, friends, and family around the world.
Son of the late Samuel and Florence (Zins) Salkind, he is survived by his wife Marion (Koenig) Salkind of Princeton; a son James Salkind of Jersey City; a daughter Susanne Salkind of Washington, D.C.; a brother Chester Salkind of Durango, Colorado; and two grandchildren Abigail Salkind-Foraker and Jacob Salkind-Foraker.
The funeral service was held on Friday, June 12, 2015 at Star Of David Memorial Chapel of Princeton, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton. Burial was in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, New York.