Dr. George Luchak, who introduced the academic study of operations research at the Princeton University School of Engineering in 1966, died peacefully at his home in Princeton in early June 2017, surrounded by Elizabeth, his wife of 68 years, and his family.
Dr. Luchak was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to Eli and “gennie” Luchak, and was the eldest of 10 children. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics at the University of Toronto in 1942, which he obtained a year early in order to enlist in the Canadian Army during World War II. He rose to the rank of Captain and was stationed in London, and thereafter participated in the invasion of Europe, landing at Normandy Beach. After the German defeat, he taught mathematics at the Joint Services Staff College of the United Kingdom and then returned to the University of Toronto in 1946, where he earned his PhD in physics. His PhD dissertation, Theory of the Earth’s Magnetic Field, was published in 1953 and was referenced in 2010 to explain the magnetic fields of neutron stars. While in graduate school, he met Elizabeth Szilagyi, the love of his life, at Hart House, where she did graduate work after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta. In 1949, they were married in Calgary, Alberta. They lived in Ralston, Alberta, and began to raise a family.
Dr. Luchak worked at the Canadian Defense and Research Board as a research scientist from 1949 to 1956 in Suffield, Alberta, where he published papers in the diverse fields of environmental physics, colloid sciences, mathematics, and queuing theory. In 1954, he was the Canadian representative (and one of the first Canadians) to observe an atmospheric atomic bomb test in the Nevada desert. He also was the first Canadian to publish an article on the nascent discipline of operations research.
In 1956, Dr. Luchak and his family emigrated to the United States, soon settling in Bucks County, Pa. He helped develop the new field of systems engineering at General Electric (GE) Missile and Space Vehicle Division in Philadelphia, and taught courses at Drexel University and La Salle University. From 1963 through 1966, while a senior scientist at Radio Corporation of America (RCA), Dr. Luchak designed the development program for the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) sitting atop the Saturn rocket that would take man to the moon, publicly known as the Apollo Program. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 LEM enabled man to first land and set foot on the moon, an event still considered by many to be NASA’s crowning achievement.
In 1966 he joined the faculty of Princeton University as a tenured full professor in the School of Engineering. For the remainder of his professional career, Dr. Luchak taught and conducted research at the School of Engineering where he taught game theory, queuing theory, and graduate courses in Modern Developments in the Management of Industrial Design. While he was teaching at Princeton, Dr. Luchak was asked to investigate the New Jersey Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for permission to build a floating nuclear power plant off the coast of Ocean County in the mid-70s. His testimony before the NRC was instrumental in the decision of the NRC to recommend against granting PSE&G a permit to build the reactor. In recognition of his scientific and academic achievements, Dr. Luchak was appointed by Governor Kean to the Science Advisory Committee for the State of New Jersey, where he served as a member and then as chairman from 1982 through 1984.
Dr. Luchak continued to be prominent in the Princeton community after retiring in 1986. A true Renaissance man, he actively was engaged in his research as well as other intellectual and cultural pursuits for the next 31 years. In his spare time he continued to develop and expand his proficiency at poker. His love of the game was shared weekly with the Poker Group, which met at the Nassau Club of Princeton. Dr. Luchak was an active charter member of the Poker Group for almost 50 years. The select membership consisted of such well-known figures as Fletcher Knebel, Peter Benchley, Arnold Roth, U.S. District Judge Joe Irenas, as well as academics, businessmen, politicians, ambassadors — and others from all walks of life. Dr. Luchak is best remembered for introducing his own variant of “Texas Hold ‘em” to the Poker Group, as well as his razor wit and personal warmth, which created strong bonds of friendship and loyalty with his poker brethren over the years. He was particularly appreciative of his friend John Tucker, who drove him to and from the weekly game in recent months, even just five days before his death.
Dr. Luchak was an exemplary family man, devoted to his children and grandchildren. He was a mentor, and took a keen interest in their education and careers until the last day of his life. He is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth; his children and their spouses and partners: Frank Luchak (Nadya Z. Day), Elaine Small (W. Thomas Small, Jr.), Jolanne Stanton (James L. Stanton), and Heather Kunkel (Gerard K. Kunkel); 10 grandchildren: Matthew, James, George, Wills, Brittany, Alicia, Sasha, Alec, Dane, and Eli; his sisters Irene Harason and Patricia Kettle; more than 25 nieces and nephews; and hundreds of former students, who were touched by his dedication and sharing of his wisdom.
Please visit www.GeorgeLuchak.org for Guest Book and photos.
Carolyn Quay Wilson
Carolyn Quay Wilson, 88, of Princeton, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Sunday June 18, 2017.
Born on May 2, 1929, originally from Wayzata, Minn., she was the third daughter of Arthur H. Quay, president of the First National Bank of Minneapolis, and Marion S. Quay. She attended Carlton College and graduated from the University of Minnesota, where she met and married George E. Wilson. She raised her two children, Brett and Ward, in Lawrenceville, where she was a Girl Scout leader and active in local politics.
After moving to Princeton in 1969, she volunteered for decades at Recording for the Blind, and the Women’s Professional Roster (a volunteer organization dedicated to finding jobs for women.) She was hired as a grant writer by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in 1970. Within several years she was Director of Teacher Education and she created a nationally recognized program to foster excellence in teaching for high school teachers. Over the following decade the program expanded, eventually bringing $1.2 million dollars of funding to the foundation annually.
Upon retiring, she co-founded The Evergreen Forum, a popular life-long learning program in Princeton.
She loved reading, travel, theater, and anything to do with the water. She bought herself a windsurfer when she was 62. She will be deeply missed.
She is survived by her husband, George; her children, Brett and Ward; two granddaughters, Emily and Kori; and her sister Nancy.
Funeral services will be held Friday, June 23, 2017. Please visit the Kimble Funeral Home website at www.TheKimbleFuneralHome.com for details. Attendees are encouraged to wear a little something red (her favorite color).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to two of her favorite causes: Planned Parenthood or the Nature Conservancy.
Robert Frederick Brodegaard
Robert Frederick Brodegaard, known to his friends as “Bob,” passed away at his home in Hopewell, on June 13, 2017. He was born in 1949 to Jeannette Verron Brodegaard and Robert F. Brodegaard of Forest Hills Gardens, and Ancram, N.Y. A 1971 graduate of Colgate University and 1975 graduate of Cornell Law School, he started his career at Weil Gotshal and Manges LLP where he was named partner in 1983. He later moved to Thacher Proffitt and Wood LLP as a partner in litigation.
An esteemed and respected attorney, he specialized in international arbitration, representing foreign governments and corporate entities in complex litigation. He authored several articles and a book on these topics.
He was the loving father of Ingrid Brodegaard Pascali and Kristin Jaffe Brodegaard and grandfather to Catherine and Victoria Pascali. He also leaves behind his beloved companion Ekaterina Schoenefeld.
Robert Bentley Fleming
Family and friends will gather to celebrate the life of Robert B. Fleming: husband, father, grandfather, friend, and caring community member. The gathering will be on Saturday, August 5th, at 2 p.m., in the Stony Brook Meeting House of the Princeton Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers). For further information or to RSVP, please write Douglas Fleming at email@example.com.
Bob died peacefully on the 1st of October, 2016, under the care of Princeton Hospice. Born on Sunday, the 3rd of March, 1929, in Shelbyville, Indiana, Bob was the son of Wray E. Fleming and Phoebe J. Fleming (née Bentley). He grew up in Indianapolis with his sister Nancy and brother Bill, and graduated from Purdue University in engineering in 1951, where he played clarinet and saxophone in jazz bands.
He served in the United States Army in Frederick, Maryland from 1953 to 1955. His dear friend Richard “Bonar” Stillinger helped him survive Army life through a constant supply of puns. Bob always said that serving in the military was the best thing that ever happened to him, because he met his beloved Betty. He won her heart during the “Battle of Magnolia Avenue.” Bob and Betty were married in 1955.
While a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bob built refrigerators that achieved temperatures so low that atoms themselves slowed down and fell asleep, and leftovers could be stored for millions of years. In 1962, Bob and Betty moved to Schenectady, New York, where Bob took a job at General Electric.
Bob was a wonderful father. With his two young sons, Bob gamely went sailing and canoeing and hiking and camping, even though his idea of an ideal outdoor experience was a dinner at a French restaurant with the window open. He once stunned one of his sons — who had not suspected that his mild-mannered father had been a jazz musician — by pulling down a clarinet from a top shelf of a closet, dusting it off, and launching into George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
In the mid-1970s, he blazed new trails in computer technology while assisting with Betty’s accounting for her new children’s bookstore, the Open Door. This was a time when few people had computers, and even fewer men supported their wives to follow their dreams.
Bob found his life’s work in 1976, when he joined Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory. Bob also held leadership roles in Princeton’s Amnesty International for more than 30 years, and worked in many different community organizations. In 2014, he was honored for his work by the Princeton Democratic Committee for his many years of service to the committee and the Princeton Community.
He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Betty, and by his sister Nancy Hope, sons Douglas and Stuart and their families, and many other loving family members.
Edward “Tom” Logan, 66, passed away peacefully at his home in Princeton Junction on June 14, 2017.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Ruby Memorial of Hightstown. Family and friends may offer condolences and share memories at www.rubymemorialhome.com.
He was born January 28, 1951, in Bridgeport, Conn., to Edward Thomas Logan and Helen Coley Logan.
Tom spent most of his childhood years in Beavercreek, Ohio. He moved to Doylestown, Pa. to attend Delaware Valley College where, in 1973, he received a Bachelor of Science in ornamental horticulture. He continued his education at Rutgers University, receiving a Master of Science in 1975.
Tom worked in the horticulture industry for 20 years before he and his wife established Logan Associates in 1995. Together they ran the business until 2016, when his illness forced him to retire. Tom was highly respected in the industry for his strong work ethic, integrity, and cheery disposition.
He was an active communicant of Queenship of Mary Church in Plainsboro and a member of Knights of Columbus. Through church he became involved in Habitat for Humanity, where he volunteered to help build a number of houses in nearby communities.
Additionally, he volunteered his time at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. Tom was a founding member of the Board of Directors of The Molly Bear Foundation, a non-profit started in memory of his beloved granddaughter, Molly Brown.
Tom enjoyed many happy hours with his family at the beach. In his free time he was almost always outdoors; playing golf, tending his yard, washing his truck, or helping a neighbor.
Tom married the love of his life, Regina Murphy on August 11, 1973. During their 43 years of marriage they were all about family. Together they raised four daughters, and the blessings of sons-in-law and grandchildren made their lives even better.
Tom is remembered with love by his wife Regina Murphy Logan; his daughter Erin Brown and her husband Sean of Washington, Conn.; Colleen Wilberts and her husband Steven of Houston, Tex.; Cara Capadona and her husband Bradley of West Caldwell, N.J.; and Monica Logan and her boyfriend Timothy Villanueva of Houston, Tex.; his grandchildren, Gavin and Bridget Brown; Ethan, Thea, and Callum Wilberts; Sophia, Audrey, and Max Capadona; his sisters, Roberta Norman (Richard); Betsy Keyes (Michael); Ann Mundy; and brother Coley Logan (Martha); his brothers-in-law, Paul McCarthy (Nancy); Daniel Murphy (Helena); Peter Murphy (Kathy); sisters-in-law, Maura LaBarre (Ron); Deirdre Ely (Chris); former sister-in-law, Linda Murphy. Tom was predeceased by his granddaughter Molly Brown and nephew Jason Mundy. He will be greatly missed by his many nieces and nephews.
The family extends their gratitude for the compassionate care given to Tom from Victor Iturbides, MD, the neuro-oncology team at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and the hospice team at Princeton Homecare Services.
A Memorial Mass was offered at Queenship of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Plainsboro on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 10 a.m. Family received friends at the church from 9:30 a.m. — 10 a.m.
Interment followed at Holy Cross Burial Park in East Brunswick.
Donations in Tom’s honor may be made to The Molly Bear Foundation, PO Box 1258, Hightstown, NJ 08520 or www.mollybear.org.