January 23, 2019

Obituaries 1/23/19

Norman Itzkowitz

Professor Norman Itzkowitz, 87, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on January 20 in Princeton, New Jersey, where he had resided for over 65 years. Norman was a beloved professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University and served as the Master of Wilson College, one of the University’s residential colleges, from 1975 to 1989. He was the author of a number of highly regarded books in his field of Ottoman and Turkish Studies, including The Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition; Mubadele: An Ottoman-Russian Exchange of Ambassadors, co-written with his friend Prof. Max Mote; his translation of Halil Inalcik’s The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age, 1300-1600; Immortal Ataturk, co-written with his dear friend and collaborator Dr. Vamik Volkan; and, reflecting the wide range of his academic interests, Turks and Greeks: Neighbors in Conflict, co-written with Dr. Volkan; and Richard Nixon: A Psychobiography, co-written with Dr. Volkan and Andrew Dod. Later in life he wrote a series of children’s history books for Scholastic with co-author Enid Goldberg.

Norman Itzkowitz was born on the Lower East Side of New York City in 1931. His father, Jack Itzkowitz, was born in Lowicz, which today is in Poland. His mother, the former Gussie Schmier, was born in Bobrka, a suburb of Lviv, which today is in Ukraine.

Norman attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City and then the City College of New York, which was, at the time, known for producing great scholars and not-bad athletes. Norman was both, winning the College’s Cromwell Medal in History and playing on the varsity lacrosse and fencing teams. On graduating from City College, he was admitted to Princeton University Graduate School. At Princeton, he studied under his mentor, the great historian Lewis Thomas. Upon his teacher’s death, he completed Prof. Thomas’s fundamental Elementary Turkish, still in use today. During graduate school he married his college sweetheart, Leonore Krauss. When he was awarded a prestigious Ford Foundation grant to study in Turkey in the mid-1950s, she accompanied him and they lived there for several years. They returned to Turkey often in the 1950s and 60s, and their son Jay was born in Ankara. Their daughter Karen was born in Princeton.

Well into his traditional academic career Norman developed an interest in psychoanalysis and went back to school in New York City at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. He trained to become a lay analyst, eventually seeing a small number of patients in New York. He felt that becoming a practicing analyst would be the most genuine way to engage in psychohistory, a discipline which merged his two interests. It was during this period that he co-wrote his psychobiography of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, working with Dr. Vamik Volkan of the Psychiatry Department at the University of Virginia Medical School. The book was regarded as a groundbreaking application of psychoanalytic theory to modern Near Eastern history. He extended his academic work in the area of psychoanalysis into hands-on work in the area of inter-ethnic conflict resolution. He traveled to Estonia where he worked with Dr. Volkan on reducing Estonian-Russian tensions following Estonian independence. Prof. Itzkowitz was also one of the earliest Princeton scholars to develop online teaching materials, in particular his online lecture series The Demonization of the Other: The Psychology of Ethnic Conflict in the Balkans.

Perhaps as an outcome of his interest in psychology, Norman became increasingly involved in the on-campus life of the students at Princeton, becoming the Master of Wilson College, one of the residential colleges where students live and take their meals. Norman loved this work and was beloved by the students, who referred to him as “Uncle Norm.” He organized regular trips to New York City to the opera (one of his passions), Broadway shows, and sporting events. He was committed to helping students become compete adults. He viewed exposure to culture and particularly to New York City as vital to this effort. Many of his innovations became standard at the other residential colleges. He served on the Committee on Undergraduate Life (CURL) which radically re-organized undergraduate life at Princeton by bringing in the residential college system. While these innovations were objected to at the time by many alumni, today they form the basis of the Princeton undergraduate experience.

Norman’s love of fencing and sports continued throughout his life. He served as a faculty advisor to the successful Princeton fencing and hockey teams. Later in life he was delighted when his granddaughter, Aliya Itzkowitz, became a champion sabre fencer.

Norman is survived by his wife of 65 years, Leonore, his son Jay and his wife Pria Chatterjee, and his daughter Karen and her husband A. Norman Redlich, and four granddaughters, Anjali and Aliya Itzkowitz and Ruby and Dvora Redlich. He is also survived by his sister Edith and various nephews, nieces, and grandnephews and grandnieces. He also leaves behind a large group of prominent Ottoman historians who studied with him over many years.

He remained fully committed to Princeton until the end, living right in town. Norman and Leonore were a familiar sight taking their usual morning walk along Nassau Street, where he would stop in to see his many friends. Perhaps because of the circumstances of his own childhood he had a way of relating to all he came in contact with, from the most august scholars at the University to its working staff. In many ways he felt closest to those who had not had his advantages and his luck, and to those who had not been surrounded by the same love and affection that he had always felt from his students, friends, and family.

Funeral services were Tuesday, January 22 at Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, Ewing, with burial at Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge. The period of mourning was observed that evening at the Itzkowitz residence in Princeton.

The family respectfully requests memorial contributions to a charity of the donor’s choice.


Mary Fedorko

Mary Fedorko died peacefully in her sleep on January 15, 2019 in her home at Acorn Glen in Princeton, New Jersey. She was 95.

Born in Bens Creek, Pennsylvania, Mary was the daughter of the late Michael and Mary (Kozemchak) Madaychik. As a young girl, Mary moved with her family to a farm on Union Road, Kingwood Township, New Jersey where she grew up.  She attended a one-room school on Union Road, followed by Frenchtown High School.

During World War II Mary served as a reporter for the Calco Diamond, a weekly newspaper of American Cyanamid in Bound Brook, NJ, doing interviews and special interest stories, many of them about Cyanamid employees serving in the war. She later reported and wrote for the Delaware Valley News in Frenchtown, NJ, and then contributed to I Remember: The Depression Years, 1929-1941, published by The Hunterdon County Office on Aging. She was also an inveterate writer of letters-to-the-editor to protest, compliment, question, or praise. An avid lifelong learner, Mary was an active member of her local book group and took college classes into her 80s.

As a long-time resident of Kingwood Township, Mary served her community as a member of the Kingwood Board of Education; president of the Kingwood Township Parent Teachers Association; Brownie leader; member of the Frenchtown and Flemington Women’s Club; and the League of Women Voters. Because of the contact with teachers that it gave her, she loved her work with the Hunterdon County Office of the New Jersey Department of Education, where she served as a Certification Consultant and secretary to the County Superintendent and the County Vocational Coordinator. Perhaps her greatest delight was serving as a hostess for over 100 Hunterdon County Adult Education tours across the United States and in Europe. Her role allowed her to travel widely, learning eagerly about the places she visited and the people she met, including her fellow travelers.

Mary is predeceased by her beloved husband of 68 years, Nick Fedorko; sister Katherine Zelenski; brother Andrew Madaychik; half-brothers Samuel, John, George, and Michael Hrychowian; and half-sisters Anne Lelo and Rose Felix.

She will be sorely missed by her daughter Kathy Fedorko and her husband Peter Macholdt of Hopewell, NJ; son Nick Fedorko, III and wife Sandra Zimmer Fedorko of Morgantown, WV; grandsons Evan Fedorko and his wife Rebecca Fedorko of Morgantown, WV, and Matt Fedorko and his wife Rachel Terman of Athens, OH; granddaughter Sarah Fedorko Macholdt of Philadelphia, PA; great-grandchildren Cormac, Elias, and Liadan Fedorko, and Juniper Fedorko Terman; many nieces and nephews; and dear friends.

A service to celebrate the life of Mary Fedorko will be held on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 2 p.m. at the Flemington Baptist Church, 170 Main Street,
Flemington, NJ 08822. Memorial contributions may be made to the Flemington Baptist Church.


Peter Allington Marks

Peter Allington Marks, age 64, son of late Professor John H. and Aminta (Willis) Marks, died at home in Princeton, New Jersey, on Sunday morning, January 13th following a courageous battle with cancer.     

Born December 8th, 1954 in Princeton Hospital and educated through high school in Princeton’s public school system, Peter graduated magna cum laude from Hamilton College in 1976 with a BA in Latin, and from Wharton Business School in 1981 with an MBA in Finance. He spent summers at the St. Lawrence River’s 1000 Islands where boats, games, and time with summer friends brought him great joy.

With a knack for numbers and problem solving, Peter spent the first ten years of his professional life in Manhattan at Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, followed by positions at Banker’s Trust, and Dillon, Read & Co., where he developed a keen understanding of real estate financing. Moving then to Florida, he honed his understanding of real estate development working as Project Partner for Trammell Crow Residential and later Aoki Corporation. Wanting more freedom to pursue his own projects, however, Peter opted in 1989 to do consulting and be self-employed.   

While in Florida, Peter met his future wife, Mia Brownell Williams, whom he regularly referred to as his wise counsel, skilled proofreader, and dearest friend. They accompanied each other for the next 30 years from Florida to Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and finally to Princeton, where on December 17th, 2018 they married. 

Often skeptical of what many consider progress, Peter advocated for the preservation and dignity of tradition. It was this perspective that led him to write numerous opinion pieces in the local papers, serve as Co-Chair of the Princeton Joint Revaluation Commission and member of the Borough’s Historic Preservation Review Committee and Housing Authority, and in 2016 run for mayor of Princeton. Dignified, humble, and loving, Peter will be fondly remembered.

Peter is survived by his wife, Mia Brownell Marks; his sister Fleur (Marks) and William Rueckert and their children Cleveland and Grayson (Hellmuth) Rueckert, Elizabeth (Rueckert) and Patrick Henry, and Julia (Rueckert) and Brett Shannon, and their grandchildren Chase, Hailey, and Henry; and his brother John and Belle (Potter) Marks and their children, Phoebe, Anna, and Eliza.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 2, 2019, at the Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton.

Contributions may be made to the Nassau Presbyterian Church or Grindstone Methodist Church, Clayton, New York.