June 21, 2019

Obituaries 6/26/19

William Bryce Thompson, IV

William Bryce Thompson, IV of Princeton, NJ, peacefully passed away on Friday, June 21, surrounded by the tremendous love of family and friends. Bryce was born on August 18, 1931 in his father’s home in Valley Head, Alabama, but Bryce is well known as a longtime Princetonian, having grown up at 195 Nassau Street in the house his grandfather built, where Bryce later had his office.

Bryce is predeceased by his father William Bryce Thompson, III, his mother Felicita Doris Golden, and his brother John Golden Thompson. Bryce is survived by his wife Grace White Thompson; his children Lise Thompson and William Bryce Thompson, V from his first wife Siri Willits; his son-in-law Robert Brander, his daughter-in-law Kristen Thompson; his children Barton Thompson and Hannah Thompson from his second wife Frances Lippincott; his grandchildren Nina Brander, William Bryce Thompson, VI, and Finley Thompson; and his stepchildren Wilson Weed, Mary Grace Hodgkins, and Morgan Weed.

As Bryce grew up, his family faced significant challenges, so that Bryce clearly understood from early age that, except for their love, he was on his own. Bryce was a man of big ideas, fierce ambition, hard drive, risk-taking, and strong work ethic. Bryce rocketed to success largely through his own wits and determination. Bryce graduated from Princeton High School and then attended seven different colleges for one semester each — as he often recounted. “Seven colleges and no degree!” — his college career having been more to do with tourism than education, and also because Bryce had to pay for college himself, by teaching tennis (he was a self-taught player) in summer and selling Christmas trees out of his front yard in the fall — and sometimes through his poker winnings. As he said, “One semester was all I could afford!”

Bryce volunteered to be drafted and was sent by the Army to occupied Germany, during the last year of Germany’s occupation. He was initially assigned as a typist — but his superiors soon realized Bryce’s skills did not lie there, and Bryce was reassigned to head up the tennis program the Army established to rebuild relationships among the formerly warring nations. In winter, Bryce was assigned to ski for the Army.

Known to many as “the Land Man,” Bryce started his company Thompson Land in 1958, and he quickly became one of the largest landowners in New Jersey. Since the mid-1980s Bryce has been committed to land preservation, and in the living room of his longtime East Amwell home in Ringoes, New Jersey, Bryce held one of the first — if not the first — meetings in the state to launch land preservation. Thanks to Bryce and all the many people who have committed themselves to the hard work and contribution of land preservation, East Amwell is now at least 45% preserved. Bryce himself is regarded as the major individual land preservationist in central New Jersey, if not the entire state — and some sources say beyond.

Bryce has long been known as a singularly savvy, sharp businessman — a “wheeler dealer” — always quick to pass on his lifelong adage of “Buy low, sell high.” Full of life and passion throughout his life, Bryce’s predilection for adventure and risk-taking led him to distinguish himself not only in real estate, but also in sports. Bryce loved tennis and was not only a fine teaching pro, but an award-winning competitive player. Bryce was also an excellent horseman. He took up riding in his 40s and won the Fall Hills Steeplechase, was an award-winning polo player though his mid-70s, and served as Master of Hounds of the Amwell Valley Hounds fox hunting club. He was a member of the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club, in Switzerland, where he raced the skeleton toboggan on the famous Cresta Run and won the World Seniors race. His endeavors included hang gliding, skydiving, scuba diving, fast cars, fast motorcycles — he loved his Triumph motorcycle — and beautiful women.

Bryce will be remembered by his family, friends, and community as someone the likes of which will not likely come again. He was of a time and world that is largely gone. He will always be remembered at his permanent spot at the head of our family table where he prevailed with sharp wit, gentlemanly charm, and always with a twinkle in his eye.

Bryce loved his family dearly. His unique style of tough love, perseverance, and strength will all be truly and sorely missed. The words to describe him are impossible to write but he will forever live on in the countless stories and memories of all those whose lives he touched.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at St. Paul Church, Princeton, with burial at Princeton Cemetery.

We ask that those who wish to honor the legendary life of this extraordinary man and his land preservation legacy to consider a donation to New Jersey Conservation Foundation, 170 Longview Road, Far Hills, NJ 07931 (908) 234-1225; or D & R Greenway Land Trust, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 924-4646.

Extend condolences and share memories at TheKimble-FuneralHome.com.


William Carnachan Slack

William Carnachan Slack passed away on Sunday, June 16th, at Kimball Farms Nursing Home, Lenox, MA. He was 84.

Bill was born on March 15, 1935 in New York City to Catherine and Beekman Slack. His parents’ bold first encounter on a New York trolley foreshadowed Bill as an adventurous romantic. After attending the Kent School and Columbia, he took an abrupt turn, making his way through the ranks of the auto industry, specializing in British cars. At the height of his career, Bill managed much of the American market for Jaguar.

Bill was renowned for never missing a day of work, but his personal life offers a truer reflection of his joie de vivre. He was a great lover of animals, regularly rescuing strays who became his devoted companions. He celebrated life by attending concerts and theater, enjoying good food, traveling, and spending time with loved ones and friends. It seemed nothing could stop him from attending choice iterations of Wagner’s The Ring Cycle. He was a talented photographer and artist, and we are grateful that much of his passion remains with us, reflected in his works.

Bill finally found the lifelong partner he’d yearned for in Meg, his third wife. He is survived by two previous wives, Francine and Susan; his children Babiche, Katya, and Nicholas; their spouses; and four grandchildren. His family remembers him as warm, non-judgmental, fun, and inclusive. We are lucky that he helped shape the course of our lives.

There will be a private celebration of Bill’s life on July 7th in Lenox, MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Berkshire Humane Society.


Jyothi Thomas

Jyothi Thomas, 32, died on June 15, 2019 at her home in Skillman, NJ, located near the Montgomery schools her daughter attends. The cause of death was complications from Stage 4 breast cancer. Her funeral service was held on June 24, 2019 at St. Paul’s Church in Princeton.

Jyothi was born on November 29, 1986 in Kerala, India. Her precise birthplace was Kattappana, a small village near Kumili where her parents and brother currently reside. In these beautiful and temperate mountains, Jyothi had a warm and supportive childhood. Her early life was closely tied to her family, including her brother, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

Jyothi received her early education at St. Anne’s Higher Secondary School in Kottayam and St. Thomas High School in Kumili. In high school, she achieved the Mar Ivanios Memorial Award and Scholarship for higher studies. She also achieved first rank in a Sunday School exam in Thiruvalla Dioceses, in Kerala. She was a talented singer and participated in dramas and other school functions. Additionally, she was a leader in Malankara Catholic Youth Movement (MCYM). She did well in all levels of school, engaging in some friendly rivalry with her cousins of similar age.

Jyothi studied nursing at St. Joseph College of Nursing, Dharmagiri, Kothamangalam. She chose the specialty Labor & Delivery because of her love of baby children and her desire to focus on mothers. After moving to the U.S., Jyothi worked in nursing education and subsequently as a labor nurse for Trinitas Hospital (Elizabeth, NJ), Hunterdon Hospital (Flemington, NJ), and Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center (Princeton, NJ). She considered nursing, especially L&D, as her calling. She was beloved by her fellow nursing students and professional co-workers.

Jyothi is survived by her husband, Jose Thomas, and her daughter, Elina Thomas. Over the years, Jyothi made many sacrifices for her family, including supporting Jose’s graduate studies and spending sleepless days caring for her daughter. Her family salutes her memory and spirit.

If you would like to make a donation in Jyothi’s name, Elina and Jose suggest the Nature Conservancy at https://www.nature.org/en-us/.


Heinz Kahlbrock

Heinz Kahlbrock, 92, of Skillman died Thursday, June 20, 2019 at Stonebridge at Montgomery Health Care Center. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, he resided in Holmdel before moving to Princeton. He retired after many years of service as an Electrical Engineer with Bell Labs.

Son of the late Heinrich and Charlotte (Kramaroff) Kahlbrock, he is survived by his wife Joanna (Baran) Kahlbrock, his sister Margaret Edelson, and sister-in-law Irene Alexander.

The Funeral Service will be held 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at the Mather Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton. Burial will follow in the Princeton Cemetery.


Memorial Service

Kam Williams

A Memorial Service for Kam Williams, prolific film and literary critic, longtime Town Topics contributor, will be held on Saturday, June 29 at 11 a.m. (doors open at 10 a.m.) at the Princeton Garden Theatre, 160 Nassau Street. A party will follow at Chancellor Green Hall, Princeton University, from 1 to 3 p.m.