Jerome Kurshan, 95, of Princeton, New Jersey, died September 3, 2014, of natural causes.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, he subsequently lived in Princeton for 71 years. He was a graduate of Erasmus Hall High School, class of 1935, where he was awarded the Holmes medal for scholarship every year. He made pocket money by tutoring other high school students. He attended Columbia College with the help of a New York State Scholarship, receiving the AB degree with honors in mathematics and physics, and was salutatorian of the Class of 1939. There, he was awarded the Van Amringe Mathematical Prize, was on the editorial board of the Columbian, the college yearbook, was manager of the Debate Council, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year. He completed his degree requirements in 3½ years and spent his last semester as a graduate student and teaching assistant in physics. In 1943, Kurshan received a PhD degree in physics from Cornell University, where he was also a teaching assistant in physics. His research involved contributions to the World War II effort for which he received a citation from the United States Office of Scientific Research and Development.
He then moved to Princeton to become a member of the technical staff at RCA Laboratories. His early research was on electron tubes. With the advent of the transistor, he became the earliest researcher at RCA to investigate semiconductor devices, and he also forecasted the superiority of silicon over germanium as a device material. Kurshan has 16 U.S. patents to his name, mostly relating to electron devices. After a dozen years in research, he became manager, successively, of Graduate Recruiting, Technical Recruiting and Training, and Employment and Training. He then moved back into the technical sphere as manager, Research Services Laboratory, which included mathematical and computer services, materials analysis, materials and device technology, nuclear radiation technology, and technical information services. His next position, manager, marketing, involved the acquisition of contract support, mostly from the U.S. government, for specific research projects, and the administration of the resulting contracts. This also included responsibility for enforcing government security requirements on classified programs and materials. Next, as manager of administrative services, he had responsibility for many of the non-technical functions supporting research, including model shop, reprographics, drafting, technical publications, library services, purchasing, and facilities. He retired in 1987 after 44 years with the company, while holding the position of manager, administrative projects.
He was a founding member of The Jewish Center of Princeton and continued to be active as a member of its Board of Directors. During a term as vice-president, he founded the Men’s Club. He served as volunteer librarian of the Jewish Center’s adult library from 1989 until 2012. He was named Congregant of the Year in 1997. He frequently filled the role of gabbai at Sabbath services. He was committed to the Princeton United Jewish Appeal (PUJA) and its successor, the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks (JFPMB). He served two separate terms as president of PUJA and was a long-term member of the board of JFPMB. He was awarded its Community Service Award, the Federation’s highest honor, in 2006. He participated actively in 55-Plus, a social group of retired men, and for 19 years wrote, emailed to its members, and archived on its website, summaries of the talks given there. He was a regular volunteer at American Red Cross blood drives and received its Pacesetter award in 2000. He also enjoyed the hobbies of photography, dancing, bicycling, gardening, poker, and computing, and was treasurer of the Princeton Macintosh Users’ Group for many years. He used a moped for local travel until the age of 90, when he decided it would be prudent to forego this risk.
Dr. Kurshan was the son of the late Oscar and Beatrice Kurshan. He married Phyllis Sterman on July 4, 1946. He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law Neil and Alisa Kurshan; a daughter Rachel Kurshan; five grandchildren Ilana, Naamit, Ariella, Eytan, and Sara; and great grandchildren Shira, Amalia, Ezra, Matan, Liav, and Tagel.
The funeral was held at The Jewish Center, 435 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08540 on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. Burial was in the family plot in Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Glendale, N.Y.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Jewish Center or to Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks, 4 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
Arrangements were by Kimble Funeral Home, Princeton.
Modestina G. DeBaggis
Modestina G. DeBaggis, 83, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at Princeton Medical Center surrounded by her loving and caring family. Born in Pettoranello, Italy to the late Nicola and Santa Tamasi, she came to the United States in 1955 and settled in Princeton.
Modestina was a member of St. Paul’s Church in Princeton and was a strong and loving mother who loved cooking, gardening, and caring for her family. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt who will be sadly missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her.
She is survived by her beloved husband of 60 years, Carmine DeBaggis; her loving children, Susan DeBaggis, Diana Radogna and husband Bill, all of Princeton; Claudio DeBaggis and wife Mary of Charlotte, N.C.; her four beautiful grandchildren, Katherine, Mary, Michael, and Alana; her caring sister, Christine Rossi and husband Gino of Princeton; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Luissa and Raymond of Brooklyn; and many nieces and nephews.
“If we had a single flower for each thought for you, we would walk in our garden forever.”
Visitation hours were held on Monday, September 8, 2014 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Kimble Funeral Home in Princeton, followed by an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Paul’s Church, located at 214 Nassau Street in Princeton. Burial followed in Princeton Cemetery. Memorial Contributions may be made in her name to the Oncology Unit at Princeton Medical Center c/o Princeton Healthcare System Foundation, 3626 U.S. Route 1, Princeton, N.J. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.thekimblefuneralhome.com.
Donald P. Hartz
Donald P. Hartz, of Lansdowne, Pa. and formerly of Princeton, passed away on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse in Philadelphia. He was 68 years old. Born in Panama, he was the son of the late Henry and Mildred Alice (Harker) Hartz. He was also the beloved husband of The Rev. Canon James L. Shannon. Don received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Virginia and served in the United States Army. He also retired as an administrator of the Office of Home and Community Based Service for New Jersey Medicaid. In addition to his husband; he is survived by a brother Henry Hartz; sister Marilyn Simon; nieces Marsha Keller, Karen Hartz, Leigh Ann Dunleavy, Joellen Corrocher, Stephanie Shannon, Deborah Shannon; and nephews Donald Simon and Charles Shannon. Relatives and friends are invited to an Easter Liturgy on Thursday, September 11 at 1 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 313 Pine Street Philadelphia, Pa. 19106. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to the church (see address above). Online condolences may be left on: www.philadelphiafuneralcare.com.
Arrangements are by The Oliver H. Bair Funeral Home.
Natalie Dearborn Cruickshank
Natalie Dearborn Cruickshank passed away quietly in her sleep on August 29, 2014, at the age of 87. She was born in Boston Massachusetts, the daughter of Prof. Walter F. and Ellen K. Dearborn, and was raised in Cambridge, Mass. She graduated from the Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and then from Boston University with an Associates degree in commercial science. Later in life she continued her education at Rider University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree.
She began her business career as a secretary in the Boston area, where she met her husband, Philip. They were married in 1953; she retired soon after to become a wife and mother to their children. They soon moved to the New Brunswick, N.J. area, and then back to Massachusetts, where they lived in Lexington for five years. In 1963 they moved to Princeton Township; they lived there for 45 years before moving to the Princeton Manor community in Kendall Park.
She was very active in the schools that her children attended, first at the Littlebrook School, where she served as a Room Mother, and then as vice president and president of the PTO at the Community Park Middle School. Her love of children and participating in their activities led her to become a Cub Scout Den Mother for her two sons in Troop 43. In 1969 she received the Den Mother’s Training Award from the George Washington Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
In 1970 she returned to her career as a secretary and administrative assistant, joining the staff at Princeton University. Initially she worked for the department of aerospace and mechanical sciences, and then for the department of civil and geological engineering. In 1976 she transferred to the Humanities Council, where she enjoyed meeting the renowned visiting scholars. She also relished acting as the hostess at the receptions given by the Council.
In 1981, she left the University to become the municipal clerk for Princeton Township, initially as an appointment, then winning an election for a three year term. Again, she enjoyed her interaction with the public and the Princeton Township staff. At the end of the term, she chose to resign and return to the business world. She retired from her final job with Merrill Lynch Asset Management in 1996.
Natalie’s retirement provided the opportunity to once again work with children. She volunteered as a mentor and tutor in the Princeton Public Library’s Springboard Program to help children with their studies. In 2000 she participated in the YWCA’s Adventure Camp as a story reader to young children, and volunteered with Princeton Young Achievers.
From 2000 to 2008 she volunteered to read to children in grades K through three at the Johnson Park Elementary School on behalf of the Princeton Public Library’s Outreach Program. In her program, called “Miss Natalie and Friends”, she combined story reading with selections from her collection of puppets and stuffed animals as they related to the stories. She was particularly gratified when students who had advanced beyond her classes would approach her in the library and tell her how her program had led them to enjoy reading.
Natalie and her husband enjoyed traveling, with many trips through Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, and Canada. She was a great cook, and hosted many parties for friends at her Princeton home.
Natalie and her devoted husband, Philip A. Cruickshank, had a wonderful marriage of 61 years. She is survived by her husband, three children, and three grandchildren: Stewart A. Cruickshank and his wife Betty; Marsha C. Wagner and her daughter Jessica; Walter D. Cruickshank, his wife Deborah Gartland, and their two daughters Delaney and Riley.
Services were private.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.