Donald S. McClure
Donald S. McClure, 97, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Princeton University, died on Friday, November 17, 2017 following an attack of pneumonia. He had lived in Princeton for the last 50 years of his life.
Born in Yonkers, New York, on August 27, 1920, Don decided by age 12 to pursue a scientific career. By the time of his graduation from Yonkers High School in 1938, he had worked for several years in his basement chemistry laboratory and had acquired wide experience building radios and other electronic equipment.
As an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, Don’s knowledge of electronics found application in the mass-spectrometry laboratory of A.O.C. Nier. There, Don was involved in several important projects, including the first separation of the isotopes of uranium.
After receiving his BS in Chemistry from the U. of Minnesota in 1942, Don worked with the War Research Division at Columbia University, later called the Manhattan Project. At Columbia, he worked with Joseph and Maria Mayer and others on the possibility of photochemical separation of uranium isotopes. This was his first work in the field of spectroscopy, the focus of the remainder of his career.
Upon his release from the Manhattan Project in 1946, Don went to the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his PhD in Chemistry in 1948. Don built all the equipment he needed for his thesis work (“with the help of the Berkeley machine shop” he always said), measured the phosphorescence lifetimes of many organic compounds, discovered an effect that had not been expected, and used the quantum mechanics that he had learned at Berkeley to explain what he had found. He was proud of the fact that his first published paper, based on his thesis work, bore no other name than his own. But his allegiance was to science rather than to himself. When a colleague referred to the effect Don had discovered as “the McClure effect,” Don forbade use of this term.
While at Berkeley, Don met Laura Lee Thompson, then an undergraduate at Mills College. The two were married in 1949 and their first two children were born in Berkeley. He remained at Berkeley as Lecturer and then Assistant Professor until 1955, when he became a group leader at RCA Laboratories in Princeton, N.J. A third child was born in Princeton. In 1962, Don returned to academia, accepting a professorship at the University of Chicago. After it became apparent that Chicago’s air pollution was affecting Laura Lee’s health, Don made his final move when he accepted a professorship in Chemistry at Princeton University in 1967.
Don was a dedicated laboratory scientist, reluctant to stay away from the lab for very long. Nevertheless, he traveled widely, lecturing and visiting laboratories in most countries in the world where spectroscopic research was being done. He was a visiting professor at the Universities of Tokyo, Paris, and Southern California, among other universities. He was a Guggenheim Fellow at the University of Oxford, England and a Humboldt Fellow at Technical University in Munich, Germany. Laura Lee accompanied him on most of his travels.
When Don took time away from his scientific pursuits, he frequently climbed mountains. He and a Columbia colleague, Thomas Crowell, were on the summit of Mt. Katahdin in Northern Maine when another climber came up and gave them the news that Japan had surrendered, ending World War II. Decades later, some of his graduate students were surprised when, during a break in meetings at a conference in the Great Smoky Mountains, Don said suddenly, “Let’s go for a hike.” Then, he strode out of the conference center, wearing a suit, tie, and dress shoes, and led his students up the slopes of nearby Mt. LeConte.
Don was also an enthusiastic skier. He continued to ski into his 70s and took his family on ski trips to Colorado, Quebec, and North Carolina. Classical music was another of his passions. His taste was for the most substantial works of the most serious composers; Beethoven and Bach were his favorites. He attended concerts up to the last few months of his life, and he was a generous patron of musical and theatrical organizations.
Following Laura Lee’s death in 2009, Don married his widowed sister-in-law, Gloria. Together, they enjoyed trips to France, the Hawaiian Islands, and other destinations. After Gloria’s death in 2013, he travelled to visit scientific colleagues within the U.S.
Don is survived by a brother, Richard B. McClure of Ellicott City, Md.; children Edward of Princeton, Katherine of Kingston, N.J.; and Kevin of Austin, Tex., and their spouses; and grandchildren Nicholas, William, AmiLin, and Ian.
A memorial gathering in celebration of his life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Sierra Club.
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Dr. Jay Jerome Brandinger
Dr. Jay Jerome Brandinger died on October 25, 2017 after a short illness at University Medical Center of Princeton, N.J. surrounded by family. He was born on January 2, 1927 in the Bronx, N.Y. and most recently lived in Pennington, N.J.
In June 1945 he joined the U.S. Army but was rejected by the Air Corps for medical reasons since he required very thick eyeglass lenses. After boot camp at Camp Crowder he become a repair instructor for walkie-talkies, thermofax machines, and radios. He went to school at the Virginia Military Institute, attended several universities including Hunter College, and was mustered out of the Army in September 1945. After World War II many veterans gained admission to, what up to that time had been, all girls colleges. Jay chose to attend Hunter College in New York City and it was there that he met his future wife Alice, whom he married on December 25, 1949.
He graduated 4th in his class from Cooper Union School of Engineering with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering. He was hired by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1949 and stayed with the company for 45 years until he reached the level of Vice President. During his tenure at the David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, N.J. he invented and was awarded a patent for the world’s smallest color television camera. He was Director of RCA’s worldwide television manufacturing and VideoDisc plants in Indianapolis, Ind. He traveled all over the world inspecting RCA plants, including those under trade agreements in China and Japan and in many other countries. Dr. Jay Brandinger completed his PhD at Rutgers University and taught several classes in mathematics at Rider College.
After retirement from RCA in 1991 Dr. Jay Brandinger was appointed Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, a post he led during Democratic and Republican administrations until 1995. He was also active as a member of the National Institute for Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership Board. Among his varied interests included: involvement in the Boy Scouts of America with roles as Scoutmaster and District Commissioner, and in amateur radio. He was recognized as New Jersey Engineer of the Year (1997), nominated to the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and a member of the Society for Information Display.
During his career he owned and flew his own single engine aircraft. Upon retirement he joined the Princeton Photography Club, published six books on various themes, his photographic work was displayed and received numerous awards. He acquired a boat, was a member of the Yapewi Yacht Club, and also joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary reaching the level of Regional Flotilla Commander. He and his wife regularly attended Chair Yoga and Healthy Bones classes in Pennington, N.J.
He is survived by wife, Dr. Alice Brandinger, who was Chair of the Trenton State Teacher’s College Special Education department as well as being a professor of deaf special education. She taught at the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in Trenton, N.J. and was director of a school for autistic children in Indianapolis, Ind. He is also survived by his children Paul, Donna Lee Mark, and Norman; five grandchildren; two great-grand children; and his sister Alice Taylor. Other family members include nephew David Taylor, and niece Aileen Taylor; cousins Joe and Bob Newman, Bob and Joe Groden, and Jerrold Hirschberg.
The family requests that contributions in the name of Dr. Jay Brandinger be provided to Jewish National Health.
Dr. Thomas W. Griffin
Dr. Thomas W. Griffin, MD, 71, of Thousand Oaks, Calif. and Princeton, N.J. died on November 14, 2017 in Santa Clarita, Calif. after a lengthy illness.
Dr. Griffin was born and raised in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, son of the late Peter and Kathleen Griffin. He was a graduate of Regis High School, Boston College, and Cornell University Medical School. An oncologist, he spent his entire career in the field of clinical medical research and was instrumental in developing several new and innovative treatments for many forms of cancer while employed with Hoffman-LaRoche, Bristol-Myers, Amgen, and Johnson & Johnson.
Beloved for his unfailing exuberance and intellectual curiosity, Tom enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm for music and science fiction movies.
He was predeceased by his wife, Dr. Mary Ellen Rybak. He is survived by his brother Peter Griffin and his wife Mary Ellen of Colts Neck, N.J.; his sister Kathleen McGuinness and her husband Thomas of Needham, Mass.; and his sister Marilyn Begley of Farmingdale, N.J.; as well as many nieces and nephews and their families.
Interment was private. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 25 at 11 a.m. at St. Leo the Great Church, 550 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, N.J.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society in recognition of Tom’s career in cancer research.
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Robert G. Jahn
Robert G. Jahn passed away peacefully at home on November 15, 2017, surrounded by his children and good friends. He was 87.
Bob was born in Kearny, N.J. and spent much of his childhood in Wilmington, Del. After graduating from the Tower Hill School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with highest honors from Princeton University in 1951, as well as a PhD in physics in 1955. After teaching at Lehigh University and the California Institute of Technology, Bob joined the faculty at Princeton in 1962, and founded the Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory, a major program that quickly achieved international stature. Now the oldest and continuously-funded laboratory at Princeton University, this program still attracts some of the brightest graduate students from around the world.
Professor Jahn directed this laboratory until 1998, and was a professor of aerospace sciences until 2003, serving as the advisor for over 100 undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom have gone on to leadership roles in university, industrial, and government positions worldwide. He presided over major research programs in advanced aerospace propulsion systems in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force, for which he received a Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Electric Propulsion.
In 1971 Bob was appointed Dean of Princeton’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Under his leadership the School substantially expanded its curriculum, faculty, and student body; increased its outreach programs and the professional fields its graduates entered; and all but one of the engineering departments were ranked in the top five nationally. In 1986 he was named Dean Emeritus, and returned to full-time research and teaching.
While serving as Dean, Bob was approached by an engineering student searching for a faculty advisor for her research project. Attracted to this area of research as having significant potential importance for the future of high science and technology, and for broader cultural evolution as well, he agreed to work with this student himself. In 1979 he founded the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory, and served as its director until 2007. PEAR researchers attempted rigorous scientific study of proactive interactions of human consciousness with various physical systems and processes underlying contemporary information science and its applications. PEAR became the leading academic research laboratory of its kind, with a large base of student and public interest throughout the world.
Professor Jahn authored or co-authored five books and several hundred publications in various technical fields. His celebrated textbook, “Physics of Electric Propulsion,” first published in 1968, is still a primary reference in the field. He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and served as vice president of the Society for Scientific Exploration and on the Board of Directors of Hercules, Inc. for many years, to name just a few of his professional and civic activities.
Towards the end of his career, Bob was awarded the two highest honors in the field of spacecraft propulsion: the Wyld Propulsion Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Ernst Stuhlinger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Electric Propulsion from the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society. He also received the Curtis W McGraw Research Award of the American Association of Engineering Education, a Commendation from the Giraffe Heroes Project for Courageous and Compassionate Professional Activities in Difficult Times, the Edgar Mitchell Award for Noetic Leadership, and an Honorary Doctor of Science from Andhra University in India.
Bob was an ardent, life-long fan of baseball, opera, dogs, and the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. He was preceded in death by his wife, Catherine Seibert Jahn, and by their youngest daughter, Dawn. He is survived by his son Eric, daughters Jill and Nina, daughter-in-law Susan, sons-in-law Ray and Jim, and seven grandchildren.
A memorial gathering to celebrate Bob’s life will be scheduled at a future date. Contributions may be made in his memory to International Consciousness Research Laboratories (ICRL), 468 North Harrison Street, Princeton, NJ 08540 or to the National Center on Family Homelessness, 181 Wells Avenue, Newton, MA 02459.
Andrew W. Conrad
Andrew W. Conrad, age 75, passed away peacefully on August 28, 2017, after an 11-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He died as he had lived, serenely and surrounded by the love of good friends and family. He appropriately enjoyed ice-cream for his last supper, and he retained his sense of humor to the end, even — on his last morning — addressing his female nurse as “Fred” with a straight face (a longtime favorite joke of his) ….
Andrew was born on December 23rd 1941 in Johnson City, N.Y. to George Emery Conrad and Cora Belle Barnes. He is survived by his sister Elizabeth (Raymond) Prebish, and brothers Roger (Ethel) and George Conrad; his ex-wife Mary Ann Blaskowsky Conrad; his children Heather Conrad and Emery Conrad; his grandchildren Hannah Bradley, Alexander Conrad, and Milosh Conrad; his nieces and nephews Pamela (Dave) Gould, Kate (Pat) Wolfe, Marcie (Jeremy) Tennant, Brock Conrad, and Brandee Conrad; and countless other family including many “chosen” family members who saw him as brother, father, grandfather, and mentor.
Andrew spent his life as a teacher and a student. He earned multiple degrees from Barrington College, Princeton Seminary, and Princeton University, culminating in a PhD in Linguistics. He spent the majority of his career at Mercer County Community College — as a professor of English, then Dean of Liberal Arts, and then once more a professor of English — where he touched the lives of thousands of young people and fellow educators.
In his career as in his life, Andrew’s legacy was one of warmth, wisdom, kindness, and love. He earned the love and admiration of everyone who knew him, and the devotion of a community committed to supporting him, by giving freely and generously of his time, money, energy, insight, and support to those around him.
In recent years, Andrew became an active and much-beloved member of the community at the Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing. He brought his characteristically calm and quippy presence to each of the committees and groups he joined and became an integral part of the family there. The love and support he found is in clear proportion to the love and support he gave, and the chosen family of this community was a profound source of strength and joy for him during his final illness.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 16th, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing, at 268 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville N.J. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Dr. John P. Hoffman fund at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pa. (information available at www.foxchase.org/donate/hoffmanfund).
There will be a reception held in remembrance of Margaret W. Wellington on Saturday, December 2 at 3:30 p.m. at The Present Day Club, 72 Stockton Street in Princeton, N.J. The family looks forward to sharing this time with those who knew her. In lieu of flowers, donations in Margaret’s memory may be made to Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030.