Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 3
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast


Herman Beuk

Alan Grayson

Murray Reich

Roberta Slivon

Herman Beuk

Herman Beuk, 72, of Princeton, died January 12 in Trenton.

Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, son of the late Johannes Beuk and Regina Spoor, he was a 20-year resident of Queenston Common in Princeton.

Following his military service in The Netherlands, he emigrated to Argentina, where he met his wife.

He was employed by Firmenich, Inc. for 38 years. As a senior executive at Firmenich he lived and worked in Argentina, Venezuela, Singapore, and Switzerland, retiring from the company’s Plainsboro facility.

He was an avid dog lover who walked his Bouvier des Flandres “Tara” throughout Princeton. He was happiest when spending time with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Ana Maria; two sons, Lee of Danbury, Conn. and Victor of Amsterdam; and two grandchildren.

A funeral Mass was celebrated January 16 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at

Arrangements were by the Kimble Funeral Home.

Alan Grayson

Alan Grayson, 78, of Princeton, died December 29 at Kindred Hospital in Philadelphia.

He was born in the East End of London, England, in a section called Mile End. At the age of 9, he was evacuated to an area outside of London to live with another family during the onset of World War II.

He later served in the Royal Air Force of England for two years and was honorably discharged as an AC1. At the age of 22, he came to the United States, whereupon he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served from 1953 to 1955, becoming honorably discharged as a sergeant.

A literate person, Mr. Grayson had a good ear for music and enrolled himself in various music schools. His accomplishments included transcribing music for Bob Dylan, working as a musical assistant to Dave Brubeck, teaching at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and writing and conducting pieces for the Ridgefield, Connecticut High School Band.

He moved to Princeton in 1991 to live near his wife and son. He became involved in local writers’ groups and eventually wrote and published an autobiographical novel, Mile End, about growing up in England.

He is survived by his son Marlowe of Hamilton Township and two sisters.

Arrangements were by the Kimble Funeral Home, One Hamilton Avenue.

Murray Reich

Murray Reich, 86, a resident of Princeton for the past 50 years, died January 9 at the University Medical Center at Princeton with his family at his bedside. He was a founding member of the community organization 55 Plus, which sponsors monthly lectures on topics of broad public interest for men over 55. He enjoyed a long career, first in chemical engineering and then in counseling and gerontology.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he attended yeshiva there. He was a graduate of City College of New York in chemical engineering in 1943, then served with the Seabees in the Pacific. After World War II, he worked at Government Laboratories of the University of Akron on polymer chemistry and received a master’s in chemistry in 1954. In 1956, he moved to FMC Corporation in Princeton. From 1962 to 1977, he worked as Technical Director of Princeton Chemical Research. As a research chemist, he held 26 U.S. patents on epoxy resins, solid molded golf balls, degradable agricultural mulch films, and hydrophilic polymers and gels.

During the 1970s, Mr. Reich changed careers. He returned to graduate school to earn a master’s degree in counseling from Trenton State College and then a doctorate in gerontology from Columbia University Teachers College in 1982. He founded his own company on career counseling and pre-retirement education, and designed training programs for the New Jersey Division on Aging. During this time, he served as adjunct professor at Penn State University and Rutgers University, where he taught courses on adulthood and aging, pre-retirement counseling, and the psychology of aging.

At the age of 71 in 1993, Mr. Reich returned to active engagement with chemical engineering as president of Tyndale Plains-Hunter in Lawrenceville. Under his direction, the company developed new products using hydrophilic polymers, including medical devices, cosmetics, and hair styling aids.

He remained a lifelong and dedicated member of SKT, the engineering fraternity for alumni of City College of New York. He organized the first alumni reunion for his SKT friends at his home as soon as he moved to Princeton in 1956, and continued to meet with his college friends every year thereafter.

He created communities, joined communities, and directed communities. He served as president of the Jewish Center of Princeton from 1968 to 1970, became a member of the Advisory Board of the Retired Senior Volunteers Program from 1985 to 2009, participated in the Princeton Research Forum from 1988 to 2009, and was co-founder and program director of 55 Plus from 1986 until his death. The organization now includes women and attracts 200 people to its bi-monthly meetings.

In addition, Mr. Reich performed Tai Chi regularly and in the last eight years of his life became a skilled practitioner of Chinese painting and calligraphy. His paintings hang in a number of Princeton restaurants, homes, and offices, and in the homes of friends in Italy, Brazil, and Argentina. He also directed several original musical productions in Princeton, written by his good friend Martin Rome and recorded by Albert Medvin.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Naomi; his three children, Michael of Brookline, Mass., Pamela of Belmont, Mass., and Leslie of Dorchester, Mass.; and two grandchildren.

Burial was in Princeton Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Jewish Center of Princeton, 435 Nassau Street, Princeton 08540.

Roberta Slivon

Roberta (Bobbie) Olsen Slivon, 76, of San Rafael, Calif., formerly of Princeton, died January 1 at home.

She lived a long and interesting life that took her from the Philippine Islands to Lake Bluff, Ill., and beyond. During World War II, as a young girl, she and her family were imprisoned by the Japanese for three years at Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila. Her younger sister Esten died in the camp at the age of 6, while her mother, Lucy Hardee Olsen, sustained an injury from a stray shell while the camp was being liberated and was thus awarded the Purple Heart for bravery and sacrifice.

After the war, Roberta returned stateside, graduated from Bryn Mawr College, became one of the first female students at Duke University Medical School, and married Harvard Law and Princeton University graduate Fred Paul Slivon Jr. With her medical career aspirations on hold, she committed herself to being a full-time mother, raising three children. Later in life, she returned to the medical field and became a registered nurse working in home health care.

Her varied passions and interests throughout her life ranged from education and medicine to travel, fine art, and music. She worked for many years with organizations such as the Junior League of Chicago, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and Princeton University Art Museum. While on the Princeton Symphony board of directors, she helped to establish its educational outreach program Bravo. In its initial year, the program served one Princeton area school; it now serves more than 15,000 students with over 80 performances.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Fred; three children; and three grandchildren.

A private memorial service was held with the immediate family on January 9. Her final wishes were met when her ashes were scattered at sea.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Roberta Slivon Memorial Fund, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 250, Princeton 08542; or to the Princeton University Art Museum Docent Association, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton 08544-1018; or to Bryn Mawr College, Attn. Kate Fernandez, 101 North Merion, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010-2899.

The family is also in the process of helping to establish a scholarship fund for the Santo Tomas University in Manila, where Mrs. Slivon and her family were held during World War II.

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