Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 38
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
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


Arthur B. Dreeben

Catherine Breuer

Margaret D. P. F. Smith

Gordon Mack

Paul W. Roehrenbeck

Judiah Higgins

Memorial Service for Fannie Floyd

Arthur B. Dreeben

Arthur B. Dreeben

Arthur Bernard Dreeben, 86, of Chevy Chase, Md., formerly a 46-year resident of Princeton, died September 5.

Born in Manhattan, the son of Meyer Dreeben and Vera Dora Heimann, he grew up in Brooklyn. He matriculated at Brooklyn Polytechnic, where he was best known for being the DJ on a classical music radio station and for disturbing classrooms with chalk-fights.

In World War II, he served as the clerk for an ordnance company responsible for repairing motor vehicles, serving in Alaska and then France. He was in France on V-E Day and spoke with pride of being part of the seemingly endless waves of American soldiers who had liberated Europe from the Nazis. He maintained a lifelong affection for France.

After his tour of military service, he returned to Brooklyn Poly and earned his degree on the GI Bill. Following his marriage to Eleanor Feirstein he moved to Princeton, where the family lived in a house built for them in 1960. Some of the original appliances in the house survived for half a century because of his technical skills in repairing just about anything. He loved living in Princeton but never surrendered his Brooklyn ethos.

Professionally, Mr. Dreeben completed his graduate work in Inorganic and Solid State Chemistry and Physics at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1950. He held a Teaching Fellowship at the Polytechnic and did research on infrared stimulable phosphors. From 1950 to 1953 he was employed as a Research Chemist at the General Electric Research and the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories. In 1953 he joined the Research Department of Westinghouse. Five years later he joined RCA Laboratories, where he worked on pure research in the area of photoconductors, electroluminescence, and problems in crystal growth dislocations and impurity precipitation in semiconductors.

His Judaism was a vital part of his life, as was his devotion to family. Not having been a Bar Mitzvah himself, he proudly attended the Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah of his son and daughter. With his wife, he traveled widely to France, Israel, Mexico, England, and Italy, and had begun to travel on the Elderhostel circuit before his wife’s death in 2002.

In 2007, at the urging of his children, he left Princeton and moved to Chevy Chase to live in the Hyatt Classic Residence, in order to be closer to his children and grandchildren. He became the quiet patriarch of his family, participating fully in holiday celebrations, birthdays, and family events. He was an attentive and sympathetic listener who remained engaged in the world, attuned to its complexities, and philosophical about its ups and downs. At the Hyatt, he was getting ready for new challenges. He made new friends and, at the age of 86, successfully ran, for the first time in his life, for elective office to serve on the residents’ council.

He will be remembered for his wit and intelligence, his wise counsel, his passion and engagement with the world, and his devotion to his family and friends.

He is survived by a daughter, Linda Lerner; a son, Michael; and five grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Weizmann Institute of Science, Science for the Benefit of Humanity Fund, American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, 633 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017.

Catherine Breuer

Catherine Breuer

Catherine Breuer of Hightstown, formerly of Princeton, died peacefully September 8 at the Meadow Lakes retirement community.

Born in Ottawa, Canada, the daughter of John Goodwill Macphail, I.S.O. and Georgina Gertrude Macphail of Ottawa, she attended Elmwood School, graduating with highest honors. She made her debut in Ottawa in 1930.

In 1937 she married Carl Breuer, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, while he was stationed at the American Legation in Ottawa. Their first post after their marriage was La Paz, Bolivia. Several years of foreign posts followed, mostly in South America.

Following a last assignment in Lima, Peru, the Breuers moved to Princeton in 1956. After joining Trinity Church, Mrs. Breuer became a member of the Altar Guild where she served in several capacities, including Director. As a member of the Episcopal Church Women, she initiated the program “The Church and the Creative Arts.” She served on several committees through the years and was the first woman delegate from Trinity Church to the Episcopal Diocesan Convention in Trenton.

In 1967 she was one of the earliest members of the Princeton University’s Art Museum Docent Program. She became a “touring docent” as a well-known specialist on the subject of Angels in Art, giving talks and slide presentations at museums, churches, and private organizations. Her major volunteer work for many years was through the Art Museum.

Her husband, Carl Breuer, died in 2000. At the time of his death, the Breuers had been married for 63 years. She is survived by a daughter, Anne Corson of Arlington, Va.: a son, Dr. Anthony Breuer of Greenville, N.C.; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and informal gathering will be held at Meadow Lakes on Saturday, October 4 at 11 a.m.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Margaret D. P. F. Smith

Margaret D. P. F. Smith

Margaret Doloris Patricia (Pat) Foley Smith, 72, of Sesser, Ill., formerly of Princeton, died August 22 at Severin Nursing Home in Benton, Ill.

She was born in Princeton to Walter and Bertha (Alford) Foley. She moved to Illinois in 1995 to be near her sister, Mary Shurtz.

Predeceased by her parents, her sister Mary Shurtz, and her former husband, Daniel Smith, she is survived by a daughter, Patsy Anne Bascom of Sarasota, Fla.; a son, Danny Smith of Red Boiling Springs, Tenn.; a brother, the Rev. Walter Foley of Hartwell, Ga.; two sisters, Nancy Markuson of Venice, Fla. and Kathleen Schwartz of West Windsor; and four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society, attn. Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home, P.O. Box 624, Sesser, Ill. 62884.

The funeral service was August 27 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sesser.

Arrangements were by the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home, P.O. Box 624, Sesser, Ill. 62884.

Gordon Mack

Gordon Mack, 81, a resident of Princeton since 1965, died September 8 at the University Medical Center at Princeton. The cause was prostate cancer.

He earned a B.A. and second lieutenant’s commission at Southern University, where he entered the Army ROTC, played football, joined Kappa Alpha Psi, and served as president of the student YMCA, the beginning of a life-long connection.

Following two years’ service in the Army and graduate school at NYU, he was hired as an Assistant Boy’s Work Secretary at the Hyde Park YMCA in Chicago, Ill. Almost 40 years later, including 10 years as a Division Chair at Bank Street College of Education, he retired from the YMCA of the USA where his most recent responsibilities had included national personnel services and the implementation of the Y’s mandate for cultural diversity. Within weeks of retirement, he agreed to an appointment at the University of Northern Iowa to head the American Humanics Program, a launch pad for students entering the not for profit sector.

He was the first chairman of Princeton’s Commission on Civil Rights and had served on the vestry of Trinity Church and board of Trinity Counseling Service. He was also a member of the Princeton Old Guard.

A native of Evanston, Ill., he is survived by his wife, Kay; a daughter, Melissa Mack of Elizabeth; a son, Michael of Richmond, Va., a daughter, Margot Mack of New York, and a son, Matthew of Kappa, Kauai; and a sister, Marjorie Mack of Brooklyn.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, September 13 at 2 p.m. at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements are by the Kimble Funeral Home.

Paul W. Roehrenbeck

Paul W. Roehrenbeck, of Princeton, died Sunday, September 14, at the University Medical Center at Princeton’s Rehabilitation Hospital after a brave battle against an extended illness. Born in Jersey City, he resided with his family in Princeton for over 30 years. Son of the late William J. and Jean C. Roehrenbeck, he is survived by his wife Joanmarie Roehrenbeck, his daughter Jean Roehrenbeck, and his sister Janet Tenerowicz.

A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, September 18, at the Church of St. Ann, 1253 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville. Burial will follow in Holy Name Cemetery, Jersey City. Friends may call on Wednesday evening, September 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton, and on Thursday, September 18, from 10 a.m. until time of the Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Roehrenbeck Library Fund at Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City.

Judiah Higgins

Judiah Higgins of Coconut Grove, Fla., formerly of New York and Princeton, died in his sleep of natural causes on September 1 in Miami.

Born in New Castle, Pa. in 1932, he was educated at Tabor Academy, Princeton University, and the University of Grenoble, France. As an insurance analyst, he worked at Shelby Cullom Davis & Co., New York; as a bank and insurance analyst at Eastman Dillon, Bank of New York; and as an investment banker at Lazard New York and Tucker Anthony R. L. Day, Inc. In his later life he became a real estate developer in Austin, Texas.

He was a passionate lover of literature, classical music, and wonderful food. A natural storyteller, he enjoyed sharing his learning with friends and family who delighted in his original mind, warmth, and unpredictable sense of humor.

He is survived by two sons, Ned and Thomas, both of New York; and a brother, James of Miami.

A funeral service was held September 13 at the Calvary Episcopal Church, 44 Broad Street, Flemington.

Memorial Service for Fannie Floyd

A memorial service celebrating the life of Fannie Floyd will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, at the Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street in Princeton. A lifelong Princeton resident who devoted herself to many Princeton-area civic, charitable, and religious activities, she died on September 3 at the age of 84.

All are welcome.

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