January 25, 2012

Obituaries 1/25/12


John C. Sienkiewicz

John Casimir Sienkiewicz, age 78, passed away unexpectedly in the early morning of January 3, 2012 at his home in Loblolly, Hobe Sound, Fla. Born in Center Bridge, Pa. on October 8, 1933, and raised in Doylestown, Pa., John was the son of Casimir A. Sienkiewicz, a prominent Philadelphia banker and Chairman of the Central Penn National Bank, and Jane Sienkiewicz, a nurse.

John attended The Loomis School (Loomis-Chaffee) prior to graduating from Princeton University as an honored member of the class of 1955. While at Princeton University, he served as President of his class and remained a valued advisor throughout his life. Playing varsity football his senior year, John won the award for Most Improved Player.

After graduation, John entered the United States Navy serving aboard the USS Hancock for three years and rising to the rank of Lieutenant. In 1958, he joined Hutchinson, Rivinus & Co. of Philadelphia as an insurance salesman. In 1965, John became a partner of the firm which was later acquired by Alexander and Alexander International. In time, John became president and chief executive officer of International Operations of Alexander and Alexander, which was known as the largest international insurance brokerage firm in the world. After their acquisition by Aon Risk Services, John remained an active vice chairman.

John lived most of his life in Princeton, with his wife of 50 years, Patricia Davis Sienkiewicz. John was known as “Sink” to his legions of friends around the world. He was a loving, strong, and supportive husband, father and friend. His passions included golf, philanthropy, and travel.

John was a member of Pine Valley Golf Club, Seminole Golf Club, Loblolly Pines Golf Club, Bedens Brook Club, Gulph Mills Golf Club, Sunnybrook Golf Club, Sunningdale Golf Club in the U.K., The River Club, The Princeton Club, The Links, and The Fourth Street Club. He was an active member of the United States Seniors Golf Association.

He was a gracious and avid competitor. He was Club Champion at Bedens Brook and Springdale Golf Clubs in New Jersey in the same year, and was once also both the Senior Champion and the overall Club Champion. As a member of Gulph Mills in Philadelphia, John was the Senior Champion of the A.J. Drexel Paul Tournament. He won many of the USSGA competitions and was one of very few USSGA members who played at each satellite tournament site across the United States.

John was widely philanthropic, giving generously to many organizations. Most notable, was the University Cottage Club at Princeton. He was chairman of the board for 10 years, during which time the club was completely expanded, reconstructed, and refurbished. John’s contribution remains an important and positive impact on student life at Princeton. The building has since been recognized as a National Conservation Treasure and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John was predeceased by his wife Patricia and his brother Bur Sienkiewicz. He is survived by his sons, Mark and Peter; his second wife, Maisie Barlow Sienkiewicz; his brother, Michael Sienkiewicz and wife Marika; his sister-in-law, Jone Sienkiewicz, and many more family members and friends who loved him dearly.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his honor for student aid to: Casimir A. Sienkiewicz Scholarship, American International College, 1000 State Street – Box 10-L, Springfield, Mass. 01109.

A Celebration of Life Service is being planned for June 2012 in Princeton.


Obit1-25WhiteJohn J. White Jr.

John J. White, Jr., MD, of South Chatham, Mass., formerly of Princeton, passed away on January 17, 2012, after a serious struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. From the early 1940s, Jack vacationed on Cape Cod with family, and settled in South Chatham permanently after his retirement from medical practice in 2001.

Jack was born in Paterson, and grew up in Glen Rock. At Ridgewood High School, he was valedictorian of his class. After he graduated from Yale University and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, he completed his internship and a four-year residency in general surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital Center in New York City and became board certified.

Jack served as a major in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., for two years during the Vietnam war. After that, he had a private surgery practice in New York City and was a member of the Columbia University Faculty.

On the staff of the Medical Center at Princeton from 1971-2001, Dr. White was instrumental in developing the medical student education program there. As clinical assistant professor of surgery at Rutgers Medical School (now UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Dr. White directed the program for thirteen years. He derived great pleasure from teaching and was a role model for his students. He headed the Princeton Surgical Center’s Advisory Committee during all of its formative years.

Especially knowledgeable in the realms of equipment and technique, Dr. White brought surgical endoscopy to Princeton and was the first surgeon to perform a colonoscopy there. He later performed the first laparoscopic procedure (gall bladder removal) there.

When Jack retired from Princeton Surgical Associates, a partner described him as “naturally humble as well as supremely gifted. He was wonderful to have on board in the operating room when it was necessary to perform a complex or difficult operation.”

Jack and his wife, Noel, loved life on Cape Cod — sailing, tennis, walking, biking, beaching, birding — and for several years were active in the Eastham Hiking Club. After retiring to the Cape, he had plenty of time to enjoy his many hobbies: creating museum-quality Nantucket baskets, building five-star bird hotels, and crafting mirrors and frames for his needlepoint projects. He loved “messing about” in his boats and tending to his antique cars. His wit, wisdom, kindness, and compassion affected many lives.

Jack is survived by his wife of 52 years, Noel; three daughters, Catherine Mertz of Needham, Mass., Wendy Brockelman of Princeton, Mass., and Elizabeth Meahl of Portland, Maine; three sons-in-law, Oscar Mertz, Peter Brockelman, and Pierre Meahl; five grandchildren, Noah Mertz, Myles and Pieper Brockelman, and Jack and Sumner Meahl; and his sister, Margery White Loftus. He was predeceased by a grandson, Dempsey John Brockelman.

A Funeral Mass was held at Holy Redeemer Church in Chatham, Mass. on Saturday, January 21 at 11 a.m.

The family would like to extend gratitude and thanks to Liberty Commons at Broad Reach of North Chatham where Dr. White resided in his last months, and was treated with exceptional care and dignity.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090; or Broad Reach Healthcare, 390 Orleans Road, North Chatham, Mass. 02650.

For online condolences, please visit us at www.nickersonfunerals.com.


Robert C. Stabler

Robert Coleman Stabler, 76, of Skillman, died January 20 at home after a long illness.

He was born on June 14, 1935 in Pittsfield, Mass., to Howard Parker Stabler and Margaret Van Alstyne Stabler. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary; his children, Julie Hull (Tom), Ted (Martha Embrey), Larry (Betsy), Peggy Fischer, and Peter (Martha) and their respective families, including ten grandchildren; and his sister, Elizabeth, and brother, George.

Mr. Stabler was a member of Williamstown Public High School’s class of 1952. He graduated from Yale University with a BA in math in 1955, and earned a Ph.D .in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1960. He worked for Ford Aerospace in Newport Beach, Calif., and then moved to Princeton in 1962 to work for RCA David Sarnoff Research Laboratories. From 1967 to 1974, he worked as a semiconductor industry analyst for Smith Barney in New York City. He then founded the investment management firm, Penvest Company, in Princeton in 1975. He dedicated much of his time to research in theoretical physics and published several papers in Physical Review Letters.

An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Stabler had a love of the mountains and the home he built in Breckenridge, Colo., where he and Mary lived from 1997 until their return to the Princeton area in 2009.

A reception will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Hospice Memorial Fund at Princeton Healthcare System Foundation.


James B. Smith

James Boyd Smith, of Skillman, died January 21, 2012.

He was born on September 7, 1923 in New York City, and grew up in Great Neck, Long Island.

At the young age of 12 he was among a small group of boys who attended St. Paul School in New Hampshire (1937-1941). While at St. Paul, his prodigious memory, curiosity, and love of involvement advanced his intellectual development leading to enrollment at Princeton University. In the fall of 1941 he took on the challenge of enrolling in an accelerated chemical engineering program, earning his degree in a mere 2.5 years together with a handful of others on 4/4/44. Thereafter, he participated in the war effort by joining the US Navy using his skills to contribute to The Manhattan Project. After the war he completed his master’s degree in chemical engineering at Princeton and married Betsy.

His career began with Permutit in 1947 and shortly thereafter the young couple began a family in 1948. He is survived by his wife, Betsy; his children, Brett, Derek, Lane and Ten Broeck; three daughters-in-law, Nancy, Kathleen and Sarah; five grandchildren, Putty John, Blake, Trevor, Sam and Noah; two granddaughters-in-law, Tisa and Tina; and two great grandchildren, Putty John and Jack.

After several years with Permutit, J.B. joined American Cyanamid where he worked for 30 years. During this career, he helped design and sell specialty chemicals, principally for the petroleum industry. In addition, he contributed his problem solving skills to projects. For example, he helped refine the catalytic converter to help reduce car pollution.

In 1979 J.B. and Betsy began an ambitious exploration of Europe with their family. The first trip explored the Great Peloponnesian Islands by sailboat as far south as Thira. Every other year thereafter, Betsy and J.B. would rent lodging large enough to accommodate children and grandchildren for 3-5 weeks. The decade long explorations were based in Le Pin, Loire Valley; The Cotswolds, England; Gaucin, Southern Spain; Ballyvaughn, Ireland; Castillon du Gar, Provence; and Sienna, Tuscany.

J.B. wrote in 1995: “In reviewing my life so far, I find that my contribution to the world has been satisfactory but not meteoric. Perhaps the most unusual thing I have done was work on the atomic bomb and, by extension, on nuclear energy. It grieves me to see that the human race has done such a poor job of managing this rich resource. Properly used it could contribute much to solving our world’s environmental and energy problems.”

After retirement, he continued his lifetime characteristics of active involvement with the people around him. He was a member of the Princeton school board. He was an active member of the Princeton sewer operating commission for two decades. Continuing the theme of “involvement” he was engaged in organizing many Princeton Class of ’45 activities. He never missed a class reunion. One year, he represented the class as a gorilla in a cage; it was hot, sweaty work done for the love of the P-rade. He participated in the Stonebridge Building and Maintenance Committee, which helped implement installation of a roof top solar array. He was a member of Trinity Church, The Nassau Club, the Old Guard, Sons of the Revolution, and Springdale Golf Club.

Throughout his life, J.B. was continuously engaged with the people around him and his community. He was a faithful husband, earnest father, and kind friend.

A service will be held in his honor on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at Noon at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton.

Memorial contributors are invited to send donations to The Crisis Ministry, c/o Trinity Church, Princeton.


Georganna D. Dickson

Georganna Dean Dickson, 85, died on Friday, January 6, at her home at Meadow Lakes, Hightstown, New Jersey, after a brief illness.

She was the daughter of George and Velma Shields Dean and sister to James F. and George Alden Dean.

After graduation from Carleton College, Georganna met and married the love of her life, Donald Paul Dickson, in the Princeton University Chapel.

She was the mother to David (Paula Frank), Peter (Janet Zoubek), Ann, John (Mary Boyle), and Andrew (Lori Knaak). She was the grandmother to adored grandchildren, Matthew (Tine Blair), Jeffrey (Melodie DeMulling), Johanna, Sean, Joseph, Margaret, Ann, Bill (Jen Levkulich), Claire and Daniel. She was the great-grandmother to Miles.

The family shares its grief with Ruth Dickson, Georgia Dean, and Jane Dean. The family thanks the staff of Meadow Lakes Retirement Community and Grace Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, Georganna expressed a wish that contributions be made to the Georganna Dean Dickson ’47 Children’s Book Collection, Carleton College, One North College Street, Northfield, Minn. 55057.

May the Lord bless her and keep her and make His face shine upon her.