December 4, 2013

Obituaries 12/4/13

Obit Sadowy 12-4-13Stephen B. Sadowy, Jr.

Stephen Bartholomew Sadowy, Jr. passed away on November 16, just short of his 97th birthday.

Born in Troy, N.Y. on November 30, 1916 to Julia Dobrianska Sadowy and Stephen Bartholomew Sadowy, Steve came of age in Troy during the Great Depression. After graduating from high school he spent the next several years, along with many of his generation, looking for employment. He took small jobs where he could find them, including helping his father with a small window washing business, and also running errands for the owner of the corner grocery store. On occasion these errands took him down to the nearby docks, where eventually he was offered a spot on the oil shipping boats, maintaining the engine room and doing paint jobs. They traveled up and down the Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers and the Erie Canal, from New York to Lake Michigan. He sent his wages back home to his mother, who later gifted him the money to be used towards his schooling. Steve studied at business school during the deepest winter months when the river was frozen; there he became skilled in shorthand and typing.

After graduating and passing the civil service exam, Steve was offered a job in Washington, D.C. He received a call from the first staff at the Pentagon, when he was working in the basement home and was informed that he had been sent an offer letter. He travelled straight from Lake Michigan to start his job, it would be two years before he could save enough money to visit home again. His job was managing World War I archives: “four levels down, where it was pleasantly cool in the summer.” This earned him “the princely sum” of $1,440 a year.

On April Fool’s Day in 1943, Steve was drafted into the U.S. Army, having been rejected twice previously because of his eyesight (“finally they scraped the bottom of the barrel,” he joked). Steve shipped out of San Francisco to Australia and later spent much of the war in the Philippines. According to Steve he never had a chance to see the Golden Gate Bridge despite having sailed right under it, because he was below deck peeling potatoes.

During the war Steve served as administrative and clerical support to senior ranking officers, often working with them through the nights. After the war he re-enlisted in the civil service in Washington D.C., taking a series of jobs in the Veterans Administration: first in New York State to be near and care for his ailing parents; then, after both parents passed away, in Fargo, North Dakota — a job and place he greatly enjoyed, where he drove a white Mustang, his favorite car; and later in Newark, N.J., for five years. This last job, in which he managed the veteran’s claims and benefits department, was offered to him just after the race riots in Newark, along with the promise of early retirement at age 55. It was there that he met Julienne Winarsky, and became her loving companion for the next 38 years. He was deeply devoted to Julienne and became an enormous part of the lives of all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Upon his retirement, Steve moved to the Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey, into an apartment overlooking the sea. While there he earned an associate degree at Brookdale Community College. Steve and Julienne moved to Princeton permanently in 1990.

Steve was known for his gentle selflessness, his easygoing wit, his keen intellect, and incredible memory, and his great love of children and young people. He was predeceased by his parents and five brothers and sisters, Thomas, Phillip, Philip, Theodore, and Rose. Steve is survived by his sister, Marion Bylo, her children and their families: Barbara and Kenneth Collum, Benjamin Bylo, Bruce Bylo, Kristy Bylo, Lisa and Gary VanAlphen, and Benjamin Bylo. Steve is also survived by the family of his beloved longtime partner Julienne Winarsky, including Julienne’s children and their spouses and families, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren: Ira Winarsky; Babette Coffey-Fisch; Norman and Lisbeth Winarsky; Mishy and Gary Coffey; Hanne, David, and Peter Winarsky; Ben Lefkowitz and Sophie Whalen; Mira Dov and Jacob Coffey; Lila Tidnam & Anders Winarsky; and two more great grandchildren on the way.

Steve lived for 97 years with astounding mental acuity and curiosity, making friends wherever he went. His stories and conversation were cherished and always interesting, encompassing the entire span of the last century of American history. He will be greatly missed.

Per his request, Steve Sadowy was cremated. Arrangements were private and at the convenience of his family.


Obit Ghaffari 12-4-13Abolghassem Ghaffari

Renowned scientist Dr. Abolghassem Ghaffari, who had taught at Harvard and Princeton Universities, passed away on Tuesday, November 5 at 10:55 p.m. in Los Angeles. He was 106 years old. In the early part of his career, he was Albert Einstein’s colleague at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University under the direction of J. Robert Oppenheimer. On October 12, he was honored at Harvard University for his lifetime achievements.

Born in Tehran in 1907, he was educated at Darolfonoun School (Tehran). In 1929, he went to France and studied mathematics and physics at Nancy University, where he took his L-es-Sc. in mathematics in 1932. After obtaining post-graduate diplomas in physics, astronomy, and higher analysis, he obtained his doctorate in 1936 from the Sorbonne (Doctor of Sciences with “Mention tres honorable”) for basic research on mathematical study of brownian motion.

Dr. Ghaffari lectured as a research associate at King’s College (London University), where he received his PhD from the mathematics department on the “Velocity-Correction Factors and the Hodograph Method in Gas Dynamics.” As a Fulbright Scholar, he worked at Harvard University as a research associate to lecture on differential equations and to continue his research on gas dynamics.

He was a research associate in mathematics at Princeton University, and at the Institute for Advanced Study, he worked in the early 1950s with Albert Einstein on the unified field theory of gravitation and electromagnetism. J. Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the U.S. atomic bomb program during World War II, was director of the Institute at the time and interviewed Ghaffari before the latter became a member of the Institute (Oppenheimer later befriended Ghaffari).

He has lectured as a professor of mathematics at American University in Washington, D.C. and at Tehran University, where he joined the faculty of sciences and was appointed full professor of higher analysis from 1941 to 1956.

In 1956, Ghaffari moved permanently to the U.S. to take up a position as a senior mathematician at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards. Part of his work there involved calculations of the motion of artificial satellites.

In 1964, three years into the manned space program, he joined, as aerospace scientist, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center, where he studied the mathematical aspects of different optimization techniques involved in the Earth-Moon trajectory problems, and different analytical methods for multiple midcourse maneuvers in interplanetary guidance. He later investigated the effects of solar radiation pressure on the radio astronomy explorer satellite booms as well as the effects of general relativity on the orbits of artificial earth satellites.

In Iran he was awarded the Imperial Orders of the late Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the U.S. Special Apollo Achievement award (1969) at a White House ceremony with President Nixon. He has published more than 50 papers on pure and applied mathematics in American, British, French, and Persian periodicals. In addition to two textbooks, he is author of the mathematical book The Hodograph Method in Gas Dynamics (1950).

In 2005, Ghaffari received the Distinguished Scholar award from the Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage (APSIH) at UCLA. In 2007, he received a proclamation from former Beverly Hills mayor and current Goodwill Ambassador Jimmy Delshad acknowledging his numerous lifetime achievements. He also recently was appointed as a Hall of Fame inductee by SINA (Spirit of Noted Achievers) at Harvard University.

He is also a past member of the Iranian National Commission of UNESCO. Ghaffari was a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, the Washington Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and a member of the London Mathematical Society, the American Mathematical Society, The Mathematical Association of America, and the American Astronomical Society.

He is survived by his wife, Mitra, and his two daughters, Ida and Vida. He is interred at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in Burbank, California. In lieu of flowers, his one wish was to have a scholarship in his name for young Iranians studying mathematics or science. Details on the scholarship will soon be announced.


Beatrice R. Ellerstein

Beatrice R. Ellerstein passed away on Friday, November 29, 2013 at her residence. She was 106 years old.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mrs. Ellerstein was a former resident of Belle Harbor and Jamaica Estate, N.Y.. She lived in Ewing Township for 10 years before moving to Princeton. Mrs. Ellerstein attended the Pratt Institute and Columbia University. She was employed as an interior decorator at Abraham & Strauss Department Store before retiring.

Mrs. Ellerstein was an 18-year volunteer for the Red Cross Ambulance Corp and drove Eleanor Roosevelt to visit the troops. She was an avid baseball fan and after both the Dodgers and Giants moved to California, she became a hug Mets fan. With her father, she went to the racetrack and became a tremendous handicapper.

Wife of the late Bernard Ellerstein, she is survived by a son, Dr. Stuart M. Ellerstein, three grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.

Funeral services and burial were held on Sunday, December 1 at 1 p.m. at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, N.Y. Arrangements are by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, 1534 Pennington Road in Ewing Township.


Margaret M. Hartley

Mrs. Margaret (Peggy) M. Hartley passed away on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at Crestwood Manor. She was 90 wonderful years young.

Peggy was born in Stamford, Conn. on November 9, 1923. While working as a telephone operator in New York City during World War II, she met Allen W. Hartley when he was in the Navy. They were married during the war and subsequently settled in central New Jersey where they spent most of their lives together.

Peggy was very active in the churches in Princeton, Asheville, N.C., and at the end of her life in Whiting. While living in Princeton she was a member of Eastern Star and volunteered at the Princeton hospital.

She is predeceased by her husband Allen who died in 1991.

Surviving is her son William and his wife Martha of Pflugerville, Tex. Also, three daughters: Susan Kuiler and her husband Erik of Fairfax, Va., Jane Hartley of New London, Conn., and Deborah Errichello and her husband Wayne of North Brunswick. Also, by a granddaughter Kaitlyn Hartley of Newport Beach, Calif.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 11 a.m. in Crestwood Manor, 50 Lacey Road, Whiting. For more information or to send an online condolence, visit In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity or a charity of your choice.


Jean Begley Owen

Jean Begley Owen passed away on Friday, November 29, 2013, at St. Raphael Hospital of New Haven. Born in Bridgeport in 1924 and raised in Hamden, Jean learned to love music at an early age and began teaching piano in her mid teens. She continued to teach throughout her life, giving her final lessons only days before she passed away. Music was a life-long vocation that would span some 75 years. She loved her students and the lessons she gave, often speaking fondly of both. She also worked for many years as an educator and church musician, serving as organist and choir director for many churches in Conn., Minn., Pa., Ga., and especially N.J. where she was a long term resident of Pennington. She earned a degree from Larson College and a MA in music education from Columbia University. Jean Owen is predeceased by her husband of 56 years, Goff Owen, Jr, in 2010. She is survived by her four children, Sherrill Farkas of Bethany, Conn.; Allison Abbate of Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; Goff “Skip” Owen, III of Ringgold, Ga.; and John G. Owen of Skillman. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Jennifer and Daniel Farkas; Evelyn and Joseph Abbate; Chad, Blake, John, and Abigail Owen; and David and Daniel Owen; and two great grandchildren, Lillianne and Dylan Owen.

The funeral was conducted on Monday, December 2 at 11 a.m., at Beecher & Bennett, 2300 Whitney Avenue in Hamden. Friends were asked to call on Monday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Interment followed at nearby Centerville Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be submitted to The Jean Owen Piano Lesson Scholarship For Adult Learners, care of All Things Musical LLC; 3210 Whitney Avenue; Hamden, Conn. 06518. For more information or to send a condolence, see obituary at