June 4, 2014

Obituaries 6/4/14

Obit Randall 6-4-14James K. Randall

James K. Randall died on May 28, 2014 at his home in Princeton. A composer, music theorist, author, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, Jim spent many years teaching in the music department where he was involved in the development of electronic music, and described himself as one of the “granddaddies of computer music.”

Jim was born on June 16, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio. The only child of Edwin Templeton and Margaret Wright Randall, his worldview was shaped early on by his father, an editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. One day when he was caddying for his father on the golf course, a young Jim piped up: “Dad – is there a God?” His father considered the question for a moment and then replied “… Nope.” Jim later remarked that this was the only religious instruction he ever received.

His mother, a professional violinist, raised him to be a classical pianist. He rebelled by becoming a composer. This was the extent of his teenage revolt. At age 17, Jim wrote a short piano piece that was performed by his teacher Leonard Shure at Carnegie Hall. He said later that his favorite review of those early days was the one that read: “this is a young man whose teachers have allowed him to take himself too seriously.”

He went on to earn his BA from Columbia University in 1955 after four years spent in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. In these years, Jim taught music theory at the Naval School of Music in Anacostia, never actually boarding a ship. While there, he met the young virtuoso jazz pianist Bill Evans, who expressed interest in taking Jim’s Harmony 101 class. Jim asked Bill to play something for him and, after Evans obliged, Jim told Bill there was nothing he could teach him. Jim’s certificate of appreciation for his “Proud and Unselfish Military Service” is of great amusement to his grandchildren.

During those years at Columbia, Jim met and married Ruth Hochheimer, a New York native and Swarthmore student whose humor, intelligence, and patience perfectly complemented Jim’s robust, sardonic disposition. The two met when she was only 19 and Jim 20, and as a colleague of Jim’s expressed to Ruth six decades later, she undertook quite an endeavor in marrying him. The two remained together until the end, parenting three children, six dogs, eight cats, and a turtle during their 62 years together.

After graduating from Columbia, Jim earned his MA from Harvard and his MFA from Princeton. It was evident that Jim would not be joining the corporate world upon the completion of his education, and this was certainly for the best. His frustration with large corporations was only encouraged when his credit card company asserted that he owed a $50 fee that he was sure he had already paid. After a long and arduous correspondence with American Express, Jim fined the company $50 for “obnoxious incompetence.” And that was that.

Jim’s works were issued by CRI, Vanguard, and Open Space. He wrote for voice, instrumental ensemble, and computer, including a computer score for the film Eakins. His short book called Something Medieval was published by Lingua Press in 1988. He also issued many collaborative cassette tapes, under the label Inter/Play, which involved other artists as well as non-artists. He frequently contributed to the journal Perspectives of New Music and his collective writings were published in 2003 by Open Space. His last two substantial essays were “When the Birds Come Calling” and “To Astonish the Roses.”

Jim Randall will be remembered for these contributions and achievements as well as his powerful and honest presence. An iconoclast with strong opinions on just about everything, Jim engaged in vigorous debate on nearly any subject with anyone who cared to engage with him (and some who didn’t). Among them were his students, colleagues, family members, and the occasional stranger. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Randall, his three children, Ellen (George Athens), Thomas (Rebecca Miller), and Beth Randall (Donald Ringe), seven grandchildren; Kate, Maisie, and Louise Athens; Samuel, Emma, Gabriel, and Lucy Randall; and his cousins, Jim and Paul Wright, Trudy Beranek, Carol Ficker, and Nancy Harris.

Beyond being a musician, Jim was an animal lover, a baseball connoisseur, a book junkie, a storyteller, and a food enthusiast. A diabetic, Jim obediently and consistently avoided sugar. However, in his final days he was assured that he could at last enjoy a Bobby’s Burger Palace chocolate milkshake. He noted that it was the only milkshake he was ever allowed as an old man and he took great pleasure in it. With shake in hand he quipped, “If you hold on to virtue”  — sipped purposefully and continued — “you reap your rewards.”

A memorial gathering will be held at 2 p.m. on June 14, 2014 at Palmer House, Princeton University, 1 Bayard Lane, Princeton.

Memorial contributions may be sent to: Prof. James K. Randall *58 Memorial Fund, Princeton University Alumni and Donor Records Attn: Helen Hardy P.O. Box 5357 Princeton, N.J. 08540. Gifts should be made payable to the “Trustees of Princeton University,” with “Prof. James K. Randall *58 Memorial Fund,” noted in the memo line.


Robert C. Johnston

Robert (Bob) C. Johnston, Esq., 83, passed away on June 1, 2014 at his home in Princeton, NJ. He was born in New York City on October 21, 1930. After graduating from Deerfield Academy, Bob studied at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, from which he received his AB degree, before going on to obtain his LLB from Harvard Law School. Bob enjoyed a notable career as an attorney working first for Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood in New York, N.Y. before forming his own law firm, Johnston & Ward, also based in New York City. However, it was at Squibb Pharmaceutical Company that he spent the majority of his career, serving as both vice president and general counsel for the Squibb Medical Products Group. Demonstrating a life-long dedication to the legal profession, he joined the Princeton firm of Smith, Stratton, Wise, Heher & Brennan, as partner upon his official retirement. Bob proudly served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.

Bob made his mark through his charitable and civic involvement with the community. An ardent member of the Democratic party, he was involved with both the Freeport Democratic Club and Hopewell Valley Democratic Club. Additionally, he served the Freeport PTA and School Board campaign organizations; the Hopewell Township Planning Board; the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association; the Freeport NAACP chapter; the Preservation New Jersey; the Hopewell Valley Historical Association; Planned Parenthood Association (Mercer Area); and Princeton Pro Musica. At the time of his death, Bob was an active member of the Pennington Presbyterian Church, co-founder and former chairman of the D&R Greenway Land Trust, and trustee and treasurer of the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space.

Bob is survived by Grace Previty Johnston, his beloved wife of 14 years, who, among many other accomplishments, is a well-recognized pastel artist and teacher. He is also survived by his four children and their spouses: Kathryn Johnston (David Wolf); Barbara Johnston (Martha Kelch); Kenneth Johnston (Carolyn Johnston); and Carol Johnston (Richard P. Curran); as well as his wife’s four children and their spouses: Adrienne Booth (Matt Garamone); Richard E. Booth (Julie Booth); Marigrace Wuillaume (Francis Wuillaume); and Krista Crowe (Chris Crowe). He leaves behind twelve grandchildren: Daniel, Jenna, Sorrel, Tyler, Adam, Alex, Thomas, Claire, Chloe, Cate, Haley, and Jackson. He also leaves behind his brother Reverend David K. Johnston (Valerie Johnston) and two nieces, Martha Bishop and Sarah Brady. Bob was pre-deceased by his devoted wife of 43 years, Nancy Bakken Johnston, who, among her many other accomplishments, served as president for both the Hopewell Valley Board of Education and Mercer County Master Gardeners.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 6, 2014 at the Pennington Presbyterian Church located at 13 South Main Street in Pennington with a reception to follow. The Rev. Nancy Miksoki will officiate. The family suggests donations be made in Bob’s memory to D&R Greenway Land Trust, Pennington Presbyterian Church, or the St. James Roman Catholic Church of Pennington. Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington, N.J. Condolences are welcome at www.wilsonapple.com.


Nancy Kern

Nancy Kern, 83, a Princeton artist, died on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia after a short cardiac illness and subsequent post-operative complications. She was born in Baltimore, Md. on October 24, 1930 and was a graduate of Goucher College majoring in English, and also attended the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

She married Kenneth Roland Kern of Cleveland, Ohio in 1955 and moved to Princeton in 1956. She and her husband became involved with the Humane Society of the United States and were involved with developing solutions to the Princeton deer problem. Nancy is known for her use of color in a wide variety of artistic media including bold and vibrant pastels, watercolors, oils, etchings, and lithographs. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions/events, and her works are in many private and public collections, including Princeton University Art Museum, Rutgers and the New Jersey State Museum.

Her sister Shirley McPherson of Baltimore, Md. survives her, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Nancy’s name to her two favorite institutions: Friends of the N.J. State Museum, P.O. Box 530, Trenton, N.J. 08625 and/or SAVE (a friend to homeless animals), 900 Herrontown Road, Princeton, N.J. 08540.

Funeral services and burial are private.

Services are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.


Reverend Doctor Henry Dana Fearon, III

The Reverend Doctor Henry Dana Fearon, III, 82, of Princeton, New Jersey, died surrounded by loved ones after a brief illness on May 16, 2014.

Dr. Fearon was born July 23, 1931 to Frances Eubanks Fearon and Dr. Henry Dana Fearon, Jr. He is survived by his children, Prof. James D. Fearon (Teal Derrer) and Mrs. Mary Fearon Jack (Wellborn Jack, III) and his five grandchildren, Benjamin and Sadie Fearon, and William, Spencer, and Sarah Jack. He is survived by his brothers Dr. Richard E. Fearon (Elizabeth) of Woodbridge, Conn. and Dr. Douglas T. Fearon (Clare) of Cambridge, England. Dr. Fearon’s wife, Janet Adams Fearon, predeceased him four months earlier on January 17, 2014.

Dr. Fearon grew up in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. He was a gifted athlete with a competitive nature, and as a boy enjoyed hours of team sports every day with John’s Club in Prospect Park, along with treks across the park to see the Brooklyn Dodgers. He attended Poly Prep Country Day where he ran track and played football. After graduating in 1950 he enrolled at Williams College where he majored in English and continued to enjoy success as a member of the football and track teams; he was Williams’ starting quarterback for the 1952 and 1953 seasons.

At Williams Dr. Fearon became intrigued with the writings of the theologians Niebuhr and Tillich, and, increasingly, with the message of the gospel. After graduating in 1954 he enrolled at Union Theological Seminary in New York City to pursue a Master’s of Divinity. During his middle year of Seminary he studied at New College Divinity School, Edinburgh, Scotland. The theologians he learned from — Niebuhr, Coffin, Beker, Stewart, and Muilenburg, in particular — had a profound effect on his understanding of Christianity and the role of the pastor, as did Arthur Adams, senior pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, where Dr. Fearon became associate pastor after graduating. There he met and fell in love with Janet Adams, Arthur Adams’ daughter. The two married in June of 1960, beginning a remarkable romantic partnership that sustained them both for the rest of their lives. In July 1960 Dr. Fearon was installed as the 15th pastor of The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. He obtained a Doctorate of Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1975, and years later returned to the Seminary to teach as an adjunct. Dr. Fearon remained as the minister of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville for 42 years, until his retirement from the ministry in 2002. The congregation bestowed upon him the honor of pastor emeritus.

Dr. Fearon’s work at the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville focused on a commitment to spiritual vigor and the welfare of society within the Church and in the surrounding community. He identified and fostered leadership from Church members and he quietly encouraged them into a productive, Christ-centered, and harmonious partnership. Under his guidance — and with the help and support of Janet Fearon — the Church grew in membership, expanded and improved the physical facilities, and offered new opportunities for all to be involved in the life and work of the Church. He developed a relationship with the Princeton Theological Seminary to help train seminary students by employing them at Church, a partnership that continues to this day. In 1965 Dr. Fearon joined the Community Action Council, which addressed areas of great need within the community. He led the Church membership to help create and support the Neighborhood Services Center, housing for low and middle income families at Eggert’s Crossing Village, Lawrence Day Care, Senior Citizen’s Club, Social Services Program, and Well Baby and Planned Parenthood clinics. In 1969, in partnership with Harry Kihn, Dr. Fearon facilitated the use of the Church for services by Temple Micah, a new local congregation of Jewish residents seeking a place to worship. Throughout his career, Dr. Fearon actively sought interfaith cooperation and understanding.

Dr. Fearon was an early member of the Lawrence Township Community Foundation and served on the Juvenile Conferences Committees, hearing and deciding upon matters involving alleged juvenile offenders. In this capacity Dr. Fearon demonstrated how Christian tenets could help to reform troubled youth. In 1968, motivated by his belief that counseling should be available to all who need help, he became involved with the creation of Trinity Counseling Service, a non-profit organization designed to provide free high quality counseling, and participated as a pastoral counselor.

Dr. Fearon’s drive to help those in need extended beyond Mercer County. In 1986 he began a decades long partnership with Pastor Luc Deratus of Haiti. They began mission trips to Haiti in 1991 with the congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. Church members provided medical care and medicine, clothing, construction of a medical clinic and pharmacy, and refurbishment of a church. Mission trips continue and now ten other churches and organizations participate.

Dr. Fearon was noted for his preaching, which drew many to the Church. He brought the gospel to bear on the problems and joys of everyday life, while at the same time taking the task of historical and theological interpretation very seriously. Many have found his words and message inspirational and transformative.

In later years Dr. Fearon found great satisfaction teaching at Princeton Theological Seminary, and in 2013 he published Straining at the Oars: Case Studies in Pastoral Leadership (Eerdmans Publishing). He intended the book as a tool for pastors new to parish ministry. The book reflected his concern that seminary education does not sufficiently address the practical aspects of being a pastor and managing a church, and in particular the daily challenge of applying theology to concrete personal and organizational problems. His teaching and example live on through the continuing dynamism of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, and through the work of the many young pastors he helped to train.

Dr. Fearon was devoted to the game of golf, a sport he picked up as a young minister. A winner of numerous club titles and a member of the United States Seniors’ Golf Association, he played most often as a member of the Springdale Golf Club in Princeton and the Hyannisport Club in Massachusetts. He played every great course he could, all over the U.S., in Scotland and Ireland, and even Morocco. Golf was more than a game and pastime for Dr. Fearon. It was constant practice of self-discipline and self-improvement — how to better an already excellent swing? Golf also appealed to his love of friendly competition and companionship. Many of closest friends were his golfing partners. Off the course he was a voracious reader, consuming all at once histories, theology, and a constant supply of mysteries and adventure novels.

Beginning in 1979, during the month of July Dr. Fearon served the congregation of Hyannis Port, Massachusetts at the Union Chapel, where he and Janet Fearon developed lasting friendships with the members of the community. He was a member of The Old Guard, The Nassau Club, and was a Friend of The Institute for Advanced Study. Dr. Fearon was an active and valued member of the Williams College Alumni and held many leadership roles over the decades.

Dr. Fearon will be remembered for his intellectual curiosity, his focus on solving problems, careful listening, warmth, wicked sense of humor, strength of character, and his devotion to his family, friends, community, and work. He gave great support, comfort, advice, insight, and guidance to all who knew him.

Dr. Fearon felt blessed to have lived a life filled with love, kindness, faith, dear friends, meaningful work, and a close, loving family. He adored and enjoyed his children and grandchildren. He remained close to his brothers and their families throughout his life. And he delighted in an enduring, happy, and loving marriage to the love of his life and greatest friend. He will be dearly missed by many.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, June 28th at 11 o’clock in the morning at The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the 300th Anniversary Endowment at The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, 2688 Main Street, Lawrenceville, N.J. 08648.

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