October 23, 2019

Obituaries 10/23/19

Charles A. Lynch

Charles A. Lynch, 84, of Princeton, New Jersey, died peacefully, surrounded by loving family and friends, on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro, New Jersey. During his final evening with his family, he enjoyed pizza, martinis, and the victory of his favorite football team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. USC. Born January 6, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, he was a resident of Princeton for more than 46 years.

Son of the late Charles and Mary McEvoy Lynch, he was predeceased by his brother David Lynch and by his beloved wife of 58 years, Marilyn A. Lynch. He is survived by his daughters Nancy van der Horst and Cara Lynch; sons-in-law Jan van der Horst and Rafael Alvarez; three sisters and two brothers-in-law, Diane and Gerard Feeney, Elizabeth and Matthew Schiebel, and Jane Glussi; sister-in-law Mary Lynch; grandchildren Rose van der Horst and Rafael Alvarez; and many nieces and nephews. The family would also like to acknowledge the many caregivers and medical professionals who tended to Charles over the last 11 years.

Charles was the first-born son, nephew, and grandson of his generation. Known as Charlie, he was a proud graduate of Regis High School and Manhattan College. He attended the University of Notre Dame, where he was called Chuck, and earned a PhD in Organic Chemistry. He received full scholarships for all his higher education and was deeply grateful for the opportunities that followed. His 1960 Notre Dame graduation commencement address was delivered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the graduation blessing was bestowed upon the audience by His Eminence Giovanni B. Cardinal Montini, Archbishop of Milan, Italy, who became Pope Paul VI in 1963.

In 1958, while at Notre Dame, Charles and Marilyn Monaco were set up by mutual friends on a blind date. They married on July 30, 1960, in North Tonawanda, New York, and were deeply devoted to one another throughout their marriage.

A member of St. Paul’s Church, where he served as a lector and Eucharistic Minister, Charles was also a member of the National Honor Society, the American Society of Lubrication Engineers, and the American Chemical Society. Additionally, he served as a volunteer at Recording for the Blind.

Charles started his career in the chemical industry at Esso, later Exxon. He resigned from his job in 1965, sold his company stock, and spent the following 3.5 months with Marilyn and Nancy traveling across Europe, using Arthur Frommer’s Europe on Five Dollars a Day as a guide. It was their first time abroad. His study of Latin helped him communicate, as did assorted dictionaries and a reasonable command of German.

Upon returning from Europe, Charles accepted a research position at FMC Corporation in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1972, he was transferred to Princeton, New Jersey, where he lived until his death. Charles retired in 2006 after a long career in the chemical industry. His final position was as an Account Executive for the State of New Jersey, Department of Commerce, Department of Client Promotion. He worked with chemical companies in New Jersey to promote economic growth in the industry.

Charles and Marilyn enjoyed traveling and took many cruises. Their ports of call included stops in Alaska, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Mexico, South America, the Baltics, Greece, and Russia. They made trips all over Europe, including to Leiden, The Netherlands, for Nancy and Jan’s wedding in 1999. In total, they visited more than 40 countries.

Charles was a lifelong learner and loved to test his knowledge by watching Jeopardy. His family encouraged him to try out for the show, but he felt hampered by his lack of familiarity with current pop culture. His close friends and family knew that at 7 p.m. each night, he could be found watching Jeopardy with a martini in hand. He was an avid reader of many newspapers, especially The New York Times, whose Sunday
crossword puzzle he completed with ease. He enjoyed brain teasers and listening to classical music.

A fan of sports and trivia, Charles had a special interest in baseball and football. He loved the Brooklyn Dodgers and also followed the Yankees, the Mets, and the New York Giants. He was also devoted to Notre Dame sports, especially football. The entire Lynch family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins, often attended Notre Dame football games during the 1970s. Charles also cheered on the Princeton University football team and was a longtime season ticket holder.

Charles and Marilyn’s life together changed dramatically in late 2008, when his right leg was amputated as the result of a life-threatening aneurysm. Though many of his activities were curtailed, he was never bitter and graciously accepted his condition.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at St. Paul’s Church 216 Nassau Street, Princeton. The family will be receiving friends from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass in the St. Paul’s Church Fellowship Hall, located on the lower level of the Church. The burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Regis High School, Attn: Development Office, 55 E 84th Street, New York, NY 10028 or to St. Paul’s Church, 216 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08540.

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


Richard Lee Sperry

Richard Lee Sperry passed away peacefully on July 11, 2019 with his family by his side.

Dick, also known as Beau, was born in Swarthmore, Pa., in 1942. He was raised in a warm, loving home with frequent family visits to New York museums, concerts, and theater, which nurtured his abiding cultural interests.

Dick was a graduate of Friends Central School, Lehigh University, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

While visiting a friend in Baltimore during his sophomore year at Lehigh, Dick met a young woman named Betsy Doyle. He invited her for a weekend at Lehigh and she accepted. She had a sudden death in the family and had to break the date. Two years later, he called again and asked her out. Betsy accepted, and the rest is history. They were married in 1966 and remained married for the next 53 years, having two loving children, Elisabeth and Richard, Jr.

His first real job was with the investment firm Scudder, Stevens and Clark. Not only was this Dick’s first job, but also his last. He was a loyal and valued member of the firm for 35 years, rising to Managing Director of the Philadelphia office after a few years in New York. Dick was highly respected by his colleagues and clients alike. During those years he and his family lived in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and spent summers in Cape May, N.J. They bought and fixed up several classic beach houses and the children had summer jobs there. When the children were older they took several trips to Europe. Dick retired in 2002 and spent the next 17 years happily with his family enjoying summers in Harpswell, Maine, and winters in Delray Beach, Fla.

Dick had many and varied interests. He had an enduring love of animals and was a past President of the Pennsylvania Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was a Board Member of the Museum for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts (University of Pennsylvania) and the Bowdoin College International Music Festival. Also in Maine, he volunteered at The Coastal Humane Society, at their tent every Saturday at the local Farmers Market, introducing adoptable cats and dogs. Many families went happily home with new pets.

While at Scudder New York Dick joined The Metropolitan Club; in Philadelphia he belonged to The Merion Cricket Club, the Racquet Club, and the Cape May Cottagers Beach Club. He was a past president of the Gulf Stream Bath and Tennis Club and a member of The Gulf Stream Golf Club. A few years ago Betsy and Beau downsized in Florida and settled in Princeton, N.J., as their permanent residence. They joined The Bedens Brook Club and The Nassau Club.

Dick is survived by his wife, Betsy; his children, Elisabeth Patterson Sperry, her husband Thaddeus Shattuck, and their two children, Vera and George; Richard Lee Sperry Jr., his wife Maria Jose Fernandez Ramirez from Sevilla, Spain, and their three girls, Elena, Lydia, and Julia.

Burial will be private at the family property in Maine. In memory of Dick, donations can be sent to: Pennsylvania SPCA, 350 Erie Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19134.


Samuel Hynes

Samuel Hynes, who died on Thursday, October 10th, aged 95, was an eminent literary scholar and critic, as well as a World War II veteran who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in the Marine Corps.

Hynes was born in 1924, grew up in Minneapolis, enlisted aged 18 in the Navy flight program, and served with distinction as a bomber pilot in the Pacific. He married Elizabeth Igleheart, the sister of a friend and fellow pilot, in 1944. They had two daughters, Miranda (born 1950) and Joanna (born 1952).

Hynes completed his BA at the University of Minnesota, then received his MA and PhD from Colombia under the 1944 G.I. Bill. His teaching career began at Swarthmore College, where he taught from 1949-1968. He was then Professor of English at Northwestern, where he was Chairman of the faculty from 1970-73. He came to Princeton in 1976.

Hynes, who was Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature emeritus at Princeton University, was best known for his memoir, Flights of Passage (1988), which was a New York Times best-seller and winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He was a notable literary critic, writing extensively for The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, and the Sunday Times.

His books of criticism include classic works on Auden and his circle, on T.E. Hulme, and on Thomas Hardy. He is acknowledged as one of the leading scholars of war literature, and a class on his work is taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His books include The Auden Generation (1976), The Edwardian Turn of Mind (1968), A War Imagined (1990), The Soldier’s Tale (1997), The Growing Seasons (2003), The Unsubstantial Air (2014) and On War and Writing (2018).

He sat on the Booker Prize committee in 1981, when he made the deciding vote that awarded the prize to Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. He received the Academy Award for Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2004, and was a Fellow of Royal Society of Literature.

Hynes appeared as a contributor on two documentaries by award-winning documentary maker Ken Burns. He was one of the central voices in The War (2007), appearing in every one of the seven episodes, and also featured in The Vietnam War (2017).

He is survived by his daughters, Miranda and Joanna; his grandchildren, Alex, Sam, and Lucy Preston; and his great-grandchildren, Alastair and Aurelia Preston, and Elias Preston Hassan.


Ersilia Nini

Ersilia Nini, 89, of Princeton passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 20, 2019.

Ersilia was born in Pettoranello, Del Molise, Italy and immigrated to the United States in 1972. She was a homemaker and a fantastic cook.

Predeceased by her parents Sebastino and Elpidia (Paolino) Tamasi; her husband Giuseppe Nini; her son Fernando Nini; her brother Frank Tamasi; and her brother-in-law Felice Toto; she is survived by her two sons and daughters-in-law Felice and Robyne Nini and Albino and Linda Nini; her nine grandchildren Ashlea, Alexa, Christopher, Madison, Julianna, Abbie, Emma, Gus, and Patrick Nini; her three great-grandchildren Haylea, Carter, and Delaney; her two sisters and brother-in-law Clarice and Antonio Cifelli and Esterina Toto; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 5-8 p.m. at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton, NJ 08542.

Funeral will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the funeral home. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 216 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542. Burial will follow in Princeton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association at