January 8, 2020

Obituaries 1/8/20

Daniel A. Harris

Daniel A.  Harris, age 77, Professor Emeritus of English and Jewish Studies at Rutgers University, and since 1985 a resident of Princeton, NJ, died on December 26, 2019.

Following his retirement in 2002, after decades spent teaching poetry, Harris published three volumes of his own poems (Loose Parlance, 2008; Random Unisons, 2013; Accents, 2018).

Harris took his degrees from Yale University and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Colorado before coming to Rutgers in 1979.  Devoted to the improvement of undergraduate education, he was honored with Rutgers’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim, Mellon, and Newberry Library Foundations, he focused his attentions on modern and Victorian British poetry, with books on Yeats, Tennyson, and Hopkins.

The great-great-grandson of Rabbi David Einhorn, z”l, the founder of Radical Reform Judaism in the United States, Harris in his later years at Rutgers taught Jewish poetry written in English as the original language of composition. Writing about Emma Lazarus, Isaac Rosenberg, and Grace Aguilar, he also founded JEWISH VOICES: 200 YEARS OF POETRY IN ENGLISH, an educational program for synagogues and other Jewish cultural sites, through which he gave courses on Jewish poetry at over 300 locations in the tri-state area.

Harris became an active environmentalist after retiring. With Jane Buttars (his wife), he founded Save Princeton Ridge, which succeeded in limiting development on the Princeton Ridge in Princeton and in contributing to the creation of the Princeton Ridge Preserve. For this effort he and his wife were honored with a Sustainable Princeton Award in 2012. He organized a robust citizens’ resistance to the megablock apartment development of the old Princeton Hospital site. He participated vigorously in a local and statewide campaign to ban the distribution of single-use plastic bags; for this effort he was honored with an award from the New Jersey Environmental Lobby in 2013.

Harris was privileged to belong to the core group who, in 2015 and 2016, pushed to have the historically segregated neighborhood of Princeton (the Witherspoon-Jackson area) designated as Princeton’s Twentieth Historic District; that district, with its distinctive architecture, culture, and history was so designated in April 2016. In 2018, he led a movement to establish for Princeton an Indigenous Peoples Day on the second of October annually to recognize and honor the native peoples who first occupied Princeton and the United States. The resolution instituting such a day was adopted unanimously by Princeton Council in 2019.

Harris is survived by his beloved wife of 34 years, the musician Jane Buttars. A Celebration of Life service will be held on January 26 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, beginning at 3 p.m. Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to any of the following: the America Civil Liberties Union (New York, NY), Amnesty International USA (New York, NY), the Southern Poverty Law Center (Montgomery, Alabama), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (New York NY), or the American Indian College Fund (Denver, CO).


Jonathan Purcell Horner

July 20, 1974 — December 15, 2019

Jonathan Purcell Horner, 45, of Princeton, New Jersey, died on December 15, 2019 at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. In recent months he had been treated for cancer, which had been detected a few weeks before his 45th birthday. With him at the time of his death were his wife, Anna Horner, of Princeton; his mother, Constance Horner, and his father, Charles Horner, both of Delray Beach, Florida, and also of Lexington, Virginia; and his brother, David Horner, of Richmond, Virginia. He is also survived by his son Thomas, 11, his daughter, Caroline, 7, two nieces, and two nephews.

He was born in Washington, D.C., and lived, when young, in two neighborhoods — Foxhall Village and Cleveland Park. He attended the Francis Scott Key and John Eaton elementary schools. Subsequently, he attended Saint Albans School in Washington and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He graduated from Exeter in 1992, receiving prizes in Greek and Latin. He was also a member of the school’s rowing team.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics, cum laude. He also participated in the Princeton-in-China program and studied Chinese in Beijing. He was a member of the Princeton men’s crew, which won the NCAA National Championship in 1996. He went on to graduate study at Harvard, receiving a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies in 1998. He then joined Goldman Sachs, where he spent 18 years and was a Managing Director of the firm. At the time of his death he was Director of Research at PointState Capital in New York.

Anna Morgan Kaufmann of Rye, New York, and he were married in 2004. They knew each other first at Princeton when she was an undergraduate and later at Harvard, when she was a student in the Graduate School of Design. They lived first in Manhattan and then moved to Princeton. Their son, Thomas Morgan Horner, was born in 2008 and their daughter, Caroline Purcell Horner, was born in 2012.

Throughout his life, he maintained a lively interest in the classics, sports, and world affairs. He was active in the Princeton community and served on the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study.

A funeral service for family members was held in Princeton on December 21, 2019. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Church in Princeton at 11 a.m. on January 25, 2020. Donations in his memory may be made to The Jonathan Horner Memorial Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation.


Donald C. Thiel

Donald C. Thiel was born on June 20, 1923 in the original Princeton Hospital. He passed away peacefully December 31, 2019 at the age of 96.

Don grew up in Princeton, graduated from Princeton High School, and later moved to Montgomery Twp. He was in Cadets at West Point for 22 months, where he earned his wings as a pilot at Stuart Field. As the war was winding down he was sent to various bases, training as a B-17 gunner. Don graduated from Trenton State Teachers College in 1950 and received his Masters at Rutgers in 1953.

He taught Industrial Arts at Princeton Country Day School for one year and spent the next 35 years at Princeton Regional Schools: Valley Road, John Witherspoon, and Princeton High School. He spent evenings at The Lawrenceville School’s Periwig Club as Technical Director, instructing set construction for 30 years.

He took great pride as a decorated volunteer fireman. Prior to 1955, he was a member of Princeton’s No. 3 Fire Co. and after moving Montgomery he joined the then small Montgomery Twp. Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2. He was a former Chief, a Trustee, and Fire Police Sergeant active until age 90. Don was proud to introduce his grandsons George (Current Chief), Bryon (Captain), and Barry Gurzo to the fire company and responsibilities associated with membership.

He loved the outdoor world, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, Boy Scouts, and boating at his cabin in Canada. Summer vacations for Don meant pulling the family and trailer across the U.S. and Canada, camping and sightseeing in many National and State parks, making friends along the way. He even managed to drive to Acapulco, Mexico, twice.

He was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Miriam Doyle Thiel, parents Cornelius and Matilda Thiel, and his brother Cornelius Thiel, Jr. He is survived by his children and their spouses Donald Jr. and Peggy and Bonnie and Michael Gurzo, and grandchildren Donald Thiel, III, Mary Kathryn and Christopher Anderson, Christopher Thiel, Patrick and Cathy Thiel, George Gurzo, Byron Gurzo, and Barry Gurzo. He also loved his little guys (great-grandchildren) Henry and James Anderson, and nieces Betty Lou Buxton and Sandra Thiel. He was also grateful for the love and support of his extended family, dear friends, and a wonderful community.

Services were held at the Blawenburg Reformed Church and burial was private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory can be made to: The Montgomery Twp. Volunteer Fire Company No. 2, 529 Route 518, Skillman, NJ 08558. Funeral arrangements by Mather-Hodge Princeton, NJ.


Constance C. Thurber

Constance C. Thurber, 98, of Newtown, PA, died on Sunday, January 5, 2020 surrounded by her family.

Connie had a long and varied career in ecumenical service to the church and was a pioneer among women church leaders. She spent her life working for peace, justice, and reconciliation across the world and in her own community.

Connie was born in Minneapolis, MN, on February 7, 1921. She was awarded a B.A. cum laude from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and a M.Div. from Yale Divinity School in New Haven. She also attended the Yale Institute for Far Eastern Studies, Japanese Language School, as well as Union Theological Seminary in New York.

Connie was among the first women to graduate from Yale Divinity School, where she met her husband, Lucius Newton Thurber. After getting married, they worked with Native Americans for a year in Oklahoma during WWII, providing community service as an expression of their pacifist beliefs.

Although women were not yet being ordained by the Presbyterian Church, in 1947 both Connie and Newt were commissioned to serve in Japan. During their two five-year terms, they helped in the rebuilding and strengthening of the Japanese ecumenical church in the post-war period. Connie taught at Doshisha University (in Japanese), focusing on women students and those preparing for ministry. She also created after-school programs for urban youth.

Following their return from Japan in 1963, Connie and her family lived in New York City and became active in Riverside Church. After moving to Montclair, NJ, she served for eight years as the director of Christian education for Central Presbyterian Church. She then worked for 15 years as the administrative associate for the joint Southern Asia office of two national church denominations at the Interchurch Center in New York.

Connie was a wonderful and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She treasured old friends and found great joy in new ones. She deeply appreciated her bond with the members of her book group, which has met continuously since 1954.

Connie and Newt moved into their retirement community at Pennswood Village in 1995. Following Newt’s death in early 1998, she became especially grateful for this caring community of residents and staff, which supported her renewed engagement with life. Connie served at various times on seven Pennswood committees, as well as with the Friends of Stony Point, the Union Theological Seminary’s Women’s Committee, and as a classroom volunteer at Newtown Friends School.

Daughter of the late Edmund and Florence Cronon of Sandy Spring, MD, she was predeceased by her brother E. David Cronon of Madison, WI, and survived by her sister Nancy Ball of Walla Walla, WA.

Connie is survived by her three sons and their families: David and Rujira of Chiang Mai, Thailand; John and Connie Cloonan of Lawrence Township, NJ; and Mark and Susan Galli of Belmont, MA; as well as her five grandchildren, Patrick, Elizabeth, Emilia, Laura, and Nathan; and great-grandchild William.

A memorial service will be held at Pennswood Village on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Penn Hall, with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, 17 Cricketown Road, Nyack, NY 10980, or to Newtown Friends School, 1450 Newtown-Langhorne Road, Newtown, PA 18940.


Katherine Schilling Schick Lyall

Katherine Schilling Schick Lyall, 100, of Morris Township passed away on December 19, 2019 at home with her loving family by her side.

Born in Orange, NJ, Katherine resided in New Vernon before moving to Morris Township 16 years ago.

Katherine earned a B.S. degree from Skidmore College in 1940. She was a homemaker and lovingly took care of her family. Katherine was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon.

In her spare time, she was a volunteer with Family Service — Morris County, Women’s Association of Morristown Memorial Hospital, Junior League of Madison, The Garden Club of Madison, and Volunteer Ambulance Squads in Dover and Madison.

Katherine is survived by her devoted children, Robert W. Schick, Jr., (“Bart”) and his wife, Nancy S. Schick, of Gloucester, MA, and Pamela Schick Kelsey and her husband, John F. Kelsey, III, of Skillman, NJ. She is also survived by her cherished grandchildren, Allison Schick Masson and her husband, Kenneth, Alexandria, VA, Courtney Schick Kellogg and her husband, Hunter, Beverly, MA, Robert Schilling Schick and his wife, Erika, Durham, NC, Katherine (Lisa) Kelsey Pisano and her husband, Bob, Lawrenceville, NJ, John (Jay) F. Kelsey IV and his wife, Anne, Rocky Hill, NJ, and Christine Simonet Meola and her husband, Kris, South Boston, MA; as well as her adored 13 great-grandchildren. Katherine was predeceased by her first husband, Robert W. Schick, Sr., and her second husband, William L. Lyall, Jr.

A Memorial Service for Katherine will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at 11 a.m. at the New Vernon Presbyterian Church, 2 Lee’s Hill Road, New Vernon, NJ 07976.

Katherine was laid to rest in New Vernon Cemetery, New Vernon, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations in memory of Katherine may be made to: The Seeing Eye (www.seeingeye.org), Schick Art Gallery at Skidmore College (www.skidmore.edu/schick/), or Atlantic Hospice Care VNA (www.atlantichealth.org/conditions-treatments/home-care.html).

Arrangements were under the care of Burroughs, Kohr & Dangler Funeral Home, Madison, NJ.


Andre Yokana

Andre Yokana, 94, of Princeton, NJ, and Greensboro, VT, passed away on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

Andre was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1925. He spent his childhood and adolescence in Alexandria, Egypt, before moving to Princeton in 1946 with his brother Lucien. Andre graduated from Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt. He entered Princeton University in February 1946 and graduated in October 1947 with a BSE with highest honors in mechanical engineering. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and belonged to Dial Lodge. Andre earned his MSE from the Princeton Graduate School in 1948 and took further graduate studies at the Harvard School of Applied Science in 1949.

In 1954, he married Frances Mary Brown, and together they raised two children. From 1952 to 1966 Andre worked with the management consulting firm George S. Armstrong and Company in New York City. In 1966 he joined his brother’s firm, Sterling Extruder Corporation, as executive vice president, which became one of the largest and most innovative plastics companies in the industry. He became president in 1980. Sterling merged with Baker Perkins in 1986. After the merger, Andre and Lucien retained the Davis Electric division (later Merritt Davis) where he was vice president of finance until the company was sold in 2005.

He enjoyed summers in Greensboro, Vermont, with his family and friends, and was actively engaged in the Princeton community and Princeton University’s Alumni Network, serving on reunion committees and fundraising for the University.

A devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend, Andre was beloved by all who knew him and could always be seen with a glint in his eye and a thoughtful smile. Andre was predeceased by his wife in 2018. He is survived by his children, Davis Yokana and Lisa Yokana, of Portland, OR, and Bronxville, NY, respectively, and by his grandchildren, Alice Longobardo and Anne Longobardo Donado, of New York City.

A service in celebration of his life will be given at Princeton Memorial Chapel on January 17 at 10 in the morning.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Princeton University.

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