January 22, 2020

Obituaries 1/22/20

John Hanna Jr.

John Hanna Jr. died peacefully at home on December 25, 2019, after a long illness. 

John was born in New York City in 1934, son of John and Irene Hanna. The family split their time between New York and Cape Cod, Mass., where John developed his lifelong love of sailing and the ocean. John attended Princeton University, graduating in 1956. He was a passionate alum, and stayed connected with the University throughout his life, including in recent years as a member of the Old Guard. After college, John attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1959.

In 1958, he married Jane Merchant, from Minneapolis, whom he met while both were living in Cambridge, Mass.  Theirs was a wonderful marriage, lasting almost 60 years, until Jane’s death in 2017. The marriage produced three children, nine grandchildren, and many, many happy moments together.

John’s professional career in Law began in public service. He served in Robert Morgenthau’s U.S. District Attorney’s office, and later he was Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation under Governor Nelson Rockefeller. In 1975, he went into private practice, and was a founding partner of the Albany, NY, firm of Whiteman, Osterman, and Hanna. The firm grew from its four initial partners, to becoming a preeminent firm and the largest in Albany. Mr. Hanna concentrated on the fledgling area of environmental law and helped define this specialty as a distinct discipline. John worked on some of the biggest cases of the time, including Love Canal in Buffalo, and the Hudson River contamination in upstate NY. His law firm was one of his passions, and his partners and co-workers were loyal, lifelong friends.  John was active professionally in the NYS Bar Association throughout his career, serving in multiple leadership positions and committees. He also taught environmental law at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Personally, much of his life revolved around his beloved Wendover Farm. In 1972, He and Jane purchased an old farmhouse in Old Chatham, NY.  They spent the next 40 years renovating Wendover; adding gardens, ponds, and a multitude of pets. The friendships formed on the farm were multi-generational. In the early years, it was their family and friends whom they welcomed to the farm, then Jane and John added their family and friends’ children, who became important friends in their own rights. Mixed into this, were their nine adored grandchildren and their friends who would descend on Wendover for family holidays and summer visits. Jane and John were never happier than during “Camp Hanna,” having a full house and picnics by the pond. 

John was very active in his community. He served on the Chatham Planning Board for more than 35 years. He was Chair of the NYS Archives Trust, and a Trustee on the Olana Partnership. However, perhaps the civic contribution he was most proud was starting the Old Chatham 4th of July Parade. He, and another neighborhood couple, decided to start a parade to celebrate the 4th of July. The first parade in 1980 featured five lonely marchers. By the time John had to stop leading the color guard in 2014, the parade had grown to feature marchers, fire engines, tractors, homemade floats filled with children, vintage cars, and streamer adorned bicycles everywhere. Between participants and spectators, more than 1,000 people fill the small hamlet to celebrate.

John was pre-deceased by his wife, Jane, in 2017. He is survived by three children:  Elizabeth Hanna Morss, her husband Stephen Morss, and their children Alexandra, Abigail, and Caroline; Katharine Hanna Morgan and her children Sarah, Jasper, Lucy, and Anne; and John Merchant Hanna, his wife Kimberly Davis Hanna, and their children John Williams and Genevieve. He was predeceased by his sister Elisabeth Hanna Von Braitenberg, and survived by sisters Margaret Hanna Jones and Cornelia Hanna McMurtrie, both of Falmouth, Mass. A Celebration of Life will be held in the late Spring.


Helmut Schwab

Helmut Schwab, 91, of Princeton passed away on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at Stonebridge At Montgomery. Born in Berlin, Germany, he grew up in Germany, attended University in Switzerland, and then moved to California mid-1950s to complete his PhD after which he started three companies and his family. After selling those companies he traveled the world with his family for two years and resided in Munich, Germany, before moving to Princeton, NJ, in 1976. 

Helmut Schwab’s academic training was in the fields of physics and mathematics. He worked in the aerospace and electronics industry — initially in research and development where he patented numerous innovations related to electronics, and later in business-related executive functions. Helmut retired in the late 1980s as the CEO of Siemens USA, Iselin, NJ. He enjoyed his retirement traveling, supporting philanthropic efforts including Habitat for Humanity and Friends of Princeton Open Space, and writing books. For the last 20 years, he concentrated some of his work on the scientific understanding of our cosmological, biological, and human existence, specifically of the human mind and behavior in terms of neurophysiology, cognitive psychology, cultural influences and own thought — with special consequences in the fields of philosophy and theology. He had also pursued some historical and sociological/political studies — and wrote short stories (http://www.schwab-writings.com/).

Son of the late Martin and Elisabeth (Burchardt) Schwab, brother of the late Jurgen Schwab, Marianne Schwab, he is survived by his wife of 60+ years, Eva Maria (Nauman) Schwab;four sons Bernard Schwab, Frank Schwab, Stephen Schwab, Michael Schwab; brother Bernhard Schwab; sister Sabine Schwab; and three grandchildren — Christina, Scott, and Palma.

Helmut will be remembered by his family and many friends for his generosity, passion for learning, sense of humor, and garden parties. He enjoyed traveling the world, family vacations in Cannes, playing various musical instruments, reading history books, listening to country music, watching westerns, and was especially talented at sketches, and canvas paintings. 

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


John R. Janick

Known to his friends as “Jack,” John R. Janick, 91, of Naples, Florida, and formerly of Princeton, NJ, passed away on January 14, 2020. He was the son of John Janick and Marie Russell Janick.

He was born January 31, 1928 and lived in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. He graduated from Dutch Neck elementary school in Dutch Neck, New Jersey, and Princeton High School.

He joined the U.S. Navy and served two years on goodwill tours traveling the east coast of South America, around Cape of Good Hope, the Ivory Coast of North Africa, through the Gibraltar strait to the Mediterranean, where he visited Italy, Spain, and Greece.

He left the Navy and traveled across the United States before entering Rutgers University, graduating in 1955.

He met his wonderful wife Caroline (nee DiMeglio) in high school. They started dating in 1948 while they were both working at Heyden Chemical in Penns Neck, NJ (later American Cyanamid). They were married in 1953.

He started Craft Cleaners in Princeton Junction in 1956 and opened plants in Princeton, Lawrenceville, and Hightstown. Serving as a member of the West Windsor school board, he was instrumental in the building of the Maurice Hawkes Elementary School. He was a member of the West Windsor Lions Club for many years and served as president in 1961 and 1962. He sponsored a West Windsor little league team, providing uniforms and financial support for many years.

His friends and family know him as a headstrong, vibrant renaissance man, truly interested and curious about life. He played the piano, the trombone, and was an exceptional whistler. He was an avid gardener and fantastic cook. He enjoyed skiing with his family in Vermont and traveled to Chamonix, France to ski with his high school buddies. Over decades of playing determined golf, he accomplished the improbable feat of two holes-in-one. The family summered in their shore house on Mantoloking and enjoyed boating and sailing on his cutter sloop and power boats. He and his wife Caroline traveled each summer to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and Newport, and Long Island Sound. Each winter they traveled to Key West and sailed or boated in the Bahamas.

John and Caroline moved to Marco Island, Florida in 1983 and lived there for 30 years, before moving to Naples, Florida.

At age 55, he retired from Craft Cleaners in 1993, leaving his business to his sons John Jr. and Tom.

He is survived by his wife Caroline, daughter Daryl (Bruce) Kent, sons John (Lori) Janick, Jr. and Thomas D. Janick, and grandsons Kyle, Daniel, John R III, and Mathew. John was predeceased by his sisters Marjorie Janick, Phyllis Renk, and Mary Jane Sickel.

Burial was Monday, January 20, at Princeton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the “Jack Janick and Mango Garden Project” at the Villa at Terracina Grand Memory Care, Naples, FL.


Robert Wood Tate

July 13, 1929 – January 14, 2020

Wood Tate passed away on January 14, 2020 at his home in Princeton after a brief illness. A loving husband, father, grandfather, respected colleague and friend, he was generous with his time and skills. He delighted in all levels of technical challenges, from fixing a neighbor’s plumbing to designing a seaweed harvester to setting up international manufacturing operations. Wood will be missed by friends and family near and far.

Son of Elizabeth Nelson Tate and Jack Bernard Tate, Wood grew up in Washington, D.C., where he attended Western High School. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1950, he served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, designing air bases in Morocco. It was in Morocco that Wood met Katharine Peterken, a fellow Swarthmore graduate. They married in 1956 in California, and he remained devoted to her until his death.

The Tates lived in Washington, D.C., from 1960-1968, before settling in Princeton with their five children. They welcomed over 200 boarders and guests from around the world into their lively home, many of whom became lifelong friends. 

Trained as a civil engineer, Wood spent most of his career working as a management consultant in a wide variety of contexts. He enjoyed the strategic side of business projects and the international connections he made working on projects that took him to 23 countries.  

A dedicated community member, Wood served on the first Princeton Consolidation Committee in the 1970s and was active in the Princeton Middle East Society and the Princeton Independent Consultants. He volunteered as an Election Boardworker for many years and was a devoted member of the local YMCA, where he swam regularly.

Beginning in the 1970s, the Tates spent summers in mid-coast Maine, and eventually they bought land and a cabin on a small lake. Family and friends gathered at that favorite spot to celebrate Wood’s 90th birthday last July.

Wood is survived by his wife of 63 years, Katharine; children Jacques Tate, Anne Tate (Bob Massie), Thomas Tate, Laura Tate Kagel (Martin Kagel), and Carol Tate (David Schrayer); longtime friends François Bontoux and Christine Wüthrich; nieces Valerie Tate (Gregory Arms) and Louise Tate Hood (Murray Hood); and many grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, brother Toby, and daughter-in-law May Tate.

A memorial gathering will take place in Maine during the summer.