July 8, 2020

Obituaries 7/8/2020

Henry Read Martin

Longtime New Yorker cartoonist Henry Read Martin (who signed his cartoons H. Martin) died on June 30, 2020, just two weeks shy of his 95th birthday. For a man who had dealt with serious heart issues since he was 15, his sweet, loving, funny ticker sure gave him his money’s worth. 

Also known as Hank, Martin was born in Louisville, KY, where he attended public schools until entering Texas Country Day School in Dallas, TX, now known as St. Mark’s School of Texas. He graduated from Princeton University in 1948, after which he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago. Hank then headed back East and began his 45-year career with The New Yorker magazine. He sold his first drawing — known as a “spot” (the small drawing inside a story) — to The New Yorker in April 1950, though it was another four years before he sold his first cartoon there. He was also a longtime contributor to Punch magazine and The Spectator in England and for 15 years had a daily syndicated newspaper cartoon called “Good News/Bad News.”  Collections of his cartoons included Good News/Bad News and Yak! Yak! Yak! Blah! Blah! Blah!, both published by Charles Scribner’s Sons. Hank received the National Cartoonist’s Society’s Gag Cartoon Award in 1978 and also illustrated many books published by Peter Pauper Press.

In 1953 Hank married Edith (Edie) Matthews and they settled in Princeton, NJ, where they raised their two daughters and Edie taught pre-school. It was Edie who noticed a sign for a one-room office for rent across the street from the Princeton University Press that became Hank’s studio for close to 40 years. For years he commuted to it on his bicycle and friends often stopped by his window to say hello. Despite working with pen and ink, Hank always wore a coat and tie to work “because you never know when someone is going to stop by and ask you to lunch.” In fact, every Thursday for over 10 years, Hank and other Princeton cartoonists such as Arnold Roth, Clarence Brown, and Mike Ramus met regularly for lunch at the (now defunct) Annex Restaurant on Nassau Street. 

On Wednesdays Hank would take the bus into New York “to peddle his wares” at The New Yorker, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, and The Saturday Evening Post. Wednesday was “Look Day” at The New Yorker where the cartoon editor chose potential cartoons from each artist. Hank capped those days with lunch with the New Yorker cartoonists, a group often consisting of some combination of George Booth, Roz Chast, Sid Harris, Lee Lorenz, Nurit Karlin, Mort Gerberg, Sam Gross, Frank Modell, Jack Ziegler, Warren Miller, and Peter Porges (who usually sold his drawings elsewhere but regularly joined the lunch). It was a long-held tradition: in the 1940s the cartoonists’ lunch included such luminaries as Charles Addams, Charles Saxon, Barney Tobey, Whitney Darrow, and William Steig.

In Princeton, Hank served on the boards of several local Princeton organizations including SAVE, McCarter Theatre, and Friends of the Princeton Public Library. The Special Collections at Princeton University Library holds over 500 of his original cartoons published in The New Yorker and other publications along with 680 pen drawings for the famous New Yorker ‘spots.’ Also included in the collection is a complete set of his illustrated books and other archival materials. Hank also contributed cartoons and drawings to the Princeton Alumni Weekly as well as other Princeton University-themed mailings throughout his career and into retirement. In addition, the Morgan Library in New York City holds eight of his cartoons in its permanent collection.

Hank and Edie remained in Princeton until moving to Pennswood Village in Newtown, PA, in 1998. Edie predeceased him in 2010. He is survived by his sister Adele Vinsel of Louisville, KY, two daughters, “The Baby-Sitters Club” author Ann M. Martin and Jane Read Martin, as well as son-in-law Douglas McGrath, grandson Henry, and eight nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be planned for a later date when it is safe to congregate.


Christine Wainwright

Christine Wainwright, known to all as Nina, passed away on June 26, 2020 having waged a brave, three-year-long battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her daughter, Alex, her fiancé, John H. (Skip) Warvel III, and close friends. Nina was the daughter of the late Nicholas Biddle Wainwright and Christine (Tina) Henry Wainwright of Gwynedd, PA. Nina was born in Philadelphia, PA, graduated cum laude from both Germantown Academy and Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She earned her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

After receiving her MBA, she began her storied career in corporate bond sales at Lehman Brothers in NYC where, as a role model for young women in the world of finance, she rose to the position of Managing Director, an extraordinary accomplishment for a woman at that time. Following her retirement from Lehman Brothers she acted as a consultant for the Rockefeller Foundation.

Nina had a lifelong love for music. She starred in college musicals such as Kiss Me Kate and was the Director of the Wharton Follies while pursuing her MBA. In New York City, she was an active member of the Blue Hill Troupe, and she was on the board of the Singer’s Forum. When she moved to Princeton, she became active with the Princeton Symphony. As a member of the PSO board, she founded the Pops Series which remains one of the highlights of Princeton’s musical events. As a member of the Westminster Choir College Dean’s Advisory Council, she was involved with strategic planning of the College. She created the Philip A. Campanella Memorial Scholarship as an endowment to support Westminster Choir College undergraduate voice majors with a minor in musical theater. In collaboration with Phil, her friend, mentor and accompanist, she recorded the album If I Ever Love Again, a valued keepsake for family and friends.

Nina also sat on the board of Andalusia and contributed greatly to the museum which was her family’s ancestral home. Nina was devoted to Andalusia and was a generous benefactor for many years. She took great pride in assisting and advising on the upkeep and horticulture of the property, as well as the family genealogy.

Nina was a passionate athlete and outdoors enthusiast. She was an accomplished figure skater, tennis player, and loved to ski and hike the mountains near her home in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Nina was an experienced equestrian who enjoyed practicing dressage with her horse, Nobby, locally and in the summers exploring on horseback the mountains of Wyoming near her favorite ranch. Her love of nature was reflected in the gardens she lovingly created at her home which were enjoyed by many from her porch. 

Nina’s friends were her family. She drew them close to her with her natural charm, generosity, infectious humor, and loyalty. She never judged differences; she celebrated them. Nina often said her friends were a prism; they reflected the many facets of what she felt was meaningful in life. Those who were part of her sisterhood were grateful. Nina’s greatest joy and accomplishment was her daughter, Alex. She carries and exudes the grace of her mother. 

Christine Wainwright is survived by her daughter, Alexandra Henry Wainwright Sowanick, of Princeton, NJ; her fiancé, John H. Warvel, III; her beloved dog, Baxter; her cousins Richard S. Auchincloss, Jr. of St. David’s, PA, Thomas F. D. Auchincloss of St. David’s, PA, Dorothea H. Schnorr of Philadelphia, PA, Ansie S. Monaghan of Princeton, NJ, and James C. Biddle, of Bryn Mawr, PA.

A private family service was held near her family home in Gwynedd, PA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Glioblastoma Foundation, P.O. Box 62066, Durham, N.C., 27715 (email: info@glioblastomafoundation.org);  or SAVE, a friend to homeless animals, 1010 Route 601, Skillman, NJ, 08558 (email: save@savehomelessanimals.org).

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


Robert Moody Laughlin

Robert Moody Laughlin died in Alexandria, Virginia, as the result of the current pandemic on May 28, 2020.

Bob was born in Princeton, May 29, 1934, the son of Leslie Irwin Laughlin and Roberta Howe Laughlin. He was the youngest of four sons, including Leighton, James, and Ledlie. The family moved to Princeton when Bob’s father was appointed Assistant Dean for Admissions at the University.  He built one of the earliest houses on Drakes Corner Road where Bob and his three brothers were raised. Bob fondly remembered the family turning a part of their Drakes Corner property into a Victory Garden during World War II. The few Princeton University students still on campus volunteered to work along with Bob and his older brothers to make it a success.

Bob attended the Princeton Country Day School before continuing his education at the South Kent School in Connecticut. He graduated from Princeton University as an English major with the Class of 1956 and went on to Harvard to achieve a PhD in Anthropology in 1963. These two contrasting learning experiences convinced him that Princeton was far more attentive to students than Harvard. He remained a loyal tiger.

While a graduate student Bob married Miriam Elizabeth Wolfe. His graduate experience at Harvard included participation in the Harvard Chiapas Project. This took him and his young family to the highlands of southern Mexico to study the modern Maya and acquire one of its languages. His fascination with the Maya resulted in Bob’s 17-year effort to produce a dictionary of one of the 30 surviving Maya languages. Its 36,000 entries challenged the prevailing mistaken supposition that indigenous American languages possessed limited vocabularies. Bob’s Great Tzotzil Dictionary Of San Lorenzo Zinacantan remains the largest compilation of any indigenous American language.

Bob’s work with the Maya in Mexico was shared with his wife, Mimi, and their two children, Liana and Reese. His appointment as curator of Mesoamerican ethnology at the Smithsonian kept him in Washington, D.C., half of each year. Bob and his family spent the other half in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the colonial capital of Chiapas state in Mexico, surrounded by Maya villages.

Bob’s fascination with the Maya never faltered. His work in the Mexican highlands continued for more than a half century. His studies went beyond his dictionary to create works that preserved not only Maya botanic knowledge, folk tales, and dreams, but also revealed the literary quality of common Maya speech. These studies were published in acclaimed works which brought the language to the attention of the world (and the surprising fact that today over six million people still speak one of 30 Maya languages). His dictionary not only aided scholars in cracking the ancient Maya hieroglyphic code, but also spurred the modern Maya to promote literacy in their indigenous languages. This led to the creation of an indigenous cooperative of Maya writers to preserve their literary traditions and produce materials to make literacy in their native languages possible and thus enter the school curriculum. What followed was a major cultural revival. Bob and Mimi, whose own talents as a writer were turned to the Maya also, eventually created a theater group, which they named Monkey Business Theater, which toured Maya towns with productions in their own languages.

The work of this couple reached beyond traditional ethnographic pursuits to include activism, the creation of indigenous institutions, and environmental concerns. Bob has been feted expansively in Mexico, by his fellow anthropologists and among indigenous people widely. His contribution to academic literature was always outweighed by his interest in producing books with a wide appeal which could change minds about the nature of indigenous Americans.  One of his more popular books is his Maya Tales From Chiapas, Mexico, published in 2014.

It was Bob’s choice to be interred next to his parents in the Princeton cemetery.

Among his wide range of friends, Bob is fondly remembered happily bestriding the mountain trails in the cloud forests of Chiapas in proper Zinacantan gear: huaraches with recycled tire soles, the pink tunic worn by Zinacantec men, and a locally crafted disk-like hat heavily beribboned in traditional Maya fashion.


Conrad Schure

Optimistic, endlessly curious about the past, and humorous right up to the end, Conrad Schure of Freehold, NJ, and Clinton, CT, died on July 4, 2020 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, CT, where his family was permitted to be with him in a coastline paradise.

Born in New York City on  April 2, 1930, the Great Depression took away the progress of his immigrant parents but not the foundation of a good education and how the determined can rebound. Among the depression tales that were learned from and became legendary, was the tongue in cheek story that he did not have a middle name because that was an extravagance. His parents, Stanley S. Schure and Tillie Effin Schure, rebuilt an economic base that also pulled an extended family to prosperity. Turning down football scholarships at several well-known colleges, which his father never forgot, Conrad elected instead to follow a drive to broaden his experiences and chose on his own to go from Elizabeth, NJ, to Montana State University to study engineering.

After graduate school at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, he went to work for the Department of the Navy working on the Navy’s first foray into computers. From there career highlights included working for several Fortune 500 companies such as Burroughs and IBM which took him into the Pentagon regularly. Later he worked on a team that put the first computer system on Wall Street. Then fine tuning his focus, his career passion became the installation of computer automation systems into hospitals across the country.

Locally, in the Freehold, New Jersey, area, he co-founded Brookside, a swim and tennis club where several generations of families made lasting summer memories. It also functioned as a way for his children and nieces to earn money for their college tuition but also to experience working in and eventually running a service business as part of becoming well rounded individuals.

Jerry (Geraldine Usher) his wife of 44 years predeceased him in 1999. His brother Stephen Schure died in 2003. His stepson Paul Schure passed away in 2015. He is survived  by children Patricia Schure and Sari Schure Picard Valenti, both of Freehold; and David Schure and his wife Anne Weber of Princeton, NJ. Four grandchildren: Emily Picard of Freehold, Molly Picard of Washington, DC, Aaron Valenti of Savannah, Georgia, and James Schure a student at RPI in Troy, New York. Of special importance is Sharon Baker, a member of the family for nearly 20 years.

A remarkable collector of art and antiques related to his many passions, ranging from western art, horses, and sailing, to surveying, scientific instruments, and calculating devices. He wrote articles and gave presentations in the U.S. and Europe on what he had learned, often using items from his collections as examples.

Due to safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial service celebrating his life will be held when it is safe to gather. If friends and family are so inclined, contributions may be made to a cause of their choice.