December 23, 2020

Obituaries 12/23/2020

David Blair

If you met David Blair, you were unlikely to forget him! Standing at over 6’4” with an impressive mustache and an infectious smile, David was known for his warmth, generosity, and whip-smart sense of humor. When stories are told of a man’s cowboy boot wearing, kilt donning, gator dancing, and various turns as Santa, you know that his was a life well-lived. 

David was born in 1945 in Youngstown, Ohio, to Jean and Howard Blair and grew up there and in Millburn, NJ, where he developed a love of golf and basketball and graduated Millburn High School in 1963. He attended Princeton University, where he was a member of Cap and Gown Club (where he would later serve as Vice Chair of the Trustee Board), played more golf and basketball, and graduated in 1967 with a degree from the school of Public and International Affairs. David’s time at Princeton was formative, and he maintained a lifelong relationship with the University, Tiger activities, and the alumni network. He could reliably be found at reunions’ P-rades marching with his class and family. David met Mary Barnes at the end of his time as a Princeton student (Vassar road trips), and they were married in 1968.

David graduated from Columbia University in 1970, with a joint JD/MBA. He joined White & Case where he made partner in 1979. While at White & Case, he was part of the lead team working with the banks to prevent the financial collapse of New York City in 1975. It was during this time that David and Mary moved to New Jersey and ultimately settled in Summit, NJ, where they raised their family. There are so many good memories from their two decades in Summit: baseball and soccer coach, dance chaperone (in the boots, naturally), paddle tennis nights, and endless rounds of golf at Baltusrol, capped off by gin tournaments at the card table. 

In 1984, David joined Morgan Stanley and Co. in New York in the tax exempt department and eventually became a managing director and joined the private wealth division. By 2000 when he retired, he was the head of Private Wealth Management for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and Chairman of Global Risk Management. Beyond his official titles, he mentored and guided many at Morgan Stanley, sharing his strong moral compass and incredible knowledge of the industry. For the final stretch of David’s career with Morgan Stanley, he and Mary moved to London. Their time in London was spent making lifelong friends, traveling Europe, and enjoying lots of pubs, rugby, and of course, golf.

David and Mary returned to the States in 2000 and moved to Princeton, NJ. Not one to take retirement with his feet up, David began working at the newly-formed Bendheim Center for Finance at Princeton University. He served as their first Director of Corporate Relations from 2000 to 2010, helping to create the new Masters in Finance program, and advising graduate and undergraduate students on internships and future employment. His greatest pleasure was teaching a Freshman Seminar on Modern Financial Markets; working with the students was something he relished, and he was tickled to be called Professor Blair.

David spent the last few years of his life at Stonebridge at Montgomery, a Springpoint Senior Living facility, as he bravely faced Parkinson’s disease. His time at a Springpoint facility was fitting, as he had served as a trustee on the Springpoint Foundation Board for 12 years, including stretches as head of their Planning and Finance committees.  

David is survived by his wife of over 50 years Mary Blair, as well as his two children, David Blair with wife Thuy, and Kate Elliott with husband Brendan. In addition, he has three grandchildren, Jack, Nora, and Rosie Elliott, who have inherited his love of the New York Mets, his sharp card skills, and his utter joy for living. David has two brothers, Christopher Blair (deceased) and Robert Blair, along with numerous nieces and nephews who fondly remember bodysurfing in Duck, NC, and losing at poker.

Due to Covid-19, the family is postponing a memorial until later in 2021, when the scotch can flow, the Willie Nelson can play, and the stories can shake the rafters with laughter.

Donations in David’s honor can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation and Princeton AlumniCorps.


Joseph E. Bachelder, III

Joseph E. Bachelder, III died peacefully at home on December 13, 2020. He was 88 years old. Mr. Bachelder was a longtime resident of Princeton along with his wife of 65 years, Louise.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1958, Joe focused on tax law. Eventually that interest led to his becoming one of the country’s top lawyers in the field of executive compensation. He is credited with the development of the “golden parachute,” which brought executive pay to a new and tax-advantaged level.

In the 1980s Joe established The Law Offices of Joseph E. Bachelder, also known as Bachelder Law Office. Most recently he was of counsel to the New York office of McCarter and English. He was a regular contributor to the New York Law Journal for over 30 years. His last column was published at the end of June of this year. Over the last years, Joe lectured on the subject of executive pay at academic institutions, including Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford and before professional groups, including the American Bar Association. He was also a graduate of Yale University and Exeter Academy. He was selected as New York Super Lawyer by rating agency Super Lawyers in 2012.

Joe was also well known for his love of tennis. He taught tennis in Princeton in the summers to help pay for law school. In 1954 he met Louise on the Princeton University tennis courts. Joe also served on the Princeton Township Zoning Board from 1980-82. Joe was a former trustee of Concord Academy. Joe and his wife were longtime members of Bedens Brook Club, The Nassau Club, the Yale Club of New York, and the Siasconset Tennis Club on Nantucket.

Besides his wife Louise, Joe is survived by his three daughters, Lisa Alcock (Peter) of Vero Beach, FL, and Gloucester, MA; Cary Dufresne (David) of Charlotte, NC; and Hilary Bachelder of New York, NY. He was the grandfather of four: Peter Alcock of Brooklyn, NY; Caroline Cunningham (James) of Dubai, UAE; Louise Serio (Will) of Berkeley, CA; and Mason Dufresne of Washington, DC. Also surviving are his sister Jane Johnson (Peter) of Darby, VT, and brother Stephan Bachelder (Deborah) of Yarmouth, ME.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Joe’s name to Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad (2 Mt. Lucas Road, Princeton, NJ 08540) or the Annual Fund of Concord Academy (166 Main Street, Concord, MA 01742).