August 11, 2021

Obituaries 8-11-21

Royce N. Flippin Jr.

Royce N. Flippin Jr. passed away at age 87 from natural causes on Saturday, July 31 at his home in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Born and raised in Montclair, NJ, Royce gained fame early in life as one of the leading scholar-athletes of the 1950s in high school and college. At sports powerhouse Montclair High School he lettered for three years in four sports — football, basketball, baseball, and track — and was named New Jersey’s outstanding high school athlete as a senior.

Royce went on to become a Princeton University football and baseball standout and student leader. Playing tailback in football coach Charlie Caldwell’s legendary single-wing offense, Royce was named All-Ivy and All-East as a junior. He famously came off the bench with a knee injury his senior year to score the opening touchdown against Yale in a 13-0 victory that clinched the Tigers’ Ivy League championship. At graduation Royce was awarded Princeton’s Poe Cup, presented to an outstanding athlete who also exhibits great moral character.

After college, Royce served in the Marines and worked for Standard Oil before attending Harvard Business School. Following stints at General Foods and Smith, Barney, he joined colleague Tom Delaney to start First Spectrum, the nation’s first-ever corporate-responsibility mutual fund. In 1973, he became Princeton’s athletic director, presiding over six years of Ivy League-leading winning percentages. He went on to be athletic director at MIT for 12 years, serving five years on the NCAA Executive Committee and one year as President of the ECAC. He sat on the Ariel Investments and TerraCycle Inc. boards, among others, and advised companies including Lightbridge and New Reality Solutions.

For all his professional success, Royce’s life was expressed most deeply in the personal impact he had on countless individuals over the years. He loved lifting up others wherever he encountered them, and the stories of those he assisted along their life paths are legion. He was also devoted to his family, including his soulmate and wife of 65 years, Louise Ferdon Flippin, who survives him; his late daughter Diane Nole and her late husband Art; sons Royce 3rd and Robert and their spouses, Alexis and Patricia; six grandchildren — Brian Nole with his wife, Dana, Robert Flippin Jr., Michael Flippin, Ryan Flippin, Christopher Flippin and Maisie Flippin; great-granddaughter Haylee Nole; four siblings, Carol Colavita, his late sister Molly Baker, John Flippin, and Doreen Cleerden and their families; and his Ferdon in-laws and their families.

Royce continued to embrace athletics throughout his life, excelling in tennis in middle age, and was admitted into New Jersey’s High School Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. He remained dedicated to all things Princeton University, including his Class of 1956 classmates, and was an enthusiastic member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Royce’s energy and optimism and his willingness to go the extra mile for others have left an indelible mark on all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.

Donations can be made in Royce’s memory to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 90 Leonardine Avenue, South River, NJ 08882.


Paul Emerson Van Horn, Jr. M.D.

Dr. Paul Emerson Van Horn, an orthopedic surgeon who practiced in Princeton, N.J., for over 30 years, died on Thursday, July 8, 2021. He was 91.

Dr. Van Horn moved to Princeton with his wife, Margaret “Peggy” R. Van Horn, M.D., a psychiatrist, in 1962. While they raised their family of four children, first on Gulick Road and then across town on Stuart Road West, Dr. Van Horn started his private practice, the Princeton Orthopedic Group, P.A., one of the first professional associations in the state. Dr. Van Horn was a stalwart at the Princeton Hospital (Princeton Medical Center) where he saw patients for decades, and served many local schools, including Princeton University, Lawrenceville, Hun, and Peddie, as well as other institutions such as Meadow Lakes and Rossmoor. Seeing a need for a local source of post-operative physical therapy, he founded Physical Therapy of Princeton. In addition to his medical practice in Princeton, Dr. Van Horn taught at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center.

Born in Springfield, MA, in 1929, Dr. Van Horn grew up in Churchville, NY, outside of Rochester, where he kept a trap line, bred pigeons, and canoed the Genesee River with his younger brother, Pete. He graduated cum laude from Mount Hermon School (now Northfield Mount Hermon) in 1947 and from Yale in 1951, and then received his medical degree in 1955 from New York Medical College. After completing an internship at the General Hospital, University of Rochester, NY, he served two years in the U.S. Army as a flight surgeon, including training at the U.S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine in Texas. After his military service, Dr. Van Horn returned to his studies as a resident in General Surgery at Tufts Medical School until 1959, when he received a fellowship in Orthopedic Surgery from the Mayo Clinic. It was at the Mayo Clinic that he fell in love with Peggy Ross, a young psychiatric fellow. Upon completion of the fellowship and receiving a Master of Science degree in Orthopedic Surgery from the University of Minnesota, he and Peggy married in 1961, and together they moved to Princeton.

Dr. Van Horn was a member of the American, New Jersey, and Mercer County Medical Associations, a fellow of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a founding member of the Eastern Orthopedic Association, a member of the Yale Club of New York and Princeton, the Holland Society of New York, the Nassau Club, the Old Guard of Princeton, a Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow, and a member of the Doctors Mayo Society.

During the latter part of his career, Dr. Van Horn volunteered with various organizations, performing surgery in underserved areas in Pakistan and in the Amazon River Basin in Brazil. After retiring in 1993, he traveled extensively with Peggy in various parts of the world including India, the Netherlands, Botswana, Tanzania, and China, but was particularly drawn to the more remote places such as the Alaskan Pribiloff Islands, the Galapagos Islands, and the lush jungle areas of Peru and Costa Rica. He enjoyed skiing, tennis, and puttering around fixing things at his retreat on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos, and later, on Virgin Gorda.

Dr. Van Horn died peacefully at home at Meadow Lakes in Hightstown, N.J., surrounded by family who were gathered for the celebration of his 60th anniversary of his wedding to Peggy, who survives him. Also surviving him are his four children, Barbara V.H. Yocum of Snowmass Village, CO; Valerie V.H. Pate of Richmond, VA; Alison K. Van Horn of Washington, D.C.; and Paul E Van Horn, III of Brooklyn, NY; their four spouses; and nine grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 28 at 3 p.m. at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his name be made to Esperanca ( or the Sierra Club (


Helen B. Cleary

Helen Birch Cleary, 96 – beloved wife, mother, and grandmother – passed away peacefully at CareOne at East Brunswick Assisted Living in East Brunswick, New Jersey on July 19, 2021.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, on July 18, 1925 to William John Birch and Angelus Coffee Birch, Helen grew up in the Town of Princeton and, from her earliest days, was a fantastic athlete and a passionate ballet dancer. After graduating from Princeton High School in 1943, she decided to pursue her passion further by studying at the school of the acclaimed Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in New York City under the famed tutelage of Mme. Maria Swoboda. Her love for ballet was a constant in her life, and in 1954, Helen served as the first volunteer teacher for the then-fledgling Princeton Ballet Society, founded by the renowned Audree Estey. Working closely with Ms. Estey, she helped to grow the program from its humble beginnings in a small empty space on Witherspoon Street into what is now known as the American Repertory Ballet, which today is recognized as New Jersey’s preeminent residential ballet company.

In pursuit of another one of her passions – childhood education – Helen graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Trenton State Teachers College (now The College of New Jersey) in 1947, which marked the beginning of a decades-long career as a primary school teacher. After spending a few years at Miss Fine’s School, she then entered the Princeton, New Jersey, public school system and served on the faculty of the Nassau Street, Community Park, John Witherspoon, and Johnson Park schools. It was in the classroom that Helen was most at home – where her unmatched creativity, wit, and love for the students she taught were always on full display. Unquestionably, Helen was a truly wonderful teacher.

In 1951, Helen was married to Joseph Robert (“Bob”) Cleary – her high school sweetheart and a passionate educator himself – and the two spent the next 65 years happily sharing their lives together. After brief periods living in St. Louis, Chicago, Rochester, and Malaysia for Bob’s work, they retired to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in 1986. In retirement, Helen was a devoted volunteer. She served as the Head Courier for the PGA’s Heritage Golf Tournament, sponsored by The Heritage Classic Foundation, and for many years, also ran a daycare program for the children of visiting golfers. Additionally, Helen was a long-time volunteer for the WTA’s Family Circle Cup, a women’s professional tennis tournament.

Helen – known to her friends and family as “Honey” – was the life of the party. She had a personality that would light up a room and a laugh that would carry far and wide. Helen was an avid storyteller, was blessed with the gift of gab, and was also a top-notch practical joker. She was a talented craftsperson and was always experimenting with new mediums to express herself artistically. And, while less adept in the culinary arts, that never stopped Helen from also experimenting in the kitchen – especially around the holidays when she would tirelessly bake delicious Christmas cookies for everyone she could think of. A devout Catholic and a proud American, she was both deeply spiritual and patriotic. Helen was strong-willed and fiercely dedicated to her family. She was also supremely generous and would never hesitate to help a friend in need. Wherever she went, Helen knew everybody – and everybody knew her as well.

The many students who passed through her classroom doors will remember Helen for the positive impact she assuredly made on their young lives. Her friends will remember her for her grace, humor, charm, and fun-loving nature. And her family will remember her for the unrivaled kindness she exuded, as well as for the unwavering love she bestowed upon them each and every day. Helen will undoubtedly be missed by everyone who was lucky enough to have had her even briefly touch their lives.

Helen Birch Cleary is survived by her loving son Mark Cleary, her adoring grandsons William and James Cleary, and their mother Jenifer Cleary. A memorial service in celebration of her life will be held at a date and time soon to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Helen’s honor to The American Repertory Ballet & Princeton Ballet School by visiting Donations can also be sent by mail to Princeton Ballet School, 301 N. Harrison Street, 2nd Floor, Princeton, New Jersey 08540.


Leila Cayci

Mrs. Leila Cayci passed away on April 30, 2021, at her home in Princeton with her family around her.

Blessed with beauty, brains, and a gentle charm, Leila was a graduate of the American Girls School and the American University in Cairo. A talented pianist, Leila pursued her interest in music receiving a bachelor’s degree in arts from Douglas College and a master’s degree in music from Syracuse University. Her children have wonderful memories of listening to Leila play the piano and she instilled in them a lifelong love of music.

While studying at Douglas, she met her future husband, M.A. Cayci, a civil engineer who worked in multiple disciplines including infrastructure design and aerospace engineering. Leila combined being a devoted wife and mom with pursuit of a career as a librarian, earning a master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University. For many years, she served as a public library director.

In retirement, Leila enjoyed spending summers at the Jersey shore, attending concerts and cultural events, and following with keen interest news of the world. Throughout her life, Leila was always up for a lively conversation about current events.

Leila was predeceased by her husband and is survived by her daughters Karen and Barbara and extended family. The service and burial at Princeton Cemetery were both private and arrangements were handled by Kimble Funeral Home.

A beautiful, loving, and dedicated mother, and a strong, independent, and determined lady, Leila lived her life with honesty, integrity, and respect for all. She will be deeply missed by her family.


Gil Gordon

Gil Gordon, of Monmouth Junction, passed away on Friday, August 6, 2021 with his family beside him. He was 72.

Born and raised in Warwick, NY, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern University and a Master’s in Human Resources from Cornell University. After working at Johnson & Johnson for 10 years, he started Gil Gordon Associates in 1982, a firm specializing in Telecommuting.

As a pioneer and innovator in this field, he was highly sought after as a consultant and speaker throughout the United States and the world. He authored multiple books on the subject. One of the leading experts on telecommuting and organizational behavior, Gil was showcased in multiple interviews for local, national, and international news outlets throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

During the past 20 years, he transitioned to his next career — community service and advocacy. These efforts became his full-time job. He was admired and recruited for his ability to analyze situations, address them efficiently, and solve disputes with minimal conflict. Always on the cutting edge, Gil had the foresight to identify the challenges of tomorrow while actively working on the issues of today.

Gil was quietly charitable with both his time and his resources, helping not just people, but communities and organizations in need. He served as a longtime volunteer and board member of JFCS of Greater Mercer County, served as President of The Jewish Center of Princeton, volunteered with Cornerstone Kitchen, and developed and spearheaded the Princeton Period Project.

In addition, Gil served on the Biomedical Ethics Committee at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center, weighing in on difficult decisions before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. These were just some of his local affiliations and positions; he also served on national committees within the Jewish Conservative Movement.

An avid photographer, Gil traveled much of the American Southwest in an effort to capture the perfect shot. He also loved classic cars, and his purchase of a neon green Dodge Challenger in 2020 brought him great joy throughout his illness.

Gil is survived by his wife Ellen; his children Adam Gordon (Kari Hexem) and Lisa (Marc) Rogol; his brother Barry (Barbara) Gordon; grandchildren Zachary, Alexa, Moe, and Asher; his treasured aunt Shirley Gordon and her daughters Joy Markel and Leah Gomberg; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.

Funeral services were held August 8 at The Jewish Center of Princeton, with burial at Princeton Cemetery.

At Gil’s request, memorial contributions may be directed to The Jewish Center General Fund or to JFCS of Greater Mercer County.  Kosher canned/packaged goods may also be donated to JFCS Mobile Food Pantry in his memory.

To send condolences to the family please visit Gil’s obituary page at


John B. (Jack) Rogerson, Jr.

John B. (Jack) Rogerson, Jr. passed away peacefully on July 8 in Pennswood Village, Newtown, PA.  Born on September 3, 1922, Dr. Rogerson died two months shy of his 99th birthday. The son of the late John B. Rogerson, Sr. and his wife Freda of Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Rogerson was the devoted and loving husband of Betty, his lifelong companion who passed away in 2012. They were soulmates for almost 70 years.

Dr. Rogerson, a navy veteran, loved music, reading, and travel, especially to countries where he could use his language skills. He received his B.S. degree in mathematics from Case Institute of Technology in 1951, a PhD in Astrophysics from Princeton University in 1954 followed by a post-doctoral fellowship awarded by the Carnegie Foundation. During his career as a professor at Princeton, Dr. Rogerson took an active lead in developing techniques suitable to space astronomy.  His work with Stratoscope 1 and 2 in which a balloon lifted a telescope 80,000 feet above our atmosphere to film the surface of the sun earned him the appointment of Executive Director of the Princeton Observatory’s Space Telescope Program. That appointment led to NASA’s launch of the Copernicus Satellite in 1972, an Orbiting Astronomical Observatory that produced significant advancement of knowledge to the astronomy community around the world. His life’s work produced numerous professional publications. Dr. Rogerson is listed in “Who’s Who in America” as well as “American Men of Science.”

Professional accomplishments aside, Dr. Rogerson was first and foremost dedicated to his family. A soft-spoken, gentle individual, he was their cornerstone. A warm and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Dr. Rogerson is survived by two sons, Dr John N. Rogerson and wife Eunice of The Villages, FL, Alan M. Rogerson and wife Chrysa of Tucson AZ; grandchildren Jennifer Azzano and husband Chris (Maj. Gen USAF retired) of Reno NV, Betsy Wolf and husband Derek of Danville, CA, Johnny D. Rogerson and wife Christine of Howell, NJ, and Jason Rogerson of Ewing, N.J; great-grandchildren Allison, Chicago, IL,  Steven Azzano, Stanford Univ., CA, Emmy Wolf, Univ. of Colorado, and Drew Wolf, Danville, CA, Jerry and Jake Rogerson, Howell, NJ.  Dr. Rogerson was predeceased by wife Elizabeth “Betty/Nana” and wonderful son, Jerry B. Rogerson.

The family misses our loving patriarch but takes comfort in the fact that he is reunited with his dear Betty and Jerry.  A private interment ceremony for family was held at the Princeton Cemetery on July 30, 2021.

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


Joan Machol

Joan Miriam (Carlson) Machol, 80, of Princeton Junction, loving wife of Richard Erving for 59 years, passed away peacefully on August 8, 2021.

She was born and raised in Manchester, CT, lived many years in Worthington, Ohio, and resided in Princeton Junction, NJ for the past 34 years. She was a Registered Nurse, mother of five, and an avid volunteer. Her volunteerism included many years at McCosh Health Center at Princeton University and Princeton Hospital. Joan and Richard were world travelers having traveled together to Sweden, Italy, Japan, China, Hawaii, Alaska, Bermuda, and the Caribbean Islands. She loved her 10 grandchildren.

Predeceased by her parents Edwin Harold and Miriam Dorothy (Dahlstrom) Carlson, she is survived by her husband, Richard Erving; five children — Melynda Jean (Stephen Ullery) Machol, Karen Machol (James Vincent) Piraino, Richard John Machol, Kelley Elizabeth (John) Figueroa, and Kathleen Beth Posk; 10 grandchildren — David, John Michael, Christopher, Kathryn, Veronica, Alexa, Christian, Eva, Faith, and Olivia; sister Elizabeth Joy Jones; and brother Edwin Carlson.

Visitation will be held from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at St. David the King Church, 1 New Village Road, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at

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