Lee V. Harrod, 79, beloved TCNJ English Professor, Dies
Dr. Lee V. Harrod, who provided joyful access to James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake for hundreds of students, died on the evening of June 15, 2022. Fittingly, it was already June 16 — Bloomsday — in Dublin and the 100th anniversary of the publication of Ulysses, which Dr. Harrod always called “the greatest book in the English language” and the “blue book of life.” He believed Leopold Bloom’s journey around Dublin was a metaphor for the journey each of us takes through our individual days and lives.
Dr. Harrod was like Chaucer’s clerk in The Canterbury Tales: “And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.” He learned and taught for 58 years: first as a graduate assistant at Pennsylvania State University, where he wrote his dissertation on Ford Madox Ford and met his wife Lois Marie Harrod, then as a beloved professor in the English Department at The College of New Jersey (during which time he also served as department head, as head the English Honors Program, and as founder and editor of The Trenton State Review). After his retirement in 2008, when students honored him with a non-stop reading of Ulysses, he volunteered as a reader for the visually impaired at Reading Allies and as a tutor at HomeFront, where he helped dozens earn their GEDs with his “macaroni and cheese” recipe for essay writing. In 2008, he joined the Princeton Senior Resource Center’s Evergreen Forum, where he taught college-level courses on Marcel Proust, D. H. Lawrence, and of course, James Joyce. He also served on Evergreen and PSRC boards.
Whether he was teaching literary theory, Finnegans Wake (riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to end of bay), or the five-paragraph essay, Dr. Harrod had a remarkable gift for explaining the difficult and making it accessible.
Born in Gillette, Wyoming, the son of LaVern and Lillian Harrod, Lee worked his way through college and graduate school. One of the things that drew him to The College of New Jersey (which was then Trenton State College) was the fact that many of the students there were, like him, the first in their families to attend college.
During his 40 years at TCNJ, Dr. Harrod acted with the campus-based theater company Shakespeare 70. Because he lost most of his hair early, he often played the patriarch: “I played every father in Shakespeare.” Among his roles were Duncan (Macbeth), Polonius (Hamlet), and Peter Quince (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). On and offstage, he loved to read aloud with his resonant baritone, and his children, Jon and Kate, happily snuggled up and listened to his renderings of The Wind and the Willows, Little House on the Prairie, and twice — The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
During his years at TCNJ, Dr. Harrod served on the Hopewell Valley School District school board. He also donated many pints of blood, and his rare O negative, Cytomegalovirus negative blood was of special value to premature babies.
Dr. Harrod loved to travel. After retirement, he and his lifelong companion, best friend, and wife Lois (he liked to say he married her “to finish the conversation”), trekked to Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, France, Italy, and Latin America. They particularly enjoyed taking their grandson Will to Costa Rica, their grandson James to London, and their grandson Sam and granddaughter Sophia to Scotland, Ireland, and Paris. “PopPop” was up for any grandchild adventure — watching basketball games, swimming meets, ice-skating, school plays, and presentations; bird watching; hiking; eating bagels under collapsing umbrellas; exploring zoos, catacombs, and canyons; and in his last weeks, discussing existential themes in Japanese anime with his granddaughter.
Dr. Harrod also loved to walk daily, and every morning unless it was below 15 degrees, he and Lois would make their trek around Hopewell, often stopping to talk to friends and dog walkers.
As James Joyce would say of his death: And even if Humpty shell fall frumpty times as awkward again in the beardsboosoloom of all our grand remonstrancers there’ll be iggs for the brekkers come to mourn him, sunny side up with care. . . . (Finnegans Wake). As a husband, friend, professor, father, and grandfather, Dr. Harrod was sunny side up with care, a vir bonum, and a good, generous, and compassionate man who will be missed by many.
There will be a memorial gathering on September 30 in Education 212, on The College of New Jersey campus. His family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be given to the places he loved teaching: The College of New Jersey, where an endowed scholarship will be established in his name, HomeFront, or the Princeton Senior Resource Center.
For The College of New Jersey, gifts may be given online to the Dr. Lee V. Harrod Endowment Scholarship at the website plannedgiving.tcnj.edu/memorials-and-tribute-gifts or by check made out to TCNJ Foundation. PO Box 7718, Ewing NJ 08628-0718, and earmarked Dr. Lee V. Harrod.
For HomeFront, gifts may be given to online at homefrontnj.org/donate or by check to HomeFront, 1880 Princeton Avenue, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-4518.
For the Princeton Senior Resource Center, gifts may be given online at princetonsenior.org/support/donate or by check to PSRC, 101 Poor Farm Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Mary Elise Cook
Mary Elise Cook passed away on July 12, 2022. She was 96.
Born and raised in Princeton she was the daughter of Helen Margerum Roediger and Paul Otto Roediger. She graduated from Princeton High School in the class of 1943, and in the following year graduated from Katharine Gibbs in New York City. She is predeceased by her husband of 71 years, Dr. Alfred S. Cook Jr., also a lifelong Princeton resident whom she met at a high school Valentine’s Day party.
After her marriage in 1944 she worked as a medical secretary while her husband attended medical school in Philadelphia. The couple settled back in Princeton in 1954 where her husband set up his medical practice and Mary Elise became active in the newly formed Women’s Auxiliary at the hospital. She, along with two other doctors’ wives, chaired the first June Fete, which later became a major fundraising event for the hospital.
Mary Elise was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother to her family. Her love of cooking brought the family together for holiday and Sunday dinners. She never missed a single high school field hockey, basketball, or softball game. She provided the teams with homemade chocolate chip cookies to celebrate the victories and to soothe the losses. At the end of every season she would hold team banquets for all the players and coaches. She became an honorary member of every team.
After her children were grown she became a licensed realtor with Peyton Associates, where she worked for over 20 years. Her inherent knowledge of Princeton was a great asset and her specialty was real estate in the Jugtown Historic District of Princeton, where she grew up. In her retirement she enjoyed spending time on the beach at Barnegat Light, a favorite place where she spent many happy days.
Mary Elise is survived by her children, Mary Ann Cook of St. Petersburg, Florida, and Camden, Maine; Margaret Farley of Fort Myers, Florida; and Raymond Cook of West Windsor, New Jersey. She was predeceased by her oldest daughter Sandra Labaree of Wiscasset, Maine. She is also survived by four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and her brother Dr. Paul M. Roediger of Gwynedd, Pennsylvania.
The family will hold a private burial service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.
George G. Alexandridis
On Monday, June 27, 2022, George G. Alexandridis of Lawrenceville, NJ, loving husband, father, and grandfather passed away at age 87.
George was born on October 11, 1934 in Long Island City, NY, to Constantine and Anastasia Alexandridis. He received his S.B. degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956 and proudly served in the Army Corps of Engineers from 1956 through 1958.
On December 26, 1956, he married Geraldine Monahan. They raised one son, Mark.
George’s passion was engineering. He actively practiced for more than 50 years. His accomplishments resulted in many local engineering awards and honors as well as a government service award. His last role was Chief Engineer of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission wherein he supervised the seminal design work to rebuild the Scudder Falls Bridge, which has finally come to fruition.
He was devoted to both his immediate and extended family and was extremely proud of his Greek heritage.
George is survived by his wife Geraldine, his son Mark and his wife Nancy, his grandchildren Kathleen and Iain, and his sisters, Alexandra and Marina.
A funeral service was held on Friday July 1, 2022 at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Hamilton, NJ.
Burial was in Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, NJ.
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John Alan Strother
Longtime Princeton resident John Alan Strother, age 94, died in Princeton Hospital on Monday, June 27, of cardiac arrest brought on by a sudden acute pneumonia infection. John was a prodigiously-talented, strong, versatile, kind, and generous-spirited man who will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
John Alan Strother was born on December 27, 1927, in Hartford, Connecticut, to Alfred Carter Strother and Mary Stoughton Parsons Strother, of Windsor, Connecticut. John grew up in Windsor, where he attended Windsor Grammar School, Loomis School, and Windsor High School. John graduated from Windsor High School in June 1945, spent the summer in military training at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, and was sent home in August after the Japanese surrender in World War II. He returned to Army service when he was drafted after he turned 18 in December. John served in the Army from January 1946 to July 1947. During his Army service, John completed Basic Combat Training at Camp Crowder, Missouri, and Advanced Individual Training in radio and electronics at the Army Signal Corps in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and then worked as a technician at the Army’s Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Virginia.
After his discharge from the Army, John resumed his studies at Trinity College in Hartford, where he had completed his first semester term in the fall of 1945. At Trinity, John was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Pi Sigma, a national physics honor society. In June 1950, John graduated from Trinity with a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors in mathematics.
In July 1950, John accepted a job offer from the U. S. Navy’s Underwater Sound Laboratory in New London, Connecticut. John worked for two years at the Underwater Sound Laboratory as a physicist in the Electromagnetics Division’s Infrared Branch.
In the spring of 1952, John was awarded a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Graduate Fellowship for graduate work in electrical engineering at Princeton University. John completed his Master of Science degree in Engineering at Princeton in October 1954.
In the summer of 1954, John accepted a job offer from the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). John was eventually assigned to RCA’s Astro-Electronics Division in East Windsor, New Jersey. At Astro, John was a key member of the team that designed, built, and tested TIROS 1, the first weather satellite to successfully orbit the earth and transmit photographs of the earth’s cloud cover back to ground stations (TIROS is the acronym for Television Infrared Observation Satellite). During the launch of TIROS on April 1, 1960, and the satellite’s initial orbits of the earth, John was part of the mission control team at NASA, manager of the TIROS project. TIROS, a 270-pound, 42-by-19 inch satellite, sheathed in 9,000 solar cells, successfully proved the concept of feasibility of weather stations in space. TIROS took nearly 23,000 photographs of the earth’s cloud cover during its useful life of almost exactly the three months that had been predicted. There is a replica of TIROS 1 in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
John continued to work as an engineer and project manager at Astro-Electronics until his retirement in 1984, except for an approximately five-year stint in the mid-1960s at Electro-Mechanical Research (EMR) Telemetry, first in Sarasota, Florida, and then back in Princeton. At EMR, John was on the team that successfully designed and built encoders for the U. S. Navy that were considered significant for national defense purposes.
At Astro-Electronics, John worked on successive generations of the TIROS weather satellite as well as on highly-classified aerospace projects for NASA. While at Astro-Electronics, John received two patents for original product design.
After his retirement, John continued to lead an active life, exploring and developing his many interests. John had a natural affinity for music. As an avocation, he played the cornet, trumpet, and piano. Louis Armstrong inspired him to take up the cornet and trumpet, and he remained a lifelong fan of jazz. John also enjoyed a range of classical music and considered Johann Sebastian Bach the greatest of all classical composers. During his retirement, John composed songs and created electronic versions of favorite Christmas carols.
John also had a lifelong fascination with cars. After his retirement, he completed a number of race car driving courses at the Skip Barber Racing School. He eventually began work on designing a more efficient, less-polluting internal combustion car engine. John described his engine as a reciprocating internal combustion engine operating on a two-stroke cycle comprised of power stroke, and abbreviated exhaust, intake, and compression phases. John explained the benefits of his engine as follows: “The combination of a full expansion stroke with an abbreviated compression phase can offer efficiency superior to that of existing engines. Due to flexibility in the amount of pressurized air that can be introduced during intake, and because of the recirculation of relatively large amounts of exhaust gas, cylinder temperatures can be reduced, as can the emission of undesirable exhaust products.” In 2015, John received a patent for the engine, and in 2019, the patent was revised according to his specifications.
John enjoyed sports. During his teenage years, he played baseball and football. As an adult, he bowled and golfed. He was an avid lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, originally inspired by his hero and role model Lou Gehrig. He also cheered for the Mets and the Phillies, the Giants and the Jets.
John was also a talented woodworker. He built a workshop in the basement of his Princeton home and for many years, he took pleasure in crafting furniture for the home, including several sets of built-in bookshelves and a mantelpiece.
John enjoyed a rewarding, fulfilling personal life. On June 16, 1951, he married Helene Therese McCurdie, whom he met at the Navy’s Underwater Sound Laboratory and whom he would call Terry or Ter. John and Terry moved to Princeton, New Jersey, in the summer of 1952. After John began work at RCA, they spent six years in Mercerville, New Jersey, and then in the summer of 1960, moved back to Princeton, where John and Terry spent the next 60-plus years.
John and Terry had three daughters, Kathleen (Kate) Louise (1953), Jean Marie (1954), and Nancy Ann (1959), whom they raised with a combination of deep, abiding love and measured discipline. They were devoted to their four grandchildren, Jean’s two daughters, Teresa Kim and Bonnie Lee Schmittberger, and Nancy’s son and daughter, Christopher Laurence and Jennifer Christina Kelly, with whom they could be more relaxed and indulgent.
John and Terry enjoyed traveling. Many family vacations were spent in New England, with excursions to Montreal and Toronto, and eventually in their own summer cottage, a log cabin in Greenville, Maine, on Moosehead Lake. During these years, John and Terry occasionally took vacations without the kids, including trips to Bermuda and Jamaica. After the daughters were grown, John and Terry expanded their horizons, exploring the Eastern seaboard, from the Maritime Provinces to Savannah, Bar Harbor to the Delmarva Peninsula and Outer Banks, and the West Coast, the length of California, the Pacific Northwest, the desert Southwest, and the U. S. and Canadian Rockies. After John’s retirement, they took three car trips across Europe, plotting their own itineraries, and exploring Belgium, France, and Germany, and Austria, Italy, and Switzerland.
On June 16, 2021, John and Terry celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. John’s devotion to his wife and genuinely compassionate nature were evident in his dedicated care of Terry after she developed Alzheimer’s dementia in her early eighties. John was a miracle of patience, resourcefulness, and resilience, especially during the difficult years of the Covid pandemic. Fortunately, despite the ravages of Alzheimer’s, Terry’s essential kindness and empathetic nature remained. John was deeply saddened by the loss of his beloved wife earlier this year, on January 23, 2022. He was still grieving for her at the time of his own death.
John is survived by his three devoted daughters and their spouses, Jean’s husband Richard (Dick) Tushingham and Nancy’s husband Laurence (Larry) Kelly; his four grandchildren, Teresa Kim Harrold and Bonnie Lee Marlow, Christopher Laurence and Jennifer Christina Kelly; and his four great-grandchildren, Nolan Eugene Harrold, Violet Paige and Ashton Paul Kelly, and Riley Elizabeth Marlow. John is also survived by his brother, Gordon Henry Strother, and his two sisters, Mary Alice Peachman and Margaret (Peg) Jane Gillies.
This fine, accomplished, multitalented, loving and beloved man was laid to rest in Princeton Cemetery on July 7 next to the grave of his cherished wife. Those who wish to honor his memory are encouraged to make gifts in his name to charities of their choice.
Services were private and under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.
Harriet Greenblatt of East Windsor passed away on Sunday, July 3, 2022. She was 74.
Born in Philadelphia, Pa., to parents Nora and Manuel Greenblatt, she grew up in Princeton, NJ, where she attended the public schools, graduating from Princeton High School in 1965.
Harriet was a gifted musician, both a pianist and vocalist. At Princeton High School she was part of the renowned high school choir, directed by Thomas Hilbish. Following graduation from PHS, Harriet attended the Hart School of Music in Connecticut, and went on to earn a master’s degree in music performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Washington, D.C.
Upon returning to the Princeton area, she was active as a pianist in chamber music groups and as a vocalist with and accompanist to the choirs of the two synagogues to which she belonged. She would often lend her talents helping her fellow members learn their parts. Harriet was also a longstanding performer and board member of the Princeton Society of Musical Amateurs.
She was an active member of Congregation Beth Chaim in Princeton Junction and Beth El Synagogue in East Windsor Township. She regularly attended weekly Shabbat morning Torah studies. Always prepared, she loved reading the weekly section aloud to the group. She was also a skilled painter and one of her watercolors hangs on the synagogue wall.
Harriet is survived by her sister, Barbara Greenblatt Landau and her brother-in-law, Robert, both of Baltimore, MD, by two nephews, Matthew Landau of Miami Beach and Simon Landau of Washington, D.C., and by several cousins.
Funeral services and burial were held on July 5 at the Ahavath Israel Memorial Cemetery in Hamilton Township.
For condolences please visit Harriet’s obituary page at OrlandsMemorialChapel.com.
Funeral arrangements are by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel.
Alberto N. Trancon
Family, friends, and the many people whose lives he touched mourn the loss of Alberto Trancon, who passed away, peacefully surrounded by his family, at age 90 in his East Windsor home on Sunday, July 3, 2022.
Son of Alfonso Trancon and Gliceria Granda, he was born in Lima, Peru, on September 14, 1931. He had resided in the Princeton area for over 50 years. He retired from Princeton University and Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton.
You will always be remembered by the people who loved you.
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