February 8, 2023

Obituaries 2/8/2023

Thomas Burchard Arnold

Thomas Burchard Arnold passed away unexpectedly on Monday, October 24, 2022, after sustaining injuries from a bicycle fall. He was 70.

Born February 12, 1952, in Bronxville, NY, Tom spent his childhood in Old Greenwich, CT, and attended Greenwich Country Day School. He studied at the Pomfret School and completed a postgraduate year abroad at Haileybury in Hertford, England. After graduating from Kenyon College in Ohio, Tom moved to New York City to work in advertising. In 1980, Tom married Kathleen Reilly and they moved to Princeton, NJ, in 1982 to raise a family. Their marriage later ended in divorce. Tom continued to work in Manhattan for many years until the commute became tiresome. He then spent several years managing the beloved local Halo Farm and Halo Pub ice cream shops. It was during this time that he met Martha Bolster and after marrying in 2001, the couple settled in Ewing, NJ.

Tom will be remembered for his love of adventure. After several formative canoe camping trips in Maine in his adolescence, Tom became an avid outdoorsman — enjoying kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking, biking, and jogging. Tom’s interests took him on a NOLS expedition in 2004 in the Wind River Valley of Wyoming to develop his wilderness and outdoor education and leadership skills. Tom found solace in these pursuits. Through the Bolster family, Tom became acquainted with Camp Dudley in Westport, NY, and spent several summers sharing his love of adventure with campers there and frequently leading overnight hiking trips. He had a unique ability to connect effortlessly with the young and the old. Later he worked at Project U.S.E., Outward Bound, and the Princeton-Blairstown Center, where he was considered an integral part of their outdoor education staff and continued to work during his retirement. Of note, Tom ran 10 marathons — his first and fastest (3 hours and 15 minutes!) was Pittsburgh shortly after his 40th birthday — including the Philadelphia Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.

Tom was known for being intellectually curious, a prolific reader of books, and interested in music of many genres — from jazz to funk. He especially loved live music and could always be counted on to go to a concert whether it was Phish’s annual New Year’s Eve gig, South by Southwest, or the Austin City Limits festival. He was a source of kindness, creativity, gentility, wisdom, and affability.

Tom will be greatly missed by his loving wife Martha Bolster, his daughter Lucy Arnold Gore with former spouse Kathleen Arnold, Lucy’s husband Nick, Tom’s beloved grandchildren Stella and Connor Gore (who adored their “Grampy”), half-sisters Jennifer Arnold and Stephanie Arnold Pacheco, the entire Bolster family, as well as his many great friends. Tom is predeceased by his parents, Stuart Arnold and Ann Reynolds.

A Celebration of Tom’s Life will be held in his honor in 2023. In lieu of flowers, his family suggests contributions be made in his name to Princeton-Blairstown Center.


James David Peters, Sr.

James David Peters, Sr., of Princeton, died on February 5, 2023, of pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Deborah Cabral Peters; their children Courtney Peters-Manning and her husband Tomas Manning and James David (JD) Peters, Jr., and his wife Meghan Boswell Peters; grandsons Seamus Manning, Conor Manning, Liam Peters, and Rory Peters; and his beloved Springer Spaniel, Tucker. He is also survived by the entire Cambridge School family.

Jim was born on August 20, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was raised in Quincy, Mass., and met Deborah in 1963 when they were both 15 years old. Their great love story started that day and grew deeper every day until his death. His 30-year career in business took the family through the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois, before moving to Princeton in 1995 to become the President & CEO of E&B Marine, and then Utrecht Art Supplies.

Jim and Deborah founded the Cambridge School in Pennington in 2001. Together, they changed the lives of countless children with dyslexia and other learning differences, giving them the opportunity to learn the way their brains work best and reach their full potential. Jim managed the school’s finances, while Deborah developed the curriculum and oversaw all of the academics. Though Jim was much more than that at the school. He was a constant presence in the hallways, even after he passed on the day-to-day running of the business office to his daughter Courtney. He was a mentor and friend to all of the students, especially the older boys, who often could be seen having lunch on the floor of his office, talking about sports and respect and life.

Jim was most proud, however, of his family. He was more than just a Husband, Dad, and Grandpa. He was the best Husband, Dad, and Grandpa. He spent countless hours throwing the ball around, playing hoops in the driveway, setting up trains and trucks and super heroes, captaining his boat with his co-captain grandsons, and listening. He will be profoundly missed.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. James Church in Pennington, New Jersey, on Thursday, February 9 at 10 a.m. Viewing will be at Wilson Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington, NJ, on Wednesday, February 8 from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to HomeFront or the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.


Valerie Thomas Hartshorne

Valerie Thomas Hartshorne died on Monday, January 30, 2023 at the age of 91. She passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her family, just as she would have wanted.

Valerie was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on August 25, 1931 and raised in Locust, N.J. She graduated from Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT., in 1949 and studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York City from 1949-1950.

In 1960 Valerie and her husband Nat moved to Blawenburg, N.J., with three of their four children and set up home in the 200-year-old Blawenburg Tavern. Their fourth child, Caroline, was born the following spring.

After settling in New Jersey Valerie devoted herself to being a loving mother, eventually a grandmother, and later in life a great-grandmother as well as an entrepreneur and active community member. Among her accomplishments were establishing and running, with her partner Frad Young, Soupe du Jour, a popular lunch restaurant in Hopewell, N.J. Soupe du Jour was a successful lunch spot infused with Valerie’s and Frad’s cooking talents as well as their ability to nurture their customers. 

At home, Valerie was a beacon of light for her family and their many friends. Her house was welcoming and safe, and there was always something tasty cooking on the stove.

Valerie was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous as well as a longtime volunteer of Planned Parenthood. She was an avid gardener, a lover of animals, and a masterful cook. She will be dearly missed.

Valerie is survived by her children: Anne Allen and partner John George of Blawenburg, N.J.; Jennifer Hartshorne and husband Steve Gilbert of Princeton, N.J.; Max Hartshorne of South Deerfield, Mass.; and Caroline Hartshorne of Blawenburg, N.J. She is also survived by her nine grandchildren: Kate Hartshorne, Chelsea Allen, James Allen, Sam Hartshorne, Simon Allen, Rosalie Bush, Tom Hartshorne, Jackson Bush, and Greta Bush, along with two great-grandchildren: Nathan and Sofie Cosme.

In lieu of flowers, the Hartshorne family asks that donations be made to Planned Parenthood.

A memorial service is planned for spring 2023. Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, Pennington. Condolences are welcome at wilsonapple.com.


Robert Stanbrough Hillas

Robert Stanbrough Hillas passed away from sudden cardiac arrest on the morning of January 21, 2023, at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Rob was born on November 22, 1948, in Needham, Massachusetts. He grew up in a tight-knit family as the third of four children. Rob’s childhood took him from Massachusetts to Kentucky to Illinois, with a few stops in between, each place a new adventure for him and his siblings. As a child, Rob was both athletic and intelligent, with a great sense of humor and a knack for a clever turn of phrase.

Rob showed his aptitude early, earning high marks at Glenbrook South High School. He subsequently enrolled at Dartmouth College, where he earned commendations in subjects as varied as mathematics, geography, astronomy, and philosophy. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1970 with a degree in mathematics, summa cum laude. During his college summers, Rob manned the docks as a counselor at nearby Camp Tecumseh, an all-boys, all-athletics sports camp on Lake Winnipesaukee. Plaques of his swimming records still adorn the Tecumseh dining hall today.

After graduating from Dartmouth, Rob went to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he simultaneously became an MBA with honors and a second lieutenant in the Army. He expected to deploy to Southeast Asia at graduation. Instead, the war wound down, and he joined E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. in New York City during the early years of the newly institutionalized venture capital industry. As he wrote, “For me personally, the business has proved constantly challenging and ever-changing. In particular, entrepreneurs are a rare breed of homo sapiens and working with them tends to be exhilarating and exasperating, frequently simultaneously.”

Rob spent over 40 years as a venture capitalist and business leader. He rose through the ranks at Warburg Pincus, before leaving to become a General Partner at DSV Partners from 1981 to 1992. He returned to Warburg Pincus in 1993 as a Managing Director, occasioning an announcement in the Wall Street Journal. Following his second interval at Warburg, Rob became the Chief Executive Officer of Envirogen, Inc., where he oversaw the company’s sale to Shaw E&I. Rob served on numerous Boards of Directors during his years in business, including ATMI, U.S. Filter, and Roll & Hill.

It was at Warburg where Rob met Cynthia. Together, they raised four children, who had the rare privilege of a hardworking yet ever-present father. He taught his kids to swim, coached soccer, made Sunday morning breakfasts, and attended the countless sporting events occasioned by four active kids. He was a patient teacher, willingly spending weekends explaining accounting and math.

Rob loved nothing more than family gatherings. He hosted a large annual Thanksgiving, waking up early to roast three turkeys for his 50+ family members, spearheading the family football game, and leading the post-game charge to an afternoon spread of pie and tea sandwiches.

He was a steadfast contributor to his community. Rob invested significant time and effort into his commitments, which included the Friends Executive Committee of The Institute for Advanced Study, The Watershed Institute, and the Princeton Public School Board. He was a longtime contributor to many organizations and educational institutions, including the Princeton Symphony, the Conservation Fund, Oxfam America, Dartmouth College, Stanford University, and Camp Tecumseh.

A voracious learner, Rob audited courses at Princeton University on subjects including biochemistry, computer science, and contemporary Chinese politics. He had an endless stack of reading material on his bedside table, including contemporary fiction, books on the Federal Reserve and World War II, and carefully catalogued copies of The Economist.

Never content to be anything other than active, he was a lifelong strong athlete. Starting as a young swimmer, he progressed to the full suite of endurance sports, including running, hiking, and cycling. He kept meticulous track of his running times, and he strove for a personal best each time he ran out the door. In 2019, at the age of 70, he embarked on a 21-mile hike with his kids. Rob served as a very quick rabbit for the kids — post-hike, it emerged that the fastest segments were during his lead.

Rob was a person of integrity. He was a calm, measured man who listened before he spoke and thought before forming opinions. He believed in fairness, effort, and kindness. He did things the correct way, not the easy way. He was keenly aware of the positive impact he could have on those around him, which made others want to hold themselves to their own highest standard in return.

He maintained a cheerfully pragmatic approach to life. As he would say, “the best laid plans don’t always turn out to be so well laid.”

Rob loved tracking the weather, logistics, economic cycles, wastewater management, and alas, the Chicago Bears. 

He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Cynthia Hillas; son Robert Stanbrough Hillas, Jr. (Camden Hillas); daughter Alison Hillas Beyer (Jonathan Beyer); daughter Mary Hillas Eng (Jeffrey Eng); son Timothy Honn Hillas (Laura Bass); granddaughter Peregrine Deane Hillas; granddaughter Cynthia Rose Beyer; grandson Robert Stanbrough Hillas III; brother Roland Hillas III (Chuenchit Hillas); sister Wendy Miller; brother James Hillas (Arlene Hillas); and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Wolfensohn Hall, on February 11 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory to the Institute for Advanced Study, The Robert S. Hillas Fund for Women and Mathematics.


In Memory of

Diane Sherman-Levine

Diane passed away in Seattle on February 6, 2022 at the age of 93. She was a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College where she studied political science and was a life-long, self-described “political junkie.” She resided in Massachusetts with her husband Matthew Sherman and children, Jane, Lisa, and Adam, later living in Oregon and Pennsylvania. She and Matt lived in Cyprus at one time and traveled extensively.

In her early career she wrote numerous children’s books and nature and science articles. Later, she developed her considerable talents as a healer and spiritual teacher, helping many.

After her husband’s death she married Robert Levine of Princeton, and resided there for many years. They also traveled extensively, abroad and in the U.S., especially to pursue their interest as collectors of Fine Art Glass.

Along with her children, she leaves behind four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and many close friends.

She is loved and missed.