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Obituaries | Town Topics

John Law Jacobus

After a brief but hard-fought battle with cancer, John Law Jacobus, of Washington, DC, passed away on January 2, 2021. He was 57 years old. 

John was born in Washington, DC, and when he was 6, a family move took him to Princeton, NJ, in August of 1970, where he spent the remainder of his youth, graduating from Princeton Day School in 1982. At graduation, he was awarded the English and Latin prizes, a Headmaster’s award, as well as being the first recipient of the John Douglas Sacks-Wilner ’80 Award. He loved studying English and history, and participated in several dramatic presentations, including one of the first full Shakespearean plays mounted by the school, Twelfth Night.   

John attended Harvard University, receiving a bachelor of arts (A.B.) in History, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. At Harvard, he was a recipient of the Detur Prize, one of the oldest academic prizes at Harvard College, awarded to only the top 49 freshmen in the class. He was also awarded a John Harvard Scholarship, in recognition of academic achievement of the highest distinction, as well as the Whitehill Prize, given by Lowell House to the junior student who “as a scholar and citizen best represents the tradition of the humane letters and arts.” John was a member of the Phillips Brook House Association, dedicated to public service in the greater community. He also served as head usher in the Memorial Church, then under the stewardship of the Reverend Peter J. Gomes.  As head usher, John led the reading in the chapel service at commencement. 

After college, John continued on to the Harvard Law School, receiving his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1989. Upon graduating, he accepted a position as law clerk to a federal judge, the Hon. Maryanne T. Barry, at the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Following his clerkship, John served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC, beginning his career as a member of the Attorney General’s Honors Program.  While at the Justice Department, John received two Special Achievement Awards from the Attorney General, one for Sustained Superior Performance of Duty (1993) and the other for Meritorious Acts Performed on Behalf of the Department (1994). 

Following his service at the U.S. Department of Justice, John briefly served as the general counsel in a family-owned business, the Jacobus Pharmaceutical Company, Inc., a position he relished. Following that service, John joined Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, in Washington, DC, where he remained for the rest of his career. Elected partner at Steptoe in 2001, John focused on commercial litigation and arbitrations, often with a focus on insurance and reinsurance/risk trading. He was a distinguished member of the bar, both domestically and on an international basis, and served as chair of the Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Section of Lex Mundi, the world’s largest assembly of private law firms. While at Steptoe, John also devoted a significant amount of time to pro bono work, often with a focus on helping immigrants reach the safety of the United States following persecution or torture abroad. His representation of the underprivileged also included serving as lead counsel in proceedings before the United States Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Circuit in litigation on behalf of developmentally delayed children, in a case challenging their stewardship by the government of the District of Columbia.     

John was a lifelong reader and collector of books, which he cherished. History was a particular interest; while he enjoyed building his knowledge on all eras and cultures, World War II and its aftermath were a special focus for him. Together with his partner (and later husband) of 23 years, John enjoyed traveling and seeing both the cultural sites of the world and its geographical wonders from Argentina to Zimbabwe and dozens of countries in between. 

John enjoyed the culture of urban spaces, but relished getting deep into rustic places as well.   He was particularly fond of walking in the woods and along the rocky cliffs at Isle au Haut, Maine, where his family has spent summers for many generations. Isle au Haut held a special place in his heart, often inspiring deeply contemplative moments, especially at night, when the ink-black sky was spread with stars and the murmurs of the ocean sounded nearby.   

Character was destiny for John, and he believed that kindness was the greatest wisdom. All who knew him would attest that he served as an exemplar of those values his entire life. He was utterly devoted to his husband, David Uhler, and was beloved by his family and many friends.  John was predeceased by his brother, William Penman Jacobus, to whom he lovingly gave many hours of thoughtful care during a prolonged period of illness in William’s life. In addition to his husband, John is also survived by his parents, David and Claire Jacobus of Princeton, NJ; his sister Marget Jacobus of Westfield, MA; his sister and brother-in-law Hughie Jacobus and Andrew Hildick-Smith of Winchester, MA; his sister Laura Jacobus of Princeton, NJ; three nephews, Gordon, Seth, and Neil Hildick-Smith; a niece, Ellen Jacobus; and a new grand-niece, Sophie, daughter of Gordon and his wife Alice Wisener.

A memorial service for John will be planned for a later date. Those who would like to honor John’s memory in the meantime may wish to make a donation in his honor to the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University (lombardi.georgetown.edu/giving); the Isle Au Haut Community Development Corporation (isleauhaut.org); or the Shakespeare Theatre Company (shakespearetheatre.org/support/ways-to-give).

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Dr. Douglas H. Wiedemann

Dr. Douglas H. Wiedemann, 67, a longtime resident of Princeton, died on November 12, 2020 at the Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro.

Dr. Wiedemann was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the late Herbert P. and Henrietta P. Wiedemann. Early in his life, it became clear that he possessed an exceptional gift for mathematics, and this became his lifelong passion. Dr. Wiedemann received a BS degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1975, an MS in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1977, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 1986.

As an undergraduate, Dr. Wiedemann started to work during the summer at the Institute for Defense Analysis in Princeton. This was the beginning of his long career as a research staff member at the Institute’s Center for Communication Research, where he remained active up until the time of his death. His career at the Center for Communication Research was punctuated by short stints at Thinking Machines Corporation and Sun Microsystems. Dr. Wiedemann was well-known for his work on sparse systems of linear equations over finite fields, which is used in addressing mathematical problems such as factoring integers in an efficient way.

Dr. Wiedemann was interested in a great range of matters, from the tangible and physical to the theoretical and abstract. His imaginative and original observations were unique. One of his supervisors wrote the following when Dr. Wiedemann was only 29 years of age: “The beautiful new mathematics that you have discovered and continue to extend in so many directions is one of the most exciting developments in modern cryptanalysis. I understand that you were recently able to use your new techniques to solve an important problem that had defied solution for several years.”

Dr. Wiedemann will be greatly missed by his colleagues and family. He remained single throughout his life. He is survived by his brother, Herbert P. Wiedemann MD, of Shaker Heights, Ohio and his wife, Patricia Barz, and their children, Sarah Wiedemann of Denver, Colorado and Andrew Wiedemann of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well as aunts, nieces, and nephews.

Cremation arrangements were provided by the Kimble Funeral Home of Princeton. Dr. Wiedemann’s ashes were interred next to those of his parents at the Providence Presbyterian Church in Hilton Head, South Carolina. 

A private service for the family will be held there when the COVID pandemic resolves.

Memorial gifts can be made to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation through the Give Now tab on the home page of their website: https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org.

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Charles Minter “Pat” Patrick, Jr.

Charles Minter “Pat” Patrick, Jr. passed away after a brave struggle with Covid-19 on December 24, 2020. He was born in Dallas on November 27, 1933 to Brooksie Smith Patrick and Charles Minter “Pat” Patrick, Sr.

He graduated from Highland Park High School and Washington & Lee University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and captain of the swim team. Following graduation, Pat enlisted in the United States Coast Guard, graduated from Officer Candidate School, and was stationed on Governors Island in New York City. Pat served aboard the USCGC Westwind, earning the Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal. During that time in New York City, Pat began dating Ann Guthrie. When asked how he knew she was “the one,” he replied, “she told me.” In 1958, Ann and Pat married in Dallas, and he called her “my beautiful bride” throughout their 62 years of marriage.

Following his service in the Coast Guard, Pat began his lifelong career as an insurance broker with the family company C.M. Patrick Agency. After numerous mergers, Pat joined Alexander & Alexander where he held various positions and earned his Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. In 1987, Pat relocated to New York City as CEO of A&A’s Captive Management Services, settling in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1992, Pat became President of A&A Japan, whereupon Pat and Ann moved to Tokyo.

After retiring in 1994, Pat and Ann moved to Rociada in northeastern New Mexico, in the mountain community of Pendaries where he served as Salvation Army board member, Rotary Club of Las Vegas President, and board member of Pendaries Village Community Association. Pat and Ann enjoyed traveling the world, especially their trips to Great Britain, China, the Soviet Union, Italy, and France. In 2015, Pat and Ann returned to Dallas to The Tradition to be near family and friends. Pat was involved with the Tradition Resident Council Activities group and enjoyed giving historical presentations on the Titanic. Later at Emerson, Pat enjoyed spending time visiting with residents in the dog park and working in the Community Store.

Pat was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church and was involved in the parents’ associations of their children’s schools including Christ the King, Jesuit, Ursuline, and Cistercian. Pat was a trustee of the Catholic Foundation and past member of Brook Hollow Golf Club, Idelwild, and Terps.

To his wife, children, family, and friends, Pat was kind, funny, patient, loyal, supportive, and generous. He could tell a great story but liked listening to one even more. He was an avid reader; loved history, movies, politics, tennis, and naps; and was “OK” at golf. Pat was a true gentleman who strived to do the right thing.

He is survived by his wife Ann; brothers Allyn and wife Julie; Brooks and wife Sharon. Children Charles “Pat” Patrick, III and wife Sheila, their children Charles, Jessica, and Katherine; Aline Patrick; David Patrick and wife Monica, their children Delaney, Sarah, and Lucy; Michael and partner Will Cromley.

A private service was held at Calvary Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to The Catholic Foundation, Pastoral Reflections Institute, Cistercian General Scholarship Fund, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, or the charity of your choice.

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Dr. Evette Katlin

Dr. Evette Katlin passed away at her home in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, on Tuesday evening, January 5, 2021.

Born in the Bronx on June 13, 1957, Evette grew up in New Rochelle, New York, and later Randallstown, Maryland. She previously resided in Silver Spring, Maryland; Jerusalem; Los Angeles; and New York City before moving to Lawrenceville.

After graduating from Randallstown High School, she earned a degree in nursing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She later earned a master’s degree in Public Health and Nursing from Catholic University, a second masters in Marriage/Family & Child Counseling and Industrial Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles, and a third masters at Hunter University NYC in Social Work Administration. She earned a PhD in Health Studies at Temple University. More recently, Evette entered into studies in the Cantorial and Rabbinical Program at the Academy of Jewish Religion.

Evette began her professional life as a visiting nurse and practicing at hospitals in Los Angeles and later Washington, DC. She later became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and worked in that capacity as a psychotherapist for over 25 years at several local agencies including the Princeton Psychiatric Hospital, Family & Children’s Services in Princeton, and most recently at the Family Guidance Center in Hamilton. She was also a licensed health and wellness Life Coach.

Evette had a strong Jewish identity teaching as a religious school teacher at Adath Israel congregation, The Jewish Center of Princeton, and at Kehillat Shalom in Belle Mead, NJ. She led High Holiday Services for many years in Metuchen, NJ; Freehold, NJ; Marlboro, NJ; Bensalem and York, PA; Frederick, MD; and Westport, CT. In recent years she became the student Rabbi at Congregation Ohev Sholom in York, PA. She was also an accomplished composer of liturgical music. As a composer and lyricist, her works are published in Cantor’s Assembly, Women’s Cantor’s Network, and Shalshelet Foundation.

An active member of the Jewish community, Evette was a member of the Women’s Cantor’s Network and Association of Rabbis, Cantors at the Academy of Jewish Religion, New Jersey Cantor’s Concert Ensemble, and the Delaware Valley Cantors. She was also active with JFCS of Greater Mercer County.

Her family life began in Silver Spring, MD where she met her husband, Hazzan Arthur Katlin, in synagogue choir. In the years following, culminating with 29 years in the Adath Israel community where Arthur has been the congregation’s cantor, they have shared a love of Judaism and music together. Evette and Art would often present concerts as a duo throughout their marriage. She was an active member of the Adath community, participating in Women’s League, Bikur Cholim and led a monthly Women’s Rosh Chodesh group. She was honored as the Women’s League Torah Fund Honoree in 2016.

Evette had a passion for working with people. An extremely hard worker, her lifelong pursuit of knowledge led her to a commitment to acts of service. She was passionate about Judaism and was deeply committed to Social Justice and Tikun Olam. She was a marvelous and versatile singer in many genres from Broadway, Jazz, and Pop to Gospel, and Jewish Liturgical music.

Evette is remembered for her empathy and positive outlook, as someone who wore her heart on her sleeve, she could find humor in any situation and her family and friends will cherish her contagious laugh. She was social, outgoing, and fun loving. A natural listener, she constantly encouraged self-reflection as a means for growth. Through these qualities and selflessness she truly embodied the meaning of an “Eishet Chayil,” a woman of valor.

Above all things, Evette loved to spend time with her close family, cooking, watching TV and movies, traveling and playing family games — especially Boggle and Rummikub.

Evette is predeceased by her parents Diana and Robert Kaufman.

She is survived by her loving husband, Arthur Katlin; her children, Shara Katlin and Aaron Katlin; and her cousin, Adam Sisenwein.

Private funeral services and burial were held at the Adath Israel Congregational Plot in Fountain Lawn Memorial Park in Ewing, NJ.

To send condolences to the family, visit OrlandsMemorialChapel.com.

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Norman Denard

Norman Denard, a longtime resident of Princeton, died at the age of 99 on January 9, 2021 at RWJ Somerset.

Norman was born in Trenton and graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was married to his late wife, Roz, for 73 years. Norm and she moved to Princeton in the early 1950s and created a wonderful home and life for themselves and their three children.

Norm was a polymath of sorts. He had deep knowledge, interest, and affinities in a wide range of areas and subject matter. These included world cultures, literature, poetry, history, etymology, geography, physics, electricity, natural sciences, climatology, astronomy, writing, religion, foreign language, the arts, philosophy, technology, and classical and folk music. He was always more than happy to delve into conversation on any of these subjects, with family, friends, and acquaintances alike.

Norman was a partner for many years at Mohawk Electric in lower Manhattan. He had dreamed of becoming a teacher and sharing his love of learning, so after retirement he went back to college and received a Masters in Education including his Teacher’s Certification. Following a few years of subbing and giving it his best shot but not feeling fulfilled, he shifted gears.

Norm had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and was a true lover of learning. His involvement with Community Without Walls also served as an opportunity to stay engaged. Whether by extensive reading, participating in Elderhostel and Smithsonian trips, taking courses online, or auditing classes at Princeton, expanding his mind was always important to him.

Over the years, in addition to his intellectual bent, he was also very happy when participating in a wide range of pastimes.  They included canoeing (white and flat water), skiing (downhill and cross country), sailing, motorcycling, bird watching, mucking for marine life at the shore, hiking, woodworking, clay sculpting, snorkeling, photography, fencing, ice skating, and camping.

Traveling and adventuring with Roslyn and with close friends was an important aspect of his life, as well. He had the pleasure to visit over 50 countries around the world which included highlights such as Israel, exploring the bridges of Wales, Bhutan, the steppes of Eastern Mongolia, the Silk Road, Greenland, Kenya, Pakistan, Turkey, Peru, and Tibet. Norm was a staunch supporter of the Free Tibet movement. He never tired of seeing the historical, cultural, and natural wonders of the world. His fascination in the children and people of these countries was caught innumerable times in pictures or tapes as his subjects showed equal captivation in his camera and recorder.

Jewish heritage and values were two things Norm felt strongly about. As a child, he even gave up his own bed for Golda Meir when she came to Trenton to inspire support for the State of Israel. In the years that followed, he continued to share that commitment with family, friends, and members of the Jewish community. Often he would share a Succoth celebration at home that was both traditional and memorable for all. He was also a committed supporter of the Center for Jewish Life at Princeton University and served as President of The Jewish Center while being involved in its various committees and groups.

During WWII, as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, he served as a Supply Officer, an Airplane Armament Officer, as well as a Gunnery Instructor stateside. While stationed in the Philippines, Norm was involved in Air and Sea Rescue. He also worked for a time in the U.S. Weather Bureau out of Rochester, NY.

Words that describe Norm Denard best would include: gentle, honest, a global humanitarian, compassionate, inquisitive, moral, interesting, intelligent, grateful, and devoted to the love of his life, Roz.

Norman is survived by his son Jeff and his daughter Lisa Denard (Peter Koval), including grandchildren, Sean, Jessica, Tracy, Amanda, and Alexis, and two great-grandchildren, Evelyn and Walker. He is predeceased by his wife Roslyn, his daughter, Karen Denard Goldman, parents Samson and Yetta Donskoy, and his sister Bas Zion Kelsey.

A memorial service will be planned for a later date.

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Dawn Wilcox

Dawn Wilcox, nee Margaret Dawn Elsbury Winter, died peacefully in her sleep on December 26, 2020 in the Rancho Palos Verdes home of her daughter Susan. 

Dawn was born in Carlisle, England, on March 18, 1929 to Charles Elsbury Winter and Margaret Pearl Winter, nee Wilson. She attended the Carlisle and County High School for Girls and then the Hunmanby Hall School, operating in Armathwaite Hall, Bassenthwaite, during the Second World War.  In 1948/49, Dawn completed a translator’s degree at the University of Geneva, where she met Ralph Wilcox, a US veteran of WWII, studying French on the GI bill. Dawn was only 19 and knew that her parents would never let her marry an American, so she returned to England and Ralph to California, and they corresponded for two years until Dawn turned 21. Dawn then spent one year in California before the couple was married on September 6, 1951 in St Michael’s Church in Carlisle.

Ralph accepted a job in adult education with the United States Forces, and for the first 15 years of their marriage, they lived in various parts of France, including Verdun, La Rochelle, Tours, and Fontainebleau, where all three of their children were born, Carol in 1953, Ian in 1955, and Susan in 1958. During the 1960s, Dawn became involved in Girl Scouts, as a much beloved leader of Junior troops and then in the 1970s as a trainer for new leaders. Following her father’s death, Dawn, who could not bear the thought of never seeing him again, sought and found renewed Christian faith, which was central to her life for the subsequent 40 years. In 1966, the family moved to Heidelberg, Germany, and in 1974, to Belgium.  In 1985, Ralph retired and returned to Southern California, to Hidden Meadows near Escondido, where they built their dream house with a pool, which Dawn had spent years designing.

The couple spent nearly 20 idyllic years in Hidden Meadows, describing every day as “another day in paradise.” During this time, Dawn enjoyed gardening and managed to cultivate a spectacular British rose garden. She was actively involved in the local garden club, a book club, yoga classes, and regularly helped with grandchildren in Hacienda Heights, also hosting and visiting those in Princeton, NJ. After Ralph’s death in 2005, Dawn stayed in her home another five years, until her macular degeneration worsened, rendering independent life impossible. The last decade of her life was divided between her two daughters’ homes, in Princeton, NJ, and Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Dawn loved discovering the world and traveled all over Europe, from Greece to Scandinavia during their 35 years in Europe. A highlight just before retirement was a trip to the Holy Land. In later years, she particularly enjoyed cruises, many of them with Susan, to Bermuda, Alaska, China, New Zealand, and the Baltic Sea. After retirement, Dawn returned to England twice, first in 1998 and in 2007, and she was impressed by the positive changes in her hometown but never did miss the rain! Her last cruise was to the Sea of Cortez, in honor of her 80th birthday in 2009.

Dawn’s greatest joy in life was her family, and she delighted in her three children and five grandchildren, particularly enjoying playing card games and organizing special outings to museums, as well as fun trips for them, such as a trip to see the whales in Baja, California, or to Catalina Island and a cruise around Hawaii in honor of their 50th anniversary. She was tickled pink to have participated in kindling grandson Sean’s passion for science at an early age.  She will be greatly missed by her three children Carol Wilcox Prevost (Jean Herve) of Princeton, NJ, Ian Wilcox (MaryAnn) of Hacienda Heights, California, and Susan Wilcox of Rancho Palos Verdes, California; her five grandchildren Christopher Prevost (Brenda), Ian Prevost (Nam) and Olivia Prevost Karr (Ryan), Sean Wilcox (Lauren) and Lisa Wilcox; and six great-grandchildren Tyler, Landon, Amelia, Lily and Ralph Prevost, and Audrey Karr.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Heifer, Int., one of Dawn’s favorite charities.

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