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John Newall Classen ’38

Published in Feb. 23, 2005, issue

Jake died Dec. 3, 2004, in Baltimore.

He came to Princeton from the Calvert and Gilman schools, where he lettered in five varsity sports. At Princeton, Jake was on the football and lacrosse teams, and was named to the All-America Lacrosse Team in 1937. He majored in biology and was a member of Cap and Gown Club.

He earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins in 1942, interned for a year at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, and as a Navy lieutenant during WWII, served with the Marine Corps in the Pacific. On Iwo Jima he was the sole survivor of an attack on his aid station and was awarded two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars.

Postwar, he completed his surgical residency at Union Memorial and a fellowship at the Lahey Clinic in Boston, and thereafter practiced general vascular surgery in Baltimore. He also taught anatomy and surgery at Johns Hopkins and was chief of surgery at Union Memorial from 1964-72. All his life Jake contributed to the community in ways too numerous to mention.

Jake is survived by his wife of 46 years, Margaret; sons H. Ward, John B., and Taylor S. Classen; and four grandchildren. The class hereby records its great admiration and affection for its stalwart and distinguished patriarch.

The Class of 1938

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