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John R. L. Sanborn ’67

Published in Feb.11, 2004, issue

We have learned that John died Sept. 22, 1998, of lung cancer. He started with '63 and roomed with lifelong friend Steve Molasky '63, who provided this memorial.

John met Nora, his lifelong sweetheart, at Princeton, and they married in 1962 while he was training to be an Army language specialist. He took Russian classes during the Cold War and enjoyed wearing his Russian Persian lamb hat on NYC subways and pretending to be a spy. He loved to make us laugh with his wild flamenco songs and intense all-night revelries.

Briefly returning to Princeton after the Army, John next went to sea as a deckhand. Within a few years, he was a tugboat captain, a job that suited him perfectly €” the water, the adventure, the independence, and the schedule. He was a linguist, painter, gardener, conga drummer, passionate letter writer, Episcopal vestryman, and a student of Santeria. Most of all, he was a tireless father for daughter Elizabeth and son Jack, and tireless grandfather for his beloved granddaughter, Tess. He touched many lives with his strength, grace, great warmth, and mischievous sense of humor. We miss him very much and consider his memory a blessing.

Sincere condolences to Nora, Elizabeth, Jack, John's sister, Dorothy, and his brothers, Donald Jr. and Gilbert. His stepfather was the late, great math professor Donald Spencer.

The Class of 1967

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