Princeton Alumni Weekly Logo

James Harvey Cottrell ’53

Published in Apr. 4, 2007, issue

Jim, who left Princeton in 1951 to volunteer for the Air Force, died of cancer Dec. 27, 2006, in Rumson, N.J. Jim returned to celebrate our fifth reunion, while graduating with the Class of 1958. Fortunately for us, he remained a member of ’53.

Jim prepared at Bordentown (N.J.) Military Institute, where he was valedictorian. At Princeton, he majored in chemical engineering, was assistant treasurer of Charter Club, and belonged to Orange Key. Bill Brewster, Jay Cooper, Major Johnson, Fred Lafferty, Herschel Shepard, and John Sherwood were among his roommates. He married Marie Friedmann in 1954.

Jim was successful in developing an alternative energy source and obtained a patent for the process of oil extraction from the Athabasca Tar Sands Development Project in Northern Alberta, Canada. He had numerous other design successes in construction and building projects. He was so meticulous as chair of the building and grounds committee of Rumson’s Sea Bright Club that board member, neighbor, and close friend Dick Ellwood joked that Jim almost wrecked the budget of the venerable club with infrastructure improvements.

We join Marie; their sons, James Jr., Craig Thomas, and Stephen Osceola; daughter Christiane; and 10 grandchildren in mourning the loss of Jim. He had a searching and relentless intellect and conducted his life and career with infinite integrity.

Post a remembrance
Post a remembrance
James Harvey Cottrell
Enter the word as it appears in the picture below
By submitting a comment, you agree to PAW's comment posting policy.