John died April 30, 2023, in Salem, Mass. He joined us from Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, where he was valedictorian, editor of the school newspaper, ran cross country, wrestled, and was a member of the Glee Club, St. Andrews Society, and the Octettes choral group, He won Pittsburgh Civic Club awards for his leadership. 

At Princeton, John majored in history and wrote his senior thesis for Dean Richard Challener ’44, for which he won the University’s Joline Prize. He roomed at 124 1903 Hall with Ed Soderstrom, sang in the Chapel Choir, worked at the Student Pizza Agency, and was a member of Whig-Clio, the James Madison Assembly, and Cloister Inn.

From 1968 to 1969, as a sergeant in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, he was a platoon reporter in Thua Tien Province, Vietnam, where he earned a Combat Infantry Badge, a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. John wrote about his PTSD in our 50th-reunion yearbook. 

After the Army, he attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1972. He practiced environmental law in Denver, then moved to Massachusetts to join the state government doing regulatory law. He married Caroline Kaneko one day after Princeton graduation. Their 10-year marriage produced son John in 1972. While working for Christine Sullivan, the Massachusetts secretary of consumer affairs, John left the office to date her, and they married May 21, 1977. His second marriage produced daughter Abigail ’01 in 1979 and son William in 1982. John worked in legal consulting and commercial banking law both in Salem and Boston. 

When Christine died in 2016, John renewed hobbies: military history, travel to Shakespeare plays including London’s Globe theater, studying Baroque art, and travel with daughter Abby to Africa for her research study. He had learned to ski in his 30s, and pursued that and stamp collecting.

John is survived by his children; his partner of recent years, Candace Mesa; and four grandchildren. 

Undergraduate Class of 1967