John died April 16, 2021, in New Bedford, Mass. He was a noted artist whose first published works were cartoons in Princeton student publications and who went on to exhibit his abstract paintings in museums and galleries in New York and New England, including a Whitney Biennial. His paintings can be seen on Instagram (@johnhavensthornton).

John was astonishingly energetic. He built a couple of his half-dozen kayaks himself and went out every day when the weather was good, read voraciously, cooked the family meals, taught painting and philosophy at Massachusetts College of Art, drove his kids to school and back and to swim practice, designed and supervised the rehab of their historic home, took up commercial photography and built a studio in their eight-car garage, and drove his daughter Emily to crew lessons, enabling her to become stroke on the Andover crew for four years and then row for Princeton. 

A friend once asked, “When does he sleep?” 

John was born Dec. 20, 1933, in Mexico City and graduated from Carteret School in West Orange, N.J. At Princeton he majored in mechanical engineering, joined Charter Club, and drew cartoons for The Daily Princetonian, Princeton Tiger, and Princeton Engineer. 

John is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patricia; their children Emily ’05 and Charles; daughters from a previous marriage, Amy and Audrey; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Undergraduate Class of 1955