Peter Barzilai
Peter Barzilai s’97, Editor,
Sameer A. Khan h’21 / fotobuddy

Choosing whom to profile in PAW’s annual Lives Lived & Lost issue is always a challenge. This year, we’ve featured 13 alumni among the 569 whose memorials were published in 2023.

Even harder than narrowing down that list is deciding whom to put on the cover. This year, you could say, we’re cheating.

Instead of one cover, we have published four, each with a different alum featured. The covers were mailed randomly, but here they all appear below here. (We’ll also be handing out issues — while supplies last — at the Alumni Day luncheon on Feb. 24.)

In addition to these Princetonians who died last year, there was another loss to the community: the Great Class of 1941.

Arthur W. Frank Jr. ’41 died in July at 103, the last of the 657 students who enrolled at Princeton in 1937. (Read about Frank’s life in the Memorials section on page 75.)

When 505 of them received their degrees at Commencement on June 17, 1941, they knew they were entering a “disturbing and distressing” world, as Theodore M. Black ’41 put it during his valedictory address. Less than six months later, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and many of these young men were thrust into World War II.

“It was a defining moment for many of them, and they carried it with them the rest of their lives,” says Nancy Pontone, the class secretary, whose farewell column appears on page 58.

Pontone’s father, Paul Douglas ’41 *48, served as a Navy officer. “He was out on the boats in the Pacific trying to survey for possible attacks,” she says. “He didn’t have the same kind of combat experience as others in the class, like Lynn Tipson ’41, but it was definitely a profound experience and, in some ways, I think was the highlight of his life because he was helpful in diverting attacks and saving lives.”

Tipson, who died in 2016, was shot down over Austria and was in German POW camps until the end of the war in 1945. There are many heroic and tragic stories within the class. As Pontone points out, 29 members of the class died in World War II.

Those who survived went on to lead rich and rewarding lives. And although the class is gone, it is still making an impact.

Two current students, Gedeon Guercin ’24 and Nathaniel Noftz ’24, among about 30 recipients of Class of 1941 scholarships this year, recently emailed Pontone to express their gratitude.

“That scholarship holds a special place in my heart, as it represents not just financial support, but also a connection to the rich history and legacy of Princeton alumni,” Guercin wrote in an email to PAW.

PAW would also like to recognize Ken Perry ’50 and Charlie Ganoe ’51, class secretaries who contributed Class Notes and Memorials and died last year.

Ganoe was secretary since 2011 and served in many roles through the years, and Perry was secretary since 2000. His columns were consistently interesting and informative. Class Notes/Memorials editor Nicholas DeVito would often hear from people who made it a point to read Perry’s column even though they weren’t in the class.

“Two sets of big shoes to fill and two of the nicest guys,” DeVito says.

PAW issue cover

PAW issue cover

PAW issue cover

PAW issue cover