Seymour B. Jacobson, retired physician, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., on February 19, 2016. A geriatric psychiatrist who practiced in New York City, Jacobson was a member of The New York Academy of Medicine and served at many institutions, including The Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged, New York Medical College and the New York County Medical Society. He earned a degree from P&S in 1962. He was predeceased by his wife, Louise Van Baalen Jacobson BC’40, and is survived by a daughter, grandson and great-grandson.
Henry C. Beck, retired oceanographer, Walpole, N.H., on March 8, 2016. Beck entered the College with the Class of 1942 and graduated from Engineering with a B.S. in 1943 and an M.S. in 1948. Commissioned in the Navy, he served in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets on destroyer escorts, earning four battle stars, and retired from the USNR as a commander. After the war he was an engineer on Columbia’s Nevis Labs’ cyclotron. Beck rejoined Columbia when Hudson Laboratories was founded, receiving a faculty appointment as director of engineering. With many publications and patents on oceanographic and acoustic systems and instruments, and the design of handling gear and research ships, he pioneered the field of deep ocean anchoring and dynamic positioning of ships. He received a Navy commendation for efforts in locating the sunken submarine U.S.S. Thresher. Upon the dissolution of Hudson Labs, Beck joined the Naval Oceanographic Office as director of engineering and became director of the office with its 12-ship fleet and aircraft wing supporting the operational Navy. Retiring to New Hampshire, he enjoyed fishing, gardening, Manhattans and world travel with his wife of 64 years, Gloria, who survives him. He is also survived by one daughter, one son and three granddaughters.
Henry W. Decker, professor emeritus of French, Riverside, Calif., on March 6, 2015. Decker was born on September 3, 1923, in Orange, N.J. He grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., and served in the 104th Infantry Division from 1942 to 1945 in Europe. After the war he married Jane Munro Hancock and earned a Ph.D. in Romance languages at Michigan. Decker joined the faculty of the French Department at UC Riverside in 1955, serving as chair for many years. His love of learning and passionate devotion to teaching continued after his retirement in 1991 as he mentored undergraduates and wrote a memoir of his war experience. He was predeceased by his wife and his brother, Richard C. Jr. He is survived by his sister, Ruth Decker Steen; a niece; three nephews; and eight grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Thomas A. Norton, retired architect, Pawtucket, R.I., on April 13, 2016. Born on August 4, 1922, Nor- ton earned a B.Arch. in 1949 from GSAPP. He was a member of Delta Psi fraternity. Norton joined the Army Air Corps in 1941, where he served as a B-17 bomber pilot, flying 35 combat missions, achieving the rank of 1st. Lt. and receiving the Air Medal. Norton was an award-winning architect and built his career at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Sherwood, Mills & Smith before co-founding Norton & Hume Architects. He later was director of architecture for Rockefeller Center and ran a private practice from 1978 to 2004. Norton was an avid sailor and member of the New York Yacht Club. He designed and built a number of sailboats including the “Tartan 26” and the popular “X-21.” Norton was a poet and writer and was active in community theater. He is survived by his wife, Ann Wood Norton; six children; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
S. William “Bill” Friedman, retired attorney, Somers, N.Y., on September 12, 2015. Friedman was born on December 15, 1922, in Yonkers, N.Y. He served in WWII, holding the rank of sergeant. He was a practicing attorney for more than 60 years. At Columbia, he ran track. Friedman earned a law degree at Fordham and a master’s in tax law at NYU. He was law secretary to the Hon. Frank McCullough, later becoming a partner in the firm Baer Marks & Upham and then Griffin, Kane, Letson, Friedman & Coogan. In later years he was a sole practitioner. He was president and a member of the Board of Directors of BOMA Westchester and was involved in the national BOMA organization Friedman enjoyed travel, writing, the law, gardening, tennis and spending time with his family, and was an avid sports fan. He was a CCT class correspondent from 2013 to 2015. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Linda Aries Friedman; brother, Norman; children, Steven and his wife, Helen, David and his wife, Liz, and Jill Bizenov and her husband, Michael; and seven grandchildren.
Ernest H. Morgenstern, retired executive, Boynton Beach, Fla., on February 18, 2016. Born in Newark, N.J., Morgenstern graduated from Weequahic H.S. at 16 before beginning his bachelor’s at the College. Enlisting in the Army at 18, he served in both the European and Pacific theatres. Once WWII ended he completed his degree, earned an M.S. in 1948 from the Business School and accepted a position with New York Telephone Co. in accounting. Morgenstern enjoyed a long career with New York Telephone and AT&T, retiring in 1986. An active member of his Livingston temple, he was a past treasurer and honorary president of its B’nai B’rith Men’s Club and was a perennial member of its bowling team. He enjoyed family time on the Jersey shore at his Long Beach Island home and was an avid Red Sox fan stemming to his youth on the beaches of Boston’s North Shore. Morgenstern is survived by his wife, Sylvia; daughter, Michelle, and her husband, Jim Swaim; son, Gary, and his wife, Dale; four grandchildren; and sister, Marjorie Glassman. Memorial contributions may be made to the Deborah Hospital Foundation.
Stanley N. Rader, retired fastener company executive, Boca Raton, Fla., on October 19, 2015. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he graduated from Madison H.S. WWII interrupted his College studies. Upon his return from the Navy, he graduated from Columbia. Rader spent 43 years in the fastener industry, 30 of those in New York with Industrial Fasteners. In 1978, he was a founder of United Screw of America in Miami, where he was president until his 1991 retirement. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Blanche (née Miller); children, Ellen and Stuart; and three grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation.
George H. Vachris, retired VP of sales, Southbury, Conn., on November 19, 2015. Vachris was born on July 25, 1923, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He graduated from Brooklyn Preparatory School in 1941, matriculated at the College and then joined the Navy, serving during WWII.
He then returned to Columbia to complete his studies. Vachris was a VP of sales for Franklin Fibre-Lamitex Corp. for 40 years. He was predeceased in 2010 by his wife, Barbara (Hope) Vachris, whom he married in 1950. They raised their family in East Williston, N.Y., and then moved to Southbury upon his retirement. They enjoyed traveling the world, spending time with their family and summers at their cabin in upstate New York. Vachris is survived by his children, George, Carol Harty and her husband, Edward, Mary, and Gregory and his wife, Karen; eight grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and brothers John and James. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the American Diabetes Association.
David S. Dana, retired corporate VP, Dalton, N.H., on December 22, 2015. Dana was born on June 5, 1931, in Dallas. He attended Staunton Military Academy, then studied engineering at MIT and business at the College. He served in the Army during the Korean War. He spent 18 years at the Dana Corp., a manufacturer of automotive parts headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. In 1970, he retired to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Dana created The Ridge, a small community of homes in Dalton, N.H.; his core conviction was to live in and enjoy nature while preserving it. He maintained a second home in NYC, where he supported the arts. He also established the Dana Child Development and Learning Disorders Program at the Mayo Clinic and contributed to the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dana is survived by his wife, Elaine; sister, Ann Dana Kusch; children, Charles and his wife, Virginia, Deborah and her husband, Patrick Horvath, Stephanie and her husband, Duane Stranahan, and Amy and her husband, Joe Profaci; daughter-in-law, Nancy; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His eldest son, Randall, predeceased him. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., or The Morrison in Whitefield, N.H.
Barry Schweid, retired AP diplomatic correspondent, Washington, D.C., on December 10, 2015. Schweid was born in New York City on July 30, 1932. He earned a degree in 1954 from the Journalism School. After service in the Army as a public relations specialist, he joined the AP’s New York City bureau and trans- ferred to Washington, D.C., in 1959. As a reporter, he was known for taking complex situations, especially in the Middle East, and explaining them in simple, direct sentences, weaving in context and color. Among his career highlights, he covered the negotiations at Camp David that President Carter brokered to reach a historic peace treaty in 1977 between Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin. Schweid chronicled the Cold War and then its end with the implosion of the Soviet Union, filing news alerts from officials traveling with Secretary of State James Baker. He received many honors from educational institutions and was inducted into the Washington Society of Professional Journalists’ Hall of Fame in 2002. Schweid is survived by Nina Graybill, his partner of more than 40 years; sister, Marlene; nephew, Walter Charnizon; and niece, Jennifer Charnizon.
Leonard H. Moche, attorney, Bronx, N.Y., on March 4, 2016. Moche graduated from Bronx Science and at the College was captain of the debating team. He earned a degree from Harvard Law and became a litigator, working for firms until 1982, when he opened a private practice. His first marriage was to Hanneli Hall, mother of James ’81 and Mark. After her death, he married Dinah Levine. They divorced, and he married Mary Anne Gavagan, from whom he was later divorced. Moche loved the Brooklyn Dodgers, opera, dogs, European travel and book discussions. His final years were spent in the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, where he organized the daily minyan.
Albert Momjian, attorney, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., on July 11, 2016. A native of Atlantic City, Momjian attended the College and Law School on full scholarships; he graduated from the Law School in 1957. Momjian founded the Columbia University Club of Philadelphia in 1978, the first Columbia alumni club established outside of New York City. For decades, he hosted events for Law School alumni, and he interviewed hundreds of students applying to the College. In 1983 Momjian received the University’s Alumni Medal for distinguished service. The Legal Intelligencer, the oldest law journal in the United States, hailed him as a “family law giant” and an “attorney to the stars,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer described him as a “dedicated civic volunteer and a leader of the Armenian community in America.” He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Esther; children, twins Carol Momjian Hanamirian and Mark ’83, LAW’86, and Thomas ’89, LAW’92; and five grandsons, including David ’15 and Gregory ’17.
Michael H. Pressman, retired professor, Coconut Creek, Fla., on March 12, 2016. Pressman earned a B.S. in 1958 from the Engineering School and an M.C.E. in transportation engineering in 1960 from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. A professor at C.W. Post College of Long Island University from 1957 to 2000, he developed the computer science department; the Michael H. Pressman Award is given annually to a computer science student who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement. A pioneer in the field, he authored three books. Pressman’s passions included classical music as well as trains and transportation. At one time, he played eight musical instruments, playing oboe in the Columbia orchestra. In his retirement community, Pressman developed and taught a weekly class “The Enjoyment of Music.” Because of his lifelong fascination with trains and transportation, he traveled around the United States three times by train and numerous times up and down the East coast from Miami to Montreal. He is survived by his daughters and their husbands, Laurie and Ray, and Dana and Jeff; two granddaughters; and brother, Ed ’62.
Ward J. Armstrong, retired sporting goods retailer, Ogden, Utah, on February 22, 2016. Armstrong was born on September 24, 1935, in Ogden. He married Geniel Snarr on September 20, 1955. He started his career at the family-owned business, Armstrong Sporting Goods Store, where he honed his skills in sales. He was awarded a scholarship from Columbia. Armstrong’s passion for sports translated to his career in sporting goods retail, to which he devoted 35 years before retiring in 1997. He was an avid hunter and upon retirement was a docent at the John M. Browning Firearms Museum. Armstrong was recognized with many honors, including the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the Utah Sports Hall of Fame, where he had been president. He was predeceased by his sister, Claire Johnson; brother, Jeremy; daughter, Amy; and great-grandson, Carter Bartlett; and is survived by his wife; children, Colleen and her husband, Scott Roberts, Andrew and his wife, Imelda, Molly and her husband, John Chugg, and Niel; 10 grand-daughters; 25 great-grandchildren; brother, Claude; and brother-in-law, Ken Johnson. Memorial contributions may be made to the IAFF Local 1654 (Amy Armstrong Fund) c/o Edward Jones, 2685 North 1000 West, Ste 102, Pleasant View, UT 84414, or the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation.
Kenneth A. Bodenstein, retired financial analyst, Marina del Rey, Calif., on March 20, 2016. Born in 1937, Bodenstein graduated from Bronx Science. He earned a B.S. in 1958 from the Engineering School and an M.B.A. in 1960 from the Business School. At the College, he was a coxswain and coached the crew team during graduate school. Bodenstein worked at Air Products, Armour, Goodbody, CNA, and Duff and Phelps, where he spent 35 years as a financial analyst. He played tennis for fun and in tournaments nationally, as well as the Maccabiah games in Israel. He provided inspiration and practical tips to the women’s tennis teams at UCLA and Columbia, where he also supported the crew team. His trademark outcry of “the big one’s in the bank!” inspired an article in the UCLA magazine. Bodenstein is survived by his wife of 23 years, Diane Lerner; children, Todd and Leslie, with his wife of 30 years, Susan Sims Bodenstein, who predeceased him; stepson, Guy DeFeo; stepdaughter, Jan DeFeo; three grandchildren; sister, Elaine Polack, and her husband, Rudy; and five nieces. Memorial contributions may be made to Idyllwild Arts Foundation, PO Box 38, 52500 Temecula Rd., Idyllwild, CA 92549 (idyllwildarts.org/giving or 951-659-2171, ext. 2330); include the memo “Kenneth Bodenstein Memorial.”
Robert Flescher, retired gastroenterologist, Newington, Conn., on May 3, 2016. Flescher was born on April 3, 1937, in Brooklyn, N.Y. A graduate of Stuyvesant H.S., he went on to earn a degree in 1961 from Harvard Medical School. He served in the U.S. Public Health Service as a lieutenant commander and then practiced as a gastroenterologist, becoming a founding partner of Connecticut Gastroenterology Associates at Hartford Hospital, where he subsequently was chief of gastroenterology. He also was president of the GI section of the Hartford County Medical Association and became a mentor for GI fellows at Hartford Hospital. Upon retirement, Flescher became a volunteer physician at the Malta House of Care. He also was a consummate gardener. Flescher is survived by his wife, Joyce, with whom he had recently celebrated his 48th anniversary; son, Andrew; daughter and son in law, Ellen and Ethan Foxman; three grandchildren; and sister, Sharon.
Robert Tauber, retired dentist, Mount Kisco, N.Y., on March 17, 2016. Tauber earned a degree in 1962 from the Dental School and was an assistant clinical professor of dentistry there. He served several terms as president of the Ninth District and chairman of the New York State Dental Association Ethics Council. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; daughters, Sharon and her husband, Jeff, and Robin and her husband, Ted; and four grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dental School.
Daniel S. Shapiro, tax and investment attorney, London, U.K., on April 15, 2016. Shapiro grew up in Cleveland. He earned a degree in 1963 from the Law School and received a Fulbright fellowship at the London School of Economics. In 1969, Shapiro co-founded the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel. During the last decade, he was also a partner in the investment firm Park Vale Capital. In 2002, he and his wife, Ellen, moved to London to open an office of Schulte Roth & Zabel and lived there while maintaining their residence in New York. Shapiro was president of the UJA-Federation of New York, a founder of the Jewish Community Relations Council, secretary of the Partnership for New York City and on the Executive Board and Honors Committee of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He loved music, singing, playing tennis and spending time with family and friends. He is survived by his wife; sister, Rena Olshansky; in-laws, Jane and Jim Spingarn; sons, Jonathan, Andrew and his wife, Nina, and Peter and his wife, Rebecca; and seven grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to The Daniel S. Shapiro Cardiovascular Research Fund at the Weizmann Institute or the UJA Federation of New York.
Stephen L. Goldstein, author, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on July 3, 2016. Goldstein earned a master’s in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1970, both from GSAS. He authored several books, two of particular importance: The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit (2014), in the tradition of Voltaire, Ambrose Bierce, and H.L. Mencken, at once partisan and idealist, whose definitions speak liberal, indeed progressive social and human sentiments, and Atlas Drugged: Ayn Rand Be Damned! (2012), a novel indicting Randian greed through redemptive satire and the power of moral vision meant to restore to American society its lost moral compass. From 1999 to 2014, Goldstein was an op-ed columnist for South Florida’s Sun Sentinel. He was the host and producer of numerous radio and TV programs, including Business Exchange on WLRN TV (a PBS affiliate) and We the People on Comcast, and spoke nationwide as a recognized trends analyst and forecaster on issues shaping America’s future.
Charles L. Skoro, retired professor and minister, Boise, on March 31, 2016. Skoro was born on July 28, 1947, in Stibnite, Idaho. He met his wife, Rosita “Rosie” Anchustegui, when they were 11. He earned a master’s and a Ph.D. in economics and during this time married Rosie and lived in New York City. They moved back to Boise in 1982. Skoro was a professor of economics at Boise State from 1982 to 2000. He chaired the economics department until stepping down to become the full-time campus minister for St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center on the BSU campus. He served until his retirement in July 2014. Skoro was ordained a deacon in the Catholic Church in October 2001. He served at Our Lady of the Rosary for the rest of his life. Skoro is survived by his wife; daughters, Elisabeth, and Emily and her husband, Brandon; three granddaughters; mother, Delpha; brothers, Barney and his wife, Linda, and Tom and his wife, Joan; and sister, Becky and her husband, Dennis. Memorial contributions may be made to Capstone Missions; the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, 611 W. Grove St., Boise, ID 83702; or Rachel’s Vineyard, 6211 Branstetter St., Boise, ID 83714.
Matthew E. Goldstein, business development executive, Andover, Mass., on April 7, 2016. Goldstein’s love of travel took him all over the world as he focused on his work in many countries, most recently in London. A graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, Goldstein was a Fulbright Scholar. He is survived by his parents, Janice and Gary; sisters, Laura and her fiancé, Scott Dorfman, and Abbey and her husband Jared Moss; nephew, Jacob Moss; aunt, Emily Goldsmith; uncle, David Goldsmith; aunt, Judy; and cousins, Daniel Rote and Jennifer Rote. Memorial contributions may be made to The Pediatric Pain Clinic c/o Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, One Boston Medical Center Pl., Boston, MA 02118.
Elena K. Parker, writer, producer and creative technologist, Pomona, N.J., on December 26, 2015. Parker was born on October 24, 1985. She was raised in Hammonton, N.J., and while at the College received Dean’s List status five semesters and earned a degree in film studies. From 2008 to 2009 she was a producer and co-writer of the award-winning HBO film Make Me Young: Youth Knows No Pain and worked on other film projects. She then became managing editor for Biblion: The Boundless Library, the New York Public Library’s first mobile application. In 2011 Parker enrolled in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts – Interactive Telecommunications Program and earned a master’s in 2013. She became a writer, producer and creative technologist. From May 2013 until her death she worked at Campfire, a New York based marketing agency. She had recently been appointed an adjunct professor at Tisch. Parker is survived by her mother, Susan H. Curcio; father Donald; siblings, Jessica Parker Martin, Bob Martin, Matthew, Gregory, and Mary Gaeckle Parker; and grand-mother Lucy Curcio. Contributions may be sent to the Elena K. Parker memorial gift to the Tisch School of the Arts c/o Susan H. Curcio, 2820 Smugglers Ln., Hammonton, NJ 08037 or via PayPal to email@example.com.
— Lisa Palladino
Columbia College Today welcomes obituaries for graduates of Columbia College, the undergraduate liberal arts college of Columbia University in the City of New York. CCT does not publish obituaries for undergraduate or graduate alumni of any other Columbia University school. Word limit is 200; text may be edited for length, clarity and style at the editors’ discretion. Links and/or addresses for memorial contributions may be included. Please fill out the Submit an Obituary form.
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