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Columbia College Today September 2005
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Jules G. Simmonds, retired scientist and engineer, Prestwick Chase, N.Y., on February 28, 2005. Simmonds was born in New York City. After earning a B.A. in civil and mechanical engineering, he earned a doctorate in 1934, in the same subjects, from the Engineering School. His early career was spent at an MIT radiation laboratory. Following WWII, Simmonds returned to New York and became involved in the manufacture and sales of microwave equipment. He and his family lived in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., for 50 years, during which time he served on the planning board and the zoning board of appeals. In 1995, he and his wife, Ruth Stein whom he married on June 14, 1936, moved to the Fountains of Millbrook, Millbrook, N.Y., where he served a short term as president of the Resident’s Council. For the past four-and-a-half years, the couple lived in Prestwick Chase. After his retirement at 76, Simmonds was active in the White Plains, N.Y., Service Core of Retired Executives. He is survived by his wife; sister, Sofia Simmonds Fruton, and her husband, Joseph; daughter and son-in-law, Betsy and David Chase; a granddaughter and grandson-in-law; and two great-granddaughters. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Saratoga, 179 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.


Donald McEwen Johnson, retired psychologist, Goleta, Calif., on May 1, 2005. Johnson was born in Ogdensburg, N.Y. He earned a Ph.D. in psychology in 1939 from GSAS and was an R.N. for several years. Johnson’s academic appointments included Fort Hays-Kansas State College, University of Illinois-Urbana and University of Minnesota-Duluth. He was a psychology professor at Michigan State University from 1949 until his retirement in 1976, when he and his wife, Rosalind, moved to Santa Barbara. During WWII, Johnson was an Army research psychologist. He authored several books and many research papers in the psychology of thought. Johnson was a fellow of the American Psychological Association and past president of the Michigan Psychological Association. In his 90th year, he published a book, The Psychology of Humor and Wit. Survivors include his daughters, Paula Diggs and Kate Johnson; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Rosalind, his wife for 57 years, passed away in 1997.


Edward S. Le Comte, retired professor of English, North Egremont, Mass., on October 23, 2004. Le Comte was born on May 28, 1916, in New York City, son of Mary Semple and Ernest Brandt. After his mother remarried in 1919, Le Comte took her husband’s surname. Le Comte attended the Berkeley-Irving School until he was 12, when he transferred to Trinity School. At Trinity, Le Comte studied with Clarence Bruner-Smith ’25, whom he later wrote fondly about. At the College, Le Comte was a top student with interests in literature and writing, and he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He earned an M.A. (1940) and Ph.D. (1943), both in English and comparative literature, from GSAS. In 1943, Le Comte joined Columbia’s English department faculty, and with the exception of an interval at UC Berkeley (1945–48), taught at Columbia until 1964, when he became a professor of English at SUNY Albany, where he remained until his 1981 retirement. Among his colleagues in Albany’s English department was Frank J. Sypher Jr. ’63 (a fellow Trinity alumnus, 1959). Le Comte’s wife, Mia Münzer Le Comte, died in September 2003; they had been married for more than 60 years. While visiting Paris in 1954, Le Comte was stricken with polio; after an initial stay in the American Hospital of Paris, he returned to the United States, to continue “the long road back,” as he called it in his autobiographical memoir, In and Out of the University and Adversity (2001). He underwent years of physical therapy, gradually recovering partial use of his legs, so he was able to drive a car and walk with a cane. Le Comte resumed his teaching and research at Columbia and traveled to Europe, even climbing the Acropolis to visit the Parthenon. A prolific author, Le Comte wrote several novels as well as almost a dozen books of scholarship and criticism, including a biography of John Donne (Grace to a Witty Sinner, 1965), and eight books on John Milton. Le Comte’s edition (with translations of Latin and Greek poems) of Justa Edovardo King appeared in an updated version in a special issue of Milton Quarterly (2001). Le Comte’s autobiography contains, together with much new material, the full text of his previously published memoir of his battle with polio, The Long Road Back (1957). Sypher noted, “Edward also published countless scholarly articles, book reviews, and essays. In his academic career, he was a sympathetic teacher, with an engagingly informal classroom manner. [Le Comte’s] writing and scholarship were distinguished by a fine sense of English style, a love of wit and word play and immense learning, including a thorough knowledge of classical, European and American literature and history.” Le Comte was an accomplished chess player and a skilled pianist who enjoyed practicing at home. He is survived by his son, Douglas, and grandson, Derek.


Richard H. Popkin, historian of philosophy and skeptical thought, Los Angeles, on April 14, 2005. Popkin was born in Manhattan. After the College, he received a master’s (1945) and a doctorate (1950) from GSAS. He started teaching philosophy as an instructor at the University of Connecticut in the 1940s. Later, he was a philosophy professor at UC San Diego from 1963–73, a professor of philosophy and Jewish studies at Washington University in St. Louis from 1973–86 and more recently was affiliated as an adjunct professor with UC Los Angeles. Forswearing philosophy for a spell in the 1960s, Popkin joined the chorus of doubters who prominently disputed the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In an article in The New York Review of Books and in a paperback, he argued that the commission’s single-assassin solution was not just implausible but also impossible in terms of the commission’s evidence. The 1966 book, The Second Oswald, promptly came under attack. Eliot Fremont-Smith, in a review in The New York Times, called it “a very hasty book, but fascinating reading.” Another of Popkin’s interests was skepticism. He wrote a history of skepticism that appeared in 1960 that included thinkers such as Descartes and Spinoza as it went through editions and revisions. He expanded the work to The History of Scepticism From Savonarola to Bayle, now in its second edition. Aside from numerous articles and book chapters, Popkin wrote and edited 36 books, often in collaboration. Among those still in print are a paperback, Spinoza; Third Force in 17th-Century Thought; and Skeptical Philosophy for Everyone, written with Avrum Stoll. Popkin was the editor of the Columbia History of Western Philosophy and Jewish Christians and Christian Jews: From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Also in print is Skepticism and Irreligion in the 17th and 18th Centuries, which he edited with Arjo Vanderjagt. At the time of his death, Popkin was working on a book about Rabbi Isaac of Troki in Lithuania, who composed a polemic against Christianity in the 16th century, and a collection of essays on philosophical skepticism. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Juliet Greenstone Popkin; son, Jeremy D.; daughters, Margaret L. and Susan J.; brother, Roy; and five grandchildren.


A. (Arthur) Douglas Stewart, retired educator, Vineyard Haven, Mass., on March 15, 2005. Stewart was born June 19, 1924, in the Bronx. He graduated from Christopher Columbus H.S. and after the College earned an M.A. from Teachers College; he completed additional graduate studies at Simmons College in Boston. Stewart achieved the rank of lieutenant J.G. in the Navy and served in the Pacific during WWII. He began his long teaching career in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1948 as a junior H.S. science teacher. In 1951, Stewart and his wife, Kathryn, moved to the Vineyard, where he and his family had vacationed for years, and he taught science and math at Edgartown H.S. and then Martha’s Vineyard Regional H.S. During his tenure there, Stewart chaired the science department, retiring in 1980. He was five times master of the Martha’s Vineyard Lodge; was chaplain of the Oriental-Martha’s Vineyard Lodge; a member of the George W. Goethals American Legion Post 257, also serving as chaplain; a tenor soloist in the Martha’s Vineyard Chorus; and a member of the First Baptist Church of Vineyard Haven, where he served as trustee, deacon, treasurer and choir member. A founding member of the local Scottish Society, Stewart enjoyed celebrating his heritage. After he retired, Stewart repaired clocks and watches and was well-known for his jokes and stories. He is survived by Kathryn, his wife of 56 years; daughters, Carolee Stewart and Barbara Stewart Lopes; and three grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be sent to the First Baptist Church Building Fund, PO Box 806, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.


George E. Raymond, real estate representative, Clifton Park, N.Y., on April 5, 2005. Raymond served in the Navy during WWII. His career included positions in the pharmaceutical industry, the NYS Department of Transportation and real estate. He leaves his wife, Kathleen.


Robert Hong, engineer and professor, Syosset, N.Y., on May 15, 2005. Hong was born on November 5, 1926, in Chicago. In 1932, he and his family moved to Singapore and Shanghai. In 1939, due to the war with Japan, the family left the international settlement in Shanghai to return to the U.S., living in Chicago for a year and then Brooklyn; Hong graduated with honors from Erasmus H.S. After the College, Hong attended Polytechnic Institute for graduate studies and in 1953 began work at Sperry Rand in Lake Success, N.Y. He furthered his education at Cooper Union on scholarship, graduating in 1958 and marrying Clarabelle Mi the same year. Hong returned to the workforce, joining Grumman Aerospace Corp., in Bethpage, N.Y. In the 1980s, he was a professor at SUNY Stony Brook’s graduate school, where he also received an honorary doctorate. Hong taught artificial intelligence, published papers, developed robots and applications for space stations and served as technical adviser to Grumman’s v.p. He retired from Grumman in 1990 and became a visiting lecturer at Ching Hwa University in Peking as well as president of Creative & Autonomous Systems. Hong was an avid bridge, soccer and tennis player. He is survived by his wife; son, Clifford; daughter, Michele; and their families.


Alton M. Martin Jr., businessman, East Hartford, Conn., on March 8, 2005. Archie MacGregor ’51 said of Martin in a note to class correspondent George Koplinka ’51, “Alton spent his business career at the Aetna Life Insurance and Casualty Co. After retirement in 1992, he and his wife, Alice, shared their time in their homes in Naples, Fla., and East Hartford. Alton and Alice have two children and three grandchildren. All of his life, Alton derived pleasure from building model ships, many of which he displayed in his home.”


Albert (Bud) Newgarden, author and business publications editor, Staten Island, N.Y., on November 27, 2004. Born in Manhattan, Newgarden moved to Saugerties, N.Y., as a teenager and graduated from Saugerties H.S. After the College, he joined the Army Medical Service Corps, serving in Germany from 1953–54. Newgarden moved to Brooklyn in 1954 and settled on Staten Island in 1960. From 1961–80, Newgarden worked for the Manhattan accounting firm Arthur Young & Co. He wrote for and was the editor of The Arthur Young Journal from 1965–75 and became a partner in the company, as well as director of communications, in 1970. As editor of Management Reports for the American Management Association, Newgarden wrote and edited several successful business books. He also was a ghostwriter and public relations adviser to John Diebold, then a fledgling management consultant. Newgarden’s publications included The Field Sales Manager, Accounting and Accountants: A Little Anthology of Words and Pictures and, with John Harvey, Management Guides to Mergers and Acquisitions. Newgarden wrote articles, reviews and light verse for several magazines, including Harvard Business Review and The New Yorker. He earned several professional distinctions, including awards of excellence in 1965 and 1970 from the international Association of Business Communicators, a 1977 medal from the Society of Publication Designers and a seat on the editorial board of The Journal of Accountancy from 1972–76. In 1980, Newgarden formed his own consulting company, The Professional Communications Group. He was an avid reader and book collector and enjoyed politics, film, poetry and cooking. Newgarden is survived by his wife of 46 years, the former Dorothy Teracina; sons, Robert, Mark, David and Thomas; daughters, Anne Newgarden and Elizabeth Newgarden Hitchcock; brother, Mark; sisters, Jill Abrahams and Jacqueline Pickard; and three granddaughters.


Leon D. Schneider, attorney, Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 2, 2005. Schneider graduated from Tilden H.S. and NYU Law School. A practicing member of the New York bar for more than 47 years, he began his legal career with the Waterfront Commission and then worked with the NYC Housing and Redevelopment Board. Schneider wrote A Guide to the Court System under the aegis of the Institute for Judicial Administration. He was a long-term president of the Gustave Hartman Y in Rockaway Beach. Schneider is survived by his children, Daniel, William and Elizabeth; and six grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to Roy Reuther Senior Center, 711C Seagirt Ave. #2N, Far Rockaway, NY 11691.


Martin J. “Doc” Thompson Jr., attorney, Austin, Texas, on May 31, 2005. Thompson was born on November 6, 1957. During his youth, his family lived and traveled around the world following his father’s military career; the years the family lived in Italy created some of Thompson’s fondest memories. As a young adult, Thompson, who often went by “Joe” or “Doc,” continued his world travels to Europe and China. He was proud that he was able to walk the Great Wall of China in 1989 before his muscular dystrophy confined him to a wheelchair. Thompson earned a B.A. in economics, and Columbia remained an important influence on him. The friendships and relationships he developed with his colleagues at Columbia — he was a College senator — were very important to him, and he worked hard to make his class’ 25th reunion a success despite the fact that he was unable to attend due to his illness. Thompson was a solo-practice lawyer for the past four years in criminal law and practiced employment and disability law for 18 years. In 1987, he completed his J.D. at The University of Texas at Austin. As he was known to say, he worked on all sides of the bench as a prosecutor and litigator. This experience included the Texas Attorney General’s Office and City of Austin Municipal Court associate judge as well as time as a corporate lawyer and a counselor of law at UT Austin, prior to entering private practice. Thompson presented arguments to the U.S. Court of Appeals several times. His passion for the law, his desire for “everyone to have his/her day in court” and his fight for justice for the disabled and employment issues were driving forces throughout his career. Thompson is survived by his mother, Eleanor; brother, Mark (“Randy”); and other family and friends. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America or the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Lisa Palladino

Other Deaths Reported

Columbia College Today also has learned of the deaths of the
following alumni (full obituaries will be published if further
information becomes available):

1936: William M.S. Richards, Lexington, Mass., on February 15, 2005. Richards earned a second B.A. (1937) and a doctorate (1938), both in mechanical engineering, from the Engineering School.

1939: David H. Henry II, Palm City, Fla., on June 10, 2005. Henry is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margaret B.; three sons; a daughter; 18 grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Anthony P. Leuzzi, retired physician, New Bern, N.C., on April 16, 2005. Leuzzi was a Distinguished Life fellow of the APA. In a note she sent to CCT, his wife, Victoria, said, “He never lost his curiosity for discovering truth … and his love of Columbia College never faded.”

1951: James T. McCartin, Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 14, 2004.

1953: Howard J. Rosenfeld, retired administrator/office manager, San Diego, on February 10, 2005. Rosenfeld earned a degree from the Business School in 1954.

1968: Eric R. Lindermayer, philosophy professor, Forest Hills, N.Y., on April 17, 2005. Lindermayer earned a Ph.D. from GSAS in 1974.





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