In Memoriam: Dr. Warner V. Slack ’55

Dear AlumniCorps Community,

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Warner V. Slack ’55, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of the Division of Clinical Informatics, on June 23, 2018. Warner and his wife Carolyn Paxton Slack were great supporters of AlumniCorps; Warner served on AlumniCorps’ board for four terms spanning 1993 to 1999, and 2007 to 2013, and as recently as 2017 donated his time to mentor Fellows in the Boston area. Warner passed away at the age of 85 in Carolyn’s arms on the morning of their 62nd wedding anniversary after battling pulmonary fibrosis.

Warner was among the first physicians to envision the essential role that computers would play in medicine and healthcare delivery. His landmark work involving computer-patient interviews, begun during the 1960s, anticipating by decades the now-prevalent field of electronic medical records. He was a strong advocate for patient rights in what became HIPAA.  As his son, the author Charlie Slack wrote:

[Warner Slack’s] article “The Patient’s Right to Decide,” published in the British journal The Lancet, put forth a then-radical idea of “patient power”—encouraging patients and physicians alike to overturn the traditionally paternalistic nature of healthcare. Patients, Dr. Slack believed, should play a crucial part in determining their own care. Their insight, he often said, was “the least utilized resource in healthcare.’

A New Jersey native, Warner went on after Princeton to graduate from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1959. He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force in the Philippines during the Vietnam War.  He later returned to the University of Wisconsin at Madison in the Departments of Medicine and Computer Science, where he had done his residency, and where he subsequently developed the first computer-based medical history system.  In 1970 he was recruited to Harvard. From 1989 to 1998 Dr. Slack was editor in chief of the journal MD Computing. Active in civil and humanitarian causes, Warner participated in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Freedom March, was co-founder of Faculty and Students for Equality at University of Wisconsin, and even into his 70’s traveled to Honduras to provide humanitarian medical assistance.

 Warner V. Slack dry-erase board mural
A dry-erase board mural shared on the reflections site of the Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians Informatics Department, http://hmfpinformatics.org/slack/?show_all=true

Loved ones recall his warmth, optimism, gentleness, and generosity. He was happiest spending time with Carolyn and family at their cabin on Meddybemps Lake in Maine. A long-time Newton, MA resident, he was a trustee of Lasell College.

Warner’s classmates remember him as a warm-hearted and deeply effective leader of Princeton AlumniCorps, from its inception as Project 55 to his last days. His engagement and support ran the gamut – from assembling Fellowship mentors every year to organizing events in Boston to mentoring many Project 55 Fellows himself over the years. He also supported AlumniCorps’ mission with his time and thoughtful advice as a board member, and with his generous financial giving. As classmate George Hackl reflects, “In his self-effacing way Warner was the epitome of everything we strive to be at AlumniCorps.” On his website Ralph Nader ’55 recalls, “I called Dr. Slack to express my deepest admiration and said: ‘For all your adult life, Warner, you have been a physician’s physician, a patient’s physician, a student’s physician, a citizen’s physician, and a champion of peace and justice.’ “

In addition to his wife of 62 years, Dr. Slack is survived by daughters Alison and Jennifer, son Charlie, and seven grandchildren.

In Memoriam: Ethel Lipsitz s’55

Ethel Lipsitz s’55– February 23, 2018

Ethel was the widow of Hilary Lipsitz ’55, and remained an active AlumniCorps supporter and generous donor after Hilary’s passing in August 2016. She was the Director of Development for the Collegiate School from 1985 – 2000. Writing of Mrs. Lipsitz, current Collegiate Headmaster Lee Levison observed that Mrs. Lipsitz’ “Dignity and grace were palpable – and radiated throughout [a] room. Being in her presence made us all better.” Read Ethel’s full obituary in the New York Times online here.

Mike Freund ’55, friend and supporter, dies

Mike Freund ’55, a friend and longtime supporter of Princeton AlumniCorps, passed away on June 3, 2012. He was will be missed by the Princeton AlumniCorps community, who share their condolences with his wife and family. We share his obituary from the June 5 edition of the New York Times:

FREUND–Myron E., MD, (Mike), 78, on June 3, Port Washington, NY. He is at peace after a long and courageous struggle with many health issues. Survived by Wini (Shore), his beloved wife of 53 years. Cherished father of Mia Walker and Jennifer Pardee (Michael); adored grandfather of Ben and Jake Pardee, Sammy and Abby Walker. Dr. Freund, a urologist, retired as an attending physician at North Shore University Hospital, where he was founder and editor-in-chief of the Clinical Journal, served as chairman of the Research and Publications Committee and as president of the Medical Staff. He was an Associate Clinical Professor at Cornell Medical College and also practiced at Long Island Jewish and St. Francis Hospitals. Mike was a graduate of Princeton and New York Medical College, a member of the Long Island Philharmonic Chorus and an avid sailor, golfer and adventurer.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 6 at 11:30am at Temple Beth-El, 5 Old Mill Road, Great Neck, NY. Donations to Princeton AlumniCorps are welcome at www.alumnicorps.org or by check to Princeton AlumniCorps at 12 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540.

 

Dan Gardiner ’56, friend, partner, and TAN member, dies

GARDINER–D. Daniel Willard, 77, died on May 15. Born July 19, 1934, in Philadelphia, he attended The Episcopal Academy and graduated in 1956 from Princeton University, where he majored in history and American studies and was captain of the squash team. He was active in the First Troop Philadelphia City Calvary. During his adult life, he lived in New York City, Long Island and Chappaqua, N.Y., Little Compton, R.I., and, most recently, Princeton, N.J. He was a Chartered Financial Analyst and, for most of his career, a partner in the asset management firm W.H. Reaves & Co., specializing in the telecommunications industry. After retiring in 1998, he became a passionate leader of Princeton ReachOut56-81-06, and, in 2007, his Princeton classmates presented him with the Distinguished Classmate Award for his contributions. ReachOut56-81-06 is a philanthropic effort of Princeton’s classes of 1956, 1981, and 2006. Its projects include coordinating college guidance programs and other volunteer efforts in underserved schools, and the annual award of one-year fellowships to graduating Princeton seniors who seek to implement public interest projects they have designed. A tournament player in several racquet sports, Dan also relished a good game of family doubles and was thrilled when he finally had enough tennis-playing grandchildren to host a family tournament. He is survived by Joyce Warren Gardiner, his wife of 40 years, his brother, John F. Gardiner, Jr., Dan’s five children, Daphne Trotter, Willard Gardiner, Sargent Gardiner, Michael Gardiner, and Meg Gardiner, and nine grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 4:30pm on Thursday, June 7, at the Princeton University Chapel, on the main campus in Princeton, New Jersey. Donations to PrincetonReachOut56-81-06 are welcome at http://www.princetonreachout. org/donate or by check to PrincetonReachOut56-81-06 at 12 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540.

In Memoriam: Longtime Supporter, John C. Sienkiewicz ’55

Princeton AlumniCorps sadly announces that John “Sink” Sienkiewicz, age 78, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Loblolly, Hobe Sound, FL on January 3, 2012. Born in Center Bridge, PA on October 8, 1933, and raised in Doyles- town, PA, John was the son of Casimir A. Sienkiewicz, a prominent Philadelphia banker and Chairman of the Central Penn National Bank and Jane Patton Sienkiewicz, a nurse. John attended The Loomis School (Loomis-Chaffee) prior to graduating from Princeton University in 1955 where he served as President of his class and remained a valued advisor throughout his life. Playing varsity football his senior year, John won the award for Most Improved Player. John served in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1957 aboard the USS Hancock rising to the rank of Lieutenant. In 1958, he joined Hutchinson, Rivinus & Co. of Philadelphia as an insurance salesman. In 1965, John became a Partner of the firm which was later acquired by Alexander and Alexander International. In time, John became President and Chief Executive Officer of International Operations of Alexander and Alexander, which was known as the largest international insurance brokerage firm in the world. After their acquisition by Aon Risk Services, John remained an active Vice Chairman. John lived most of his life in Princeton, NJ with his wife of 50 years, Patricia Davis Sienkiewicz. John was a loving, strong, and supportive husband, father and friend. His passions included golf, philanthropy, and travel. John was a member of Pine Valley Golf Club, Seminole Golf Club, and many others. He was an active member of the United States Seniors Golf Association. John was widely philanthropic, giving generously to many organizations. Most notable, was the University Cottage Club at Princeton where he served as Chairman of the Board for ten years. John was predeceased by his wife Patricia and his brother Bur Sienkiewicz. He is survived by his sons Mark and Peter, his second wife Maisie Barlow Sienkiewicz, his brother Michael Sienkiewicz and wife Marika, his sister-in-law Jone Sienkiewicz and many more family members and friends who loved him dearly. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his honor for student aid to: Casimir A. Sienkiewicz Scholarship, American International College, 1000 State Street – Box 10-L, Springfield, MA 01109. A Celebration of Life Service is being planned for June 2012 in Princeton, NJ.

John was a stalwart supporter of our organization, generously participating without fail in every single annual fundraising campaign since our inception. We are grateful for his enthusiastic support and send our warm wishes for peace and comfort to John’s family.

Dick Turner ’55, former Board Member and Officer, dies

 

Dick Turner, 79, of Cape May, New Jersey, died peacefully on Friday, September 9, following a battle with cancer. For the many staff members, Board members, classmates, and alums who have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dick, he will be remembered as a gifted writer (our Board scribe for many years), an art historian,  and an avid environmentalist, with a wry sense of humor and a warm heart.

Mr. Turner was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1932, and received bachelor’s, master of fine arts, and PhD degrees from Princeton University.  He was a Fulbright scholar, and held a number of academic appointments during his career.  He was an instructor in fine arts at the University of Michigan, professor of art and archaeology at Princeton University, dean of the faculty and professor of fine arts at Middlebury College, and president of Grinnell College.  He finished his career at New York University, where he held a number of positions, including director of the Institute of Fine Arts, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences, professor of fine arts, director of the New York Institute of Humanities, and the Paulette Goddard professor chair in arts and humanities.

Mr. Turner was a Leonardo da Vinci scholar, an expert on the Florentine Renaissance, and the author of a number of books, including Vision of Landscape in Renaissance Italy; Art of Florence; Inventing Leonardo; Renaissance Florence: The Invention of a New Art; and, La Pietra:  Florence, a Family, and a Villa.

He was very active in a number of organizations, serving on the board of directors of New Jersey Audubon and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance.  He was a member of the College Art Association, the Century Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and Princeton Project 55.

Photography and birding were two of Mr. Turner’s greatest passions.   He honed his skills as an amateur photographer over the years, and was an avid bird watcher and devoted to the Cape May Bird Observatory, where he volunteered countless hours and made many friends.
In addition to his wife Jane of 56 years, Mr. Turner is survived by sons Louis (Barb) of Minneapolis, MN, and David (Robin) of Sarasota, FL; a sister Betsy Turner of Newfoundland, PA; grandchildren Chase, Mills, Melley, Lark, Alexander, and Garrett; and step-grandchildren Emma and Alex.

His kind and generous spirit will be missed by everyone who knew him.

In lieu of flowers , donations may be made in Mr. Turner’s name to New Jersey Audubon, 9 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ, 07924, or at njaudubon.org.

A memorial for family and friends will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Cape May Bird Observatory, 600 Route 47 North (Delsea Drive), Cape May Courthouse, NJ.