Obituaries: Subak-Sharpe, Woodward, Wilkinson

Gerald Subak-Sharpe, 86, Holocaust survivor, a favorite professor

NEW YORK CITY—Gerald E. Subak-Sharpe, professor emeritus at the City College of New York and a resident of New York City and New Concord, died peacefully in his sleep September 10. He was undergoing treatment for lymphoma, but died of heart failure.

Dr. Subak-Sharpe, the son of Robert and Nelly Subak, was born June 15, 1925, in Vienna, Austria.

He and his elder brother survived the Holocaust, thanks to the Kindertransport in which special trains took Jewish children from Nazi-occupied countries to safer havens. The Subak child refugees ended up in London, but were later evacuated to the countryside. At age 15, he worked in a screw factory and his brother was a farmhand. Eventually, they joined the British military; because the fate of their parents was unknown, they assumed the name of Sharpe.

Dr. Subak-Sharpe was sent for officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he became a lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, posted to the Sudan, and later to London where he worked with German prisoners.

After the war, the brothers resumed their family name, becoming Subak-Sharpe.

Dr. Subak-Sharpe attended University College, London on a GI grant, earning a first class honors degree in electrical engineering. He emigrated to the United States in 1958 and was a researcher at the Bell Labs. He later obtained a doctorate degree from London University and in 1969 earned a PhD in electrical engineering from Columbia University. He embarked on his academic career at Manhattan College in New York and then CCNY, where he taught until age 80. Over the years, he published numerous scientific papers, co-authored a seminal textbook on network theory and microcircuits, lectured around the world, and was honored by his students as a favorite professor.

In his younger years, Dr. Subak-Sharpe was an avid skier and mountain climber; in later life, he relished time spent with family and friends in New Concord where the Subak-Sharpes restored a rundown Victorian house—Knollcroft—to its earlier grandeur. This became his favorite retreat, and he was immensely proud that it is listed on the National Register of Historic Houses.

Dr. Subak-Sharpe is survived by Genell (nee Jackson), his wife of almost 48 years; three children, David Subak-Sharpe of Hong Kong, Hope Subak-Kaspar of Prague and Dr. Sarah Subak-Krah of Yarmouth, Maine; eight grandchildren; his brother, Dr. Herbert Subak-Sharpe of Glasgow, Scotland; and a niece and two nephews.

The funeral is set for Sunday, September 18, 1 p.m. at the French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home in Chatham, followed by burial in the New Concord Cemetery and a gathering at the Subak-Sharpe home on County Route 9 in New Concord. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders. Condolences may be sent at

Eliza Woodward, 77, antique dealer, copy chief

VIRGINIA BEACH—Eliza L. Woodward, 77, of Ghent, died June 15 of a cerebral hemorrhage in Virginia Beach.

Mrs. Woodward was a well-known figure in the antique world of the Capital Region and Columbia County. After moving to the area 35 years ago, she turned her love for collecting antiques and decorative arts into business, selling at Kinderhook and Ballston Spa, as well as, at local antique shows and flea markets.

She will be missed by her fellow antique dealers and regular customers, who enjoyed her lovely southern accent and extensive knowledge of antiques.

Mrs. Woodward was born in Richmond, Virginia. She lived in Virginia Beach, and then moved to New York City. Her parents, Elizabeth Taylor Little and Daniel Conrad Little, predeceased her, as did her brother, Peter Little of Virginia Beach. She attended Georgetown Visitation Junior College in Washington, DC, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She was an avid defender of the purity of the English language, its grammar and punctuation. Before retiring, Mrs. Woodward was copy chief at Conde Nast Traveler Magazine.

She is survived by her husband, Herbert Woodward of Ghent; her step-daughter, Janet Sweikert of Belgium; a sister, Conrad L. Paulus of New York and New Jersey; a brother, Richard Little of Torrington, CT; a nephew, David Buckley of Maplewood, NJ; a niece, Annabel Wildrick of Gloucester, MA; and cousins, Cecilia T. Hickerson, J. Hume Taylor, Jr., and Judge Lydia C. Taylor of Norfolk, VA.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Austerlitz Historical Society or the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind.

A memorial service will be held October 15, noon at the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Norfolk, VA.

John Wilkinson, 70, electrician, councilman

HUDSON—John Harold Wilkinson, 70, of Copake, a loving husband, father and grandfather passed away Monday, September 12, 2011 at Columbia Memorial Hospital.

He was born September 17, 1940 in Great Barrington, MA, the son of Harold and Mina (Boyles) Wilkinson.

A lifelong area resident, he was a graduate of Roeliff Jansen Central School in 1958. He served with the United States Air Force from 1959 to 1963.

For more than 50 years, Mr. Wilkinson served his local communities as a licensed electrician and owner of John Wilkinson Electric. He often donated his services to local organizations including the Copake Memorial Clock and the Copake Park.

He was a former Copake town councilman, a lifetime member of the Copake Fire Company, a member of the American Legion, member of the Copake United Methodist Church and of the Columbia County Electrical Contractors Association.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Anna Marie (Scholz) Wilkinson in 2007.

Survivors include his wife, Donna (Scavo) Wilkinson; three daughters, Krista Goodacre, Theresa DeRocha and Heather Dellea, all of Copake. He also leaves his grandchildren, Stephen DeRocha, Ashley Goodacre, Bradley Dellea, Tyler Dellea, Nicole DeRocha and Hunter Goodacre, also all of Copake, along with a sister, Janice Mans of Churchtown and several nieces and nephews. In addition, Mrs. Wilkinson’s children, Diane Galligan, Bonnie Paige and Julie Staley survive.

Friends are invited and may call at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 State Route 22, Copake, Wednesday September 14 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Funeral services will be Thursday, September 15 at 11 a.m. at the Copake United Methodist Church, Church Street in Copake.

Interment with military honors will follow at the Copake Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Copake Fire Company, Copake 12516 or to the Community Hospice of Columbia/Greene, 47 Liberty Street, Catskill 12414 or to the Community Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 327, Copake 12516.

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