Dr. Philip J. Stevenson
Dr. Philip J. Stevenson (sometimes PJ or Phil), 77, of Princeton, N.J., died June 1 at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. Born in Portrush, Northern Ireland, Phil was the second child of Philip George and Mary Stevenson.
He was an avid golfer from the age of 10 taught by the then pro of the Royal Portrush Golf Club, his father.
Through hard work and intelligence he achieved a Masters of Science from The Queen's University of Belfast in 1960, and went on to get his doctorate from the University of Manchester two years later.
In August 1963, he immigrated to the United States with little more than a suitcase, his wits and a job offer. He achieved success working for many biotech/pharmaceutical companies over the years, including Monsanto, Chemstrand, Chicopee, Johnson & Johnson, Personal Products and Arquest, first as a research scientist and then as an executive.
He, along with colleagues, holds the patents for many non-woven materials and manufacturing techniques, focusing on absorbent technology. His bosses would fight over him – at one point he was the vice president of two separate departments simultaneously, unheard of at the time.
Phil entered semi-retirement at 55 to focus on what was really important to him – his family, friends and golf. Phil married Mary Lou Kohfeldt in May 1968, and she was the absolute love of his life. They weathered the ups and downs of marriage with aplomb and were best friends till the end, perhaps even more so at the end.
He was a member of Phoenix Country Club and the Springdale Country Club of Princeton. If there is not a golf course in heaven, he didn't want to go.
What struck everyone about Phil were his charm and humor. He was trouble. He made quick, lifelong friends at all of his places of work and play. He had an unsurpassed popularity in the circles he ran in. He made everyone feel as if he was their best friend when with them, but he could give quite a ribbing to those he really loved. Not afraid to flirt or tell an off-color joke when the moment called for it, he was a gentleman from a past era. He was awesome. He will be missed by many. Phil died a short 15 days after the passing of his wife, from what was clearly a broken heart.