JOHN JOSEPH SECONDI (1945-1985)
Dr. John J. Secondi died May 28, 1985, of cardiac arrest after six months of treatment
for cancer, in New York City. His loss came as a shock to his closest friends at Princeton,
because it was not in his character to broadcast the fact that he had an illness he knew
was terminal. The large number of friends who gave their respects at his funeral is an
indication of the impact he had on people in a life that was simply too short.
John was born in New York, but moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina, at the age of
four and attended elementary and high school there. He entered Princeton as a National
Merit scholar. He made Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude, was a co-editor
of the Bric-a-Brac, and was a member of Terrace Club. His blend of humor, intellectual
brilliance, and compassion for others made him the epitome of the kind of person many
of us came to Princeton hoping to meet.
John received his M.D. from Vanderbilt in 1970 and started surgical internship at
Cornell, which he interrupted to write a book on medicine that was prefaced by the U.S.
Surgeon General. He also wrote and edited educational videotapes, films, monographs,
and programmed texts on various diseases. From 1973 to 1982 he worked in general
medical clinics in New York and was completing his third-year residency in internal
medicine at Cabrini Medical Center at the time of his death.
John is survived by his parents, Helene and Joseph Secondi, now living in Titusville,
Florida, and his aunts and uncles from Connecticut and New York City. To them all, the
Class extends its deepest sympathy for the loss of a truly remarkable individual (PAW,
March 12, 1986)