John Brinster

Graveside Service

1:00 pm
Friday, September 16, 2016
Princeton Cemetery
29 Greenview Avenue
Princeton, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of John F. Brinster

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John Francis Brinster, 95, died peacefully at home at Stonebridge on Friday September 9, 2016. He was born and raised in Butler, NJ, the son of Lorenz and Margaret Brinster. John was President of his class when he graduated from Butler High School in 1939. He was awarded a full scholarship to Drew University to study chemistry. After a summer job in the Princeton University physics lab, the University made him a similar offer. He went on to graduate magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton with the class of 1943, an honor that he was most proud of. John grew up in rural New Jersey. As a youngster he built amateur chemistry and electronic labs in his basement and was an active ham radio operator with “friends” all over the world. While in high school he was editor of the school newspaper and played both basketball and football. After college graduation, John stayed on at Princeton doing research and teaching at the graduate level. The War Manpower Commission required him to remain at Princeton to participate in war developments where he created the first multichannel radio telemetry devices for obtaining data from distant moving vehicles. When the American army captured the German V-2 missile, He was appointed a member of the National V-2 Panel to develop similar technology. He was in charge of five missiles to be fired at White Sands Proving Grounds working with Wernher von Braun. John worked with physicists such as Wheeler, Pauli, Feyhman, and Wigner, and also enjoyed associations with Einstein and Oppenheimer at the Institute for Advanced Study. His 1946 analytical report that was requested by the government was the first to recommend data transmission and manipulation in the form of binary code well before the availability of solid-state devices. Later, John became an entrepreneur and with the help of local investors, he started Applied Science Corporation, known as ASCOP and then General Devices. They were small high tech companies in data acquisition, telemetry, and thermo-electricity. General Devices developed and built the telemetry system used in John Glenn’s capsule to communicate from space to earth. John’s passion for business lead him to take over Allied Boats in the late 60’s, the marine division of a small company owned by his brother Larry. From this he created Marine Drive Systems where John designed and created stern drives (marine propulsion) for various motor boating applications ranging from pleasure boats to large commercial ferries. This enabled John and Doris, his wife of nearly 71 years, to travel world wide marketing the Marine Drive products. Marine Drive Systems successfully competed with industry giants such as Volvo-Penta, MerCruiser, and Chris Craft. John sold the company in the early 90’s and retired. During his professional years, John, a scientist and creator at heart, received patents for more than sixteen inventions. Once retired, John became extremely interested in and somewhat of an authority on neuroscience and the human mind. As a Princeton alumnus, John worked to emphasize the study of neuroscience at the University by participation in the national "Decade of the Brain" so designated by George H. W. Bush to enhance public awareness of the benefits of brain research. John donated a prize in perpetuity for the best senior thesis in neuroscience. Work with his class led to the realization of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. He made similar scholarship contributions to Rutgers and Drew Universities. In his later years, John was passionate about writing and published nine books both fiction and non-fiction. He recently finished his tenth book that is yet to be edited and published. Because of John’s love for boating, he and his family enjoyed summers at the New Jersey shore. He ultimately built a family home in Mantoloking on Barnegat Bay that could easily accommodate his growing four-generation family. John was a longtime active member of The Nassau Club and so enjoyed his weekly “Saturday Lunch Bunch” meetings. He was also a member of The Old Guard and an invited speaker on several occasions. John leaves behind his wife, Doris Lacy Ayres, whom he met on a bet with his co-workers in the summer of 1942, his daughters Jaye White and Meg , his son John and his son-in-law, Allen White. John had nine grand children and two great grand children. Burial will be private and handled by Mather-Hodge Funeral Home. A memorial service is being planned for 11 am October 8th at Stonebridge, Skillman, NJ . For information regarding the memorial service, please contact Meg at
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