Eugene J. McPartland

Commander Eugene J. McPartland, (CEC) USN (Ret.), 68, died in Princeton, N.J. on 6 January 2003. A native of Brooklyn, Gene attended St. John’s Prep before the Academy. He joined the Civil Engineer Corps in 1958, earning a BS at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He served at Newport, Puerto Rico, then Viet Nam where he built the Cam Rahn airfield.


Gene earned an MBA at George Washington University, before duty in SecNav, OPNAV, and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. He returned to the Naval Academy, then served at the Naval War College before retiring. Gene built new library buildings at both the Academy and the War College.


In 1976 Gene joined Princeton University, becoming Vice President of Facilities in 1983. He led the expansion and rehabilitation of Princeton’s facilities, until retirement in 1999, when he was named “emeritus,” a remarkable honor for a non-academic. Two of Princeton’s buildings are outstanding monuments to Gene’s work there: The Thomas (which won a national AIA award in 1987) and Schultz Laboratories, together instrumental in establishing Princeton’s international presence in molecular biology.


Surviving are his beloved wife Elaine McCoy McPartland; daughter and son-in-law Lynn and Michael Horan of Cinnaminson, NJ; one sister, Ellen Conklin of Centerport, NY; and two grandchildren, Catherine and Brendan Horan. His loved ones recall: “He was so loved and held a special place among us. He laughed heartily, encouraging us to join in.  Gene’s love, like his laugh, was openly shared. It enriched us.”