New York Times Portraits of Grief

A Sense of Humor
John T. Schroeder

Everyone at Princeton, it seemed, knew him as Stinky. The nickname was applied to John T. Schroeder, for reasons now unclear, when he visited the campus as a high school lacrosse recruit. In the first week of freshman year, "he was introduced to me as Stinky," a classmate, David Shefferman, recalled, "and I thought he must have been at least a sophomore." The two later played on a national championship team.

Eventually the nickname became the norm. An eating club friend once pointed out the prevalence of nicknames on the lacrosse team and said, "Stinky, you're the only one who doesn't have a nickname."

The nickname stuck as Mr. Schroeder, 31, played lacrosse for clubs while he worked on Wall Street; he joined Fred Alger Management as an equity trader in July. "There were different sides to him and they were all a lot of fun," Mr. Shefferman said.

Friends recall his sharp wit, which he often turned on himself. When his Princeton class wore basketball outfits in a reunion parade, he donned oversize glasses and wildly dribbled a basketball in goofy tribute to a former professional basketball player, Kurt Rambis of the Los Angeles Lakers. One Halloween he was Paul Stanley of the rock band Kiss; another time he made an Elvis costume and found many other excuses to wear it, said his roommate, Kevin Coulter. "He seemed to celebrate Halloween throughout the year," Mr. Coulter said.