Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 32
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

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Richard C. Griggs

Marie Josephine Carveth Woodbridge

Augustus Hulit

Jeanne A. LaPlaca

Joyce T. Flagg

Stephen Mantell

Beatrice Larkin

Richard C. Griggs

Richard C. Griggs

Richard C. “Dick” Griggs, 86, of Parker, Colorado, formerly of Princeton, died July 27.

Born in Margate, N.J., he was president of Princeton High School’s Class of 1941. 

He served in the Air Force during World War II and came home to graduate cum laude from Princeton University, Class of 1948.

He was an acclaimed teacher who used his gift of humor to make learning fun while inspiring students to be more than they thought they could be. Concerned that all persons should be able to get the best education possible, he devoted much of his career to creating and administering financial aid and student loan programs. He taught math and was the business manager at Princeton Country Day School; served as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid and Head of the lower school at the Barstow School in Kansas City, Mo.; was Business Manager and Director of Admissions at Abbott Academy in Andover, Mass.; and Director of Financial Aid, Assistant Business Manager and Assistant Director of Admissions for Phillips Academy at Andover.

After retiring from Andover he formed his own consulting firm and spent 11 years traveling the U.S. showing secondary schools how to create and implement financial aid programs for their students. In many cases, he also found the money for the programs and mentored the schools regarding the administration of the funds.

Predeceased by his wife, Helen, he is survived by two sons, Bob of Parker, Colo. and Jeff of Las Vegas; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, August 17 at 10 a.m. at the Acton Congregational Church, 59 H Road, Acton, Maine 04001, with burial at Oakdale Cemetery in Sanford, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a scholarship fund for Princeton High School graduating seniors, “101: The Fund Starts Here” (formally the Princeton Regional Scholarship Foundation), Princeton High School, 151 Moore Street, Princeton 08540.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Home in Springvale, Maine. To leave a message of condolence for the family, visit

Marie Josephine
Carveth Woodbridge

Marie Josephine Carveth Woodbridge

Marie Josephine Carveth Woodbridge, 89, of Skillman, died August 7 at the Stonebridge at Montgomery Retirement Community in Skillman, with her family by her side.

Born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., “Josie,” as she was known by her friends and family, was the daughter of the late Dr. Hector Russell Carveth and Josephine McCollum Carveth. She was the last surviving of eight children.

Educated at the Oak Grove Seminary in Vassalboro, Maine, she also studied at The Finch School in New York. While in New York she developed a deep love of the arts and, as a result, went to Hollywood to study at the Madame Maria Ouspenskaya Dramatic School. She married in 1943 and moved to Princeton in 1945.

Because of her knowledge of drama and makeup, she became involved with the Princeton Community Players and the Princeton Ballet Society. She also worked part-time as a makeup specialist for local film production companies.

She was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader for many years; an active participant in the early days of the Princeton Hospital Fete; and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Present Day Club, Hopewell Valley Golf Club, and Bedens Brook Golf Club.

In the 1980s she took over McCollum Orchards in Lockport, New York, a farm that had been in her family since 1829. To improve her knowledge of farming and fruit production, she took courses at Cook College in New Brunswick and graduated in 1997 from Mercer County Community College with an Associates Degree in Ornamental Horticulture. She was one of MCCC’s oldest graduates.

An accomplished artist, she also had a lively curiosity. She was the holder of U.S. Patent No. 5,542,678. While in Lockport, she was actively involved with the Lockport Historical Society. She was knowledgeable about the early history of Lockport and wrote numerous articles and letters on the subject for local newspapers.

Predeceased by her husband, Dr. Richard G. Woodbridge III, she is survived by a daughter, Mary Woodbridge Lott of Princeton; a son, Richard C. Woodbridge of Princeton; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving was held at Trinity Episcopal Church on August 11. A graveside service is planned at the Cold Spring Cemetery in Lockport, N.Y.

Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Presbyterian Homes of New Jersey, 13 Roszel Road, Suite C120, Princeton 08540; or to the Princeton Ballet Society, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton 08540-3512.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Augustus Hulit

Augustus Hulit, 83, of Princeton and Hilton Head Plantation, S.C., died July 29 at his home in Princeton.

Born in Princeton, he was the youngest son of the late Warren and Lilly Hulit.

He attended Princeton High School and The Hun School, and was a graduate of Princeton University in 1951 with a degree in architecture.

A veteran of World War II, he served in the Army Tank Corps in Germany.

He owned and operated The Cummins Shop in Princeton until his retirement in 1987. His family members still own Hulits Shoes of Princeton.

He enjoyed many years of travel and divided his time between Princeton, Hilton Head, and Jupiter, Florida.

He was predeceased by his good friend Robert Myers; a brother, Ralph Hulit; and sisters Clara Simone, Nellie Meyers, and Lillian Hall. He is survived by his brother Warren M. Hulit of Princeton and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Jeanne A. LaPlaca

Jeanne A. LaPlaca

Jeanne A. LaPlaca, 92, of Princeton, died August 7 at home. She was cared for by her two daughters, her devoted home health aide Melecia Cristales, and VNA Hospice of Mercer County.

Born in Brooklyn, she grew up on a farm in Hopewell. After high school, she worked as a secretary, primarily at General Motors in Trenton for nine years. During World War II, she also worked on the plant assembly line.

In 1948 she married the late Salvator A. LaPlaca and became a resident of Princeton and joined St. Paul’s Church, where she remained a member for more than 60 years. She worked as a bookkeeper for her husband’s construction business while raising her two daughters.

In her later years, she was actively involved with the Princeton YWCA, the Senior Resource Center, and the local chapter of the Komen Breast Cancer Group. She loved the physical fitness programs and participated numerous times in the Race for the Cure.

Mrs. LaPlaca was well liked and a positive spirit in all of her club memberships. She enjoyed gardening and the outdoors, and valued spending time with her large extended family.

She was predeceased by her Italian immigrant parents, Santo and Girolama Amato; two brothers, Anthony and Vincent; a sister, Mildred (Sister Marie Veronica); and her late husband. She is survived by two daughters, Anita and Geraldine LaPlaca, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Family and friends may call on Friday, August 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue. A mass will be celebrated on Saturday, August 15 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery in Hopewell.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Princeton Senior Resource Center, 45 Stockton Street, Princeton 08540.

Joyce T. Flagg

Joyce Tattersall Flagg, 87, daughter of longtime Princeton residents S. Leslie and Ruth Tattersall, died August 4 at her home in Lawrenceville after a long illness.

She was a graduate of Miss Fines School in Princeton.

A longtime resident of Princeton, she was active in many local organizations. She served on the Altar Guild and the Flower Guild at Trinity Episcopal Church, where she was a lifetime member. She volunteered at the church reception desk and at Princeton Medical Center. She was also a charter member of The Contemporary Garden Club of Princeton and a member of The Present Day Club and Pretty Brook Tennis Club.

She was a loyal Phillies fan and until the last year of her illness never missed a televised game. She loved to do needlepoint, play bridge and tennis with her friends and family, and visit the Jersey shore.

Predeceased by a brother, Samuel Tattersall, and a sister, the Rev. Judith T. Baumer, she is survived by a daughter, Nancy T. Flagg of Los Alamitos, Calif.; and two sons, David H. Flagg of Philadelphia and William L. Flagg of Lawrenceville, who was her primary caregiver and lived with her during the last years of her life.

A private burial will be held at Princeton Cemetery. A memorial service was held August 8 at Trinity Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Trinity Counseling Service, 22 Stockton Street; or to Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton 08540.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Stephen Mantell

Stephen Mantell, 51, of Chappaqua, N.Y., formerly of Princeton, died August 4 in Kennebunkport, Maine. He had battled three kinds of cancers for over 20 years and underwent a successful bone marrow transplant in 1997.

Born in New York, he was raised in Princeton and graduated from Princeton Day School with the class of 1975. After receiving a degree in English from Princeton University, class of 1978, he went on to a career as a writer, producer, and director of documentaries and children’s programming for television and schools.

Along with his wife, Harriet Fier, he ran FM Productions in Chappaqua, N.Y. The company was selected by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation to produce the film that would become the centerpiece of the 250th anniversary celebration of Jefferson’s birth. To this day, the film, Thomas Jefferson: The Pursuit of Liberty, continues to be shown daily to visitors at Monticello. The program was also seen on the Disney Channel.

With his wife, Mr. Mantell also created and produced one of the most successful young children’s series developed for schools, My America: Building a Democracy, which was honored by the American Library Association and received numerous awards. He also created over 40 episodes for a series on American Discovery, which were syndicated nationally as part of the local television news station “For Kids’ Sake” campaign, and produced for Nickelodeon a series in which kids across the country were asked to imagine inventions for the future.

Prior to forming FM Productions with his wife, he served as vice president of program development and production at several independent home video labels, where he created and produced many sports, music, and exercise home video releases, including 1986 Mets: A Year to Remember, VH-1 Music Video Album 60’s and 70’s, the American Film Institute/Billboard Award-winning Mike Schmidt: That Ball’s Outta Here! and Angela Lansbury’s Positive Moves. At Films for the Humanities in Princeton, where he began his career as a producer and writer, he wrote and produced more than 100 programs on English and American literature for schools.

The son of Marianne Mantell of West Palm Beach, Fla. and the late Harold Mantell, he is survived by his wife, Harriet Fier; a daughter, Laura Mantell, and son, Will Mantell, all of Chappaqua; two brothers, Michael Mantell of Princeton and David Mantell of Chicago; and a sister, Eva Mantell of Princeton.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, August 18 at 11 a.m. at Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, 220 South Bedford Road, Chappaqua, N.Y. 10514.

Memorial donations may be made to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Development Office (in honor of Dr. James Young), Attn: Kate Gray, 1275 York Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10065.

Beatrice Larkin

Beatrice Larkin, 100, of Princeton, died August 5 at home.

Born in County Monaghan, Ireland, she immigrated to the United States in 1928 and moved to Cornwall, N.Y. after her marriage. She had been a resident of Princeton since 1935.

She was an active parishioner of St. Paul’s Church and a former member of St. Paul’s School PTA.

Wife of the late Joseph Larkin, she is survived by a son, John T. Larkin of Princeton; a daughter, Mary Stefan of Lancaster, Pa.; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated August 8 at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street. Burial followed in St. Paul’s Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Healthcare Ministry, P.O. Box 1517, Princeton 08542.

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