Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 48
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast


Kaare Karstad

Eleanor J. Lewis

Kaare Karstad

Kaare Karstad, 92, died November 7.

Born and raised in Stryn, Norway in August of 1918 to Olav and Bergitte Karstad, he spent his youth on the family farm, and attended the agricultural school where his father worked. As he got older he studied electronics at Norway’s Institute of Technology at Trondheim.

While working at the university as a scientific assistant, World War II broke out and all male students were sent to concentration camps. At the last minute he fled to Sweden and enrolled in the Royal Norwegian Navy until the war ended. He later moved to the U.S.A. where he worked at RCA as an electrical engineer.

He resided in Princeton for several years where he met his wife through the Princeton Ski Club. They married in 1971 and raised a family together. After retirement they moved to their summer house on Cape Cod.

He had many passions in life such as playing the piano, gardening, skiing, sailing, and traveling. In his younger days he enjoyed flying around in his private plane. He also enjoyed sharing stories of his childhood, describing about what it was like growing up during the war, and passing on his Norwegian heritage to his daughters.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on December 4 at the Cataumet United Methodist Church, 1093 County Road, Cataumet. There will be a gathering at the Karstad household immediately following the service.

If desired, memorial contributions in his honor may be made to Friends of Bourne Council on Aging, 239 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, Mass. 02532; or to the Greater Boston Post-Polio Association (GBPPA), 47 Black Rock Road, Cohasset, Mass. 02025.

Eleanor J. Lewis

Eleanor J. Lewis, 68, died November 26 at home after relentlessly fighting ovarian cancer for over nine years.

Born in Newark to Maurice Lutzke and Hilda G. Lutzke, she graduated from Weequahic High School in 1959. She spent two years at Cornell University studying industrial and labor relations, planning to become a labor union lawyer and then transferred to Sara Lawrence College where she received her BA in 1963.

In 1967 she received a MEd in human development from Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 1971 she received a PhD from the University of Michigan in psychology and education. In 1978 she received her JD from Seton Hall Law School.

By age 10 she was fighting for her civil rights with her 4th grade teacher. As a child, she was very aware of social injustice. This knowledge determined both career and personal decisions for the remainder of her life.

While at Michigan, she was very involved in the women’s movement and an organization to improve the status of women at Michigan. She soon became a part time consultant to the federal government for affirmative action on college campuses. After receiving her PhD, she moved to Washington D.C. to continue working for the federal government.

She visited Ralph Nader’s office and asked to work with him. They determined it would be best for her to become head of a state PIRG (Public Interest Research Group). She interviewed with the Boston and NJPIRGs and was hired as the first executive director. There she investigated New Jersey’s no fault auto insurance and the composition of the N.J. Blue Cross Board of Trustees.

In July 1973, Eleanor was hired by Brendan Bryne’s gubernatorial campaign. After Governor Bryne won, she worked on the transition team and was hired by Insurance Commissioner James J. Sheeran to serve as the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance for Consumer Services.

She left the insurance department after graduating from law school and practiced law on her own in Princeton and then with Yvette Weiss. In 1991 she moved to Washington D.C. and resumed working with Ralph Nader as director of the Government Purchasing Project which promoted the purchase of environmentally safe products. In 2000, she returned to N.J. and resumed practicing law until 2005 after her illness reoccurred.

She is survived by her 97-year-old mother, Hilda Lutzke; and her brother, Arthur.

Memorial contributions may be made to Benivegna Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at University of Michigan at the University of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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