Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 51
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Alexander B. Donald

Irma R. Frank

Margaret Fullman

Robert N. Hale

Emma R. Perna

David W. Reger

Charles E. St. John

Herbert M. Wolff

Alexander B. Donald

Alexander B. Donald

Alexander B. “Shorty” Donald, 93, of Princeton, died peacefully December 17 at home.

Born on Spruce Street, he was a lifelong resident of Princeton and a regular fixture around town, as an original member of the Princeton Breakfast Club at Harry’s Luncheonette and the Carousel and dining most nights at the Princetonian Diner.

He served as a staff sergeant in the United States Army in Europe during World War II.

Mr. Donald worked his entire career in sales at Prince Chevrolet until retiring to his daily golf regimen at Hopewell Valley Golf Club, playing regularly until his 86th birthday.

He was also a longtime member of the Princeton Lodge No. 38 F. & A.M.

Predeceased by his wife, Julia Donald, he is survived by a son, Alexander “Sandy” Donald of Sarasota, Fla.; a daughter, Sharon Simmons-Brown of Princeton; and three grandchildren.

The funeral service will be tomorrow, December 20 at 10 a.m. at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue. Burial will follow in Colonial Memorial Park, Hamilton.

Friends may call this evening, December 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorial donations may be made to the Princeton Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 529, Princeton 08542.

Irma R. Frank

Irma R. Frank, 92, of Princeton, died December 10 peacefully in her sleep. She was the loving wife of the late George W. Frank, who died in 1999.

Mrs. Frank and her husband were the first owners to move into the Windrows at Princeton Forrestal in 1998, after being longtime residents of Sands Point, N.Y.

The Franks were world travelers and avid tennis, bridge, and crossword players. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor of arts in economics and sociology, Mrs. Frankwas active in the Alumnae Association and president of her reunion class on a number of occasions. She was a member of the Present Day Club.

Over the years, she served on the board and was past president of Talbot Perkins Children’s Services of New York, N.Y.; a board member and past president of Family Service Association of Hempstead, N. Y.; and past president of the Sands Point Garden Club.

She is survived by a daughter, Susan F. Daum of Henderson, Nev.; a son, George W. Frank Jr. of Hobe Sound, Fla.; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in January.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Princeton Hospice, 208 Bunn Drive, Princeton 08540.

Margaret Fullman

The Rev. Margaret Ann Grow Fullman, 61, of Plainsboro, died December 16 from cancer.

Born in Morgantown, W.Va. to James Foster and Mary Louise Woodhull Grow, she was educated at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio before receiving her Master of Christian Education with honors from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.

She was an ordained deacon, serving as the Associate Pastor for Christian Education at the Princeton United Methodist Church for the past 15 years. Throughout her 32-year ministry she served at six Methodist churches in four annual conferences: Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, Fredericksburg, Va.; Grace United Methodist Church, Gaithersburg, Md.; Trinity United Methodist Church in Richmond, Va.; Fishkill United Methodist Church in Fishkill, N.Y.; Hyde Park Methodist Church in Hyde Park, N.Y.; and the Princeton United Methodist Church in Princeton. A member of the Christian Educators Fellowship and the American Association of Christian Counselors, between 1997 and 2007 she also served the General New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in a variety of roles including co-chair of the Order of Deacons, Chair of the Probationary Studies Program, member of the Board of Ordained Ministry and its executive committee, a candidacy mentor, and a member of the clergy mentoring team. She will be remembered for her love of and affinity with children and youth and her gifts in nurturing and mentoring theological seminarians toward ordination.

She is survived by her husband of 34 years, Douglas C. Fullman, and their children, Aimee R. Fullman of Arlington, Va. and Clark W. Fullman of Lawrenceville; a brother, James F. Grow Jr. of Bath, Ohio; and a sister, Becky Ilg of Stanley, N.C.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, December 22 at the Princeton United Methodist Church. Family visitation hours will be held at The Mather Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, on Tuesday, December 28 from 7 to 9 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Louise Grow & Peggy Fullman Christian Education Fund through the Princeton United Methodist Church; or to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Robert N. Hale

Robert N. Hale Sr., 87, of Plainsboro, died December 8 in the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Rhode Island, he had lived in the Princeton area since 1967.

He was a B-17 pilot in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He flew 35 missions over Europe and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he studied electrical engineering at Brown University in Providence, R.I. A full career leading to retirement from IBM followed. In his retirement he traveled widely with his wife, Ruth, in the U.S., Mexico, Central America, Europe, and Britain.

He was an active member of the Nassau Presbyterian Church.

Son of the late Robert B. and Mace Lewis Hale, and husband of the late Ruth H. Hale, he is survived by two sons, Robert Hale of Plainsboro and John Hale of Tokyo, Japan; a daughter, Dr. Dorrit Sterner of Abington, Pa.; a sister, Phyllis Waterman of Rhode Island; and two grandsons.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to The 390th Memorial Museum, 6000 East Valencia Road, Tucson, Ariz. 85706.

Emma R. Perna

Emma Rosalinda Perna, 94, of Princeton, died December 14 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Pettoranello, Italy, she had been a resident of Princeton since 1926.

She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was the wife of the late John Perna, mother of the late M. Ernest Perna and John A. Perna, and grandmother of the late Joseph R. Perna Jr.

She is survived by two sons, Joseph Perna of Washington Crossing, Pa. and Ralph Perna of Princeton; two sisters, Lucia Rossi and Ida Procaccini, both of Princeton; eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

The funeral was December 18 at the Kimble Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at St. Paul’s Church. Burial was in St. Paul’s Cemetery.

David W. Reger

Dr. David William Reger, 64, of Princeton, died December 11 at the University Medical Center at Princeton following a courageous battle with colon cancer.

Born in Tullahoma, Tenn., he was the son of the late William H. Reger and Phyllis A. Reger and his late stepmother, Elizabeth W. Reger. He received a B.A. in chemistry from Western Maryland College, Westminster, Md., where he was a member of Alpha Gamma Tau fraternity.

He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation in 1965. He continued his education at Rutgers University, receiving a M.S. in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

In 1969 Dr. Reger began serving in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps at Edgewood Arsenal Maryland. He was deployed to Chu Lai, Vietnam, and promoted to captain while serving as a personnel officer for the 523rd Signal Battalion. After returning from Vietnam, he taught organic chemistry at Rutgers University for a year prior to being employed as a process chemist at American Cyanamid in West Windsor.

In 1977 he graduated from Seton Hall Law School and was admitted to the New Jersey bar. He was subsequently employed as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey in the Environmental Law Section. He then practiced law for two years for Stryker, Tams, and Dill in Newark before becoming a partner in 1986 at the law firm of Bressler, Amery and Ross in Florham Park, N.J., where he chaired the environmental law practice. He was admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and also to the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.

He was a member of Pennington Presbyterian Church, Pennington, and a former member of the Hopewell Valley Lions Club. He was a dedicated husband, father, and friend who thoroughly enjoyed his family, career, exercising, and fishing and relaxing at his summer home in Stone Harbor, N.J.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Phyllis; two sons, Dr. Thomas Reger of Lansdale, Pa. and Michael Reger of Streetsboro, Ohio; a brother, Dr. Daniel Reger; and three grandchildren.

A memorial service was held December 17 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Pennington, with the Rev. Susan Fall officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College), Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, 2 College Hill, Westminster, Md. 21157-4390; or to Princeton Health Care System Foundation, 253 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08540-9914. To send a condolence, visit

Charles E. St. John

Charles E. St. John, 82, of Princeton, died December 13 in the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Pullman, Wash., he had been a resident of Princeton for 52 years. A graduate of the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in history, he also received a B.S. in mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

He retired in 1995 from DeLaval Turbine Company of Trenton as a mechanical engineer. He also wrote instruction manuals for large turbines.

He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Army, and was a member of the Honor Guard for General Douglas MacArthur.

A member of the Princeton Borough Zoning Board for 40 years, he also served on the Historic Sites Commission.

He was a former member of the Pretty Brook Tennis Club.

An avid reader and user of Princeton Public Library, he was also an active bicyclist and skier who continued to ski in Italy. He was fond of antique cars and maintained his own cars.

Son of the late Harold and Elizabeth St. John and brother of the late Robert St. John, he is survived by his wife, Christine; a daughter, Elizabeth Sykes of West Grove, Pa.; two sisters, Mary Zemach of Arizona and Martha Martin of Maui, Hawaii; and three grandchildren.

Burial will be private in Princeton Cemetery. A memorial service will be held in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08542.

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

Herbert M. Wolff

Herbert Marx Wolff, M.D., 96, of Austin, Texas, formerly of Princeton, died peacefully in his sleep December 5.

Born in Trenton, he was the son of Robert Wolff and Fanny Oppenheim Wolff. He attended public schools in Trenton and graduated from Lafayette College in 1932. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1936. After completing post-graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania he undertook advanced obstetrics and gynecology training in Europe, first in Hungary and then at the Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

World War II began while Dr. Wolff was still studying in Europe, and he volunteered for service in the U.S. armed forces. He received a commission as a First Lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps and was initially assigned to duty in Great Britain. As a doctor assigned to a medical unit attached to the 41st Signal Battalion, he landed on Utah Beach in France on June 27, 1944. The 41st was one of the first combat support units brought onto the battle-torn beachhead, and Dr. Wolff’s unit continued to provide medical support to the Battalion for the remainder of the war in Europe. He served with the unit until V-E Day.

While serving at a London hospital prior to the invasion of France, he worked with a senior operating room nurse from Wales, Betty Lilan Jones, whom he married in 1945.

After the war he began his private medical practice in Trenton, where he specialized in obstetrics and gynecology from 1946 until 1982. He retired from his full time medical practice in 1983, and continued to perform charitable work until he moved to Maine in 1990. He moved to Austin in 2005.

Predeceased by his wife, Lilan, in 2001, he is survived by three children, Frances Lylan Wolff of Atlanta; Robert Jones Wolff of Boston, and Glenys Ann Wolff of Austin; and three grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Anti-Defamation League (Southwest) in Austin, Texas; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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