Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 6
 
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
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

Weichert, Realtors



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Iris Interiors


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Weather Forecast


Obituaries

Deena Cottini

Mary Lee Griffith

Walter Kim Foster

Lisa L. Johnson

Carol B. Steinberg

Ernest F. Johnson Jr.

Douglas M. Rhoda

Miriam L. Summerskill


Deena Cottini

Alexandra “Deena” Cottini, 89, of Tucson, Ariz., formerly of Princeton, died January 15 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Tucson.

She was a graduate of Princeton High School and an alumna of Rider University, class of 1966. Formerly an assistant to the controller of Princeton University, she moved to Tucson following her retirement in 1980.

Sister of the late Louisa A. Cottini of Tucson and Julia C. Dorsey of Trenton, she is survived by several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grand nephews, including Faith Bahadurian of Princeton and Mark Bahadurian of Monmouth Junction.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Mother of Sorrow Church, 1800 South Kolb Road, Tucson, Ariz. 85710; or to the Old Pueblo Lapidary Club, 3118 North Dale Avenue, Tucson, Ariz. 85712.

Mary Lee Griffith

Mary Lee Griffith, 93, of Princeton, died January 20 at Acorn Glen.

She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she was raised and schooled, and where she was employed by Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, assisting engineering professors and students with their technical writings. She spent her retirement in Princeton, where she became an active member of Nassau Presbyterian Church.

In retirement she enthusiastically sought out academic talks, including those by Professor George lnglebrandt. She also enjoyed volunteer activities that involved learning and helping.

She is survived by a nephew, John Griffith Jr., and a niece, Barbara Evans.

A private interment will be held at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, N.J. for the family.

Arrangements were by The Kimble Funeral Home.

Walter Kim Foster

Walter Kim Foster of Princeton died January 19 of liver failure at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Princeton, he was educated in the Princeton schools, graduating from Princeton High School with the class of 1970. After attending the University of Bridgeport, he entered an entrepreneurial life as a home improvement specialist and itinerant musician. He learned wood crafting and cabinetry from his father, Walter B. Foster Jr. His personal specialties were wallpaper and painting.

An avid musician and accomplished guitarist, Mr. Foster was known for his dedication to the Grateful Dead, whose members he knew. He was a proud founding member of The Midnight Sun, a band that played Grateful Dead music. Musicians were always welcome at his parties, where The Midnight Sun played Grateful Dead songs and lasting friendships were made.

Predeceased by his father, he is survived by his mother, Araxy K. Foster of Princeton; a sister, Penelope K. Foster of Manhattan; and a brother, J. Drew Foster of Ringoes and Emmet, Nebraska.

A memorial service will be held this Sunday, February 10 at 1:30 p.m. at Nassau Presbyterian Church. Interment will be at the Princeton Cemetery.

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

Memorial contributions may be sent to America’s Keswick, a faith-based addiction recovery center, at 601 Route 530, Whiting, N.J. 08759-3501.

Lisa L. Johnson

Lisa L. Johnson, 59, of West Windsor, died January 30 in the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Worcester, Mass., she lived in East Windsor from 1977 to 1985 before moving to West Windsor.

She was a graduate of Wachusette High School in Worcester, Mass. and the New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, where she received her degree as a RN. She worked as a RN at Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Mass., then taught nursing at Mary Hitchcock School of Nursing in Hanover, N.H. Until her recent illness she worked the last five years in the operating room at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

She was a member of the Princeton United Methodist Church.

Daughter of the late Louise and Arthur Sjosten, she is survived by her husband, Jerry L. Johnson, and a brother, David A. Sjosten of Worcester.

The funeral was February 2 at the Princeton United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Grove Cemetery in Holden, Mass. in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Multiple Sclerosis National Society Mid Jersey Chapter, 246 Monmouth Road, Ocean Township, N.J. 07712; or to Princeton United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 7 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton 08542.

Arrangements were by the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Carol B. Steinberg

Carol Bruber Steinberg, 74, of Missoula, Montana, formerly of Princeton, died of cancer January 23 at a nursing home in Missoula.

Born in St. Paul, Minn., she attended Carleton College and the University of Minnesota. In 1956 she married Malcolm S. Steinberg and moved with him to Baltimore, where she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from McCoy College of Johns Hopkins University. The Steinbergs moved to Princeton in 1966.

After a divorce in 1982, she left Princeton. She spent the last five years in Missoula.

She is survived by four children, Jeffery of Hinsdale, Ill., Julie of Turner’s Falls, Mass., Eleanor of Missoula, and Catherine of Oakland, Calif.; a brother, Bradley, of St. Louis Park, Minn.; and two grandchildren.

Ernest F. Johnson Jr.

Ernest F. Johnson Jr., 89, of Freeport, Maine, formerly of Princeton, died February 2 in Freeport, surrounded by family. He had a distinguished career as professor of chemical engineering at Princeton University from 1948 to 1986. He moved to Freeport in 2005.

Earning his B.S. from Lehigh in 1940 and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949, Dr. Johnson focused his career on process dynamics and control, thermodynamic and kinetic properties of fluids and fluid-solid systems, technological aspects of nuclear fusion power development, and hazardous waste management. He authored more than 80 publications and was closely affiliated with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. His teaching abilities and service to Princeton University and the wider scientific community earned him wide recognition, including being elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He was a ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church, USA and a charter member of the adult choir of Nassau Presbyterian Church. A pianist and organist, he served as assistant organist to the Stonington (Maine) Methodist Church. He also enjoyed sailing and spending time with family in his summer home in Stonington.

Predeceased by his wife, M. Ruth McMullin Johnson, and his oldest son, David S. Johnson, he is survived by his children Carolyn Johnson Walton of Freeport, Maine, Arthur Johnson of Portland, Maine, and Melissa Johnson of Georgetown, Texas; and five grandchildren.


Douglas M. Rhoda

Douglas M. Rhoda

Douglas M. Rhoda, of Skillman NJ, went home to be with the Lord on January 28, 2008. He was born on Staten Island, NY June 24, 1937.

Son of the late Matthew and Margaret Rhoda, he served in the U.S. Army for 2 years. He attended Rutgers University where he developed a love for farming. He was employed by Proctor & Gamble and several other companies as a salesman before starting his own company in 1969, Somerset Data, Inc.

In 1994, he began another company, Top Knobs USA, Inc. which now employs many local residents. He was a charter member of the Montgomery Evangelical Free Church in Belle Mead and served on many school, camp, mission, seminary and district boards both domestic and international. His personal mission was to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Surviving are his wife of 48 years, Susan; son Kurt & wife, Sharon; son Erik & wife, Brenda; grandchildren, Matthew, Whitney, Kaitlyn and Hannah; and brother Curtis. He was predeceased by son, George.

Funeral services were held Saturday, February 2.

Donations may be made to the Somerset Medical Center Foundation, Somerville, NJ.

Miriam L. Summerskill

Miriam LaFollette Summerskill, 90, of Harlingen, died January 31 of natural causes at her home at LaFollette Vineyard in Harlingen. The founder of LaFollette Vineyard, she was a prolific writer and memoirist.

She celebrated her 90th birthday this past June surrounded by family and friends who toasted her life, gave speeches, read poems, and sang songs.

With her husband, Dr. John Summerskill, she founded LaFollette Vineyard and Winery in the 1970s in Belle Mead. Her Seval Blanc wine won numerous awards and was served at the White House, the National Gallery, Drumthwacket, and Prospect House at Princeton University. The annual grape harvest at LaFollette Vineyard was a combined work and social event attended by eager oenophiles.

For a number of years the Summerskills’ vineyard was an active center for political and policy discussions among friends, relatives, professors, scholars, ambassadors, and political candidates. During the 1992 Presidential Campaign, Gov. Florio hosted Bill Clinton and 16 other governors for a strategy session at LaFollette Vineyard.

Spending a number of years in Greece at Athens College, where Dr. Summerskill was president, Mrs. Summerskill was involved in the creation of the Athens College Theater, considered the finest in Athens at the time of its completion. She also founded and served as president of InterALP of Princeton, an educational program which sent high school students abroad for semester-long work-study experiences; served on the Board of MSM; was a familiar figure at Communiversity; and was a member of the Nassau Club.

The author of several books — Aegean Summer, Seduced By A Greek Island, The Land of Solomon and Sheba, and Daughter of the Vine — she also wrote numerous magazine and newspaper articles from various locations around the globe during her travels to more that 80 countries over seven decades.

As a young woman, she hosted a radio show for NBC from Honolulu, and in the 1950s hosted several shows for KQED in San Francisco during the early years of educational television.

Born in Moscow, Idaho she grew up in Colfax, Washington, where her father was a lawyer and prosecutor for Whitman County and a member of the state legislature.

A 1941 graduate of Stanford University, Mrs. Summerskill settled near the University after her husband, Richard Urquhart Wright, completed his World War II military service. She raised her five children in Menlo Park, Calif., was active in a number of organizations, and started several businesses. In the late 1960s she married Dr. John Summerskill, then president of San Francisco State University, with whom she moved to Ethiopia and Athens before settling in Harlingen.

She is survived by five children, Richard LaFollette Wright, Helen Urquhart Bodel, and Wendy LaFollette Wright, all of Princeton, William Urquhart Wright of Harlingen, and Robert LaFollette Wright of Hopewell; and eight grandchildren.

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