Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 7
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
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Alessandra Mazzucato

John H. Henderson

Frank Reichmann

Jane Z. Plimpton

Elizabeth Kurkjian

Barbara M. Hagadorn

Diane Hodock

Alessandra Mazzucato

Alessandra Mazzucato

A 71-year-old Princeton resident, Alessandra Mazzacuto, died on Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Medical Center at Princeton.

She was born on Jan. 12, 1940 in Padua, Italy, and graduated from the University of Padua with a degree in political science. She moved to Princeton in 1972, with 3 young children (aged 2, 4, and 7) after her husband accepted a position as a physicist at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory. What followed was a life dedicated to her family and community — with a heart (the one that ultimately failed her) which was so open, generous, and attentive to all those who met her.

Upon moving to Princeton, Alessandra immersed herself in community activities and over the years endeared herself to everyone she met through her work in various organizations. Early on during her relocation to Princeton, she became a member of the University League, a club founded by wives of faculty members. As an offshoot from that group, she was one of the original founders of a separate group of women who meet weekly to speak Italian — a gathering that has endured for more than four decades.

She was a member of the board of trustees of Princeton’s Dorothea’s House, Casa di Cultura Italiana, for more than 30 years. Alessandra was the “heart and soul” of Dorothea’s House for the last 25 years and was responsible for returning vitality to the organization after its history as a settlement house for Italian immigrants in the early part of the 20th century. The free monthly cultural programs and Italian language classes held at Dorothea’s House are in large part due to her vision, follow-through and charisma.

Alessandra was also involved with the Princeton Adult School for more than 30 years, first as a teacher, and later as a member of the board of trustees. Students in her literature class, some for 20 years in a row, looked forward to returning year after year to study a new work under her guidance. She brought out the best in any student through her gentle, yet expert teaching style. She was also responsible for helping the Princeton Public Library choose books for its Italian language collection.

She also served on the board of trustees of Crossroads Nursery School for the last eight years, lending her culinary skills to the school’s annual fund-raising auction, among other things. During the last few years, people would line up to bid for her homemade artichoke lasagna, a casserole for 12 that would sometimes sell for more than $300. She was also one of the leaders who spearheaded the creation of a yearly quilt auction for the school. An avid quilter and embroiderer, Alessandra was also a charter member of a local stitching group.

Her cooking skills were legendary to all who were fortunate enough to be invited to her home for a meal, where she entertained with ease and graciousness. She co-founded “Con Gusto,” a cooking class conducted in her home during the early 1980s. She also took her students on organized trips to Italy, both for cooking classes and to view the peninsula’s art and architectural sights.

Over the years, she volunteered at Riverside School, first as a parent in the PTO, and in more recent years, as a member of GrandPals, seniors who read to kindergarteners.

Her family and friendships were of paramount importance in her life, but she also held a variety of jobs outside the home. Aside from her teaching, in the mid-1970s she translated technical manuals for Univac (now Unisys). She later worked for several years as an administrator for the Institute for Semitic Studies and for a period of time in the late 1980s, as liaison for Princeton University for a villa it owned on Italy’s Lake Como. From 1989 to 1996, she worked as a community relations director for Stark & Stark.

She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Ernesto; daughter Valentina and her husband Luca Bertolini, and their children Saskia and Mattia, of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; daughter Mariana and her husband Carlo Cresto-Dina and their children, Leon, Micol, Luce and Sofia, of London, England; and son Jacopo, Stacy Kelley and their children, Zeno and Zola, of Princeton. Each of her 8 grandchildren grew to love her like a second mother. She is also survived by sisters Marisa of Venice, Italy and Francesca of Rome, Italy. She was preceded in death by her parents, Mary Metz and Gustavo Bardella.

Alessandra loved life, always focusing on the positive, even when times were tough. She transmitted this love to all those that met her — in a serene but intense way. Her exceptional quilts (over 20 which she gave to many) symbolized her creativity, attention to detail, beauty and generosity. She will be missed greatly, though her magic, there is no other word, will remain forever.

A commemorative service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Crossroads Scholarship Fund: please make checks payable to Crossroads Nursery School to benefit the Crossroads Scholarship Fund, 225 Olden Lane, Princeton, N.J. 08540. or”, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen: P.O. Box 872, Trenton, N.J. 08605.

John H. Henderson

John (Jack) Henry Henderson, 74, of Plainsboro, died February 12 at Merwick Care Center of Plainsboro.

Born in New York City, he resided in the Princeton/Plainsboro area for more than fifty-five years. He graduated from Princeton High School, Class of 1954, and attended Rider University.

His career spanned more than 35 years of service with various agencies of the State of New Jersey, including Green Acres Program and the State of New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, from which he retired in 1991. He especially enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family on Captiva Island in Florida.

A popular area drummer and entertainer, he was widely known in the music community. He was a member of the American Federation of Musicians, Gold Wing Road Riders Association, Plainsboro Township Citizens Committee, Plainsboro Township Shade Tree Commission, and the Plainsboro Civil Defense and Disaster Control.

The son of the late Dr. John and Betty Jane Eager Henderson; he is survived by his wife of 47 years, Marcia E. Henderson; two daughters, Pamela Budrow Henderson Dowd and Lauri Ann Bookholdt; sister Patricia H. Lincoln; three grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

A Memorial Visitation will be held on Friday, February 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton. Burial will follow in the Princeton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: The Chapel By the Sea, P.O. Box 188, Captiva Island, Fla. 33924; or the Plainsboro Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 76, Plainsboro, N.J. 08536.

Frank Reichmann

Frank Reichmann, 99, of Princeton, died February 13 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he resided most of his life in Ramsey before moving to Princeton in 1983. He was a United States Army World War II veteran and retired as a Laborer in 1977.

He is survived by his wife, Paula Schwar Reichmann.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on February 16 at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street. Burial will follow in St. Paul’s Cemetery.

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

Jane Z. Plimpton

Jane Z. Plimpton, 82, of Chicago, formerly of Princeton, died February 5.

She is survived by her children, Herbert Jr. Plimpton and Gabriella Ressler; her sister, Nancy Kennedy; and five grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held on February 19 at 11 a.m. at Donnellan Family Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Blvd. at Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Ill. 60077.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association Greater Illinois Chapter, 8430 W. Bryn Mawr, Suite 800, Chicago, Ill. 60631.

Elizabeth Kurkjian

Elizabeth “Betty” Kurkjian, 75, of Princeton, died February 10 at University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Princeton, she was a lifelong resident. She graduated from Princeton High School in 1953.

She retired as a Customer Service Representative in 2007 with over 50 years of service with American Standard.

Daughter of the late Alexander and Satina Oghgashian Kurkjian; she is survived by her brother, Crosby Kurkjian; and her sister, Doris Pyle.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 19 at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton.

Friends may call from Noon until the time of service at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society of N.J. 3076, Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville, N.J. 08648.

Barbara M. Hagadorn

Barbara Mary Hagadorn, 75, of Princeton, died February 7 at her daughter’s residence in South Brunswick.

Born in Trenton, she was a fifth generation Princeton Borough resident. She retired in 2009 with over 12 years of service as a CPA with Markus Wiener Publishers Inc. of Princeton.

Daughter of the late Walter L. and Helena L. Coan; mother of the late Brenda Hart and Theodore Hart; she is survived by her son, David Hagadorn; her daughter, Julia L. Chesney; nine grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

The funeral service and visitation took place on February 10 at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Human Intervention Food Pantry Trust Fund, P.O. Box 190, Monmouth Junction, N.J. 08852.

Diane Hodock

Diane Hodock, 71, died on February 9.

Born on April 26, 1939 in Chicago, Ill. to Joseph P. Dunne and Nelda O’Rourke Dunne, she grew up in Coral Gables, Fla. She attended Saint Theresa Catholic School and Coral Gables High School before continuing her education and graduating from Western Michigan University.

After graduation, she moved to Chicago, where she began her career in advertising and marketing. She met her husband, Cal, and married him on September 21, 1968. The couple resided in Minneapolis, Minn., and then moved to Elkhart, Ind., where their first daughter, Shannon, was born. The family then moved to Wellesley, Mass., and then to Chappaqua, N.Y., where they had another daughter, Courtney. The family then settled in Skillman, N.J. where they have resided for 33 years.

She was a member and past president of the Princeton Skating Club, taught CCD at St. Paul’s Church, and was a volunteer at Stuart Country Day School.

She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Calvin L. Hodock; her daughters, Courtney Hodock and Shannon Hodock McCoy; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on February 11 at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton. Burial in Rocky Hill Cemetery was private.

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

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