Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 4
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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


Lisa M. Federico

Lee LaPlaca

Francis X. Critchlow

Loralee Strauss

Alberto Petrella

Morris E. Boyd

Patricia A. Mahoney

Mary Jane C. McKee

Lisa M. Federico

Lisa M. Federico

Lisa Maria Clark Federico died January 11 at home in Lawrenceville.

Born in Orange, N.J. on September 22, 1958, she grew up in Kendall Park, N.J., attended St. Augustine’s Elementary School in Franklin Park, and graduated from South Brunswick High School, class of 1976. She attended Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H. where she graduated in 1978 with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts.

She was a very talented artist and calligrapher and enjoyed crafts, sewing, and decorating projects around her home. In 1981 she married the late Anthony Federico, former Chief of Police in Princeton Borough. Together they had one son, Anthony Federico, 28, who resides in Lawrence Township. They had a second home on Lake Sebec in Bowerbank, Maine, where they spent many long weekends with newly found friends.

She worked for many years as the Garden Room manager at Prospect House for faculty and staff at Princeton University. Most recently she worked for the head of Food Services at Princeton University and loved her job there.

She was passionate about her dogs who were a constant presence by her side to the very end.

Her family includes her son, Tony Federico; her mother, Consuelo Clark; her brothers, George Clark and Caleb M. Clark; and her sisters, Tina Clark Feole and Kelly Clark.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals, 900 Herrontown Road, Princeton, N.J. 08540.

A memorial service took place on January 18 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Princeton.

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

Lee LaPlaca

Lee LaPlaca

Lee LaPlaca, 91, died January 22 with her family by her side.

She was born with the name Antonina Profita on December 1, 1919 in New York City to her Italian immigrant parents, Vincenzo Profita and Girolama Re Profita. Growing up she worked in her parents’ neighborhood grocery from the time she could see over the counter.

The first in her family to attend college, she won a full scholarship to Hunter College where she graduated with honors in 1940. She earned degrees in Mathematics and Statistics. After graduation she entered the world of the modern working woman, changed her first name to Lee, and began a career as an actuary for the Wall Street firm of Ira Haupt.

After leaving Wall Street, she was employed as a statistician for Bellevue Hospital for several years. During World War II, she served the Civil Defense as an Air Raid Warden for her New York City neighborhood, and took great pride in her leadership role that included being the last one in the shelter.

She married Anthony F. LaPlaca Sr., of Princeton, in 1949 and they were married for nearly 52 years. She and her husband resided in Princeton for the rest of their lives. With her husband, she owned and operated a building and real estate business where she served as the accountant and administrator.

She was an active volunteer, Den Mother, and treasurer for the Boy Scouts for over 20 years.

Growing up as a city girl, she enjoyed her life in Princeton for its accessibility. She loved to walk and did so both for pleasure and town shopping.

A member of St. Paul’s Church, she was also an avid reader of books and newspapers. She was a Yankees fan and enjoyed puzzles and listening to Frank Sinatra. After her retirement, she became a snowbird and spent her winters in Southern Florida. Of all her accomplishments and activities, she always said that she found her greatest satisfaction and joy in raising her children and spending time with her family.

Wife of the late Anthony F. LaPlaca Sr.; mother of the late Paul A. LaPlaca; and sister of the late Anthony Profita; she is survived by four sons, Joseph, David, Anthony Jr., and James LaPlaca; and seven grandchildren.

The Funeral will be held at 8:30 a.m. on January 29 at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton. Burial will follow in St. Paul’s Cemetery.

Calling hours will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on January 28 at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton, N.J. 08542; or the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.

Francis X. Critchlow

Francis Xavier Critchlow died January 4 at home.

Born on December 18, 1923 to Frank Linley and Elizabeth Devlin Critchlow, he was raised in Princeton. He attended several local schools and was enrolled in the class of 1946 of Princeton University before enlisting in the US Marine Corps in 1943. He served in China and the Pacific Islands during WWII.

In 1949 he entered Georgetown University and wedded Gale Felicity Dinsmore-Minton. He graduated in 1952.

His love of language and song guided his life. He never approached a New York Times crossword without a pen. He could often be found reading Ptolemy in the original language. While at Georgetown, he co-wrote, sang, and danced in a musical farce, “Kiss Me, Tondelayo.” He was also active as a member of the a capella group of renown, “The Georgetown Chimes.” He remained involved with the group as “elder Statesman.”

In keeping with his love of music, he taught himself at a young age to play Jazz piano and later the guitar. In his deep sense of fun and love of the language, he followed his father’s tradition of the “Critchlovian Bon Mot” and forged his own near-perfect sense of Pun.

Predeceased by his sister, Agnes; he is survived by his wife of 61 years, Gale Felicity Dinsmore-Minton Critchlow; his sister, Therese; his four children, Claire, Louise, Carol, and Francis; five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass was celebrated at St. Alphonsus Church, 54 East Prospect Street, Hopewell.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Alphonsus Church, 54 East Prospect Street, Hopewell, N.J. 08525.

Loralee Strauss

Loralee Strauss

Loralee Strauss, 62, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., and formerly of Princeton, died January 21.

She graduated from Princeton High School, where she was a cheerleader and a recipient of the Gold Key Award, and then from Skidmore College.

Following college, she married Gordon Strauss, with whom she raised two children.

She was extremely artistic and intelligent and was a source of strength and guidance for her family and all who knew and loved her. She had a fun-loving personality that attracted countless and long lasting friendships, including her fellow members of the Band of Angels in Nantucket and anyone else who told and listened to good jokes. She and her husband built their dream house in Mount Pleasant and moved permanently from Princeton to South Carolina in 2007.

She is survived by her husband, Gordon; her children, Gretchen and Andrew; three grandchildren; and her brothers, Peter and Barry Engelmann.

The family forever thanks all who have encouraged and prayed for Loralee throughout her valiant fight against Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, a fight that is seldom won. Special thanks are sincerely expressed to Dr. George P. Keogh of Charleston and his extraordinary staff of nurses and chemotherapy technicians; and to Dr. Jules Ivester and the wonderful oncology staff, nurses, and techs on the fifth floor of Roper Hospital in Charleston.

A service in celebration of her life will be held in the St. Andrews Historic Church, 440 Whilden Street, in the Old Village, Mount Pleasant, S.C. on January 27 at 3:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (1311 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, N.Y. 10605) and/or to Roper Hospital Xavier Society (316 Calhoun Street, Charleston, S.C. 29401).

Alberto Petrella

Alberto Petrella

Alberto Petrella, 82, of Princeton, died January 23.

Born in Pratola Peligna, Italy, he left at the age of 18 and found work in the coal mines of France. He also spent several years on an estate in Venezuela, where one of his chores included tending exotic wild animals. In 1961, he moved to Princeton to join his wife.

One of his first jobs in this country was in construction, where he helped to build Jadwin Gym on the Princeton University campus. In 1968 he began working at Princeton Day School as a groundskeeper, and he lived on the school campus with his family until his retirement in 1993.

His quick wit, engaging stories, and infectious smile quickly made him a fixture on the PDS campus. He was a fervent supporter of PDS athletics, particularly soccer (a game he had played in his youth), and he could often be found on the sidelines offering coaching tips to PDS players. Also a huge hockey fan, he proudly maintained the ice at the PDS rink as “Ice Meister.” He had countless friends among the PDS hockey players and their families, as well as the Princeton Skating Club and the Nassau Hockey League. Over the course of his years at PDS, he was honored in numerous ways, notably in 1974 when the senior class dedicated the yearbook in his name, and in 2000 when he was inducted into the PDS Hall of Fame.

In addition to his work, he kept busy with many hobbies. He was an avid gardener, known far and wide for his green thumb and always sharing his abundant produce with neighbors and friends. In recent years he enjoyed volunteering at Willis Greenhouse. He also played bocce and cards, and was a bowling enthusiast. He bowled for more than 40 years, winning a number of league championships and individual awards.

Predeceased by his parents, Guiseppe and Ida; his five brothers; and one sister; he is survived by his wife, Vera, to whom he was married for 52 years; his children, Albert Jr., Margaret, and Marisa; seven granddaughters; and four step-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on January 29 at 10 a.m. at The Church of St. Ann, 1253 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville. Entombment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery Mausoleum, Hamilton.

Friends may call on Friday, January 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Poulson & Van Hise Funeral Directors, 650 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville.

Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, New Jersey Chapter, Southern Office, 528 Fellowship Road, Suite B, Mount Laurel, N.J. 08054.

For directions or to leave a condolence, please visit

Morris E. Boyd

Morris E. Boyd

Morris Elmer “Teddy” Boyd, 94, died January 13 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Daugherty, Va., he lived in Princeton for over 55 years. He was educated in the Virginia public school system. He retired from General Motors with 30 years of service, and was also a U.S. Army Veteran.

He was an active member of Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church for 50 years. He was also a member of American Legion Post #218 and the Elks Witherspoon Lodge #178.

The son of the late James and Rebecca Nedab Boyd; brother of the late Lankford, James, and Floyd Boyd; and husband of the late Clementine Kidd Boyd; he is survived by two daughters, Delores Akrong and Frances Ferguson; 8 grandchildren; and a host of great grandchild.

A funeral service was held on January 22 at Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church, 170 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. Interment was in Princeton Cemetery.

Arrangements are by the Hughes Funeral Home.

Patricia A. Mahoney

Patricia A. Mahoney, 74, of Princeton, died January 21 at Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center of Plainsboro.

The daughter of the late Walter T. and Anne McLaughlin, she was born in Queens, N.Y. and was a resident of Princeton for the past 40 years.

She graduated in 1958 from St. John’s University with a BA in Education. She worked for many years as a teacher’s aide in the West Windsor school system, and taught elementary mathematics at the Lewis School in Princeton.

She was an active member of the community, volunteering her time to support the St. Paul’s parish and Princeton hospital, and received an honorary degree in 2008 from St. John’s University in recognition of her longtime philanthropy.

In her leisure time, she loved traveling and the arts, particularly the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic. An avid sports fan, she enthusiastically supported St. John’s basketball, the New York Yankees and Giants, and was a long-time member of Springdale Golf Club.

A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, her greatest joy in life was the time she spent with family and friends, both life-long and new-found. In August 2010 she celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband, Michael J. Mahoney.

Sister of the late Eugene McLaughlin; she is survived by her husband, Michael; her brother, Edward McLaughlin; three daughters, Eileen Mahoney, Catherine Mahoney, and Nancy Mahoney; and five grandchildren.

Relatives and friends were invited to attend the visitation on January 25 at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 26 at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery, Hamilton.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Goals of Care at

Mary Jane C. McKee

Mary Jane Challener McKee, 92, died January 15 after a brief illness at the University Medical Center in Princeton.

Born on May 16, 1918 in McKeesport, Pa., she was the only daughter of Laura Jane Cummins Challener and John C. Challener.

As a child, she enjoyed singing in choirs and playing the piano, which led her to pursue and receive a degree in music education from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa. She taught music in elementary schools in the McKeesport area until she married and had two sons. Soon afterwards the family moved to Princeton where she dedicated herself to her family and her new community.

Every summer since 1958, she could be found at her “camp” — a rustic lakeside cabin in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. It served as a peaceful, favorite retreat for family members and many friends.

She was actively involved with the Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton; Big Moose Community Chapel in Big Moose, N.Y.; the Presbyterian Women’s Association; and P.E.O. whose philanthropy supports higher education for women. In addition to her love of family, community, and music, she was an excellent cook and baker of delicious pies.

She is survived by her sons, David and Joseph; two grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

A memorial service will be held in her honor at the Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, Princeton, on Saturday, January 29 at 2 p.m. A reception will follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to the Ben Tregoe Memorial Fund for Deacon Training at Nassau Presbyterian Church; or the P.E.O. Foundation, P.E.O. Treasurer’s Department, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50312.

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