Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 39
Wednesday, September 24, 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

Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors

Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast


Elizabeth “Betty” Howe Constable

Elizabeth L. “Duffy” Hutter

Sandra M. Jefferson

Merle D. Walker

Dominick A. Pennacchia

Eleonore Schewior

John H. Witherbee

Elizabeth “Betty” Howe Constable
(Photo by Princeton University Athletics Department)

Elizabeth “Betty” Howe Constable

Elizabeth “Betty” Howe Constable, 83, a longtime Princeton resident and Princeton University’s first women’s squash coach, died September 9.

She was born and raised in Weston, Mass. and later in New Haven, Conn., where she married her husband, W. Pepper Constable Jr. in 1950.

The dominant squash player of the 1950s, she was a central force behind the growth of women’s squash in the U.S. She was a five-time U.S. National Squash Singles Champion. The Howe Cup/U.S. National Squash Team Championships was named in honor of the Howe family women — Betty, her twin sister Peggy, and her mother, Margaret, all U.S. national champions. In addition to her five national titles, Mrs. Constable took four veterans’ (over 40) titles, three veterans’ doubles titles, and played in three Wolfe-Noel competitions, contributing to America’s only victory ever in Great Britain, in doubles in Edinburgh in 1950.

A member of the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame and the College Squash Association Hall of Fame, Mrs. Constable achieved an unmatched record of success. As the first head coach of Princeton University women’s squash team, she left an unmatched win-loss record of 117-15 during her tenure from 1971 to 1991. Ten of her teams finished their seasons with an undefeated record. She also mentored three national intercollegiate champions, Wendy Zakarko, Nancy Gengler, and Demer Holleran, who won seven individual championships collectively.

In 1973, she helped create the intercollegiate division of the Howe Cup. Mrs. Constable’s mother, Mrs. Howe, donated the trophy for the intercollegiate division. Under Mrs. Constable’s leadership, Princeton won the cup 12 times in the 19 times they competed for it.

Mrs. Constable was predeceased by her husband, Pepper, in 1986, and by a son, W. Howe Constable in August, 2008. She is survived by her children W. Pepper Constable III of London, England, Margo Constable of Idledale, Colo., Kacey Constable Nugent of Old Saybrook, Conn., and Liza Constable of Nelson, N.H.; three granddaughters; and two grandsons.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on September 28 at the Princeton University Chapel. A reception will follow. Burial will be on Nantucket Island on October 5.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Friends of Princeton Women’s Squash at Princeton University, c/o Gail Ramsay/Friends Donation, P.O. Box 71, Princeton University, Princeton 08544-0071.

Elizabeth L. “Duffy” Hutter

Elizabeth Hutter

Elizabeth L. “Duffy” Hutter, a longtime Princeton resident and former Township Committeewoman and Planning Board member, died September 15 at Acorn Glen Assisted Living in Princeton.

Born in 1923 near Kingston, Pa., the daughter of John Hancock and Maria Pennypacker Lance, she was raised on a farm in northeastern Pennsylvania. Her farm upbringing, relish for learning, and love of sports including horseback riding, ice skating, and tennis, engendered a deep and abiding appreciation of the natural world.

After graduating from the Wyoming Seminary and Bucknell Junior College, she moved to Washington, D.C. to become a cartographer and editor of intelligence reports for the Army Map Service during World War II. She spent many weekends outside of Washington pursuing a new interest, spelunking, and was the first person to explore Duffy’s Cavern. In 1949 she moved to Princeton to work for Julian Boyd at Princeton University as an Associate Editor of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson. There she met and married her husband Edwin “Peter” Hutter, a physicist at RCA, in 1952. In the 1960s they both became involved in numerous environmental, transportation, and other civic causes, serving on many municipal and county task forces and committees, and becoming founders of the Friends of Princeton Environment (now Friends of Princeton Open Space).

In 1975 Mrs. Hutter was elected to Princeton Township Committee and became Deputy Mayor in 1977. She was a longtime member of the Regional Planning Board of Princeton and served as Vice Chairman from 1981 until 1983. The Township named a new link road, Duffy Place, in her honor in November 2007.

She was predeceased by her husband, and sisters Ruth O’Neill, Ramsay Raymond of Princeton, and Patricia Appelmans, formerly of Princeton. She is survived by a daughter, Fairfax Hutter; two sons, John and Peter Hutter; and three granddaughters.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, on Saturday, October 11 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Friends of Princeton Open Space; or to the North Branch Land Trust (dedicated to preserving the North Branch of the Susquehanna watershed) on Carverton Road, Trucksville, Pa. 18708.

Sandra M. Jefferson

Sandra M. Jefferson, 72, of Lawrenceville, died September 20 in the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Trenton, she was a lifelong Princeton resident before moving to Lawrenceville in 2000.

A graduate of Princeton High School in 1953, she attended the American Theatre Wing and Rider College. She was employed as an administrative secretary for 32 years by Princeton Regional Schools. During her tenure she was also instrumental in the Johnson Park School annual spring festival. From 1961 to 1967 she was the Director of the volunteer candy stripers at Princeton Hospital.

She served as a Republican Committeewoman for District 2 in Princeton Borough and was an officer of the Mercer County Young Republicans and vice chairman and acting chairman of the Young Republicans of New Jersey Inc.

She was a member and officer of the Pennington Players, and head of junior activities for Herbert Kenwith’s Princeton Summer Theatre’s Straw Hat circuit productions at McCarter Theatre. She was also a member of McCarter’s P.J.&B. Company from 1970 to 1990 under the direction of Milton Lyon, during which time she was a chorus member, featured player, and stage manager.

She was a member of Nassau Presbyterian Church.

The daughter of the late Walter B. Jr. and Williamina (Winnie) M. Jefferson, she is survived by an aunt and uncle, Robert and Barbara Jefferson, and five cousins.

The funeral service will be today, September 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue. Ms. Jefferson’s cousin, the Rev. Donna M. Bevensee, will officiate. Burial will be in Princeton cemetery.

Merle D. Walker

Merle D. Walker, 77, of Princeton, died September 9.

A native of Haverford, Pa., she was the daughter of Denzil and Merle Prince Walker. She was a graduate of Haverford High School and Stephens College.

Ms. Walker resided most of her life in New Hampshire. While a resident of Exeter, she managed a shop operated by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. She then became the organization’s president, overseeing statewide operations for a decade from the main office in Concord. She was a familiar figure at League events throughout New Hampshire, particularly the annual fair at Lake Sunapee. She traveled to China in the 1970s as part of an American arts delegation.

She was an arts administrator who never lost her appreciation for artists and their work. Her homes were always decorated with the prints and pottery of New Hampshire craftsmen.

After leaving the League, she returned to her native Pennsylvania and became executive director of the Schuylkill County Council for the Arts in Pottsville. After retiring from that position, she moved to Dublin, Pa. to be near her sisters. She volunteered in the Doylestown Library and in the library of the retirement community at Heritage Towers in Doylestown. She regularly attended services at the First Church of Christ Scientist in Doylestown.

In 2007, she moved to the Tenacre Foundation in Princeton, a Christian Science care facility.

Predeceased by two sisters and a brother, she is survived by a sister, Barbara A. Walker of Doylestown; a niece, Barbara Woolmington-Smith of Orinda, Calif., and a nephew, Robert Woolmington of North Bennington, Vt.

Dominick A. Pennacchia

Dominick Ambrose Pennacchia of Princeton died September 17 peacefully at home, with his family by his side. He was in his 96th year.

Born in Philadelphia to Angela Dorini of Cheri, Italy and Joseph Pennacchia, of Ferentino, Italy, he was a Princeton resident for 70 years following his return to the United States at age 16 from the family home in Ferentino.

He retired at 62 following a distinguished career as Executive Chef of Food Operations at the Nassau Inn, where he was responsible for food preparation for three dining rooms and 10 banquet rooms. He also served as Executive Chef at the Philmont Country Club in Huntington, Pa., and Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville.

He started his career at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia and worked at the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City, N.J., the Princeton Inn, and the Annex Restaurant in Princeton. He was the First Prize recipient of The New Jersey State Hotel Association Culinary Art Exhibit in Atlantic City for cold dishes and sculpture. His specialty was international cuisine.

Mr. Pennacchia served in the United States Navy during World War II, receiving an honorable discharge. He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church of Princeton, American Legion Post of Princeton, and St. Paul Golden Agers, where he became an active participant following his retirement. He loved the culinary arts, reading, fishing, and spending time with his family.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Angela Pennacchia Bechtelheimer of East Windsor; a brother, Alfredo Pennacchia of Princeton; his sisters Maria Vitali of Frosinone, Italy and Sister Angela Maria and Sister Maria Gonzaga of the Belgium Order of the Sisters of Charity in Rome, Italy. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Helen; two daughters, Rina Pennacchia of Annapolis, Md. and Patricia Giallella of Princeton; a sister, Caterina Cenci of Rome, Italy; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated September 22 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Burial followed in the parish cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Health Care Ministry of Princeton, P.O. Box 1517, Princeton 08542; or to The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 529, Princeton 08542.

Arrangements were by the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Eleonore Schewior

Eleonore Schewior, 88, of Skillman, died September 13 at her residence at Stonebridge of Montgomery after a brief illness.

Born in Niederrad, Germany, a suburb of Frankfurt, she emigrated to the United States with her parents at the age of 8.  

A graduate of Columbia High School, she resided in Maplewood for most of her life. She and her husband Bill were tennis regulars at the Maplewood Club, where she continued playing on the women’s team well into her 70s. A longtime member of the Maplewood Garden Club, she was also a skier, a seamstress, and a bridge enthusiast who loved to make her husband the ‘dummy’. She loved to travel and never lost her desire to do so.  

She is survived by a son, Robert Schewior of Katonah, N.Y.; a daughter, Loraine Otis of Belle Mead; three stepchildren; a granddaughter; and a great-grandchild.

Arrangements are by the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

John H. Witherbee

John Hemenway Witherbee, 81, of York Harbor, Maine, formerly of Princeton, died August 30 in York Harbor.

Known as Jack, he was the son of Silas H. and Alice Kortright Witherbee. He grew up in Greenwich, Conn., served in the Navy during World War II, and became a teacher and coach at Greenwich Country Day School and then at Renbrook School in West Hartford.

A graduate of the Choate School and Columbia University, he loved fishing, hunting, and above all teaching and coaching.

Predeceased by his wife, Jill Macrae Witherbee, he is survived by four sons, Silas H. Witherbee of Concord, Mass., Jonathan G. Witherbee of Cape Neddick, Maine, Matthew M. Witherbee of Easton, Conn., and Andrew G. Witherbee of Newburyport, Mass.; a brother, Walter Witherbee of Naples, Fla.; nine grandchildren; and his former wife Mary Osborne Witherbee of Princeton.

A memorial service will be held on Nantucket this fall.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jill M. Witherbee Scholarship Fund at the Westminster School in Simsbury, Conn.

Arrangements are by the Lucas & Eaton Funeral Home, 91 Long Sands Road, York, Maine (

Return to Top | Go to People

Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton — McCaffrey’s, Cox’s, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszer’s (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell — Village Express; Rocky Hill — Wawa (Route 518); Pennington — Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.