Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 39
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
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


Robert A. Nelson

Doreen C. Spitzer

Chu Sato

Donald L. Scasserra

Jeanette Fragasso Masi

Nicholas Gentilella

Robert A. Nelson

Robert A. Nelson

Robert A. Nelson, 85, of Princeton, died September 22 at Buckingham Place.

Born in Princeton, he was a lifelong resident. He graduated from Princeton High School and Cornell University, Class of 1948. He founded Nelson Glass & Aluminum Co. on Nassau Street in 1949, relocating to the current location on Spring Street in 1960.

A former Deacon in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, which later joined Nassau Presbyterian Church, he was also an Eagle Scout and later Scout Master. He served as treasurer and president of Princeton Lion’s Club. An avid gardener and skier, he was a member of Alphorn Ski Association of Bucks County, Pa., and skied the Alps for 28 years. He was also a member of Investment Club of Princeton.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Eleanor Nelson; four daughters, Marguerite Sarson, Nancy Barna, Roberta Nelson, and Kristin Willey; 11 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on September 25 at St. Paul’s Church. Burial followed in Princeton Cemetery.

Calling hours were held on September 24 at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Vincent DePaul Society, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton, N.J. 08542 or HealthCare Ministry of Princeton, P.O. Box 1517, Princeton, N.J. 08542.

Doreen C. Spitzer

Doreen C. Spitzer

Doreen Canaday Spitzer, 95, died September 6 at her home in Princeton.

Born in 1914 in New Castle, Indiana, she was the only child of Mariam Coffin and Ward Murphey Canaday.

When she was 2 years old, her family moved to Toledo, Ohio. She went to boarding school at Dongan Hall, on Long Island, at a young age. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1936 where she majored in archaeology. She spent the next year at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. There, she worked on excavations in ancient Corinth and travelled through Egypt, Greece, and Turkey. She learned the language and added her passion for the country and its people to the love of classics and classical education she inherited from her mother.

In 1940 she married Lyman Spitzer Jr. and in 1948 they moved to Princeton. Together they helped establish the Princeton Unitarian Church, where she taught Sunday school for eight years. She organized Princeton’s annual Bryn Mawr Book Sale, volunteered at the House of Soul in Trenton, and was a docent at the Princeton University Art Museum.

Her love of Greece was woven into her life in many ways. She was a supporter of AHEPA, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, and was a force in the history of the American School where she was a student member, later a Trustee, President of the Board, and then President of the Friends of the ASCSA. She was responsible for the founding of the school’s professional Archives, the Newsletter, the Friends of the ASCSA, and the ‘On-Site’ tours.

She and her husband were frequent travelers, and lived abroad, most often in Paris. She hiked throughout France, Switzerland and Nepal.

She wrote two books, By One and One and As Long as You Both Shall Live, both privately published.

A lover of music, nature, and all wildlife, she also had a passion for books and poetry. A first-class volunteer and hands-on philanthropist, she donated largely to Bryn Mawr College, the American School of Classical Studies, and the Princeton Watershed Association.

She is survived by Nicholas Spitzer, Dionis Griffin, Sarah Saul, and Lydia Spitzer; 13 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial service for her on October 9 at the Princeton Unitarian Universalist Church at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Bryn Mawr College, the American School of Classical Studies, or the Princeton Watershed Association.

Chu Sato

Chu “TC” Sato died unexpectedly on September 17 in Chicago, Ill., while working with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Born in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, he graduated from the University of Tokyo with a Bachelors degree in physics. He was a researcher for two years at the Institute for Economic Research for Electric Power in Tokyo before coming to Princeton University to earn his PhD in Applied and Computational Mathematics.

He taught Mathematics at Texas A & M and Minnesota State University before returning to Princeton University where he worked as a researcher in Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics (AOS). He was also an adjunct Professor at New York University in Advanced Financial Modeling.

He pursued his passion of finance and mathematics by first becoming a consultant to the Seabury Group in New York City as a quantitative analyst and becoming Vice President of Quantitative Analysis and Risk Management first at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and later at MF Global, both based in New York City.

This year, he had the opportunity to work as a quantitative analyst on a historic project with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to bring interest rate and credit default swaps to the market. In his spare time, he tutored students at a local community college in mathematics and physics.

An avid cyclist, he loved New York City and traveling to Japan. He was passionate about mathematics, finance, history, physics, and politics.

He is survived by his wife of 10 years, Trish; his mother, Keiko; and two sisters, Kazuko and Akiko.

A viewing will be held at Mather Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton, on Friday, October 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Mather Hodge Funeral Home on Sunday, October 3 at 2 p.m.

Donald L. Scasserra

Donald Leber Scasserra, 96, of Rocky Hill, died September 27 at his residence after a long illness.

He graduated from Rider College in 1938 with a Bachelors degree and was employed as an accountant at Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy in Great Neck, N.Y. After retiring in the 1970s, he dedicated his life to maintaining the Scasserra family farm.

He was a member of the Belle Mead Co-Op and a parishioner at St. Paul’s RC Church in Princeton.

Predeceased by his sisters, Louise Scassera, Theresa Muccilli, and Katherine Guarnieri; and his brothers, Benjamin, John, Anthony, and Joseph Scassera; he is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marie A. Scasserra.

Funeral services will begin on September 29 at 10:30 a.m. in the Kimble Funeral Home, 1 Hamilton Avenue, Princeton. A funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s RC Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton. Burial will be in the family plot at Rocky Hill Cemetery in Rocky Hill, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Princeton Health Care Ministry, P.O. Box 1517, Princeton, N.J. 08542.

To extend condolences online or share memories in the guest book, please visit

Jeanette Fragasso Masi

Jeanette Fragasso Masi

Jeanette Masi died peacefully on September 21, 2010 surrounded by her family. She was 95. Known to many as “Nettie” she was a woman of many talents. A professional artist who excelled in oils, acrylics, pastels, water colors, and mixed media, Jeanette achieved state and national recognition for her artistic talents. She was passionate about art and loved to paint anything she saw. She was a past Co-Chairwoman of the annual juried Sidewalk Show of South Orange and Maplewood and a member of several art associations including the prestigious New Jersey Water Color Society and the American Water Color Society. Jeanette was honored with numerous awards by fine arts organizations in New Jersey and New York, including a Merit Award from the highly regarded Salmagundi Art Club in New York and the Dagmar H. Tribble Memorial Award from the Garden State Watercolor Society. Her paintings were exhibited in numerous galleries and in many outdoor exhibits including the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit in Greenwich Village, New York and the South Orange Outdoor Art exhibit beginning in the 1960s and continuing throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. She continued to submit paintings in juried shows until 2008 with great success. It is remarkable that her professional art career did not begin until she was in her 50s and had already raised five children.

Jeanette is survived by her children, daughters: Sandy and her husband Joe Gigliotti, Bonni Masi Oswald, Susan Masi, Carol Masi and son, Tom Masi and his wife Luby; 10 grandchildren: Greg and his wife Kristine, John and his wife Day and Joe Gigliotti; Peter and his wife Elena Mele; John and his wife Robin, Tucker and his wife Shauna, Kurt and his wife Lindsay and Kirsten Oswald, John and Jenna Masi and eleven great grandchildren: Annie, Gracie Griffin and Sydney Gigliotti; Carson, Harrison, Reilly, Rowan and Reagan Oswald; and Nicolas and Alexandra Mele.

In addition to her art work, Jeanette’s memory will en-dure as a lively and unique individual who always kept an open door. There were always good spirits, food and an ample supply of manhattans to greet all visitors. Jeanette was a resident of South Orange for more than 60 years. Her home “155” in South Orange was a central gathering point for family, friends and art groups for decades. Holiday parties and special occasions would last throughout the night. Some would go to bed only to find others in the morning still gathered around the table talking and cooking breakfast. Jeanette’s spirit, creativity, wit, inspiration and ability to reinvent herself no matter what the challenge, will be with us for generations to come.

Visitation was at Galloway and Crane Funeral Home 101 South Finley Avenue in Basking Ridge, N.J. on Sunday, September 26 from 3 to 7 pm. Funeral Mass was be held at Jeanette’s home parish of Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange, N.J. on Monday, September 27 at 10:30 am. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery on Mt. Airy Road in Basking Ridge, N.J.

Memorial donations in Jeanette’s honor may be made to the Villa Walsh Jeanette Fragasso Masi Memorial Art Award, c/o Villa Walsh Academy, 455 Western Avenue, Morristown, N.J. 07960.

Nicholas Gentilella

Nicholas Gentilella, 91, of Toms River, formerly of Hopewell, died September 17 at The Pines Assisted Living, Manchester Township.

Born in Avellino, Italy, he was a self-employed egg farmer in Hopewell before retiring.

Predeceased by his brother, Angelo; he is survived by his sister, Amalia Amendolagine.

Friends are invited to gather for a memorial service on Saturday, October 2 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Freeman Manalapan-Marlboro Funeral Home, 344 Route 9 North, Manalapan.

Interment will follow at St. Alphonsus Cemetery, Hopewell.

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