Former Princeton resident Rebecca Howell Balinski (September 8, 1934 — 26 May, 2013) is almost certainly the only person to have both sung at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and translated the work of leading French theologians into English.
The daughter of Charles Reece Howell Jr. and Emily Smith Howell, Rebecca, “Becky”, was born in Memphis where her father was looking for work during the Great Depression but she grew up in the town that had been home to her family for generations, Fayetteville, Tenn. Becky was a top student (she was awarded membership into the National Beta Club) and her singing talent was recognized early. Already as a high school student, she had her own request show, “A Journey in Song” alongside Miss Ruth Ray at the piano, on the local radio station WEKR.
In 1950, at the age of 15, Becky entered Vanderbilt University where she became president of the Women’s Student Government Association and received the Lady of the Bracelet Award, the highest recognition given a female undergraduate. She also continued to perform, among other things singing on national television in the precursor of “America’s Got Talent” Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.
After receiving a master’s degree in education at Goucher College in Baltimore and working summers at a Presbyterian mission house in San Francisco’s Chinatown and at the Sleighton Farm School for Girls in Pennsylvania, Becky moved to Princeton to a job as a fourth grade teacher at Miss Fine’s School.
It was on a blind date that she met Princeton University mathematics doctoral student Michel Balinski. Theirs was a whirlwind romance. Within 9 months they were married at the Princeton University Chapel and for the next 11 years — from 1957 to 1968 — the Balinskis made their lives in Princeton. The arrival of her two daughters — Maria and Marta — was the joy of Becky’s life. As Michel commuted into Manhattan to work at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Becky was civically engaged, most notably attracting New York Times coverage (“Jersey Mother Leads Vote Protest”) of her campaign to encourage Democrat critics of the Johnson administration not to abstain but to vote for Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election.
In 1969 the Balinski family started what would turn out to be 12 years of moving back and forth across the Atlantic. Paris, Lausanne, Grenoble, Vienna, and Paris again — in all of them it was Becky who would make a secure home for the family. In the years where the family was in Princeton, Becky returned to teaching, this time at Stuart Country Day School.
It was after their final move to Europe in 1980, as Rebecca learned more about the Archbishop of Paris, Jean-Marie Lustiger, that she took the initiative to translate some of his homilies into English. This was the beginning of her career as a translator of theology and philosophy — not only of the work of Lustiger but also of books by Jesuit Henri de Lubac (considered one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century) and the political philosopher Pierre Manent.
In 1996 Rebecca moved (by herself — she had divorced several years earlier) from Paris to the village of Cour-sur-Loire, near Blois. It was here on the banks of the Loire River that she found, in her words, “her world” and great happiness in a community that appreciated her openness, generosity and hospitality, and loved her deeply.
In 2009 Rebecca was diagnosed with a rare case of melanoma of the eye. When the cancer spread she courageously refused treatment and died peacefully with her family and friends around her.
Rebecca is survived by her brother Charles Reece Howell III, her two daughters, Maria and Marta, her sons-in-law Wojtek and Karel and her granddaughter Lucy.
Kin Wah Cheung, 83, of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 15, 2013. He was born in Canton, China to EuLeung Cheung and Gill Poon.
A graduate of Sun Yat-sen University he lived most of his life in Hong Kong and New Jersey.
Kin Wah was a passionate man and a strong advocate of education. He was co-founder of Cine Art Laboratory providing products and services for motion picture development. In his spare time he enjoyed traveling with family, hanging out with friends, and photography.
Kin Wah is survived by his wife of 61 years, Yee Kuen Chiu, his son Kwong Chi and wife Hsiaman, four daughters; Ming, Mae and husband Stephen Ng, Ki and husband Kwok Hung Ng, Lilian and husband Boniface Lee, five grandchildren; Timmy and Gary Cheung, Andy Ng, Christopher Ng and Alexandra Lee as well as his many loving aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, and other friends.
The family will receive friends on Friday, June 21, 2013 at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Ewing Church Cemetery, Ewing, N.J. Please have flowers delivered directly to the church on Friday at 8:30 a.m.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, P.O. Box 27106, New York, N.Y. 10087-7106.
To extend condolences or share memories in the online guest book please visit TheKimbleFuneralHome.com.
Enrichetta Pirone Rossi
Enrichetta Pirone Rossi, 92, died June 13, 2013 in a hospital in Isernia, Italy surrounded by her family.
She was born April 9, 1921 in Pettoranello, Italy.
Wife of the late Ernesto, who died August 1, 1965, she is survived by a daughter Delfina Rossi, two sons Nino and wife Rina Rossi, and Mario Rossi, all of Italy, two sisters-in-law Lucia Rossi and Maryann Pirone, both of Princeton, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren, all of Italy, also many nieces and nephews living in Italy, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at St. Paul’s Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton.
Paul Gerhard Rodewald, Jr.
Surrounded by his family, Paul Gerhard Rodewald, Jr., 77, died peacefully on June 14, 2013 at his home in Pennington, following a long battle with breast cancer. Born on May 15, 1936 in Pittsburgh, Pa, he was the son of the late Paul Gerhard Rodewald and Lillian Young Rodewald. He was a 44 year resident of Rocky Hill before moving to Pennington in 2007.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, he graduated from Shady Side Academy in 1954. He received a BA in chemistry from Haverford College in 1958 and a PhD in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University in 1963.
Paul retired from Exxon-Mobil Corporation in 1996 after a 33 year career as a petrochemist. He was awarded over 60 U.S. patents for his work on zeolite catalysts and other chemical processes to increase the efficiency of oil refining and maximize the extraction of preferred distillates from petroleum. He published his research with colleagues in leading scientific journals, including Science and Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Those who knew Paul remember him not only for his quiet and caring disposition, but also for his kind and generous nature towards others and his quick-witted sense of humor. Paul was a life-long admirer of the natural world. His interests were broad and included astronomy, natural history, flowers, and insects. It was his love for birds, however, that is most memorable. Throughout his retirement Paul traveled to over 50 different countries across seven continents and amassed a “life list” of over 7,000 different bird species. Those travels and the seasonal comings and goings of birds surrounding his home were a great sense of enjoyment for him. He shared the joy of nature with his wife, children and grandchildren on numerous walks through the natural areas of New Jersey.
He loved tennis and played both singles and doubles tennis for 35 years with a group of partners from the greater Princeton area. His tennis partners noted that when he came to the net you were in trouble. Even though his foot speed waned over time, his return service did not. If the ball was within reach it would come back, often with a spin.
Paul is survived by his wife of 55 years, Adrienne Soost Rodewald of Pennington, whom he married on June 14, 1958; his two daughters and sons-in-law, Kristin Rodewald Dawson and Peter J. Dawson of Pennington, and Jane Rodewald Burroughs and Peter J. O’Boyle of Dunmore, Pa.; his two sons and daughters-in-law, Paul Gerhard Rodewald III and Amanda D. Rodewald of Ithaca, N.Y. and James S. Rodewald and Colleen M. Quinn of Easton, N.Y.; a brother and sister-in-law William and Elizabeth Rodewald of Pittsburgh, Pa.; a sister and brother-in-law Louise and Fred Forni of Chappaqua, N.Y.; a brother-in-law W. John Soost, and his wife, Joni of Lancaster, Pa.; his seven grandchildren for which he will always remain as “Poppie”: Anna Dawson, Elizabeth and Emily Burroughs, Julia and Owen Rodewald, Liam and Molly Rodewald; two step grandchildren Logan and Katerina O’Boyle; and nine nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 11 a.m. in All Saints’ Church, 16 All Saints’ Road, Princeton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Paul’s honor to any of the following organizations: Breast Cancer Resource Center YWCA Princeton, 59 Paul Robeson Place, Princeton, N.J. 08540; D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, Princeton, N.J. 08540; The Nature Conservancy, Attn: Treasury (web/memorial giving), 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, Va. 22203.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home in Princeton.