Ricardo C. Bruce
Ricardo C. Bruce was born on November 19, 1937 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Following primary school attendance “Rick,” as he was affectionately known by his family, friends, and colleagues, completed secondary school in Philadelphia, Pa. and then successfully matriculated to both Temple University and the Philadelphia College of Art. Although his academic achievements remained impressive, Rick also valued patriotism and service that were abundantly illustrated through his enlistment in the United States Navy immediately prior to the Cuban Missile crisis. At the conclusion of his military service and as his formative years progressed, Rick was compelled to advance social justice, global citizenship, community and academic achievement, and economic development.
Active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and an ally of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Rick was a participant of the historic 1963 Civil Rights march on Washington, D.C. Never one to shy away from challenges of injustice, Rick collaborated with NAACP leaders in the Philadelphia metropolitan region to strategically advance housing integration initiatives. With knowledge that many established finance and investment firms opposed or hindered the investment pursuits of minorities, Rick joined with other African-Americans in the eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey to form the Endeavor Investment Club (Endeavor). Long before the internet and cross-cultural enlightenment, Endeavor served as a vehicle of investment education, capital growth, and preservation as well as camaraderie. One of the Endeavor highlights for Rick and club members were the regularly held family events. At these events, his children and those of other members; had the chance to interact with genuinely caring people that were committed to setting positive examples of prudent investment, finance, and capital development.
As his professional achievements continued to grow in stature and substance, Rick and his wife moved from Philadelphia to Cherry Hill and subsequently East Windsor. It was there, as an engineer and designer within the RCA Corporation’s Astro Division, Rick developed plans and eventually founded his own graphic arts firm Airon Advertising, Inc. in Princeton in 1976. Among Airon’s accomplishments was design of the first Princeton Soccer Association logo and design of the Cherry Coke logo for The Coke Company. As his business and reputation as a good corporate citizen continued to grow, Rick increased his commitment to the community by moving his family to Princeton. The value and responsibility of being a good neighbor, advocate, and promoter of social justice never escaped Rick as a resident of Princeton. With the wish of increasing his level of participation in both his family life and community activities, Rick decided to liquidate the assets of Airon in the early 1990s. Free of the daily rigors and time constraints of business ownership, Rick was nominated and served on the respective; Princeton Public Library Board and the Princeton Borough Planning Board Advisory Committee. One lasting legacy of his service to the Princeton Public Library was his never-ending effort to get his children to return library books on-time and to pay library fines.
The term local was indeed a relative term for Rick. In no uncertain terms, he was a global citizen and he worked to ensure that others became and then continued to be global citizens. This was manifested in his trips and endeavors to many of the world’s most remote corners. Rick also lived under the premise that scholastic achievement, opportunity, and cultural exposure are to remain in concert with socioeconomic justice. With this value, he became active in Princeton based organizations such as Elizabeth Taylor Bird Scholarship Foundation, Princeton Young Achievers Committee, as well as the Minority Education Committee of Princeton Regional School District. The magnitude of his efforts to advance inclusive academic achievement were not lost on community members that nominated him for the Princeton Regional School Board. After garnering substantial community support during two elections, Rick served two terms on the Princeton Regional School Board. As a Board member, Rick was accessible to all segments of the community and he was renowned for his ability to develop consensus and good will when the Board agenda was-packed with contentious and controversial items.
After he and his wife successfully ushered his children through undergraduate school and the initial stages of graduate school, Rick was not content with basic standards of community service. In light of this fact, Rick accepted a position with the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As a FEMA Disaster Assistance Coordinator, he deployed, with little notice, across the nation to assist communities contending with the aftermath of multiple hurricanes, wild brush fires, and ultimately, the September 11, 2001 (9/11/01) terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC). His bravery, selflessness and resolve to help people in need through FEMA was truly remarkable in light of the sheer magnitude of the WTC 9/11/01 attack.
Although failing health encumbered Rick’s ability to advance community service initiatives, he remained active in charitable and social justice pursuits via social media and graphic design. He would never miss the opportunity to use his conceptual, engineering and artistic attributes to design brochures, programs, and advertisement vehicles for friends, family, and community groups. In later stages of life, Rick remained a reliable source of civic insight, business development, as well as positive guidance.
His family and friends know that he would not want people to willow away in endless sorrow and anguish after his death. Rather, he would envision people using energy, time, resources, and talent to advance positive socioeconomic change. In light of this fact, the family of Rick Bruce wishes that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Catholic Charities, the WEB DuBois Scholars Institute of Princeton University (duboisscholars.org), the Minority Education Committee of the Princeton Regional School District, or any organization with a sincere mission to advance positive socioeconomic change. Rick is survived and celebrated by his wife of 54 years Rosetta Marie Bruce (Lundy) (Princeton). His Aunt Ethel Reid Lee Walker (Washington, D.C.); by his children Dr. Aaron Ian Bruce (San Diego, Calif.) and Dana Michael Bruce, MPA (Park Forest, Ill.); God-son Dr. Wagner Marseille (Philadelphia, Pa.); nephews Archie Douglas “Doug” Syphax and Craig Custis Syphax (Arlington, Va.); by his grandchildren Carmyn Christina, Yemaya, and Aria; as well as his daughters in-law, Dr. Mary Dean Bruce (Park Forest, Ill.) and Luda Bruce (San Diego, Calif.).
John Pirone, 89, of Prince-ton passed away on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at home surrounded by his loving family.
Born and raised in Princeton, he was a graduate of Princeton High School, Class of 1943. He was a self-employed owner/cab driver for over 40 years. He was a World War II Army veteran. He was also a member of St. Paul’s Church.
Predeceased by his parents Enrique and Angeline (Federico) Pirone; step-mother Mary Mauro Pirone; two sisters Fannie Todaro, Christina Litostansky; one brother Ralph Pirone; he is survived by his wife Elizabeth (Mulgrew) Pirone; two sons and a daughter-in-law John and Lisa Pirone of Chicago, Ill.; Daniel F. DelVecchio, Jr. of Princeton; two daughters and sons-in-law, Sharon and Randolph Mershon of Columbus; Jaye and Mickey Eufemia of Hightstown; one sister and two brothers-in-law Rose and Salvatore Marchione of Princeton, Thomas Todaro; nine grandchildren John, Emilia, and Vincent Pirone, Randy and Tyler Mershon, James and Jacob Eufemia, Bryan and Ava DelVecchio; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church, located at 214 Nassau Street in Princeton.
Burial followed in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Princeton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in John’s memory to the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 529, Princeton, N.J. 08542.
Richard J. (Dick) Casey
Richard J. (Dick) Casey, Esq., 92, passed away early on the morning of Sunday, September 14th. He was born in New York City on June 12, 1922, son of Edmond and Mary Cody Casey, who had immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland. Edmond was a decorated New York City policeman. Richard was the only boy in a family of four children, and he grew up in New York City with sisters Mary, Elizabeth, and Margaret. He graduated from Regis High School in 1940, and after attending Queens College for a year, enlisted in the U.S. Army. Private Casey graduated with high honors from his training at Plattsburg, and was awarded a transfer to the R.O.T.C. program at Princeton University. After starting at Princeton, he was called into active duty, and he served in Europe as a 1st Sergeant as a member of the 16th Armored Division during World War II.
After the war he returned to Princeton and found work in the building trades, joining Princeton Carpenters Local 781. Thus began a lifelong passion for building, which he pursued for the remainder of his life. Soon, however, he decided to further his education and was re-admitted to Princeton University. Despite working full time to support a growing family, he completed his degree and graduated from Princeton in 1949.
Richard was then accepted into Law School at Fordham University, and, while still working full time as a carpenter, graduated in 1953. He passed the New Jersey State Bar in 1954. In 2014 he was acknowledged for his 60 year membership in the association.
His 60 year career in the law included being managing director of the New Jersey Building Contractors Association and director of the Central Jersey Building Contractors Association. He served as Councilman and then mayor of South Brunswick Township in the 1960’s. Independently, he maintained an active law practice, and was a trustee on over 150 estates. He was active in the law into his 90’s. Richard was also involved in the Princeton and Kingston communities, serving in the Knights of Columbus, as a trustee for Saint Paul’s Church, and as a member of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Department.
He was married in 1946 to Katrin Palsdottir, and they had four sons — Edmond, Paul, Michael, and Stephen. Katrin passed in 1968. He married Victoria Sailliez in 1969.
Richard is survived by his sister Elizabeth Anderson of Toms River, and Paul and Mary Casey of Concord, N.H.; Michael and Jane Casey of Princeton; and Stephen Casey of Ashburn, Va. He has eleven grandchildren.
Visiting hours are from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 19, at the Mather Hodge Funeral Home. There will be a Mass of Christian burial at St. Paul’s Church, in Princeton, at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 20.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Senior Care Ministry of Princeton.