February 1, 2017

Obituaries 2/1/17

Beverly J. Burdwood

Beverly J. Burdwood, 85, of Princeton died Thursday, January 26, 2017 at home surrounded by her loving family. Born in Green, Maine, she resided in New England until moving to Princeton in 1963. Beverly retired in 2001 after many years of service as a teacher with the Bear Tavern School, Hopewell. As a first grade teacher she touched thousands of young lives, many of whom have remained in constant touch for years. She was an active member of the Princeton United Methodist Church since moving to Princeton.

Daughter of the late Clarence and Virginia Fowke Beal, wife of the late William Otho Burdwood, sister of the late Clay Beal, as well as Theresa Creamer. She is survived by 3 sons Kevin, Mark, Greg Burdwood; a daughter Pat Taylor; sister Carol Couture; and 10 grandchildren William H. and Katherine K. Burdwood, Melanie J. and Andrew K. Taylor, Erin Palmwood, Jacqueline, Matthew, Jesse, Tyler, and Heather Burdwood and many dear friends within her church and elsewhere.

A Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on February, 11, 2017 at the Princeton United Methodist Church located at Nassau Street and Vandeventer Avenue.

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


Joan W. Coulson

Joan Williams Coulson, 91, died on January 8, 2017 at her home of almost 4 years, Stonebridge at Montgomery in Skillman, New Jersey. She was born on August 10, 1925, in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated from Westport High School. Though as a young woman she lived In Los Angeles, Milwaukee, London, and suburban Washington, D.C., she felt most at home in Kansas City, and through the course of her life lived there nearly 70 years.

Shortly after high school graduation she took a job at the Kansas City Star in the library, sometimes called “the morgue” (referring to the collecting of material for future obituaries as well as to the idea of clippings being old or “dead” news). A friend of the family and former agriculture reporter at the Star said, “You could say Joan was our internet in those days! Whenever a reporter needed to do research, get background on a story, check quotes or anything, we’d go to Joan.” It was there that she met a handsome young former Navy pilot, Captain Bert Coulson, who was working down the hall at the radio station as an announcer. He came in one day to retrieve a photo and letter he’d sent describing having survived bailing out of a plane over Burma in 1944, during a supply run over the Himalayas for the Chinese National Aviation Corporation. She remembered filing the letter and photo, and had been intrigued. This meeting eventually led to romance and a wedding on March 10, 1949, on the then-popular radio show Bride and Groom. Sadly, after not quite ten years of marriage, the love of her life died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage in London, where she and their two young children had accompanied him on a two-year assignment representing his company, General Motors.

After almost 20 years at home raising her children, largely single handedly, she took a job as administrative assistant to longtime friend Caleb Belove, who was president of Professional Mutual Insurance, in Kansas City. She made good friends there, with whom she frequently skipped lunch in favor of taking in a weekday yard sale or two, and retired after working there for 25 years. Joan enjoyed teasingly pointing out to her doctors that she had once worked for a malpractice insurance company, though in fact she was quite pleased with the care she received from each one of them.

After retirement she returned to her roots (and love of books!) as a volunteer in the Johnson County (Kansas) Library Outreach Department. Joan was a lifelong Democrat, and a big fan of both Adlai Stevenson and Mario Cuomo. Her extensive collection of books was largely devoted to politics, history, biographies, with some books of poetry, art, and humor, thrown in for good measure.

She leaves her daughter, Eve Coulson and son-in-law Nelson Obus of Princeton; son Chris Coulson and daughter-in-law Susan of Durham, North Carolina; grandchildren Eli Obus of Jersey City and Lucy Obus of Washington, D.C.; sister Nancy Rucker of Overland Park, Kansas; sister-in-law Sally Williams of Atlanta; 4 nieces, a nephew, and a grand niece.

She was predeceased by her husband Ursel (Bert) Coulson in 1959, mother Blanche (Perry) Williams, a court stenographer and enthusiastic piano player; and Jack Williams, a reporter and Washington bureau chief for the Kansas City Star; and brother Richard, an Atlanta businessman.

Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial service to be held on Wednesday February 8, 2017 at 2 p.m. in the auditorium at Stonebridge at Montgomery, 100 Hollinshead Spring Road, Skillman, New Jersey. Joan’s last years here in New Jersey were good ones thanks in large measure to the caring community of residents and staff at Stonebridge. For this, her family is very grateful.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to a progressive cause of your choice. Coming from a newspaper family, support of organizations whose mission is protecting freedom of the press would be meaningful to her, as well as organizations whose aim is protecting basic rights and freedoms (ACLU, as an example). Contributions can also be made to All Saints Episcopal Church, a community that embraced her from the moment she walked through the doors in May 2013.


Marget Ann Tompkins Pack

Marget Ann Tompkins Pack died at home on January 2, 2017 at the age of 94, surrounded by family and friends. She was born in El Reno, Oklahoma June 25, 1922.

She graduated from Wichita High School in 1940, studied dramatic arts at Friends University in Wichita Kans., transferring to the University of Kansas where she earned a degree in journalism and mass communication. And then to Columbia University in New York, earning her degree in library sciences in 1948.

Marget worked at the Denver Public Library after moving there to help her sister Ede with her first child. There she met her future husband, Joseph, at a communal, international dwelling called Brotherhood House near the University of Denver. They moved around the country after marriage, following Joseph’s university trail. Marget and Joseph traveled the world together, including a trip to China in the 1970’s with the New York Academy of Sciences, of which they were both members.

She was a librarian at the Tucson, Arizona Public Library around 1955-57, and at the Trenton New Jersey Public Library around 1960. From 1962 to 1992, she was school librarian, Mrs. Pack, at Jr. High School #5 in Trenton, and is still remembered by students and faculty. She was an active member of the Trenton Education Association. She was also a Brownie Scout and Girl Scout leader during the 1960’s.

Hers was a lifetime of social activism — marching, fundraising, and letter writing. Maggie devoted herself to causes from hunger to the Holocaust. Princeton politics and global issues were all the same to her. She was a member of Amnesty International and many other social justice and human rights organizations. She donated freely to what she believed in.

Though raised a Baptist, Maggie married a Jewish man and upheld all of the Jewish holidays and traditions. She was also a member, variously, of the Trenton Unitarian Church, Princeton Quaker Meeting, and Princeton Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church. There she joined study groups to learn more about the Bible and the Quran. She was a member of the UU poetry group through which she produced a body of work.

Marget is pre-deceased by her parents, James Gilbert Tompkins and Edna Duckworth Tompkins of Georgetown, Tex.; husband, Joseph Pack of Princeton; and daughter, Dinah Pack, of Princeton.

Surviving family are daughter, Rebecca Burr and husband David, of Princeton and Terry; daughter Jessica Cronin and husband Vincent of Columbus, Ohio; and grandchildren Andrea Zasowski of Rockville, Md.; Amos Snyder, of Princeton; Paloma Burr, of Princeton and Swannanoa, N.C.; Isaac Burr, of Princeton; and great grandson Joshua Snyder.

A memorial service and life celebration will be held at a time to be announced.