May 24, 2017

Obituaries 5/24/17

Lee Robotti 

Magdalena (Lee) Robotti, 95, of Rocky Hill passed away on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at her home with her family.

Born in Raritan, N.J., Lee was a graduate of Somerville High School and Rider College, and was employed as an executive secretary in New York prior to her marriage to John S. Robotti in 1945, while he was serving in the U.S. Navy.

They moved to their current home in Rocky Hill in 1949 where Lee helped run The Gable Tavern, a family owned and operated local restaurant and bar.

She was a founding member and past president of the Princeton Elks Ladies Auxiliary and was currently serving as a trustee.

She was very active in the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA). Lee was a charter member and past president of John Basilone Unit 280, past president of Somerset County ALA, and past state president of the ALA, Department of N.J. She later served as ALA national executive committeewoman and past president of the “8&40” of Somerset County. For many years, she served as an executive committee member and counselor at N.J. Girls State, held each year at Rider College, and for over 30 years, served as chairlady of the N.J. State American Legion Auxiliary Convention held each year in Wildwood, N.J.

She was also active in Rocky Hill, having served on the Somerset County election board for many years, also a past president of the Rocky Hill Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary and a current member of the Montgomery Township Senior Citizens.

Lee was pre-deceased by her husband John S. Robotti; her parents Louis V. and Josephine (Perantoni) Curcio; brother Victor Curcio; and sister Virginia Jannuzzi.

She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Diane and Wayne Rudolph of Belle Mead; son and daughter-in-law Louis and Dr. Cynthia Robotti of Va.; grandchildren Renee Rudolph and Chris Meyer of Rocky Hill; Caitlyn and Michael Bellezza of Mass.; Dr. Meredith and John Heiner of Va.; Amy and James Hyland of Fords; and Jill and Michael Jernee of Spotswood; great-grandchildren Miles Bellezza, Sarah Heiner, Corinne and Chris Hyland, and Kyle and Brandon Jernee. Also many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be at the Hillsborough Funeral Home, 796 U.S. Highway 206 Hillsborough, NJ 08844 on Wednesday, May 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and on Thursday, May 25, from 10 to 11 a.m. Funeral Mass to be held 11:30 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 47 Skillman Road. Skillman, NJ, followed by burial at Rocky Hill Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Lee’s name to either the “Elks National Foundation”, Princeton Elks Lodge #2129 PO Box 217 Blawenburg, NJ 08504, or the “American Legion Auxiliary Past Presidents Parley Fund” (for Nurses Scholarships), ALA Dept. of NJ, 1540 Kuser Rd. Suite A-8 Hamilton, NJ 08619.


Martha K. Munster 

Martha K. Munster died Thursday, April 20, 2017. Born in Tellingstedt, Germany in 1913, she emigrated to the United States in 1932.  She married Arthur Munster from Elms Horn, Germany in 1936. Arthur predeceased his wife in 1973.  Martha is survived by daughters Hertha Petrone and Margarete Marvin and her daughter-in-law Kris Munster.  Her son Roland died in 2001.  She has five grandchildren, Lisa DeAngelis, Brent Munster, William F. Marvin, Christopher A. Marvin and Andrew R. Marvin and nine great grand children.

Martha lived 104 years.  She will be remembered for her fierce independence and work ethic. She followed politics and always had an opinion about how something could be done better.  Martha traveled to Germany to see her family usually by ocean liner. She recalled that the fastest passage occurred on the SS United States. Martha was unafraid of life. She confronted wrongdoing, she always had a quick wit and could not tolerate tardiness. Her favorite travels were in the National Parks of the United States and Canadian Rockies. She could do anything with her hands. Her knitted sweaters are heirlooms and her toy barn is still cherished by great-grandchildren. A famous story of hers was  when she took apart the motor of the Kaiser Automobile she owned in the early fifties and proceeded to replace the rings and valves. Money was tight.  Her basement was always filled with glistening jars of jam and beets and beans.  There were bars of homemade soap wrapped in brown paper in the closet. Planting and grooming roses and shrubs came naturally to her. Lily of the valley bouquets were on the dining room table, followed by azalea and violets and other perennials that came into bloom.

Martha worked until she was 80 years old.  She worked for Mrs. Junius Morgan of Constitution Hill, Princeton and then Mrs. Gerard Lambert of Princeton.  She remained with Mrs. Lambert for thirty years.

Donations may be made to Compassionate Care Hospice Foundation, 248 E. Chestnut Hill Rd. Suite 4, Newark, Delaware 19713.


Denise Diamond

Denise Diamond, formerly of Princeton passed away Saturday, May 20, 2017. She was born Denise Jarret on May 31, 1926 in Montreal Canada, the daughter of Rene and Hildegard Jarret. She was the eldest of eight children. She attended O’Sullivan Business College and the Conservatoire Lasalles, School of Dramatic Arts. She moved to the United States in January 1954 with her husband Gerald Landry, B.B.B. Science, McGill University, to Glen Gardner N.J. In 1964 they moved to the Princeton area with their two daughters Martine born December 20, 1954 and Jacqueline born April 11, 1958. Denise worked as a secretary at Princeton University in the Department of Religion for ten years, then later at the Institute for Advanced Study where she worked for twenty years. In 1974 she was divorced and married Princeton Professor Malcolm Diamond.

She is survived by her two daughters, Martine of New Hope, Pa., and Jacqueline of Los Angeles, Calif.;  Her grandson Jarrett Justin Landry of Philadelphia, Pa., her French Canadian family, Monique Cazavant, Hugette Jarret, Guy Jarret; and numerous nieces and nephews living in Montreal.

She was known for her joie de vivre, her “sheer life force,” and her lovely French accent. She loved movies, music, dancing and theater. She made an impression on all those she met. She will be missed dearly.

A private family service is planned. Life Celebration services provided by Leaver/Cable of Buckingham. To share your fondest memories of Denise, please visit


Garlie A. Forehand Jr.

Garlie A. Forehand Jr., age 84, of Princeton died of natural causes on Sunday, May 14, 2017 at home. Born in Richmond Va., he was a resident of Princeton since 1973. Garlie was retired from Educational Testing Services where he had served for many years as the head of the psychometrics department.

Son of Garlie A. and Edith B. Forehand. Father of the late Thomas A. Forehand, he is survived by his wife of 60 years, Emma (Costello) Forehand; two sons Michael W. and Joseph L. Forehand; daughter Karen E. Michael; daughters-in-law Lydia Harris and Elizabeth Connor; son-in law Jeff Michael; a brother John Forehand; his niece, Cathy McNutt; and two grandchildren, Jeremy Forehand and Miranda Bermejo.

A memorial service for Garlie will be held at 11:00 a.m. on July 29th at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton at 50 Cherry Hill Road, with reception to follow.


Douglas J. Binder, M.D.

Douglas J. Binder, M.D., 65, of Lawrenceville and New York, N.Y., cherished husband of Rana B. Binder, and devoted father of Caroline A. Binder and Lillie G. Binder, passed away on May 11, 2017. He will be remembered by his family, friends, and patients for his boundless energy, sense of humor, his whistle while he worked, and for his love of old Hollywood films, theater and dance, classic cars, and his beloved fluffy white dogs, Muffin and Bunnie. He will be deeply missed by many. In lieu of sending flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.


Fay Huffman Abelson

Fay Huffman Abelson, a longtime resident of Princeton, died May 17, 2017 in Raleigh, North Carolina, following a brief illness. She was 94.

She was born Mary Fay Huffman on October 25, 1922 to Fay Mayer and Marquis Rico Huffman in Lawrence, Kansas. She grew up in Kansas and in Michigan, attending both city and rural schools. She graduated from Rural Consolidated High School, Milford, Michigan, in 1939.

After receiving her AB degree from Antioch College in 1944, Mrs. Abelson worked in child development research at Fels Institute in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She pursued graduate studies in psychology at the University of Chicago and later at the University of Maryland.

While at Maryland, she met Herbert Abelson, a doctoral student in psychology. They married in 1953 in Washington, D.C. and lived in nearby Arlington, Virginia. In 1956 they moved to Princeton, when Dr. Abelson began his career with the Opinion Research Corporation. They lived in Princeton for the next 60 years.

Mrs. Abelson was engaged full time with home and family until 1970, when she began working as a substitute teacher and home instructor with Princeton Regional Schools. She studied at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) and earned her certification in special education in 1972.

She spent 15 years which she characterized as “truly memorable and rewarding” as a special education teacher with the Princeton School for Exceptional Children. The school was located at the time at the Princeton Unitarian-Universalist Church. She worked diligently and patiently with middle school and high school students, whose own schools had cast them aside at a time when special education was a far less developed field. Many of these students went on to complete high school and even college and continued to consult her for many years thereafter. The colleagues she met while teaching remained among her most cherished friends.

Following retirement from teaching, Mrs. Abelson provided day care for two of her grandchildren. This experience made her especially grateful for the programs for young children at the Princeton YWCA, Princeton Public Library, and Princeton Jewish Center; these programs had not existed while she was raising her own children.

In addition to her work with children, Mrs. Abelson enjoyed swimming, tennis, cross country skiing, and needlework. She was a member of the Princeton YWCA’s women’s biking group, and with her husband, toured Ireland, France, Netherlands, Italy, Vietnam, and New Zealand by bicycle. They also took walking tours and cruises together as well as many vacation trips with children and grandchildren. Many summers included a visit to Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

Mrs. Abelson was actively involved with local and civic organizations, especially the Princeton Jewish Center, League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood of the Mercer Area, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, Community Without Walls, Book Group 87, and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. A lifelong Democrat who cast her first presidential vote for Franklin Roosevelt, she was a member of the Princeton Community Democratic organization and an early supporter of Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency.

She made and maintained many friendships through these organizations, enjoying an active social life in Princeton and throwing wonderful parties that spotlighted her excellent cooking. She attended music and drama performances at McCarter Theatre, and enjoyed living next door to the
Princeton Public Library during her later years.

Mrs. Abelson was a convert to the Jewish faith, devoted to both worship and study. In her 60s, she joined a Bat Mitzvah preparation class for women who had never experienced this ritual. She became a Bat Mitzvah in 1988.

In her later years Mrs. Abelson took an interest in writing, and joined several writing courses and memoir writing groups. She self-published a book of “memory stories” of her life from birth through age 12.

The Abelsons moved to North Carolina in 2014, to be closer to family members and to a warmer climate.

Fay Abelson is survived by her husband of 63 years, Herbert Abelson of Cary, North Carolina; son Joseph Abelson of Wake Forest, North Carolina, his wife May Li Abelson, and their children Max and Rico Abelson; son Daniel Abelson of Boulder, Colorado, his wife Lisa Patterson Abelson and their children Sarah and Alicia Abelson; daughter Rachel Abelson Hickson of Silver Spring, Maryland and her husband David Hickson and their children Meredith and Jessamine Hickson; and a son-in-law, Richard Lawrence.

A memorial service is planned for Sunday, June 25 at the Princeton Jewish Center. Memorial contributions may be made to Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, 72½ Escher Street, Trenton, NJ 08609, and to Planned Parenthood of the Mercer Area, 2279 Route 33, Suite 510, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690.