Mary Ellen Cooke Johnson
July 5, 1930 – December 5, 2017
Mary Ellen “Melon” Cooke Johnson of Princeton, NJ, died peacefully on December 5, 2017. She was born July 5, 1930, in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, to Jay Cooke IV and Mary Glendinning Cooke. Her sister, Nina Cooke Cochran, predeceased her. She graduated magna cum laude and valedictorian from Springside School, where she was president of the student government and played field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. She also attended Wellesley College, where as class president she committed to memory every student’s name so she could address each one personally on the first day of school.
In 1946, Melon met the love of her life, naval air pilot Hallett Johnson, Jr., on the top of Cadillac Mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park. They married in 1950 and moved to Stone House Farm, Princeton, NJ, where they raised four children, many of their children’s friends, and countless horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chicken, dairy goats, bees, and an ever-expanding number of abandoned cats with great love, grace, and humor. Together they championed organic farming and community coops long before they were a trend. They also shared a lifelong love of competitive sports and the outdoors, racing on board Seagull and Sandia along the Atlantic seaboard, competing in tennis matches in NJ and on Mount Desert Island, Maine, and flyfishing at their cherished Ogontz in Pennsylvania.
Melon also was an equestrian, competing sidesaddle on her beloved Flagpole; a fearless singles tennis competitor, winning many singles and parent/child championships; and a baseball and football aficionado that enjoyed the notoriety of being the first and only woman for years in an all-male fantasy baseball league. She also dearly loved gardening and was passionate about conservation. The Garden Club of America and the Garden Club of Princeton awarded her the Margaret Dulles Sebring Club Conservation Award and the GCA Medal of Merit in recognition of her Civic Projects and “quiet competence.” Capable of running a small country, she loved managing teams of dealers and buyers at the annual Princeton Antiques Show and Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale.
An early pioneer in squash, she won the US Squash Junior Girls Championship while at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, won the national doubles championship three times (1960-1962) with fellow pioneer Susie O’Neil, won the National Singles (1980) and was for many decades the driving force behind the NJ State Women’s Championship tournament and the annual Howe Cup Team Championship, which she ran while also coaching squash at Princeton University. She received the US Squash Racquets Achievement Bowl Award for contributions to the sportsmanship and advancement of the game. In field hockey, she and squash coach Betty Constable founded and coached the first women’s team at Princeton University in 1970 (it then became one of the first original women’s varsity sports to be introduced in 1971-72), competed on an adult regional team and was a high school and college field hockey official referee through her 60s, earning numerous awards for service and growing the game.
She won the respect and gratitude of all she touched for her kindness, compassion, ethics, inclusivity, and joyful sense of humor. Her humbleness, humanity, and steadfast belief in the goodness within us all will forever light our way forward. She was the heart and soul of her large, boisterous and adoring family. The world is a better and more beautiful place because she walked it; she will be missed deeply as she’s moved on to ever-blooming gardens and a place where her beloved Phillies may win every year.
Melon is survived by her four children: Hallett Johnson III and his wife, Barbara, of Birmingham, AL; Mary Johnson of Dorset, VT; Livingston Johnson and his wife, Maria, of Skillman, NJ; and Beth Johnson Nixon and her husband, David, of Greenwich, CT. In addition, she is survived by nine grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 27, 2018, at Trinity Church in Princeton, NJ. Contributions in Melon’s memory may be made to the D&R Greenway Land Trust, One Preservation Place, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Marcia H. Stillman
Marcia H. Stillman, 84, passed away Saturday, December 23, 2017. Born in Perth Amboy, Mrs. Stillman was a former resident of Edison and Metuchen.
She was a graduate of Douglass College and Seton Hall University where she earned a master’s degree in library science.
Mrs. Stillman was a librarian for the Woodbridge Board of Education for many years before retiring. She served as a hospital volunteer, with the Metuchen Civil Rights Commission, and was active in the League of Women Voters.
She is survived by her husband Jack M. Stillman; a daughter and son-in-law Laurie Stillman and Robert Rosofsky; a son and daughter-in-law Dr. Richard and Jeannie Stillman; four grandchildren Anna Rosofsky, Kaytlena, Gabriel, and Jordan Stillman; several cousins including Dr. Arthur and Minnie Zack and the Rosenblum cousins.
Funeral services were Wednesday, December 27 at 11 a.m. at Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, 1534 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ. Burial followed at Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge.
Leon Judah Kamin
Kamin, Leon Judah of Boston, on Friday, December 22, 2017. Son of the late Rabbi Jonas and Jean (Rybak) Kamin. Husband of Marie-Claire Kamin. Father of John, Katie, Sylvie, and Christine. Grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of seven. Brother of the late Joseph Kamin and his surviving wife Judy Kamin. Friend to many.
Known for his contributions to learning theory and his critique of the heritability of IQ, Dr. Kamin chaired Psychology at McMaster, Princeton, and Northeastern Universities. He was an Honorary Professor at the University of Capetown.
Dr. Kamin’s principles were tested when he defied the McCarthy Committee and Harvard’s Corporation; his values held strong and shaped his life.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to SOS Children’s Villages, South Africa.
“Dead and divine and brother to all, and here again he lies.”