Dr. Charles L. Rojer, Chairman of the Board of Health of Princeton, passed away peacefully at his home early Thursday morning, November 12, 2015, from recently diagnosed gastric cancer. Born in Brussels, Belgium in 1934, Dr. Rojer survived World War II as a hidden child. His two sisters survived the war hidden in a convent; his parents, grandparents, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins were killed in Auschwitz.
Arriving in the United States at the age of 13 in 1948, Dr. Rojer moved to Philadelphia where he was taken into the home of his uncle who served in the French Resistance. There he went to school to learn English, quickly proved himself academically and graduated from the 199th class of Central High School, followed by Temple University, and Hahnemann Medical School. After a residency in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery, followed by two years service in the Air Force, Dr. Rojer opened a practice in Philadelphia, with affiliations at both Chestnut Hill and Abington Hospitals. Dr. Rojer had a successful career of 40 years during which he was beloved by his patients and esteemed by his colleagues. He served as president of staff for both Chestnut Hill and Abington Hospital; he also served as an officer of several otolaryngological societies.
Dr. Rojer met his first wife Goldie on a blind date at the end of his senior year in high school and it was love at first sight. They were married in 1957, had three wonderful children, and continued happily for 37 years until Goldie succumbed to leukemia in 1994. Two years later, Dr. Rojer met his second wife, Marsha Levin-Rojer, on another blind date. They were married in 1997 and recently celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary. Ms. Levin-Rojer’s two children were beautifully absorbed into the Rojer family.
Dr. Rojer moved to Princeton in 2001 where he was quickly recognized for his generous spirit, boundless energy, and wise counsel. In addition to his role on the Board of Health, Dr. Rojer served as vice president of the Old Guard of Princeton and on the Board of the American Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Mercer County, where he delivered kosher Meals on Wheels and volunteered on a committee in support of Holocaust Survivors. He was also an enthusiastic volunteer Grand-Pal, reading to children at Community Park School.
Dr. Rojer was a frequent speaker telling his story of survival to numerous school and community groups. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education recorded his story as well. He also accompanied students at the Princeton Theological Seminary on an annual trip sponsored by the AJC to the Holocaust Museum.
Dr. Rojer is survived by his wife Marsha Levin-Rojer, children Dr. Alan Rojer and wife, Ellen Relkin; Rachel Harad and husband, Dr. Todd Harad; Dr. David Rojer and wife, Dr. Jennifer Lublin; step children: Debra Levin and Daniel Levin; and nine grandchildren: Rebecca, Lauren, Isaac, Emily, Aurora, Gabrielle, Zahavah, Ellie, and Sasha and his sister Cecile Jeruchim.
Donations in Dr. Rojer’s memory may be made to the Charles L. Rojer Fund of the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Mercer County or to a charity of one’s choice. A memorial in celebration of his life is being planned for April 2016.
Doris Barbara Reynolds Burrell died peacefully at her home in Princeton on November 8, 2015 after a long, but valiant struggle of living with dementia. Doris was born in Perth Amboy on January 18, 1920 to the late Howard and Eva Perkins Reynolds. Later the family moved to New Brunswick, where she was raised. She graduated from New Brunswick High School in 1938. Doris graduated in 1940 from Apex Cosmetology School in Newark, New Jersey. She married Frederick Elias Burrell of Princeton on October 14, 1940.
They were married for 62 years. Two children were born of that union, the late Sondra Beverly Burrell Bell and Fredricka “Bunny” Burrell, aka, Khadija Abdul-Karim. A few years after marrying, the couple moved to Princeton. Doris worked as a beautician in Christine Moore’s salon, Spring Street, Princeton before she opened her own salon at 21 Leigh Avenue also in Princeton. Her legendary salon served women and men in the tri-state area for 62 wonderful years.
Doris is predeceased by her parents, Howard and Eva Perkins Reynolds; her husband, Frederick E. Burrell; and 3 siblings, Howard Reynolds, Jr.; Calvert Reynolds; and Edith Reynolds Cook. She is survived by her daughter, Khadija Abdul-Karim; sister, Theresa Morand; brother-in-law, Lester Morand; 8 grandchildren, Brandy Bell-Greer, Shaney Rudolph, Earl Bell, Jr., Khalil Abdul-Karim, Ibrahim Abdul-Karim, Najwa Comeau, Shahid Abdul-Karim, Muntaqima Abdul-Karim; 6 great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews; many, many dear friends; and her beloved community of Princeton.
A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, 124 Witherspoon Street, Princeton with Rev. Muriel Burrows, officiating. A repast followed the service in the Fellowship Hall of the church. Arrangements were under the direction of the Hughes Funeral Home of Trenton, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Paul Robeson House, c/o Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church, 124 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ 08542.
Dorothy May Presnell Beeners, 93, passed away peacefully at Stonebridge at Montgomery in Skillman on Saturday, November 14, 2015. A loyal Princeton resident since 1945, Dorothy was born in Asheboro, North Carolina on October 8, 1922, to parents Ollie and Corinne Presnell.
Dorothy pursued a career in journalism. She graduated from High Point University in 1943 and worked as a journalist at the Greensboro Daily News. During World War II, she was a civilian cryptographer, Army Signal Corps, decoding for the war effort in Washington D.C.
She moved to Princeton in 1945 and received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1948, focusing on religious journalism. In Princeton, she met her former husband, Dr. W.J. Beeners and raised 3 children.
With her talents and her deep faith, she wrote or worked on audio/visual productions for the Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, the Nassau Broadcasting Company, the Presbyterian Homes of New Jersey, and the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Dorothy unselfishly loved her family and friends, and always believed in the goodness of her fellow man. She was a pure, gracious, Southern belle with a wonderful sense of humor and a true love for her church. Nassau Presbyterian Church was her second home. She had many adoring, lifelong friends and would spend many hours working in the “soup kitchens”.
She leaves behind daughters Susan Beeners (Rick Bogusch) of Ithaca, N.Y.; Sally B. Tanis (Chip Tanis) of Boca Raton, Fla.; son, Brian Beeners (Denise Corbit Beeners) of Ithaca, N.Y.; and precious grandchildren, William Buckley, Corinne, and William Beeners.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to Nassau Presbyterian Church and Princeton Theological Seminary.
A Celebration of Life will be planned in the future.
John Belz Healy
John Belz Healy died peacefully at his home on November 15, 2015 after a long illness. John was born on March 1, 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Eleanor Belz Healy, and Edward John Healy. John graduated from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia and received a post high school degree from Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and received a Doctor of Laws from the University of Pennsylvania. He reached the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army. He had a career in marketing and advertising in New York City for Colgate Palmolive and Doyle Dane Bernbach. He then worked for 28 years in Annual Giving at Princeton University before he retired.
He was predeceased by his younger twin brothers, Robert, and Edward Jr. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Gertrude; and his two children Ann, and John. Ann has two daughters: Alissa, and Mariah. John and his wife, Katherine, have three daughters: Caitlin, Susanna, and Margaret. He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth, her husband, Frederick Muller, and their son, Frederick, and his wife, Adele, and their three children: Anna, Thomas, and Andrew. He is also survived by the children of his brother, Edward Jr.: Edward III, Christopher, and Elizabeth. Edward III is married to his wife, Elizabeth, and they have a son, Ryan. Also surviving are his sister-in-law, Ann Reath, and her husband George Reath. Ann Reath has two children: William Platt, and Benjamin Platt. William and his wife, Heather, have two children: William and Sarah. Benjamin and his wife, Huntley, have three sons: Augustus, Luke, and George.
On Wednesday, November 25, at 9 a.m., there will be a gathering at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Skillman followed by a funeral mass at 10 a.m. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 27, at Westminster Cemetery, 701 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Food for the Poor, Inc., 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073, www.foodforthepoor.org, or Catholic Charities (Diocese of Metuchen), 319 Maple Street, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861-4101, www.ccdom.org.