Elizabeth Gray Erickson
Elizabeth Gray Erickson of Princeton died unexpectedly on May 22, 2014. She was 46.
A dancer with the School of the Princeton Ballet Society throughout her youth and a graduate of the Princeton public schools, Liz attended Williams College where she majored in Japanese studies and spent her junior year in Kyoto, Japan, graduating in 1989.
During the summers of her college years, she had the opportunity to intern with the Bank of New York and after graduating from Williams worked in New York as an analyst in First Boston’s investment banking group. She then worked for two years at Bloomberg L.P.’s Tokyo office. She returned to the U.S. to pursue her MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Upon her graduation in 1995, she married Jonathan Erickson and moved back to New York to work for American Express.
In 1997, she joined Save the Children as associate director of U.S. Programs and co-founded and managed Youth Noise, a web-based youth advocacy program. Save the Children was the first in a long list of youth and poverty focused commitments to which Liz devoted herself, a list which included leadership roles with Isles, a Trenton-based community development organization, the Princeton Area Community Foundation where she was a leader of the Fund for Women and Girls, Volunteer Connect, Family and Children’s Services of Central New Jersey, the Center for Supportive Schools, and Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum in Ewing. Liz, the recipient of the YMCA’s 2011 Tribute to Women award, had recently joined the board of McCarter Theatre.
As devoted as she was to community and charity, Liz’s greatest commitment was always to her children, Alexandra, William, and Edward Erickson. The daughter of Rachel and the late Charles Gray, Liz is survived by Jon, Alex, Will, and Ned; her mother; brother Douglas Gray, his wife Rebecca Johnson, and their children, Ella and Nathaniel; brother James Gray, his wife Jessica Gray, and their children, Sadie and Billy; and Jon’s parents, Kathy and Ted Erickson.
A memorial service will be held on June 6, 2014, at 3 p.m. at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, Princeton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Princeton Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, N.J. 08648, www.pacf.org, and Save the Children, 54 Wilton Road, Westport, Conn. 06880, www.savethechildren.org.
Liz’s family is deeply grateful to her extensive circle of friends who have been so supportive and to all who honored her by gathering in Palmer Square on the evening of her passing to give thanks for her life. Her selflessness and unbounded kindness will be missed by her family, friends, and the countless others whose lives she has touched.
Margaret Louise Senna Daniels
Margaret (Marge) Louise Senna Daniels, 88, died peacefully on May 24, 2014 at the Acorn Glenn Assisted Living Facility in Princeton. A resident of Belle Mead for nearly 60 years, Marge was born in her grandparents’ home in Bound Brook, N.J. on June 2, 1925. She was the only child of the late Louise Alexandra Viclock who died in 1965 and the late Joseph Edward Senna who was tragically killed in 1927.
Marge and her mother lived with relatives in Texas after her father’s death before returning to N.J. where she graduated from Bound Brook High School in 1944. She continued her education at the Boroughs’ School of Business in New York City and was employed by the Johns Manville Corporation during the war.
Marge married Walter Daniels of Raritan, N.J. on October 26, 1947. They built a house in Belle Mead in 1953 in rural and idyllic Montgomery Township; and as an extended family, raised three children there. Walter and Louise worked, and Marge stayed home to care for her children and the house. An avid gardener and a self-taught artist, she made clothing on an ancient Singer, cooked from scratch, was the navigator and official photographer on long family road trips, and was equally adept at wielding a croquet mallet, a golf club, or a fly swatter. She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of Montgomery Volunteer Fire Company #1, the Harlingen Dutch Reformed Church, Strarlight Painters, Pike Brook Country Club, and for over half-a-century, an active participant in the celebrated “Friendly Nighters Girls Club” (Ginny, Martha, Marion, Marie, June, Lisa, Barbara, Naomi, and Zelma), a group of Montgomery women who got together in their 20s and kept at it into their 70s and beyond.
When Walter died unexpectedly in 1973, Marge worked relentlessly to make sure each of her children graduated from college. She was a devoted mother and caring neighbor. She traveled extensively with close friends Pete and Hannes Engler and Carol Dixon. Marge continued working at Princeton Applied Research until her official retirement. Thereafter, she helped her daughter Dawn with her business, The Personal Shopper, for many years. Marge spent the last few years of her life stirring up trouble at Acorn Glenn where she was lovingly known as “Marge in Charge.” Throughout her life, she was known to be unafraid to speak her mind and to express strong opinions. If you knew one thing about her and nothing else, you knew that she would tolerate no “B.S.”
Arrangements are under the direction of the Hillsborough Funeral Home, 796 Route 206, (908) 874-5600. Visitation is Thursday, May 29 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral service will be held at the Harlingen Reformed Church on Friday, May 30 at 10 a.m. followed by interment at the Rocky Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Marge’s name to Grounds for Sculpture, 14 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, New Jersey 08619. Attention: Rhonda Dimascio — Development Department.
Raymond Henry Peters
Raymond Henry Peters, 94, of Griggstown, New Jersey, passed away on May 20, 2014 at the Pavilions at Forrestal Care Center in Princeton.
A lifelong resident of Griggstown, he is survived by his wife of 71 years, Evelyn J. Peters; a daughter Susan Mattern of Schnecksville, Pa.; a son Raymond of Homosassa, Fla.; four granddaughters, Kristin Ploeger of Perkasie, Pa., Michelle Snyder of Indialantic, Fla., Melissa Wood of Edgemoor, S.C., and Virginia Williams of Charleston, S.C.; and five great-grandchildren. Son of the late Frederick August and Julie Bockmann Peters of Griggstown, he was predeceased by his twin sister Evelyn Van Doren and his brother Frederick Peters.
He graduated from the one-room schoolhouse in Griggstown, Princeton High School, and the School of Industrial Arts in Trenton.
Raymond served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater in the Philippines and the occupation of Japan during and after World War II in the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers and retired from the U.S. Army Reserves with the rank of Lt. Colonel.
He enjoyed hunting, saltwater fishing, track, golf, travel, his home, and his family.
Raymond was a lifelong member of the Griggstown Reformed Church where he served for many years as an elder. He was the last surviving charter member of the Griggstown Volunteer Fire Company founded in 1946, a member of the Franklin Park Senior Citizens, the last surviving member of the Griggstown Sportsman’s Club, a member of the Griggstown Historical Society, the Princeton Shrine Club, the Crescent Temple, the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and was a Master Mason at Princeton Lodge #38.
The funeral service was held on Saturday, May 24 at 11 a.m. with a viewing at the Griggstown Reformed Church, 1065 Canal Road in Griggstown. Interment followed in the Griggstown Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Griggstown Reformed Church Memorial Fund, 1065 Canal Road, Princeton, N.J. 08540.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.
Robert Joseph Durant
Robert Joseph Durant was born on July 7, 1938 in Akron, Ohio to Ronald Joseph and Mary Linnane Durant. He passed away peacefully at home on May 21, 2014, following a two-year struggle from the effects of a stroke.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother. He is survived by his wife, Mauricette, son Stephen R. Durant, and daughter Jennifer L. Mohr, wife of R. Colin Mohr and granddaughters Lilian Durant Mohr and Marin Mohr. He is also survived by a sister, Mary Dianne Durant and a brother James Michael Durant and his nephews Christopher and Jeremy Durant.
Bob graduated from the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio in 1960 with a degree in electrical engineering. Upon graduation, he entered the US Navy as a Naval aviation cadet, and following flight training, was commissioned a Lieutenant, flying Sikorsky helicopters in various international locations. Upon discharge, he joined Pan American Airways in 1967 as a pilot, rising to the rank of captain. Bob continued flying internationally with Delta Airlines, retiring in 1998.
Bob was a man of many interests. He was a licensed ham radio operator proficient in Morse code. He enjoyed writing and was actively involved in UFO/Remote Viewing studies.
A loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Bob will be sorely missed.
Per his wishes, no religious services will be held but a visitation advent will be conducted at the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2500 Pennington Road, Pennington, N.J. 08534 on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Planned Parenthood Association of Mercer County, 437 East State Street, Trenton, N.J. 08608 or Mercer Street Friends, 151 Mercer Street, Trenton, N.J. 08611.
Condolences for the family may be offered at the following email address: MauricetteD1@aol.com.
After a series of disabilities, Dennis Minely peacefully died on March 30, 2014.
He was born in the well-established Greek community in Bridgeport, Conn., the son of Stargis and Alexandra Minely, both of whom emigrated from the Macedonian area of Greece, subsequently part of Yugoslavia, and now a separate country.
Dennis attended Bassick High School where he was a champion basketball player. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1956. Following his graduation, he was drafted and spent three peaceful years in the Army at a base right near the Mexican border, where he served as the company clerk — not much different from Radar in MASH.
After his stint in the army, he had a long and successful career in business, ending up as director of Strategic Sourcing at Bell Atlantic in the isle of Manhattan. The first thing he did following his retirement in 1999 was to join a group of college students sponsored by College Years in Athens, as a student of ancient Greek history, archaeology, and mythology. He lived in Athens, and traveled to sites all over Greece. On another occasion, he taught English to young Greek students in Gazi, Crete through Global Volunteers.
He and Ivy Starr Minely, a lawyer, were married for more than 50 years. They have lived for 35 years in a house designed by Phillip Collins, the architect, in Hopewell Township, with the old Lindbergh estate on either side of their property.
Dennis was a sociable man, with a lively mind and an excellent sense of humor. He found the world endlessly interesting and engaging. And young women always gravitated to his mustachioed mediterranean good looks, even after he became a bit more “well rounded.”
He was a devoted alumnus of Dartmouth College, and was an active member of the Princeton Dartmouth Club. Over the years, he interviewed countless prospective students and did his best to steer likely candidates to his alma mater, in the hopes that they would love it as much as he did. His love for sports — not just as an observer, but as an active participant — was exhibited by his learning to ride horses for the first time when he was in his 50s. He also continually played a good game of tennis all his life.
But his favorite sport turned out to be poker. A mutual Dartmouth friend in Berlin introduced him to Peter Grosz, who introduced him to what began many decades ago as a group of Princeton graduates, expanding to faculty, and a few others. They continued to meet twice per week for this sport, with a few Princeton outsiders, Dennis Minely included. Dennis delighted in knowing this very interesting and distinguished group of pretty good male poker devotees.
He loved opera, and often attended performances at NTC and all over Europe, particularly in Vienna. He was a staunch supporter of Opera New Jersey in Prince-ton, where he served on their advisory board. But to him, the greatest operatic kick of all was serving for many years on stage and costume continually as a supernumerary for them, on the condition that he never open his mouth. Under these terms, he appeared in fourteen different operas, including as the Executioner in Puccini’s Turandot; as a priest (no less) in Carmen; the Cardinal in Tosca (what a costume!); a Notario in Elixer of Love and the Barber of Seville; a drug dealer and Scarpia’s henchman in Rigoletto; the Ship Captain in The Italian in Algiers, and other silent roles. When he was off-stage during performances, he’d hang around with the children in the cast and particularly with pretty dancers.
Dennis Minely worked as a volunteer for a boys’ and girls’ club in Harlem, where he spent one day a week, and attended many public events with the group. Best of all, in the summer, Dennis and his wife would bring bus loads of kids to his Hopewell home, where great picnics took place along with baseball, volleyball, and lots of swimming.
His interest in Meso-America took him to a large number of important archaeological sites including Maya art and culture in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. Along with these travels, Dennis amassed a large collection of valuable books and archaeological reports on the subject and collected many striking pre-Columbian artifacts brought into this country before bans on the dispersion of such artworks were enacted.
Most of all, Dennis Minely was devoted to his extended family on his wife’s side, his nephews, nieces, a sister-in-law, two brothers-in-law, and their friends. The nieces and nephews particularly prized him for his good humor, unfailing affection, and interest in their lives. He was known to them as “Mister Congeniality.” His nieces and nephews always knew they could count on him for support, as well as for excellent adventures, silly jokes, and happy gatherings wherever he went.