Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 4
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast


William C. Wilkinson

Frank Lewin

Mary Louise Miller

Chell Frantzen

Mabel Doris Lockyer

Frank Cuomo

William C. Wilkinson

William Clayton Wilkinson Jr., 93, of Princeton, died January 16 at home in the company of his family. He was a retired engineer and active genealogist and historian.

Born in Jasper County, Indiana, he grew up wearing button shoes, using kerosene lamps in the evening, and making trips to the store in a buggy or bobsled. After graduating high school in Oxford, Ind., he worked to save enough money to go to New Orleans in 1934 to radio school, to became a shipboard radio operator.

He returned to Indiana in 1937 to attend Purdue University, graduating in 1941 with a degree in electrical engineering. Three days after graduation he started work for RCA in Camden, N.J. He was relocated to the Princeton area in 1942 when the RCA research group moved into the new RCA Laboratories on U.S. 1. His first project at RCA was on the team that developed the first airborne radar system. Later, he served as project director for the development of the antenna systems used on a series of satellites and space missions, including Relay, Lunar Orbiter, Lunar Excursion Module, Lunar Rover, and the Viking Mars Lander. He retired from RCA in 1980, then worked as a consultant to RCA until 1988. He wrote, “For 53 years I was paid to do what I enjoyed doing.”

His pastimes included a lifelong interest in genealogy, the results of which he presented in an extensive series of self-published monographs and several journal articles. This work led him to explore other historical subjects. His last publication was “Memories of the Klan in North Judson,” published in the Indiana Magazine of History in December 2006, in which he recounted his memories of when, as a ten-year-old boy, he witnessed the Klan’s attacks on Catholics in his community, where he was a student in the Catholic school.

An amateur radio operator for 70 years, he was also a longtime supporter of Princeton High School sports teams and the Chicago Cubs.

In 1946, be married Virginia Mary Corio. They lived briefly in Trenton, then Penns Neck before moving in 1955 to Princeton.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Virginia; four children, William Wilkinson III of Bethesda, Md., Penelope A. Wilkinson of Beirut, Lebanon, Henry T. Wilkinson of Monticello, Ill., and Matthew A. Wilkinson of Princeton; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Paul’s Catholic Church January 19.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Princeton Hospice, 208 Bunn Drive, Princeton 08540.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Kimble Funeral Home.

Frank Lewin

Frank Lewin

Frank Lewin, 82, of Princeton, a composer and teacher, died January 18 at home.

Born in Breslau, Germany, he escaped from Germany in 1939 with his parents and sister, spent a year in Cuba, then came to the United States in 1940. He had been a Princeton resident since 1951.

He studied composition with Felix Deyo at the Baldwin Conservatory, Long Island; with Jack Frederick Kilpatrick and Hans David at Southern Methodist University; with Roy Harris in Logan, Utah; and with Richard Donovan and Paul Hindemith at the Yale University School of Music, where he received his bachelor of music degree in 1951.

He composed and edited music for feature, documentary, and television films, including dozens of original scores for The Defenders and The Nurses. He wrote incidental music for plays from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, and composed scores for historical outdoor dramas in various parts of the country. His cantata Music for the White House was performed in 1965 at a state dinner hosted by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Among his other concert compositions are two operas, including Burning Bright, based on the novel and play of the same name by John Steinbeck, as well as song cycles, choral music, and instrumental works.

He was a professor at the Yale School of Music from 1971 to 1992, teaching composition for film; and at the Columbia University School of the Arts from 1975 to 1989, where he taught the course “Music in Modern Media.” He received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and two from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, including a Distinguished Artist Award. He was a member of BMI, the American Composers Alliance, and the Composers Guild of New Jersey.

After losing his eyesight ten years ago he continued to work, producing masters for six CD releases on Albany Records between 2001 and 2007: Burning Bright, Three Song Cycles, Ethnic Kaleidoscope, Sacred Music by Frank Lewin, Film Music by Frank Lewin, and Orchestral Music by Frank Lewin. The New Violin Family Association also released a CD of music that Mr. Lewin wrote for the New Family of Violins designed and constructed by Carleen M. Hutchins.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Elsbeth Gaertner Lewin, retired executive editor of the journal World Politics at Princeton University; his daughters Naomi Lewin of Cincinnati, Eva Radding of Newton, Mass., and Miriam Lewin of New York; and two granddaughters.

A memorial service was held January 20.

Memorial contributions may be made to the New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped, 2300 Stuyvesant Avenue, Trenton 08618-3226, attn. Carol Yoest, Director of Development.

Mary Louise Miller

Mary Louise Miller

Mary Louise Miller, 93, of Princeton, died January 9 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born Mary Louise Van Liew in Joshua Township, Ill., she was the daughter of Merrill N. Van Liew and Edith Mahr Van Liew.

She married Paul C. Miller on March 30, 1940, in Fairview, Ill. He died in 1988 in Canton, Ill.

She was a graduate of Fairview (Ill.) High School. A homemaker for most of her life, she worked for a time as a seamstress for the Blue Bell Company in Abingdon, Ill. She also lived in Clearwater, Fla. and New York City before moving with her daughter and grandson to Princeton in 2002.

Mrs. Miller was a devoted mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt. A lifelong member of the Fairview Reformed Church in Fairview, Ill., she participated in many church activities. An avid piano player, she played in an orchestra in high school and performed for church ice cream socials and other local events.

She was predeceased also by her parents; a brother, Cecil D. Van Liew of Fairview; a sister, Verona E. Nott of Fairview; and an infant daughter, Janet. She is survived by a son, Phil L. Miller of Canton, Ill.; a daughter, Annetta K. Miller of Princeton; a brother, Warren M. Van Liew of Brooksville, Fla.; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service to celebrate her life was held January 14 at the Oaks-Hines Funeral Home in Canton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Fairview Reformed Church in Fairview or the First Presbyterian Church in Canton. Online condolences may be offered at

Chell Frantzen

Chell Frantzen

Chell Frantzen, 94, of Princeton and Summit, N.J., died January 18, peacefully in the Princeton Care Center.

Born in Bergen, Norway, he was the son of the late Gustav and Sjofna Brynildsen Frantzen. At age 15, he hired on as a kitchen hand on the freighter SS Christenson. His first stop was in Hoboken, N.J. in July 1929. After missing the ship as it departed port, he spent the next five years, in the midst of the Great Depression, working a variety of jobs from a silk mill to welder’s shop. He returned to Norway and re-entered the U.S., becoming a U.S. citizen in 1936.

He resided in Summit for 52 years before moving to Princeton in 2001.

He served in the U.S. Army in France during World War II. After the war, he successfully started and operated Chell Photographers in Summit for more than 20 years, then started Chell Realtors in Summit before retiring in 1986.

He was a member and former president of the Professional Photographers Association, and a member of the Summit Rotary and Old Guard. An avid bridge player, he became a Life Master. After retirement, he became a bridge director and was a regular on a number of cruise lines, often leading duplicate bridge lessons and tournaments.

The husband of the late Carol Frantzen, he is survived by two sons, Robert and Douglas; a daughter, Carolyn; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday, January 26.

Mabel Doris Lockyer

Mabel Doris Lockyer, 89, of Princeton, died peacefully January 13 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Paterson, N.J., she had lived in Princeton for more than 60 years. She recently became a resident at the Acorn Glen assisted living community.

She was a graduate of Pratt Institute as an interior designer and subsequently became affiliated with Nassau Interiors in Princeton.

She was an honorary life member of the Dogwood Garden Club, a retired member of the Present Day Club, and a member of All Saints’ Church. She summered for many years in Trinity, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, where she loved the natural beauty she found there.

Predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Gerald Lockyer, she is survived by a son, Kenneth B. Lockyer of Greenwich, Conn., and a grandson.

Memorial donations may be sent to All Saints’ Church, 16 All Saints’ Road, Princeton 08540; or to The Trinity Historical Society, Trinity, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Canada AOC 2SO.

A memorial service will be held February 2 at 11 a.m. at All Saints’ Episcopal Church.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

Frank Cuomo

Frank Cuomo, 78, of Princeton, died January 16 at the Pavilions at Forrestal Village, with his family by his side.

Born in Ischia, Italy, he came to Princeton at age 17. He helped establish the Princeton Assembly of God Church, now known as the Nassau Christian Center. He retired from RCA Laboratories/Sarnoff Corp. in 1991 where he had been employed for 42 years. He also served in the U.S. National Guard for 18 years.

A skilled wood working craftsman, he was proud to have built his own home.

The love of his family always came first. His other loves were boating, fishing, and gardening.

Son of the late Carmela and Frank Cuomo Sr. and brother of late Anna Cuomo, he is survived by his wife, Rose, of 54 years; a daughter, Carla Mennella of Princeton Junction; a son, Frank Cuomo of Princeton; a brother and best friend, Edward Cuomo; a beloved sister, Olga Cammeso; and four grandchildren.

The funeral service was January 19 at the Kimble Funeral Home. The Rev. Richard Linderman, pastor of the Nassau Christian Center, officiated. Entombment followed at Franklin Memorial Park Mausoleum, North Brunswick.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Nassau Christian Center, 26 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Kimble Funeral Home.

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