Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 46
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
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Helen Kreisler

Thomas O. Williams

Sally C. Weller

Shoichi Yoshikawa

Maria L. Balestrieri

Gilbert A. Stengle

Elisabeth Evans

Eleanor M. Hoisington

Charlotte Pensak

Helen Kreisler

Helen Kreisler

Helen Kreisler, 42, died suddenly on November 6 at Massachusetts General Hospital.

A warm, generous, and outgoing woman, her too-short life touched and enriched all who knew her in countless ways.

Born and raised in Princeton, she graduated from Princeton Day School in 1986 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Wellesley College. Soon thereafter, she completed a Master of Library Science degree at Simmons College in Boston and went to work in the Cambridge Public Library System as a children’s librarian. During those years, she participated in a myriad of community activities in Cambridge. She became a public figure and a folk hero to those who knew and loved her, especially to the children of Cambridge.

Her love of the outdoors started at the age of two when she was first introduced to hiking in the Adirondack Mountains. She developed a passion for hiking, climbing, biking, and white-water rafting, going on numerous adventure trips around the country and Alaska.

Photography was another of her loves; she specialized in dramatic pictures of nature and unusual pictures of children at play. A talented violinist from an early age, she enjoyed playing chamber music with friends and colleagues. A skilled practitioner and teacher of yoga, she also loved animals. Above all, she loved being with children, playing with them, reading to them, and teaching them.

In 2003 she met Liam Scheff, who “stole” and absconded with her to the West Coast, where they shared adventures living in Seattle, San Francisco, Berkeley, and visiting Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Japan. After returning to Cambridge, she worked at the Robbins branch of the Arlington Public Library.

She is survived by her parents, Frederic and Gretel Kreisler; her brother, Stephen; and her partner, Liam Scheff.

Her premature passing will be mourned by the people and families in the Cambridge and Arlington areas. She was and is irreplaceable.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. James Church in Pennington at 10:30 a.m. on November 19, preceded by a welcoming in the gathering space from 9 a.m.

Private burial will be at Princeton Cemetery.

Thomas O. Williams

Thomas O. Williams

Thomas Oliver Williams, 72, of Mount Joy, Pa., died September 30 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Born October 24, 1937 in Perth Amboy, N.J., he graduated from Perth Amboy High School in 1955. He received a Bachelor of Science degree with a dual major in Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also earned his Masters Degree in Mathematics from RPI and completed additional graduate studies in mathematics at NYU.

He worked for Princeton University for 42 years, beginning in 1964 until his retirement in December 2006. His expertise included mathematics, economics, and computer science. He retired as a Network Specialist in Information Systems at Princeton University. He resided in Lawrenceville before retiring to Mount Joy, Pa.

An avid reader, he had a passion for complex mathematics, specifically geometry, and had a fervor for history as well. He loved dogs and enjoyed spending quality time at the shore and on his boat. A man of genius intellect, he also had a caring heart and a beautiful spirit.

Preceded in death by his parents, Oliver B. Williams and Elizabeth S. Williams, he is survived by his dearest friends, Phyllis Landis and her family, and two maternal cousins.

A celebration of life service was held on October 16 at the Hershey Country Club, Hershey, Pa.

Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to The Oral Cancer Foundation, 3419 Via Lido #205, Newport Beach, Calif. 92663; or at

Sally C. Weller

Sally C. Weller, 88, of Monroe Township, died November 4 at University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she grew up in Calgary, and Northport, N.Y. She resided most of her adult life in Old Tappan, N.J. before moving to Monroe Township in 1995.

She was a voracious reader on a huge range of topics and a talented watercolor artist. She also loved poetry and classical music. She was actively engaged in numerous arts, civic, and philanthropic organizations up until the time of her death.

The daughter of the late William Kent and Dorothy Power; and wife of the late Maurice W. Weller; she is survived by a son, Laurence Weller; three daughters, Frances Weller Kaye, Louise Weller Gazzoli, and Sally Kent Chrisman; her brother, Michael Power; and four grandchildren.

The memorial service will be private and under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.

Shoichi Yoshikawa

Shoichi Yoshikawa, 76, died in his sleep on November 4 at his home in Princeton.

Born in Tokyo, he was a graduate of the University of Tokyo and received a Ph.D. from MIT. He worked as the senior research physicist at the Plasma Physics Laboratory of Princeton, and he was a physics professor at the University of Tokyo.

He is survived by his three daughters.

A memorial service will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on December 11 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Princeton.

Maria L. Balestrieri

Maria L. Balestrieri

Maria Lucia Balestrieri, 83, of Princeton Junction, died November 12 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born to Crescenzo and Francesca DiMeglio in Barano D’Ischia, Napoli, Italia, she came to the United States in 1966 and has been a resident of Princeton Junction for the past 44 years.

She was employed as a professional seamstress in Italia before moving to America where she spent most of her time as a homemaker taking care of her family. She was a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Princeton.

She is survived by her husband, Salvatore Balestrieri; a daughter, Cataldina Balestrieri; a son, Luigi Balestrieri; and a sister, Lucia DiMeglio.

Services begin Wednesday, November 17 at 10:30 a.m. in the Kimble Funeral Home, 1 Hamilton Avenue, Princeton, N.J. 08542. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton.

Burial will take place in the family plot at Princeton Cemetery.

Donations may be made in her memory to Alzheimer’s Association, Greater New Jersey Chapter, 400 Morris Avenue, Suite 251, Denville, N.J. 07834.

To extend condolences or share memories in the guest book, please visit TheKimble

Gilbert A. Stengle

Gilbert A. Stengle

Gilbert Allan Stengle, 77, of Princeton, died November 8 at Potomac Homes in Princeton following a prolonged illness.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, he moved to Buffalo, N.Y. in his early childhood and went on to earn a Bachelors degree and Master of Science Degree in Engineering Physics at Cornell University.

After working as a senior project engineer at General Motors Corporation in Milwaukee, Wis., he went on to complete his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, followed by a postdoctoral appointment at the Courant Institute at New York University.

Professor Emeritus from Lehigh University, he retired in 2002 after 42 years of mathematics teaching and research. He served as an advisor to 12 Ph.D. candidates and served as department chair for three years. Either as a solo author or with one of 10 collaborators, he published numerous papers in more than 25 technical journals in subject areas such as differential equations, numerical analysis, probability and statistics, and real algebraic geometry.

He is credited for discovering the Positivstellensatz, an improved characterization of positive definiteness for polynomials over the one identified in Hilbert’s 17th problem, as well as for discovering a positive semi-definite polynomial with the property that no odd power is a sum of squares. As a regular speaker at the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, he was instrumental in transforming the field of Real Algebraic Geometry into the discipline it is today.

He held research appointments at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, Calif., Stanford University, the University of Regensburg, Germany, and the University Complutense in Madrid, Spain. He taught graduate courses for one semester at Wuhan University in the People’s Republic of China.

An avid lover of music, he sang in several choruses including the Lehigh University Chorus and the Westminster Community Chorus.

He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Stengle; his son, David Stengle; his daughters, Sarah Stengle and Rebekah Dupont; his brother, Bill Stengle; his sister; Barbara Stengle; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be conducted on December 4 at 11:45 a.m. at the Princeton Senior Resource Center in Princeton. Visitors will be welcomed beginning at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Gilbert Stengle Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 642, Princeton, N.J. 08540. His family has created this fund to show appreciation for the aides who gave loving care to him during his stay at Potomac Homes for the past 14 months.

Arrangements are by the Kimble Funeral Home of Princeton. For additional information or condolences, please visit

Elisabeth Evans

Elisabeth “” Evans, 91, died October 23 at Meadow Lakes, Hightstown, N.J.

She was the widow of William K. Evans, former Secretary to the Board of Education of Princeton Regional Schools.

Born and raised in Lansdowne, Pa., she moved to Trenton as a bride in 1941. She moved to Princeton in 1951 where she lived until 1995.

She worked as a librarian for the Trenton Public Library and was a representative for Scholastic Magazines for over 20 years. She was active in many Princeton organizations and was a member of Nassau Presbyterian Church for almost 60 years.

She is survived by her daughter, Carol Beth Treibick; two grandchildren; and two great granddaughters.

A memorial service will be held at the Nassau Presbyterian Church on November 20 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Crisis Ministry at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton, N.J.

Eleanor M. Hoisington

Eleanor M. Hoisington

Eleanor Meredith Hoisington, of Princeton, died on October 29 in Burlington, Vt., after a short illness.

Born and raised in Pennington, N.J., she was the daughter of Eleanor Brennan Meredith and George Edward Meredith. She graduated from Cathedral High School in Trenton and earned a B.A. in Art from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

She taught in the Trenton School system and at the Katzenbach School for the Deaf. Her next profession was that of a stay-at-home mother and raised five children. During the 1980s and 1990s, she worked at the Lawrenceville School as the Social Director for Student Activities. She also obtained her real estate license and was active in the greater Princeton area. From 2005 until September 2010, she was employed by the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart.

A vibrant, spontaneous, and gregarious person, she had many interests and participated in various civic and social clubs, including the Montgomery Township Historical Society, Princeton Friends of Open Space, and the Present Day Club.

She was an avid outdoors-woman who loved riding, gardening, and her farm. She also enjoyed traveling to Martha’s Vineyard, lunching with friends in New York, and being with family. She appreciated the strong friendships she developed from living in a close-knit neighborhood near downtown Princeton.

She is survived by five children; Sharon Gilmore, Rich Hoisington, Jeff Hoisington, Tim Hoisington, and Meredith Hoisington; her sister, Jean Povinelli; and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on December 4 at 1 p.m. in the Edith Memorial Chapel at the Lawrenceville School. A reception will follow in the Manor House at the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart.

Donations may be made on her behalf to the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart at 1128 Great Road, Princeton, N.J. 08540.

Charlotte Pensak

Charlotte Pensak died November 12 in Wilmington, Del.

Born in 1923 in Brooklyn, N.Y., she married Louis Pensak in 1943 and moved to Princeton in 1950 where they lived for 60 years. After her husband’s death in 1970, she worked at the Princeton University Financial Aid Office for 18 years. She started as a part time clerk and retired as an Assistant Director.

Her lifelong love of reading and fascination with the proper use of words and grammar made her the final proof reader for most of the publications from that office. After retirement, she volunteered for 12 years at the Medical Library at Princeton Hospital, donating over 3,000 hours of her time.

She had taken some college courses at Brooklyn College before her marriage, and then resumed her education in the 1970s. She took part time courses at Rutgers and Princeton, resulting in a bachelor’s degree awarded by Thomas Edison State College in 1978.

She loved to knit, producing sweaters, afghans, and other pieces. She also enjoyed gardening and added a greenhouse to one end of her house.

Predeceased by her husband, Louis; and her son, Stephen; she is survived by her sons, David and Martin; and one grandson.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Princeton University, Office of Development, The Helm Building, 330 Alexander Street, Princeton, N.J. 08540.

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