August 15, 2012

Obituaries 8/15/12

Everett Garretson

Everett Garretson, a Princeton resident for sixty years, died peacefully at his home on August 3.

Born in Philadelphia on March 30, 1924 to LeRoy Garretson and Jessie May Fox Garretson, he graduated from Jenkintown High School in 1942, received a BS in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1948, and an MSEE from Princeton University in 1951.

While at RPI during World War II he enlisted in the Army. After training in electronics at the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) at Wayne University and in the Signal Corp at Ft. Monmouth, N.J., he served at the Army Experimental Station in Pine Camp (now camp Drum) near Watertown, N.Y. At the Army Experimental Station he worked on design and implementation of specialized electronics intended for counter-intelligence in the European theater. At the end of World War II he transferred to Washington, where in addition to military duties he attended night school to prepare for re-entry into college. After graduating from RPI in 1948 he worked in research and development at Philco Corporation, then a RCA licensee and the country’s largest manufacturer of radios and televisions.

In 1949 he enrolled in the graduate engineering program at Princeton University. At Princeton he soon met and married Barbara Clayton Grahn, his loving wife of sixty years. Barbara is the daughter of Belle Clayton Grahn and granddaughter of Henry P. Clayton, the original proprietor of H.P. Clayton department store in Princeton.

In 1951 he founded Garretson Research and Development Corporation, a manufacturer of viscometric medical instrumentation. He subsequently became vice president of engineering and later vice president of operations at General Devices, a local manufacturer of multichannel information sampling devices, including telemetry switches used in the Mercury spacecraft.

In 1964 he changed careers once more to partner with his wife Barbara as co-owners of H.P. Clayton, Inc., a landmark women’s department store on Palmer Square in Princeton. Over the years he modernized and enlarged the store several times to become the largest family-operated retail business in Princeton. Not one to abandon his interest in engineering, in the late 1960’s he taught himself computer programming and accounting skills necessary to automate Clayton’s business and accounting functions on a new generation of an IBM minicomputer designed to scale down the power of mainframe computing for small-and medium-sized businesses. Clayton’s store was sold in 1989. In retirement Mr. Garretson remained an avid reader with a keen interest in technology and business.

Mr. Garretson believed in public service and involvement in the community. He was a member and vice president of The Princeton Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed to The Princeton Township Zoning Board of Adjustment and served as chairman. He was a board member of The Historical Society of Princeton and a president of the Friends of The Princeton Public Library. He was active in The Princeton United Way. He remained active in The Rotary Club since 1964. He was a member of The Nassau Club for fifty years. He became a life member of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni and served as treasurer.

He was a member of The First Presbyterian Church of Princeton, now known as The Nassau Presbyterian Church. He served on the Board of Deacons and the Session under Reverend Dr. Donald Meisel, Sr. He was co-chair of the Church’s “Every Member Canvas.” He served on the Church’s Cemetery Committee and edited the cemetery brochure guide.

Everett was predeceased by his sister, Dorothy Garretson Partridge. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two sons, David Clayton Garretson and John Everett Garretson; David’s wife, Silvia Garretson; John’s wife, LaRae Raine Garretson; and his granddaughter, Lisa Sendrow.

A private interment is planned. Please join family and friends at a memorial service on September 8 at 11 a.m. at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, Princeton. A luncheon will follow at The Nassau Club, 6 Mercer Street, Princeton.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Princeton Health Care System Foundation, 3626 U.S. Route 1, Princeton, N.J. 08540-9918; or to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.


Rita S. Ehmann

Rita Anne Sweeney -Ehmann, 46, died on August 9, 2012 after a long struggle with melanoma. She died peacefully at home with her family in San Anselmo, Calif.

Born in New York City on September 23, 1965, to William A. Sweeney MD and the late Mary R. Gibbons Sweeney, she attended Princeton Day School, and for her final two years, Princeton High School. She attended Cook College of Rutgers University, graduating with a BS, and after working for Merck Pharmaceuticals, decided on medicine as a career. She graduated from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson medical school in 1999 with MD and MPH degrees. She received training in emergency medicine at L.A. County Hospital in Los Angeles and was appointed chief resident in her final year of training. She practiced at Marin General Hospital in Marin County, Calif.

Rita enjoyed team sports and played ice hockey and lacrosse in high school, and lacrosse at Rutgers, where she was named All American in her third year. She ran a 10K race in San Francisco, the Bay to Breakers, last year.

Shortly after moving to the San Francisco area, she met her husband, Charley Ehmann, and they were married in 2007. Their family includes a son, Charley John, 3; a daughter, August Jeanne, 4; and Charley’s children, Ruby, 10, and Simon, 15.

Rita was an excellent physician and a woman beloved of all she encountered. Her colleagues, friends, and family were all devoted to her, and especially attentive during her long illness and numerous difficult treatments.

She is survived by her husband and children; her father and his wife, Dorothy H. Shannon; her brothers, John A. Sweeney and his wife Cary R. Speidell; Mark W. Sweeney and his wife, Catherine Wolf Sweeney and their children, Evan, 16 and Heather, 13.

There will be a service in California and a service of celebration of her life in Princeton to be scheduled later in the fall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 629, Bolinas, Calif. 94924; or Yoga for Cancer, P.O. Box 64, Fairfax, Calif. 94978-0064; or Melanoma Research Foundation, P.O. Box 759329, Baltimore, Md. 21275-9329.


Vivian F. Carlin

Dr. Vivian F. Carlin, gerontologist and specialist on housing for the elderly, died on Saturday, August 4 at Attleboro Nursing Home in Langhorne, Pa. She was 93 years old.

Dr. Carlin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on April 16, 1919. She graduated from Hunter College with a major in mathematics in 1939 and then received an MA in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1940. She married Benson Carlin, an ultrasonic engineer, in 1944, who predeceased her in 1996. After her marriage, she worked as a psychologist until the couple moved to Fair Lawn, N.J. in 1953. There she was active in local politics, serving as president of the League of Women Voters from 1957 to 1959 and running unsuccessfully for town council in 1959 and again in 1960. In 1961, she ran successfully for county committeewoman, serving one term. She moved to Princeton in 1965 along with her family.

In 1969, Carlin returned to work as a part-time specialist on housing for the elderly at the New Jersey State Division on Aging, eventually rising to be a supervisor in the Office of Planning and Policy Analysis for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, a position she held until her retirement in 1984. She became an advocate for congregate housing for the elderly, notably helping to develop the Congregate Housing Services Program which began as a demonstration project through act of the legislature in 1981; 25 years later, in 2006, she was recognized in a special proclamation by Governor Jon Corzine for advocating for the successful passage of this law and implementation of the program. In 1977, she returned to school to enter the PhD program in gerontology at Rutgers University, earning her doctorate in 1980 at the age of 61, the oldest member of her class. She was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in 1981 and participated in the New Jersey Governor’s Conference on Aging in 1990. Carlin was coauthor of three books on housing for the elderly, beginning with If I Should Live to Be 100 (1984), followed by Where Can Mom Live? (1987) and Should Mom Live With Us? (1992), and sole author of Can Mom Live Alone? (1991).

In 1993, Carlin moved into Attleboro Lifecare Village in Langhorne, Pa. That same year, she developed and served as a consultant for the New Jersey Elderly Home Conversion program to grant low-interest loans to seniors to modify their existing homes to meet their needs as they aged in place. She served twice as the president of the Residents’ Council at Attleboro and remained in independent living through 2010.

Carlin is survived by her children, Robert of Lexington, N.C.; and Richard of Glen Ridge, N.J.; and one grandson.

A memorial service is planned to be held at Attleboro Village, Langhorne, Pa., on Saturday, September 15th at 2 p.m.


Rosalie S. Johnston

Rosalie Sullivan Johnston was called to Glory on August 9, 2012.

Rosalie was born in Princeton, and attended the Witherspoon School for Colored Children on Quarry Street in Princeton. As a very young child, Rosalie attended Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church in Princeton. She left the Princeton area and moved to Oakland, Calif., where she was stationed in the U.S. Navy. There she worked as one of the first African American pin up models of the 1940s. She also worked with the American Red Cross while out in California.

Rosalie lived in Rahway until December 2011. In the early 1950s, Rosalie studied beauty culture and received a certification in cosmetology under the direction of Mrs. Helena Moore. She eventually became a stylist at Helena’s beauty salon. Rosalie received training and certification to work in the area of electronics for the Westinghouse Corporation. In her 70s she became a foster granny for patients at the Woodbridge, N.J. development center. She worked as a foster granny until 2011 when renal failure forced her back into retirement at age 81. She was a very active member of the ladies auxiliary of the American Legion Post #499 in Rahway, N.J.

She was predeceased by her parents, James “Whiney” and Mary Lou Madden Sullivan; her husband, Harold E. Johnston, Sr.; her daughter, Rhonda Louise Johnston who died in infancy; and her grandparents, John and Susie Madden.

Rosalie’s memory is celebrated by one daughter, Jacqueline Johnston Swain (Princeton); her son, Harold E. Johnston Jr. (Rahway); and one granddaughter, Renee N. Swain (Willingboro, N.J.). Rosalie will also be remembered by one sister, Colleen Sullivan Smith (Austin, Texas); two nieces, three nephews; many cousins, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

A funeral service will be held at noon on August 15 at First Baptist Church, John Street and Paul Robeson Place, Princeton. Calling hours will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the church.

Interment will take place in Princeton Cemetery.

Arrangements are by the Hughes Funeral Home.