Richard Erskine Downs
Julie Marie Amelie Henriette Downs
Richard and Julie Downs of Durham, NH, and more recently of Skillman, NJ, each passed away peacefully within 48 hours of one another after extraordinary lives and 70 years of marriage together. Richard, born on December 2, 1920, died at age 98 on May 14, 2019, at the Princeton Medical Center and Julie, born on December 1, 1926, died at age 92 on May 16, 2019, at the Stonebridge at Montgomery retirement community in Skillman.
Richard was born in Cambridge, MA, and grew up in North Andover, MA, attending Phillips Academy (grad. 1938) and Harvard (grad. 1942). He witnessed the Great Depression as a child and following graduation from Harvard served in the U.S. Navy during World War II (learning Japanese to assist in the interception of military intelligence), rising to the rank of Lieutenant. He went on to study in Geneva and Paris and ultimately earn a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) following the war.
Julie van Oldenborgh was born in Semarang, on the Indonesian island of Java, growing up there until moving back to her family’s native Netherlands as a young teenager in 1939 just in time to suffer through the German occupation of that country during WWII. She was attending the University of Amsterdam with the plan of following her father into the practice of law when she met Richard, fell in love, and eventually married in April 1949.
Following the birth of their first child in the Netherlands and post-doctoral field work in Malaya, the couple moved across the globe to make their lives in the United States in 1960 and eventually settled in Durham, NH, in 1962. It was there that Richard went on to be a Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Hampshire and Chair of that institution’s Sociology and Anthropology department and, later, the newly formed Department of Anthropology, for many years. Julie and Richard raised their family (their second child was born in 1964) in Durham before his retirement at age 70 from UNH in 1991. During this time, Richard completed numerous consulting missions, under contract to the U.S. Agency for International Development, in Senegal, Mauritania, Rwanda, Swaziland, and the Republic of the Congo. The couple also took advantage of Richard’s sabbaticals to live in England, The Hague, and the south of France. In 2004, they moved from Durham to Stonebridge, entering in the original group of residents.
Richard was known for his intellectual curiosity, his mastery of several languages, and his dry wit. He had an abiding love of classical music. Julie was warm, vivacious, and full of good humor. She took great pride in being the matriarch of a close-knit Dutch-English-American family that spans four generations and five countries.
Julie is survived by a sister, Marian Plantenga of Rotterdam, Netherlands. They both are survived by their sons David E. Downs of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, and Stephen J. Downs of Princeton, NJ; their daughters-in-law Alexis Chapin-Downs and Janet Estes; their grandchildren Ashley and Taylor and Olivia and Theo; and their great-grandchildren Anna and Emory.
Donald Henry Luecke
Donald Henry Luecke, 85, passed away peacefully Saturday morning, May 11, 2019 at home in Burleson, TX. He had been a resident of Princeton Junction, NJ, for 45 years until his move to Texas in August 2018. He coped courageously with Alzheimer’s disease for the last five years of his life.
Don was born on August 5, 1933 in St. Louis, MO, to Erwin and Helen (Doswald) Luecke. He spent his early years in Forest Hills Gardens, New York. He graduated from Xavier High School in New York City. He received a BA degree cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He felt honored to serve in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and remained in the reserves until 1961.
After spending the early years of his business career in Product Management and Advertising at major corporations, he decided to take a different path and started his own business, Princeton Security Systems, Inc. In his own business he exemplified his vision and belief: “People before Profits” and managed it until he was in his late 70s.
He was a very active member of St. Paul’s Parish in Princeton, NJ, serving as Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and Sunday Collection Counter. He coordinated and taught the Bible Study program at St. Paul’s for 20 years. He lived his life as a devout Catholic in thought and deed and was a beautiful example for all.
Don was a kind and gentle person. He had a quick wit and was quite the punster. He enjoyed collecting stamps, coins, military memorabilia, and building ship models. He had an appreciation of ancient Green and Roman classics and learned to read and translate koine Greek, enabling him to read the Books of the New Testament in their original Greek.
While his education provided a foundation, his pursuit of knowledge was evident throughout his life as he was never more than arm’s length from a book or two or three. His love of animals and compassion for all helpless creatures was evident to those who witnessed his careful removal of spiders or once a bat from the house to the outdoors.
Don is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Joan (Meister) Luecke; daughters, Charlotte Luecke, of Lumberton, NJ, and Susan Luecke-Schnuck (Perry) of Burleson, TX; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Erwin Robert (Bob) Luecke; and niece, Jean Ann Kaminsky.
There will be a funeral mass at St. Ann’s Chapel in Burleson, TX, on May 24, 2019 at 10 a.m. Interment will be at DFW National Cemetery in Dallas, TX at 2 p.m.
There will be a memorial mass at St. Paul’s Church in Princeton, NJ, on June 14 at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation in memory of Don to: Community Hospice of Texas, 6100 Western Place, Suite 105, Fort Worth, TX, 76107; Senior Care Services, P.O. Box 1517, Princeton, NJ 08542-1517; Xavier High School, 30 W. 16th St., New York, NY 10011-6302; or St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 216 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ 08542.
Patricia Lane Snyder
Patricia Lane Snyder passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on May 6, 2019 at the age of 78.
Patricia is survived by her brother, John Lane and his wife, Elizabeth Lane, of Staunton, VA; her sons, Steven J. Toto and his wife, Nina Rariden Toto, of Newtown, PA and Daniel T. Toto and his wife, Christine Toto, of Pennington, NJ; and her daughter, Cheryl Toto Beal and her husband, David Beal, of Hamilton Square, NJ.
She is predeceased by her parents, Howard R. and Doris A. Lane; her husband, Miles E. Snyder; her sister, Cynthia Avery; and her nephew, Andrew Lane.
Patricia was born in Upper Darby, PA and resided in Princeton, NJ for many years before moving to Hamilton Square. She attended Princeton High School and worked for the State of New Jersey.
She was a loving and devoted grandmother to her seven grandchildren, Christian and Emily Toto, Erica, Amanda and Claudia Toto, and Matthew and Danielle Beal. She was an adoring aunt to Edward Lane, Mary Lane Jackmin, and Brandon and Garrett Avery and shared a special relationship with her niece, Jocelyn Avery Dorgan, her husband, Guy Dorgan, and their children, Avery and Tara Dorgan.
A memorial mass was held on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, NJ, with interment immediately following at Princeton Cemetery, 29 Greenview Avenue.
Memorial contributions may be made in Patricia’s name to the American Diabetes Association. www.saulfuneralhomes.com.
Tze-Ning Chen departed us on May 14, 2019 at home with his family, in Stamford, Connecticut. Tze-Ning was born November 18, 1929, in Zhejiang, China, the second son of Li-Fu Chen and Lu-Ching Sun. He graduated from National Taiwan University, and was the first of a long pipeline from NTU to conduct his doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he specialized in combustion engineering. He later joined Ingersoll Rand’s research division in Princeton, NJ, where he enjoyed many years working with a large team of researchers to develop many of the cutting-edge technologies behind small and large industrial machinery, and then later completed his career at Thermo-Electron.
He was a quintessential engineer, constantly pushing the limits of human invention, while also bringing the best out from his colleagues. His accomplishment and ingenuity as an engineer were matched by his commitment to family and home, where he continually fixed, modified, and improved every corner of their house with his handiness and know-how, and demonstrated to his children the importance of creativity, integrity, and patience.
Tze-Ning is survived by his wonderful, loving wife, Joan of 59 years; his children, Bernie and his wife Lisa Ruderman, Chris and his wife Melinda Shockley, and Jeff and his wife Karen Ho; his grandchildren, Jason, Michael, Adam, Mira, Jacob, Ella, and August; his brother John and sister Jenny and her husband Arthur Yu; and countless nieces and nephews who all admired and adored him. Tze-Ning was preceded in death by his brother Jimmy.
Widely appreciated for his wisdom and for his ability to bring people together, he enjoyed a tight-knit, warm, and loving extended family. Tze-Ning was an unbeatable chess strategist, ping pong player, and puzzlebreaker; a passionate gardener; and loved playing tennis with his longtime friends. He traveled the world extensively with his family and friends, and experienced the evolution of nations, cultures, and the American dream many times over. Tze-Ning will be deeply missed by all who knew him and cherished his love and his friendship.
Patricia Ann Morris Harris
Patricia Ann Morris Harris, 64, passed away peacefully on Friday, May 17, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband Edward M. Harris of Perkasie, PA; her daughter Patty Harris Dawson and son-in-law David Dawson of Quakertown, PA; and her son Mac William Harris of New York City, NY. She is also survived by her parents Mac Glenn and Janelle Connevey Morris of Princeton, NJ; her brother Robert Steven Morris of Cleveland, OH; her sister Janelle Morris Thibau and brother-in-law Eric Thibau of Potomac, MD; and her brother John Logan Morris and sister-in-law Susan Teare Morris of Princeton, NJ; along with many loving nieces and nephews.
Patricia, known to her family and friends as Pat, grew up on Clearbrook Farm in Princeton, NJ, and attended the Princeton public schools. She graduated in 1973 from Princeton High School and attended Davidson College in Davidson, NC, matriculating in the first co-ed class. She founded the Davidson Women’s Chorale Group and was lead singer in several campus musicals. She graduated in 1977 with a B.A. in Music.
Patricia was an advertising sales associate at the Norfolk Ledger Star newspaper and worked in a nursing home in Norfolk, VA, before joining the team responsible for the opening of the Princeton Campus of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Smith, Inc. on Scudders Mill Road. She enjoyed a long career at Merrill Lynch, and later Bank of America, in Human Resources where she focused on Manager Training. She later joined the staff of Thompson Toyota in Doylestown, PA, where she made many wonderful friends and colleagues on that exceptional team.
Countless family members, friends, and the community have heard Pat playing piano and guitar and singing over the years with her family. Aside from her career, she was a dedicated wife to Ed and a wonderful mother to Patty and Mackey. A highlight of her life was the recent wedding of her daughter Patty to David Dawson outdoors at a beautiful farm. At that wedding, her son Mackey, a songwriter in his spare time, assembled his friends and launched the “Silo Boys” as a band unmatched in its talent. Pat was proud to be anointed their Number One fan. In addition to her love of family and music, Pat was famous for her baking and canning, and her homemade chocolate chip cookies and coffee cake were relished by all. She loved her collies, musicals, horseback rides, and singing duets with her sister Janie. She loved to drive out West with a car full of cousins on annual family trips. Pat is known to be the fountain of kindness that has fed a very large extended family, and will continue to serve as an inspiration of giving to family, her church, and the community at large. Pat will always be remembered for the music that brought joy to everyone around her, and which will forever be celebrated by those who knew and loved her.
Pat grew up in the Nassau Presbyterian Church of Princeton, NJ, and was a member of the congregation of Deep Run Presbyterian Church of Perkasie, PA. The family wishes to thank the kind and loving staff at The Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and her doctors and nurses who cared for Pat as if she was one of their own.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in her name to Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home,