February 5, 2020

Obituaries 2/5/20

Leo D. Arons

Leo D. Arons, the proud owner of the Gilded Lion, an antiques and fine art gallery in Princeton, passed away October 31, 2019.

Born September 28, 1931, he was the son of Alexander Arons and Rosalind Arons (Goldberg), brother of Simone Iris Oliver (Arons), grandson of Simon and Henrietta Arons, cousin of Millicent Fidler, and nephew of Peter Z. Fidler and Marian Fidler (Arons). Leo Dore grew up at 79 East 18th Street in Brooklyn, NY, in a vibrant and loving Jewish community. Through the generosity of his uncle, he earned two engineering degrees at Cornell University. Staunchly individualistic and determined to embrace life only on his own terms, he took refuge at the Cornell libraries and the Johnson Museum, where he developed a passion for illuminated manuscripts and rare books of Persia, India, and Europe. His keen interest ultimately led to his avocation as a respected art historian, appraiser, and entrepreneur. His imagination, brilliant intellect, photographic memory, and lifelong commitment to scholarship helped him identify, secure, and sell many historical and culturally significant artifacts. His expertise extended from furniture, paintings, silver, and jewelry to orientalia, medieval art, and textiles.

As a resident of Princeton he was actively engaged in civic affairs, including the Borough Merchants for Princeton, and is fondly remembered by the Princeton Macintosh Users Group. He led the Princeton Folk Dance Group and the Princeton Ethnic Dancers, a folk dance troupe that performed in authentic ethnic costumes across New Jersey and on the main stage of the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

A loyal group of friends will remember Leo for his endearing characteristics: playfulness, humor, love of Hungarian food, Balkan music, and the Oxford English Dictionary. Many friends experienced poignant moments with Leo while they pored over old French letters, Paul Revere silver, Hudson River paintings, or Chinese silk. He had a generosity of spirit and an unflinching commitment to supporting his inner circle of friends through thick and thin.

Leo died mourning the loss of his most beloved friend and colleague, artist Lesley J. Mitchell, formerly of Princeton. With her husband Kelly Ray, Lesley ran a popular Argentine Tango dance studio in Philadelphia and organized many successful art exhibitions, much to Leo’s delight. Both Leo and Lesley lived light-years ahead of their time, actively supporting marginalized people with courageous words and deeds.

Friends and associates wishing to write condolences may visit the website of the B. L. Bush and Sons Funeral Home, 10 W. Genesee Street, Camillus, NY, at www.BLBUSH.com. A memorial service will be held in Princeton later in 2020.  Please register for notification on the funeral home website, where you will also find links to charities chosen to honor Mr. Arons. For his commitment to higher education: Questbridge; for his love of music and dance: Hochstein School of Music and Dance; for his love of art and history: The American Historical Association.

Leo D. Arons, patron of the arts, friend, boyfriend, scholar, brother, son, nephew, cousin, rest in peace.


Betty Helburn Rimalover

Betty Helburn Rimalover of Princeton and Long Beach Island, NJ, died on January 24, 2020, age 96.

Born in Montgomery, Alabama, to Samuel and Ethel (Solomon) Helburn, she was the beloved wife of 57 years to Jack (predeceased). Devoted mother to Joan R. Gardiner (Thomas) of Bainbridge Island, WA, Anne R. Jorgensen (Craig) of Haddon Heights, NJ, and Elizabeth (Beth) R. Raschbaum (Art) of Haddonfield, NJ. Dear sister to the late Anne H. (John) Straus of NYC. Betty was a proud, loving Granny to Kevin (Natalie) Gardiner, Katie (Wesley) Jorgensen Gray, Steven (Ruby Snyder) Gardiner, Andrew (Mark Stuart Smith) Jorgensen, Laura Gardiner, Caroline Raschbaum, and Sarah Raschbaum. And she was fortunate to know her seven great-grandchildren: Alice, Glenda, and Jack Gray, Richard and Owen Gardiner, and Apollo and Leo Gardiner.

Betty attended Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, AL, The University of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC, and Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL. As a child she liked horseback, overnight camp, and beach vacations to Wrightsville Beach, N C. Betty enjoyed Girl Scouts, both as a child, and later as a troop leader.

Very creative, she was talented at many handicrafts. She treasured time at the beach in Long Beach Island, NJ, with family and friends. She was an avid reader, enjoyed book clubs, and was a great bridge player. In her later years Betty started writing poetry and also wrote her autobiography, now treasured by her family.

She worked as a substitute teacher in the Princeton Public Schools and for 22 years she was also a reading coach for illiterate adults in the Mercer County area.

History buffs, Betty and Jack collected antique American glass bottles and flasks, antique inkwells, and match safes. She was recognized by the state of NJ as The Volunteer of the Year. Author of Antique American Wall Match Safes, Betty was also involved with the Princeton Historical Society and The Rockingham Association. She also assumed a variety of leadership roles at The Windrows in Princeton and served on the Plainsboro Library Committee when the new library was being built.

The family appreciates the compassionate care she received during her last years at Brandywine Assisted Living in Haddonfield, NJ.

Burial arrangements are private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 1415 NJ-70 #311, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.

Extend condolences and share memories at TheKimbleFuneralHome.com.


Ruth Peterson Mazzarella

Ruth Peterson Mazzarella, age 100, died peacefully in her home on December 22, 2019. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and colleagues of the libraries, hospital, and church organizations where she volunteered.

Ruth was a New Englander, born in Massachusetts and raised in Maine. She exemplified the New England spirit of the original settlers — stoic, resilient, and self-reliant. Raised in a family of devout Baptists; her father was a minister who led churches in Maine, Ohio, and Massachusetts.

In 1940, she met the love of her life while working a summer job in Orchard Beach, Maine. Daniel, an Italian kid from Brooklyn, was not exactly a proper New Englander but they fell for each other just before WWII. Corresponding faithfully while he served in the Navy and she taught elementary school; they reunited after the war to build a family while living in Bellport, NY, Towson, MD, and Princeton, NJ, until Dan’s passing in 1996.

What does it take to live to be 100? There are many theories. Some say it’s vigorous exercise. Others say it’s a healthy diet full of green vegetables. For Ruth, the true secret of longevity was avid reading. She read over 200 books a year, including both fiction and non-fiction. She looked forward to reading articles in The Economist and The Atlantic until the end. She was a knower of things and could easily expound on topics as varied as the 17th century English monarchy to the current trade war with China.

She also gave her time freely to people who could benefit from her energy and knowledge. Her professional occupation, teacher, gave her the opportunity to shape the lives of hundreds of young people. She was also a devoted volunteer at Princeton Hospital, the Unitarian Church of Princeton, and several local libraries.

Ruth’s greatest joy was spending time with her family and watching them thrive, a feeling shared by her devoted children, Julia (Joe Beltromba), Paul (Carol Chock), and David; as well as by her seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her passing leaves a void in our lives, but fond memories of her sustain us.

Donations in Ruth’s memory to the Mary Jacobs Library Foundation or Stein Hospice would be greatly appreciated.

Extend condolences and share memories at TheKimbleFuneralHome.com.


James A. Goodman

James Allen Goodman, 83, passed away on January 28, 2020 at his home at Meadow Lakes in East Windsor, NJ.

Jim was born in Southampton, NY, on June 4, 1936 and raised in Westhampton. A graduate of Westhampton Beach High School, he received a Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an S.B. in Electrical Engineering, and followed up with an M.S. from Columbia University. He spent much of his career at RCA Laboratories in Somerville, NJ, and Princeton, NJ, where he served as Director of Information Systems Planning & Computer Services and won several company Achievement Awards. He concluded his work years at American Cyanamid, now Pfizer.

Jim was a man of many hobbies and interests. A talented woodworker, he was a master of photography who built his own darkroom. He was also a land steward and trail builder, an avid camper, hiker, sailor (who once built his own sailboat), and bicyclist. Jim also found time to bake bread, study Russian, compile genealogy information for his family, and learn to bind books. Travel was another of his favorite activities.

After retiring from work in 1999, he devoted countless hours to digitizing his entire collection of photographs and family documents, which numbered nearly 90,000.

He will be greatly missed by his wife of 32 years, Susan, as well as son John Goodman, daughter-in-law Dorota Bulik, and grandson Nicolas Goodman, of Melrose, MA; and son Christopher Goodman, daughter-in-law Kim Goodman, and grandchildren Maya and Theo Goodman, of Round Rock TX. A previous marriage to the late Joan Goodman ended in divorce in 1978.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer’s Association.


James J. Ward, Jr.

James J. Ward, Jr., a former Princeton resident and managing partner at Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett, and a former associate dean of the Columbia Law School, died peacefully in his sleep in Sarasota, FL, early on January 30.

He is survived by six sons and eleven grandchildren, in addition to scores of nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews, as well as his sister, Dr. Ann Ward Buetow of Williamsburg, VA.

He was 93.

Born in Elizabeth, NJ, in September 1926, he and his twin brother John (also deceased) were the eldest of five children. His father, James J. Ward, Sr. was a police detective and bank board member in Elizabeth. His mother, the former Mary Devine, was the daughter of the Bayonne, NJ, fire chief, Michael Patrick Devine.

Along with their younger brother Robert (Bob) Ward, the three Ward brothers became cornerstones of the Jefferson High School varsity football team and each would matriculate to college as athletes (Bob would become a two-time All America and College Football Hall of Fame inductee). James Ward planned to attend Columbia College in NY, then a formidable collegiate football program, but, at 18, in September, 1944, the last year of the Second World War, he and his twin brother volunteered for the Navy, fudging their birthdate by a few days, according to Naval records.

Mr. Ward was assigned to serve as an aircraft radio man in the waning months of the war. After the war, he entered Columbia College and played varsity football for four years for Columbia’s legendary coach, Lou Little, including as a member of the 1947 squad that beat Army, breaking the academy’s 32-game winning streak that dated back to 1943. In his 1949 senior season, Mr. Ward served as captain.

Mr. Ward entered the Columbia Law School after graduating from the College, serving as both a Freshman Football coach for Little and as an assistant dean of admissions for the College, while at Law School. Just prior to his graduation from law school, Mr. Ward was appointed a fellow of the Bar of the City of New York, an annual appointment the Association granted to “an outstanding law school graduate,” according to the Association at the time.

After his fellowship and a clerkship in the New York Court of Appeals, Mr. Ward began a nearly 30-year relationship with the New York law firm Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett. As a litigation associate, he began a close association with Whitney North Seymour, a firm partner and former president of The American Bar Association and the New York Bar Association.

During this period, Mr. Ward, who had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1946 to attend Columbia, volunteered for the Navy Reserves, where he served until 1966, again achieving an honorable discharge as a Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

In 1956, at a wedding reception, Mr. Ward met Anne Sweeney, a model at the time, and, in 1958, they were married. They had their first of six sons in 1959, the last of whom was born in 1967. Mrs. Ward died in September, 2017.

After seven years at Simpson, Thacher, in 1962, Mr. Ward became an associate dean at his alma mater, the Columbia Law School. He returned to Simpson, Thacher in 1964 as managing partner, ostensibly serving as the firm’s chief operating officer. During his tenure, he managed the firm’s rapid growth, oversaw the firm’s move to a multi-floor presence at 1 Battery Park Plaza from its longtime headquarters at 100 Broadway, and led the opening of the firm’s first international office in London.

Besides his professional responsibilities, Mr. Ward was an avid volunteer to youth sports, founding a youth football league in Princeton, NJ, and, later, a youth lacrosse league in Montclair, NJ, both the first such leagues in either town.

Mr. Ward retired from Simpson, Thacher in 1982 and moved to Fort Myers, FL. During his retirement, Mr. Ward again volunteered as a coach, first as an assistant coach as Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers and later as assistant coach at Cape Coral (FL) High School. He also briefly taught at Cape Coral. He retired from coaching in the 1990s, although he was known to his grandchildren as “Coach” until his passing.

Mr. Ward was deeply passionate about the arts, particularly the opera, a love he acquired in the standing room only section of New York’s Old Met while in college and law school. Even while living in Florida, he would make annual pilgrimages to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, often attending numerous performances over several days. In his retirement, he and his wife, Anne, spent much of their time traveling to see grandchildren, sampling local restaurants, and enjoying a Florida lifestyle that constituted their last 35 years, the bulk of their marriage and life together.

Mr. Ward is survived by his sons, Captain (USN, Ret.) Brendan F. Ward of Chula Vista, CA, Liam T. Ward of Longboat Key, FL, James J. Ward III of Woodbridge, VA, Patrick N. Ward of Denver, CO, Owen T. Ward of Mannassas, VA, and Conan M. Ward of Princeton, NJ, as well as his grandchildren, extended family, and his sister.

Services have not yet been announced.


Ronald “Ron” James Campbell

August 23, 1939 – February 2, 2020

Ron was born on August 23, 1939 in Washington, DC. He grew up in Waterford, VA, on a dairy farm. The youngest of four children, he is survived by his wife, Vicky Campbell; children, Mavis, Colin, and Derek (Katie); and six grandchildren, Campbell (23), Rees (21), Lena (18), Derek (16), Finn (2), and Jack (1). He is also survived by his two brothers, T. Colin and Jack Campbell, and sister Betty Jane Fletcher.

Ron was the first graduate of Louden County Day School, in Louden County, VA, after which he qualified for a full scholarship at Philips Academy Andover and Harvard. He then continued his education and received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, in Physical Chemistry. Following this first round of education, he worked as a R&D scientist in lighting for 25 years for G.E, ITT, and at Philips in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and then back in the U.S. in NJ.

As Ron loved saying, he had two wonderful 25-year careers. His second career began after he graduated from Rutgers Law School, with his J.D. at the age of 52. After receiving his law degree, he worked as a patent attorney first for Kenyon and Kenyon, in NYC, and later closer to home for Universal Display Corporation. He found both of these careers very intellectually satisfying, each in their own way. He completed his working career with a yearlong post in Dublin, Ireland, a very happy year for Ron, where he loved traveling to Derry, exploring where his father was born, and finding extended family members.

His interests were many and varied. He loved reading, exploring various religious spiritual traditions, loved new ideas, loved his family and especially his grandchildren, loved walking and listening to books and music. He really enjoyed spending winters in FL, and he loved the spring and the blooming crab apple tree outside his library. He also absolutely loved listening to his wife Vicky sing, which is how he fell in love with her 55 years ago, listening to her sing, playing on her guitar. His sweet gentle soul will be greatly missed.

Celebration of life service will be held on March 7, 2020 at 2 p.m. at UUCP 50 Cherry Hill Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to improve the Memorial Garden at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, contact information below, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

UUCP Memorial Planting Fund, 50 Cherry Hill Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.

For condolences go to the website at: blackwellmh.com.


Helen B. G. Wise

Helen B. G. Wise, 74, of Princeton died Saturday, February 1, 2020 at home, surrounded by her children. Born in Lynchburg, VA, to Col. Samuel Stone Gregory, Jr., a self-proclaimed “poor, dumb dirt farmer,” and Helen Barksdale Martin Gregory, Helen was called “Monkey” by her father, “Lovely Eldest” by her mother, and “The General” by her younger siblings.

After graduating from Chatham Hall, Helen majored in theater at St Andrew’s Presbyterian College in North Carolina. She moved to Claremont, CA, to pursue a Master of Arts in English, where, in search of a man who could help her buy a used car, she met and fell in love with Don Wise, an economics student from Los Angeles. Don had been admiring the slender brunette across the quad who he thought resembled Audrey Hepburn, and was more than happy to help her. A used car, a bounced check, a dead rattlesnake, and one rejected proposal later, they were married on August 24, 1968.

Helen and Don moved to the Princeton area in 1976, where Helen devoted herself to raising their six children, three of whom were adopted from Korea. Always seeking to enrich the lives of her children and family, and build strong communities around them, she engaged in many volunteer roles. Over the years, she acted as board president at Mary Dietrich Presbyterian Nursery School, served as an Elder at Nassau Presbyterian Church, led Marriage Encounter weekends, organized church Extended Family events, volunteered as Art Director at Holt Heritage Camp, coordinated events for Nassau Swim Club, and led fundraising efforts for the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School orchestra. For over 20 years, she took enormous pride and joy in leading Nassau Presbyterian Church’s 3rd and 4th grade Sunday School team, motivating hundreds of children to memorize the 23rd Psalm.

In the 1990s, Helen became a professional storyteller. She spent the next couple decades visiting Princeton and Trenton schools, delighting both children and teachers telling folktales and helping students bring their own stories alive. Helen combined her gifts as a storyteller and Christian educator to help develop the PC(USA)’s Storyteller Series curriculum.

Helen is preceded in death by her son Andrew Lee Wise, her husband Donald E. Wise, and her second husband John Schmidt. She is survived by five children and their spouses: Katharine Wise (Bill Pinches), Ryan Wise (Leslie Brunner), Jenny Borut (Jeff Borut), Mary Helen Wise, and Matthew Wise; eleven grandchildren: Andrew Pinches, Colin Pinches, Timothy Pinches, Samuel Pinches, Taylor Borut, Stella Borut, Caleb Wise, Benjamin Pinches, Catalina Wise, Isabelle Wise, and Alexandra Wise; and four siblings: Mary Riddle, Sallie Gregory, Stone Gregory III, and John Gregory.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, February 12 at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, Princeton, following a private burial at Princeton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Andrew Lee Wise Memorial Fund for Youth Music and Mission at Nassau Presbyterian Church.


Mary Estelle Pettit Funk

Mary Funk, a resident of Keene, New Hampshire, died on January 27, 2020, surrounded by members of her family, at the age of 96, having lived a rich and varied life.

Born into the family of Karl and Estelle Pettit in Brooklyn, New York on April 23, 1923, she had three brothers and three sisters. Later, her family relocated to Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1942, while a student at Vassar, she married Peter Funk and left Vassar to follow him to the West Coast prior to his deployment to the Pacific as a Marine Officer. During World War II, an act of Mary’s spontaneous kindness to an older woman led to her being invited to reside at the La Jolla Beach Club in California for the duration of the conflict.

Mary had always loved art and was a gifted artist, painting in oils and watercolors as well as drawing amusing cartoons. During her stay in La Jolla, Mary pursued her art, building on training she had received at the Pratt Institute in NYC. She maintained her interest in art throughout her life.

Mary’s and Peter’s marriage proved to be exceptionally loving and long-lasting. They were married for 74 years until Peter passed away in 2016. They had seven children, four boys and three girls. They raised their children in New Jersey and Connecticut, much of the time on Amity Farm in Lambertville, NJ. Mary thrived on the farm with her family. Among many other things, she started and ran a day camp for children.

Later the family moved to Princeton, NJ. In 2008, they relocated to Keene near their son, Dr. Mark Funk, and his wife Alice, who have a farm in Roxbury.

Mary carried out the challenge of raising seven children with great enthusiasm, sensibility, humor, and extraordinary love. Her adventures during those years could fill a book — and in fact, directly and indirectly, they appeared in several books authored by her husband. These included My Six Loves, Love and Consequences, and High Spirits, which were inspired by Mary and their large and lively family.

Despite the demands of child raising, she found time to assist Peter with his writing. Following in the footsteps of his father, Wilfred Funk, a writer and publisher, he wrote a monthly column for the Reader’s Digest called “It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power,” and she provided invaluable editing and organization for the column. Throughout her life she acted as a lynchpin for her very large, extended family including her brothers and sisters, their spouses and children together with many other family members. Her kindness, enthusiasm, and organizational ability helped to keep them in touch over the years.

During Mary’s last years, her daughter Celine and, sons, Mark and John, provided devoted care. Her other children Peter, Paul, Mary, and Eleanor, living more distantly, also provided support and love as well. Our family is deeply appreciative of the love and dedication provided by the wonderful caregivers who assisted in Mary’s care during her final years.

Mary is survived by her children, Peter, John, Celine, Mark, Mary, Paul, and Eleanor, their spouses, 15 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by them and all who knew her for her tremendous generosity of spirit, her loving and optimistic nature, and her lively sense of humor.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, on May 9, 2020 at 11 a.m. Donations in her honor may be given to the church.

The Foley Funeral Home of Keene, NH, is assisting the family with the arrangements. To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, please visit www.foleyfuneralhome.com.