February 12, 2020

Obituaries 2/12/20

Janice E. Moore Kisthardt

Janice E. Moore Kisthardt of Princeton died on February 2 at Princeton Medical Center, four days before her 74th birthday. Her death was caused chiefly from advanced pulmonary fibrosis, but she also suffered the effects of pernicious anemia and had waged a 50-year struggle with Type 1 diabetes.

Daughter of the late Evelyn D. and Orville E. Moore, Janice was born in Trenton and spent her youth in Morrisville, PA. She was a member of the Morrisville High School class of 1964 and was piano accompanist for choral groups and musicals.  She earned her B.S. in Music Education and M.A. in Music degrees from West Chester State College (now University), West Chester, PA, and her Master of Library Science degree from Rutgers University.

Early professional positions included teacher of elementary music for Neshaminy School District, Langhorne, PA, and Grey Nun Academy, Yardley, PA; and Librarian Intern at Trenton Public Library. She held librarian positions at Villa Victoria Academy; Grundy Memorial Library, Bristol, PA; Bucks County Community College; Pennwood Library, Langhorne, PA; and she retired from a library faculty position at The College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College). Her joy at the college library was derived from developing the children’s literature collection for the use of future elementary teachers.

Janice attended Presbyterian churches for much of her life and sang alto in church choirs. At her death, she was a parishioner of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Princeton, where she served on the Flower Committee.

She is survived by her husband of not quite 51 years, James, her daughter Joan Kisthardt, son-in-law Noah Lovitz-Wolfson, and granddaughter Mika Brooke Kisthardt-Wolfson, all of Oakland, CA. Other survivors: Cousins Grace C. Starrett of Ewing Twp., Marilyn Schultz of Pearland, TX, and Donald DeGrave of Cinnaminson, NJ; brother-in-law John Kisthardt (Sara) of Slatington, PA; nieces Dr. Anne Kisthardt of Alexandria, VA, and Allison Kisthardt of New York City; and dear friends.

Funeral services and interment are private. Announcements will be made of a memorial celebration of Janice’s life to be held in the spring at All Saints’ Church, Princeton. Memorial contributions may be made to All Saints’ Church, 16 All Saints’ Road., Princeton, NJ 08540; to Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542; and SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals, 1010 Route 601, Skillman, NJ 08558.  Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, Pennington, NJ.  Condolences are welcome at www.wilsonapple.com.

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you…” Matt. 25:34.


Dolores Davodowich Thierfelder

Dolores Davodowich Thierfelder, age 81, of Manchester, NJ, passed away on February 2, 2020 after a long illness.

Dolores was born July 23, 1938 in Clifton, New Jersey. She graduated from Dover High School and attended Ohio State and Fairleigh Dickinson. While a student at Ohio State, she was featured in the pages of Sports Illustrated — not once, but twice — in a photo of the student section at an Ohio State football game.

Dolores worked at Bell Labs for a number of years. Following her marriage to Erhard in 1963, she stayed at home to raise her two sons in Mountain Lakes, NJ. A devoted and loving mother and wife, she was also very active in a number of community organizations, including March of Dimes, the Morris County Hotline, and the Dover Junior Women’s Club.

Dolores was very involved in her children’s lives, and rarely missed a school or athletic event. In fact, at one point she had an unbroken six year streak of attending every single home and away Mountain Lakes middle school and high school basketball game. Dolores, her sons, and family friends spent many idyllic summer months at their home in Avalon, New Jersey, with Erhard joining them on weekends and vacations.

After raising their family in Mountain Lakes, Dolores and Erhard moved to Flanders, NJ, and then to Manchester in 2002. Dolores returned to Montclair State to complete her formal studies and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Psychology in 1981. She then earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and, upon graduating, launched a new and successful career as a clinical psychotherapist, working in an institutional setting and in her own private practice.

Dolores was married to Erhard for over 52 years when he predeceased her in June 2015. She was a constant and devoted companion and caregiver to Erhard as he struggled with health issues during the last decade of his life. While she was heartbroken at the time of his passing, she continued to live her life to the fullest, enjoying her friends and family immensely.

Dolores is survived by her son John, of Phoenix, Arizona, her son Mark and daughter-in-law Courtney Lederer, of Princeton, and her adored granddaughters, Zoe and Quinn. The family wishes to thank Dolores Paradise, who was a loyal friend and caregiver to both Erhard and Dolores. To send online condolences, please visit the website at www.oliveriefuneralhome.com.


Gordon C. Strauss

Gordon C. Strauss, age 81, died peacefully on Saturday evening, February 8, 2020 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. His funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, at the historic Saint James Church, Goose Creek, 100 Vestry Lane, Goose Creek, South Carolina. Burial will be at Calvary Episcopal Church in Tarboro, North Carolina, at noon on Monday, February 17, 2020.

Gordon Strauss was born on November 4, 1938 in Summit, New Jersey, the son of Clifton J. Strauss, M.D., and Bernice Houston Strauss. He attended The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, graduated from The University of Virginia in 1961, and earned his Juris Doctorate at Rutgers Law School in 1968.

Following law school, Gordon practiced law in Princeton, New Jersey, for 40 years, primarily as a sole practitioner. He married Loralee Engelmann and raised a family in Princeton, then moved to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, in 2007. Following Loralee’s death in 2012, Gordon married Louise Clark Poitras, of Tarboro, NC, in 2013. He and Louise divided their happy days together between homes in Mt. Pleasant and Charleston.

Gordon embraced living in South Carolina and immersed himself studying the history of Charleston, visiting countless historic sites in the lowcountry, and collecting Charleston Renaissance art and cherished pieces of Charleston furniture. Gordon was a member of the Carolina Yacht Club. He enjoyed a youthful curiosity, and he blessed his many friends with generosity, loyalty, and his exuberance to share meaningful experiences with them. He accepted every kindness — even the smallest gesture — with grace and appreciation, always.

He is survived by his wife, Louise; his daughter, Gretchen Payzant, and her husband, Bill, of Mount Pleasant, SC; his son, Andrew, and his wife, Lisa, of Seattle, WA; a daughter, Heidi Hoyt, of Palm Desert, CA; a stepson, Robert Poitras, and his wife, Katy, of Chapel Hill, NC; his sister, Suzanne Art, of Lincoln, MA; and seven grandchildren: Tyler Payzant, Toby Payzant, Chloe Payzant, Ashley Svendsen, Nichols Svendsen, Ellie Poitras, and Lucy Poitras.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Calvary Church Churchyard Fund, P. O. Box 1245, Tarboro, NC 27886, or to Saint James Church, Goose Creek, PO Box 1701, Charleston, SC 29402.

Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Mount Pleasant Chapel.

A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting the website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.


Elizabeth Mary Luchak


Elizabeth Luchak, a Princeton resident for over 50 years, passed away peacefully on November 20, 2019 at age 95. She was predeceased by her husband, George Luchak, in 2017.

Elizabeth, née Szilagyi, was born in Sajókaza, Hungary, and immigrated to Canada as a young child. In 1947 she graduated from the University of Alberta in Home Economics, a program that emphasized the science of food and nutrition.

Elizabeth began her career as a dietitian with an internship at The University of Toronto’s Hart House, which provided a rigorous program that taught academically trained nutritionists to put theory into practice.

At Hart House she met George, who was a PhD candidate in Mathematics and Physics. They were married in Calgary and settled in Suffield, Alberta, where George was a research scientist for the Canadian Defense Research Board. There they raised their oldest three children for seven years.

When George was named Canada’s scientific representative on the British Joint Services Staff College, the family moved to England for a year and traveled throughout Europe with their young children.

In 1956, Elizabeth and George moved to the United States, eventually settling in Princeton, where George was named full professor at Princeton University and Elizabeth focused on raising their four children. She was a founding docent of the Princeton University Art Museum, volunteered for the Girl Scouts and as a dietitian at Princeton Hospital, and kept her knowledge of nutrition and professional credentials up to date through courses at Rutgers University. As her children grew she transitioned to a full-time career as a senior consultant for New Jersey’s State School Nutrition Program, a position she held for 20 years.

In 1970, the family of six, along with Elizabeth’s parents, traveled to Hungary to visit Sajókaza. Later, after retirement George and Elizabeth enjoyed travel around the world to many destinations in Europe and Asia.

Elizabeth’s lifelong interest in food and nutrition began at home with her mother and grandmother. Perhaps their greatest legacy was Elizabeth’s famous cabbage rolls, relished by all. At home she created bountiful feasts for friends and family, encouraging second helpings, as was the Hungarian tradition.

Elizabeth was the epitome of a lifelong learner. Her study and teaching of art flourished over decades at the Princeton University Art Museum, where she loved giving tours, especially for schoolchildren. Elizabeth also audited courses at Princeton University in art history, French, and history. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed a wide variety of writing — from contemporary novels to Dick Francis mysteries to history. As a nonagenarian she re-read Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.

Elizabeth’s top priority was her family and she relished spending time with her grandchildren, supporting them in their many and varied activities.

Elizabeth is remembered as a loving and lovely woman with a friendly smile and easy laugh. With grace and intelligence she befriended people from all walks of life, who were drawn to her warmth.

Elizabeth is survived by her son Frank (Nadya Day) and his children Alicia, Alec, and Eli; her daughter Elaine (Tom Small) and their children Wills and Sasha; her daughter Jolanne (Jim Stanton) and their children Matthew, James, and George; and her daughter Heather (Gerard Kunkel) and their children Brittany and Dane.

Friends may contact the family at LuchakStanton@gmail.com.

Memorials may be made to the Princeton University Art Museum Docent Program or a charity of your choice.


George Grenville Cuyler

George Grenville Cuyler, fondly known as “Gren” or “Grenny,” passed away on Saturday evening, February 1, 2020, at his home at Meadow Lakes, Hightstown, New Jersey, from complications related to advanced dementia.

An actor, director, set and lighting designer, model, teacher, museum curator, scholar, genealogist, and poet, he was a true artist who expressed his innate creativity in a myriad of marvelous ways.

Born on April 12, 1938 in Princeton, New Jersey, he was raised with his four siblings and four Matthews cousins in “The Barracks” at 32 Edgehill Street. Gren often talked about the Hessian soldier who allegedly haunted the house. He also liked to reminisce about the interesting guests that his uncle, T.S. Matthews, Editor-in-Chief of Time magazine (1949-1953), introduced to the household. Gren once remarked that The Barracks was like a theater in which all kinds of people — big and small, old and young — performed skits, sang, recited poetry, and told stories around the dining-room table. In addition, his parents invited friends and various relatives to live at their home when they were in need of a temporary refuge, so life was never dull. All of this activity no doubt contributed to Gren’s pursuit of a career in the theater.

He attended Princeton Country Day School in the early 1950s, long before it merged with Miss Fine’s School to become Princeton Day School. He next entered Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts, and was graduated in 1956, after which he matriculated at Princeton University, where he was graduated in 1960 with an A.B. in English. During his four years at the university, he worked extensively with both the Theatre Intime and the Triangle Club. After college, Gren entered the United States National Guard, Army division, and was honorably discharged in 1962.

Returning to his academic aspirations, he went on to receive an M.F.A. degree in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College and a Ph.D from The Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England. He also studied at the Lloyd Richards Studio in New York. His academic journey was intermittently interrupted by professional work that would take pages to enumerate. Some of the high points included acting in various roles at the Dallas Theater Center, the Sharon Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, the Williamstown Summer Theatre, and The New York Shakespeare Festival.

Gren’s mentor, Paul Baker, Founder of the Dallas Theater Center, described him as “a most unusual and brilliant young man, very individual, with great potential.” One of his signature roles was that of F.D.R. in the musical Annie, staged at the Chiswick Park Theatre outside Boston. Gren directed Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot for his masters project at Sarah Lawrence College, using the whole of the interior of Trinity Church for the production, and casting Ernest Gordon, Dean of Princeton University Chapel, in the leading role of Archbishop Thomas Becket. Gren also acted in a number of films, such as Mona Lisa Smile, The Devil and Daniel Webster, Housesitter, and The Witches of Eastwick. In addition, he appeared in several television productions, including playing the role of The Blacksmith in The Scarlet Letter.

His teaching career began when he served as Graduate Assistant in Theatre at Bucknell University. Later, Gren taught English and directed plays at the University School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Concord Academy, Concord, Massachusetts in its newly constructed Performing Arts Center. His drama students flourished under his superb direction, and their parents praised his uncanny ability to inspire their children to bring characters to life onstage.

Gren also served as Assistant Curator, Theatre and Museum Collection, Museum of the City of New York (1974-75). He was recognized for discovering an original manuscript of an early Eugene O’Neill play that became the centerpiece of an exhibit, “Eugene O’Neill — America’s Playwright” at the museum in May, 1974.

Besides all of the above, Gren was an enthusiastic athlete. He was co-captain of the Groton football team and played freshman hockey at Princeton University’s Baker Rink, named for his cousin Hobey Baker. At 6’6” tall, he was a competitive tennis player and a formidable opponent at the net. Up to six months before his death, Gren could be seen jogging on the paths at Meadow Lakes.

His family is going to miss his humor, comedic pantomimes, intellectual curiosity, creativity, expressiveness, love of beauty, devotion to family…and poetry. It is fitting to include one of his poems here, since his eighty-second birthday would have fallen on Easter, April 12, 2020.

The ivy plant descends,
winter upon us.
Despite all, it climbs—
dead leaves in descent,
green leaves in ascent—
per ardua ad alta.

Gren is preceded in death by his two brothers, Lewis Carter Cuyler and David LeRoy Cuyler, as well as by three first cousins who were like brothers: Thomas Stanley Matthews Jr., John Potter Cuyler Matthews Jr., and Paul Clement Matthews II. He is survived by his two sisters, Juliana McIntyre Fenn and Margery Cuyler Perkins, respectively of Princeton and Lawrenceville, two nieces, four nephews, six great-nieces, three great-nephews, one great-great-nephew, and many cousins. The family would like to thank the medical and social-work staff at Meadow Lakes for their consistent and loving attention as well as Vitas Healthcare, which provided beautiful and spiritual hospice care toward the end of Gren’s life.

The funeral and burial service will be held at 1 p.m. at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, on April 11, 2020. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Springpoint Senior Living Foundation, Meadow Lakes, 300 Etra Road, East Windsor, New Jersey 08520 or to Friends of Theatre Intime, 5557 First Center, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540.