November 11, 2020

Obituaries 11/11/20

Mary Strunsky Wisnovsky

Mary Strunsky Wisnovsky, a lifelong Princetonian, died on Sunday, November 8, at age 81, of metastatic lung cancer. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Joe Wisnovsky; her two sons, Robert and Peter Wisnovsky; their respective spouses, Laila Parsons and Alejandro Mendoza Castillo; her sisters, Martha Ilic and Jane Wiseman; her grandchildren, Simon Wisnovsky and Jasmine Parsons; her granddaughter-in-law, Caroline Cawley; and her great-grandson, Arthur Thomas Wisnovsky.

Mary was born in New York City on June 6, 1939 and was brought home to Princeton soon afterward by her parents, Robert and Louise Strunsky. Her early education was at Miss Mason’s and Miss Fine’s schools in Princeton, and she went on to attend Barnard College, where she majored in Art History. 

Mary was an exceptionally friendly, cheerful person who greatly enjoyed her busy, hard-working life, taking time off from work temporarily to raise her two boys. Among her many local jobs, she was employed at one time or another by the Princeton University geology department, McCarter Theatre, the Princeton Art Museum, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Hillier Group, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, the Princeton Child Development Institute, the Senior Resource Center and — her all-time favorite — the Princeton Public Library.

Mary’s longest stint was at the IAS, where she was initially hired by Director Harry Woolf to help organize the Einstein Centennial Symposium, a four-day conference in March, 1979, that brought together hundreds of top scientists and other scholars — including dozens of Nobel Prize winners — to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s birth. A few days later, she traveled to Jerusalem to oversee a related event there. 

In her 12 years at the Institute, Mary wore several hats, including Assistant to the Director, as well as Foreign Student Advisor — the latter a position mandated by the U.S State Department to deal with visa matters, etc. She later served for many years on the board of the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors, which gave her an opportunity to travel to meetings with her foreign counterparts in many exotic places, including a number of
countries in Southeast Asia. In addition, she organized and ran an annual series of conferences in Germany for visiting American scientists working abroad under the aegis of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

An avid jazz fan, Mary co-founded and managed, along with Mait Jones, JazzNights, a long-running series of local house concerts, featuring top-flight jazz musicians from around the world. 

As young girls, Mary and her sister were neighbors of Einstein, and on occasion they would walk-and-talk with him, at least partway, to the Institute campus. Her most enduring memory from that time was his habit of going sock-less — a privilege she and her sister Martha envied and complained about to her mother, who firmly (and in their view, unfairly) denied it to them.

Mary was especially proud of the extraordinary academic and professional accomplishments of her offspring and their spouses. She will be remembered by her many friends as someone who was always ready to pitch in and help, particularly with fundraising for local nonprofits. She will be sorely missed by one and all.


Violet Franks

July 20, 1926 — November 1, 2020

Violet Franks, age 94, of Bloomington, IN, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 1 with her beloved son at her side. Violet was born in Queens, N.Y., on  July 20, 1926 to Jewish Russian immigrants Sarah (née Chomsky) and Joseph Greenberg. Always an avid student, Violet looked to pursue a career in psychology after graduating from Queens College. She completed a master’s degree at the University of Minnesota where she met her husband of 62 years, Cyril Franks, at a Hillel dinner. A brief courtship followed by wedding in New York and the newlyweds were on their way by steamship back to London to continue their education.

Their children, Steven and Sharon, were born in London as Violet completed her PhD in psychology at the University of London. The newly minted PhDs in Psychology from the University of London, Cyril and Violet, moved the family to New Jersey, eventually settling in Princeton.

On the cusp of the women’s movement, Violet edited Women in Therapy: New Psychotherapies for a Changing Society. Violet was active in the American Psychological Association division 12. She was active in The Jewish Center. She taught as adjunct faculty at Douglas College and served as the Director of Testing for Carrier Clinic in addition to a robust private practice. In their Princeton home of over 40 years, they hosted many parties for their friends from around the world. After suffering a stroke in 2013, Violet and her husband moved to Bloomington, Indiana, to be closer to family. She loved taking advantage of the cultural offerings of her new home, such as going to the opera, theater, and IU women’s basketball games.

Violet was a profoundly compassionate soul and a model of loving kindness. Friends and colleagues agree Violet was a seminal scholar, a wise mentor, and a merry and loyal friend. She is survived by her children Steven (Karen) Franks of Bloomington, IN, and Sharrin Vernall of Auckland, New Zealand; by her five grandchildren Julia (Joshua) Needle of Henderson, NV, David Franks of Chicago, IL, Elisabeth (Brian) Anderson of Denver, CO, Emily Sage and Brendon Vernall of Auckland, New Zealand; and by one great-grandson Nathan Needle.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Jewish Nevada’s Human Services Relief Fund (


William Robert Frazier

William Robert Frazier, 93, passed away October 13, 2020 after a long struggle following a fall and traumatic brain injury. Bill was born in 1926 in Washington, D.C., the only child of the late William Carroll and Sada Brown Frazier. He was educated in the Madison, Wisconsin, public schools. As a proud veteran, he served in World War II from 1945-1947 with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany. After the war, he earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He married the love of his life, the late Anne McElvain Frazier in 1951 in Madison, Wisconsin. They remained loving and strong partners for 53 years until Anne’s passing in 2004. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, he and Anne moved to New Jersey to begin his career and to start a family. Bill was involved in his three children’s lives, actively supporting and encouraging their interests, activities, and pursuits. He was an avid gardener, sports enthusiast, and history buff. He spent his scientific career at E. R. Squibb & Sons, New Brunswick, NJ, in various capacities in The Squibb Institute for Medical Research, Manufacturing and Chemical Division. He held the position of Research Fellow, involved with fermentation technology, process development, start-ups, was the manufacturing liaison, and conducted research in the fields of microbial fermentation associated with antibiotics, microbial transformations, and enzymes. He had several extended overseas assignments in India, Brazil, and Italy, making lifelong friends wherever he traveled.  

On retirement in 1986, he and Anne moved from Princeton, NJ, to Keowee Key, Salem, SC, where he resided since. During retirement, he and Anne enjoyed world travels as well as activities in the community. He appreciated any chance to get out and connect with people around him. He volunteered in the Emergency department at Oconee Medical Center for over 20 years, was a member of the Nine Hole golf group, Key Bowlers groups, Seneca Coffee Club, the Salem Lion’s Club, and the Keowee History Club.

Bill was best known for his subtle and quiet wit, his generosity, encouraging and uplifting words to his family and those around him, and his openness to new friendships with anyone he met. He often took the time and effort to inspire and encourage others. He left behind a legacy of support and kindness which will carry beyond his life here on earth. He will be deeply missed by those who knew him.

In addition to his parents and wife, Bill was predeceased by his step-mother Hildegarde Shultz Frazier, and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Jane McElvain and Carl Edwin Jenkins. He is survived by three children, William S. Frazier, of Helena, Montana, Jane Reed (Thomas) of Seneca, SC, and Barbara Ambos (Douglas), of Sherborn, Massachusetts; six grandchildren, Sarah Bekibele (Onome), William Georgitis, Mary Winters (Mark), and Samuel Georgitis, Adrienne Frazier (Dylan Smith), Scott Ambos; and four step-grandchildren, Toby Deter, Sunni Hitchcock (Clint), Jeremy Deter, and Thomas Reed. He is also survived by three great-granddaughters, Alexandria Georgitis, Sheralyn Bekibele, and Prudence Winters.

A memorial service is planned for November 22 at 3 p.m. at King’s Grove Baptist Church in Central, SC, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bill Frazier’s honor may be made to Hospice of the Foothills or a charity of your choice. The family would treasure your memories of Bill. These may be expressed online by visiting


Barbara T. Lyle

Barbara T. Lyle died peacefully Thursday, October 29, 2020 at the Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro after a valiant battle with cancer. She was born in Patterson, NJ, in 1937 to the late Martin and Mamie Touw. Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Quentin (Bud) Lyle. She is survived by her two children, Jeff Lyle (Jennifer) of Del Mar, CA, and Susan Lyle (Peter Healey) of Titusville, NJ; her cherished grandchildren, Charlotte, Jilly, Katie, and Lyle; her brother Robert Touw of East Stroudsburg, PA, and sister Debbie Grim (Allen) of Round Rock, TX; and her brother-in-law Bob Lyle (Hilary Evans) of Somers, NY.

Barbara graduated from Stroudsburg High School in Pennsylvania and the School of Nursing at The University of Pennsylvania. She met the love of her life, Bud, while in nursing school. After graduation, they married and moved to Camp Lejeune, NC, where Bud was a Dental Officer in the U.S. Navy stationed with the Marines. Following his discharge, they moved to Haverstraw, NY, while Bud completed his orthodontic specialty education at Columbia University. After his graduation, they moved to Princeton, NJ, a town they made their home for almost 60 years.  They raised their two children there and were an integral part of this community that they both loved. 

Barbara was a gourmet cook who loved entertaining and preparing special meals for her friends and family. She was the consummate host, making everyone feel as if they were a part of the family. Friends of friends and people far from home were always welcome for holidays and celebrations. Many of her children’s friends would stop by to visit her whenever they were in town.

Barbara was a passionate bridge player and an active golf member at Bedens Brook Club and later at Springdale Golf Club, where she served on the board. She also served on various committees at The Nassau Club of Princeton, where she and Bud were members, enjoying many meals and events with friends and family. Barbara had a large circle of friends who attended the Princeton Symphony and dined out together often. She was an active member of the Women’s Investment Group, where she enjoyed researching the markets and picking stocks with this fascinating group of women. She recently joined a book club where she enjoyed many lively conversations. Barbara involved herself in all of the arts and culture that Princeton has to offer; from the Morven Museum and Garden, to sporting events at the University. She loved attending performances at McCarter Theatre and playing bridge at The Present Day Club. However, Barbara’s true passion was the wonderful friendships she had with both those she had known forever, and those that were newer in her life. Barbara made time for everyone and will always be remembered as a kind and honest soul.

Barbara’s four grandchildren were a source of joy to her always. She followed their progress and reveled in their life achievements.  She enjoyed cheering them on at athletic fields and encouraging them in their art and music, as well as sharing her skills with them in the kitchen.   

Barbara loved the ocean and St. Croix was a particular place of peace and contentment for her and her whole family. Both her children and grandchildren traveled there with her and Bud many times over the years where she made all the arrangements, cooked every day, and made family time so enjoyable.

Given the current restrictions regarding social gatherings, the family has opted to plan a celebration of Barbara’s life in 2021 when conditions allow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Barbara’s memory to HomeFront, 1880 Princeton Avenue, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-4518; Princeton Symphony Orchestra, P.O. Box 250, Princeton, NJ 08542; or to the charity of your choice.

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