September 1, 2021

Obituaries 9/1/2021

Laura J. Hawkins

Laura J. Hawkins passed away peacefully at Princeton Medical Center on August 22 after a prolonged illness during which she demonstrated great fortitude and grace.

Born in Metuchen on September 14, 1946 to Alberta Stults Dey Hawkins and Albert William Hawkins, she grew up in a house on Longview Drive, built by her father, who also designed a footbridge in the Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve which she proudly pointed to when walking there with friends. She was also proud of her family’s deep roots in New Jersey, roots reflected in the family surnames Dey, Stults, and Hawkins found in many regional place names and cemeteries. 

She had a beautiful alto voice. After graduating from Princeton High School, she received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied the French horn and Music Literacy, subjects she subsequently taught at the American Boychoir School in Princeton. She sang in a number of choral groups, including Princeton ProMusica.

Laura was a gentle spirit with a quick and wry sense of humor and little patience for pretense. She had a deep interest in plants and nature which she developed and expanded, first as a Rutgers Master Gardener of Mercer County, then in Landscapes of Light, a horticultural business she established. She was an early proponent of native plants. Her keen eye for texture, shape, and color helped owners enhance existing plantings, and her knowledge and design skills are evident in many local gardens.

In recent years, Laura turned her considerable talents to photography. She posted magical photographs on Facebook of the many places in New Jersey and Pennsylvania she visited: the Pine Barrens, D&R Greenway, Cranbury Pond, Wickecheoke Creek Preserve, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, and High Rocks State Park, to name a few. She shared her love for nature with all she met, and was especially gifted in communicating with children. Through her photography, Laura supported the conservation efforts of local organizations such as D&R Greenway Land Trust and Pinelands Preservation Alliance. Laura’s love of and respect for nature also led her to be active in environmental causes including EQAT (Earth Quaker Action Team) which successfully lobbied a major bank to stop financing mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.

Laura’s powerful photographs earned her recognition from The Pine Barrens Alliance and from D&R Greenway Land Trust. The Trust selected her as their first Photographer of Preservation, a group that came to include Tasha O’Neill, Dave Anderson, and Jim Amon. Their library of her photographs features striking scenes of central New Jersey preserved landscapes, and of Meredith’s Garden of Inspiration in the Greenway Meadows Poetry Trail.   

Laura was a member of many “communities” in Princeton — healthy food, native plants, yoga, music, environmental protection, swimmers at the Princeton Pool, and patrons of the Princeton Senior Resource Center where she was known as an avid ping-pong player. She was also a member of the informal community of Princeton’s animal lovers, including the owners of dogs and cats she cared for while their owners were away. Laura’s uncle Amos Stults founded the Hopewell Veterinary Group, and Laura too had a special way with animals. She had sustained relationships with the pets she cared for that their owners envied — some called her the Dog Whisperer.

Laura is survived by a niece Susan Hawkins Bitsko and her husband Frank Bitsko, two nephews, seven great-nieces and nephews, and five great-great-nieces.

Laura attended Princeton’s Quaker Meeting and was a member of Nassau Presbyterian Church. A burial service will be held at Princeton Cemetery, and a celebration of her life will be held at a later time soon to be determined. Please contact Nassau Presbyterian Church for details. Condolences may be made online at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home website (

In lieu of flowers, donations in Laura’s memory can be made to D&R Greenway Land Trust, the Trenton Music Makers, or the Princeton Senior Resource Center.

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


Joseph J. Gawarkiewicz

Capt. Joseph J Gawarkiewicz, USN (ret) died on August 21, 2021 at Willow Valley Communities, Lancaster, PA after a long illness.

Joe was born on Staten Island, NY, in 1934 to Helen Kochman Gawarkiewicz and Joseph J. Gawarkiewicz. He attended high school at the Augustinian Academy in Staten Island. He attended Villanova College prior to receiving a Congressional appointment to the United States Naval Academy graduating in 1957.

He joined the Civil Engineer Corps, earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His first CEC tour was at the Naval Air Test Center at Patuxent River, MD.

Next, Joe earned a Master’s of Science in Engineering at Princeton University. Joe completed two tours of duty in Vietnam in 1968 – 1969, along with tours in Thailand, Mississippi, London, England, Newport, Rhode Island (Naval War College), and the Pentagon.

He completed his career as the Public Works Officer at the Naval Academy. Joe’s awards included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat V, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

In 1982, Joe joined Princeton University as General Manager of Plant & Services and became involved in an expansion of Princeton facilities and Service Departments. In 1993, he retired from Princeton and with his wife Dolores moved to Island Heights, a small community on the Jersey shore. While there he was elected to serve on the Borough Council for two terms. Joe and Dolores moved to Philadelphia for several years before moving to Willow Valley Communities in Lancaster, PA, where he was able to spend some time with fellow USNA grads.

Joe was a role model to many, a great thinker with a dry sense of humor, and much loved by his family and friends. His reassuring presence will be sorely missed and hopefully emulated by his grace, dignity, and humility.

Predeceased by his wife, Dolores Gleba Gawarkiewicz in 2018, Joe is survived by his son, Glen and wife Connie, and daughter Marlene Jane and husband Marty Franklin; five grandchildren Ellen, Thomas, Gwen, Delia, and Teddy; and his brother, Charles Gawarkiewicz and his wife Patricia.

Donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association. Services will be held at the Naval Academy in the spring.

To send an online condolence, please visit


Judith M. Paulsen

Judith M. Paulsen, 84, of Griggstown passed away Monday, August 23, 2021 at home surrounded by her loving family.

Judith was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where she graduated from Fort Hamilton High School. She spent many summers and weekends in Griggstown growing up and moved there permanently in 1957 after marrying the love of her life, Carsten. She raised her family and was adored by all the neighborhood kids of Sunset Hill. She was known as Aunt Judy but most of all, everyone’s “Bestamor.”

She worked at Chase Bank in Manhattan and over 20 years at Management Planning Inc. in Princeton.

She was a longtime member of Bunker Hill Church.

She is predeceased by her parents Jens and Madeline Olsen, her children Cheryl and Steven, a sister Doris Fredholm (Richard), and a brother Ronald Olsen (Priscilla).

She is survived by her loving husband of 64 years Carsten Paulsen; son James and wife Stacey, son Christopher and wife Rose, and daughter Meredith and husband Michael Mangini; seven grandchildren James Jr., Kristen (Aaron), Emily, Bara, Sean, Michael Jr., and Dakota; seven great-grandchildren Hannah, Landon, Lauren, Hailey, Brooklyn, Brayden, and Madilynn; and several nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Bunker Hill Church, 235 Bunker Hill Road, Griggstown, NJ.

Family and friends are welcome to call starting at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Bunker Hill Church.

Arrangements are under the direction of M.J. Murphy Funeral Home.


Antonio Tamasi

Antonio Tamasi, 94, of Princeton, NJ, passed away peacefully at home on August 23, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Pettoranello, Italy, Tony immigrated to the United States in 1953 and settled in Princeton.

He worked in the grounds maintenance departments at Princeton University and then RCA Laboratories. After a 35-year career at RCA, he retired in 1992. After retiring, he expanded his part-time landscaping business and continued to work well into his eighties.

Tony was a member and past president of the Societa M.S. Roma Eterna, and a member of the Princeton Italian American Sportsman Club. He was a devout parishioner of St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church. Tony was an avid gardener and was passionate about his craft. For many years he volunteered his time planting and maintaining the beautiful grounds of Pettoranello Gardens in Princeton. He proudly shared his gardening expertise with family, friends, and neighbors.

Tony’s true passion was his family. He was a devoted husband, proud father, and PopPop, a loyal brother and friend. He enjoyed helping his children and grandchildren with their vegetable gardens and landscaping. He especially enjoyed spending time with family at Sunday dinners. Tony leaves a legacy of hard work and love of family.

Predeceased by his parents, Vito and Carmela (Cifelli) Tamasi, his sister, Cleonice Nini, and son-in-law, James Willie, Tony is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Evelina (Pirone) Tamasi; his daughters and son-in-law, Carol Ann Willie, Marisa and Michael Robson; his grandchildren, Jennifer Bukowski and her husband Michael, Lauren Carey and her husband Chris, Lindsay Robson and Michael Robson; five great-grandchildren, Ryan, Evan and Kyle Bukowski, Megan and Jack Carey; his sisters, Ida Ciccone and Esterina Sferra and her husband Umberto; his sister-in-law Mary Ann Pirone; brothers-in-law, Giuseppe Nini, Ralph Pirone, and his wife Lydia; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

The funeral was held on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Paul’s Church and burial at Princeton Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Tony’s memory may be made to Embracing HospiceCare, 3349 Route 138, Building D, Suite F, Wall, NJ 07719.


Lorraine Fisch

Lorraine Fisch, beloved wife, mother, volunteer, and friend, passed away August 28, 2021 after a long battle with cancer. She was 60 years old.

Lorraine was a 30-year resident of West Windsor. She gave of herself to help others, believing deeply in women’s equality, anti-racism, and empathy for others.

She volunteered and served in leadership over the years at String of Pearls Reconstructionist Synagogue, Sharim v’Sharot choir, Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey, Girl Scouts, and the Friends of the West Windsor Library. She helped friends and family whenever she could and had a kind, giving, and protector soul. She was loved by many and will be dearly missed.

Lorraine is survived by her husband Rob Friedman and daughter Molly Fisch-Friedman.

Funeral services and burial were August 31 at Ewing Cemetery.

Shiva will be observed at the family home through Sunday evening.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to one of the many causes of her life, including Planned Parenthood, SAVE, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Greenpeace, and String of Pearls Reconstructionist Synagogue.

To send condolences to the family, please visit Lorraine’s obituary page at