November 24, 2021

Obituaries 11/24/2021

Joan Legg Schreyer

April 22, 1929 – November 16, 2021

Joan Legg Schreyer, 92, of State College, PA, (formerly of Princeton, NJ and Buffalo, NY) passed away on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. Wife of the late William “Bill” Allen Schreyer, former CEO of Merrill Lynch; daughter of the late William Bardgett and Gladys (McDonald) Legg.

Joan was born in Buffalo, NY, on April 22, 1929 and grew up in the Buffalo area. She attended Sullins Academy in Bristol, VA, and Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA. She met her husband in 1951 and they were married on October 17, 1953.

Shortly after they were married, Joan and Bill moved to Wiesbaden, Germany, while he was serving his ROTC commitment with the Air Force. After returning to the states, they moved back to Buffalo for Bill to return to work at Merrill Lynch. In 1968 they settled in Princeton, NJ, where they lived for 45 years.

Joan was the quintessential party planner and gift giver. She annually made her renowned brandied cranberries for friends and family over the holidays. For years she made her famous sour cream coffee cakes for the annual Princeton Hospital Auxiliary Christmas Bazaar. She chaired both the Car Raffle and the Dinner Dance for the annual Hospital Fete. She was an active member of the Junior League, was on the board at Nero Psychiatric Institute, was a patron at Morven, and was a longtime member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton. 

Joan was a member of many distinguished clubs, including The River Club in New York, NY; The Metropolitan Club and The Georgetown Club in Washington, DC; Skibo Castle in Dornoch, Scotland; Annabel’s, The Mark’s Club, Harry’s Bar, and Les Ambassadors in London, England; The Saturn Club and The Buffalo Country Club in Buffalo, NY; The Nassau Club, Springdale Golf Club, The Present Day Club, and Bedens Brook Club in Princeton, NJ; Eldorado Country Club in Indian Wells, CA; Old Baldy Club in Saratoga, WY; The Bay Head Yacht Club and The Manasquan River Golf Club near Mantoloking, NJ; and Centre Hills Country Club in State College, PA.

During Bill’s career at Merrill Lynch, Joan had the honor of meeting several U.S. Presidents, many foreign dignitaries, and Pope John Paul II. Their travels took them to every continent, except Antarctica.

Joan and Bill strongly believed in higher education and were the lead benefactors for the Pennsylvania State University’s Schreyer Honors College.

She was predeceased by her fraternal grandparents T. Arthur and Maud (Bardgett) Legg; her maternal grandparents William Frederick and Ida (Schwable) McDonald; her parents; her husband in 2011; and her son-in-law, Rodney Frazier, in 2015. She is survived by her daughter, DrueAnne Bardgett Schreyer of State College, PA; grandchildren Kelly Frazier and her fiancé Michael Zalewski of State College, PA; and Charles Frazier and his wife Ariana Ramos of San Diego, CA.

Celebrations of Joan’s life will be held in Princeton and State College in the new year. Joan will be interred with her husband in a private service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Schreyer Honors College at

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences may be entered at or visit us on Facebook.


Martha Rivkin

Martha Rivkin, a teacher at the Community Park School in Princeton from 2000-2015, passed away unexpectedly in October.

Martha was devoted to the school children in Princeton. She taught children in all grade levels and also worked in the Special Needs Program. After school she loved to garden in her extensive yard on Rosedale Road. There was nothing that brought Martha more joy than the happiness of others, whether it was one of her students receiving a good grade or achieving a significant milestone. Martha’s legacy is one that will be carried forward by all who knew her and were the recipients of her love and care.

Martha retired five years ago and was attending to her family’s business interests in Lewes, Delaware, where she lived for the past five years. She loved being close to the beach and her family.

Martha’s father, Joe Muckerman, a West Point grad, moved his family every two years. This followed military protocol. Martha lived in a variety of spots while growing up including the Panama Canal Zone, Key West, Fort Leavenworth, San Pedro, and Alexandria, Virginia.

Martha graduated from Mount St. Mary’s College with a teaching degree. She then worked as a trader/analyst in the commodities business in Washington, D.C., before moving to Princeton when she married Harold Rivkin.

Martha is survived by her son Joseph Champlin, who is married to Anna and lives in Fredrick, Maryland. Martha was anticipating, with much excitement, the birth of her first grandchild.


G. Christopher Baker

Chris died at home with his family by his side on November 3, 2021, after a lengthy illness at the age of 77.  He was born in Annapolis, Maryland, on March 4, 1944.

He attended St. Paul’s Grammar School and Princeton High School and received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame University, and JD degree from Rutgers Law School Newark. Chris was in the first group of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers and served in Tanzania, East Africa.

Before attending Rutgers Law School, Chris worked at United Progress Incorporated, a community-based nonprofit created by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society to eliminate poverty.

After graduating from Rutgers Law School, Chris clerked for Justice Frederick W. Hall of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. He was Vice President of Schatzman Baker where he developed an expertise in zoning and planning law, real estate development law, and business law.

Chris enjoyed reading, music, travel, and spending time with his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie, of 52 years; his daughter, Rachel Morris and two grandchildren, Ella and Brendan Morris; and his siblings Kathleen Baker of Nashville, Tennessee; Michael Baker and his wife Alynn of Bricktown, N.J.; Stephen Baker and his wife Phyllis of Alexandria, Virginia; and Joanna Baker Wandelt of Watertown, Connecticut and many nieces and nephews. Chris was a loving husband, father, and grandfather and will be missed.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Women of the Dream (a 501(c)3), 69 Cypress Pointe Road, Mt. Holly, New Jersey 08060 or Gift of Life Donor Program, 401 3rd Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19123.

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


Mary-Alice O’Neil Lessing Evans

Mary-Alice O’Neil Lessing Evans, 94 of Princeton, NJ, Skillman, NJ, and Chebeague Island, ME, passed away August 12, 2021 at her home at Stonebridge of Montgomery, NJ.

Born in Hartford, CT, Mary-Alice was the youngest daughter of Joseph Carter and Marie Dyer O’Neil. She was affectionately known as “Tink” to her family and friends.

Tink was a graduate of Smith College, and received Master’s degrees from Rutgers University and Middlebury College. She was a Spanish and French teacher for over 20 years at Princeton Regional Schools. She adored her students and they always inspired her. Tink enjoyed collaborating with her colleagues and dearly missed their interactions after she retired. Even in retirement Tink continued to teach a Spanish class at Stonebridge and attended an informal French conversation group. She loved pursuing new skills. In recent years, painting became a new passion and a talent that she shared with her late daughter and other relatives.

Tink was an energetic daily-walker (with anyone who could keep up with her), a voracious reader, a New York Times crossword puzzle aficionado, a parishioner of All Saints’ Church, a daily member of Stonebridge coffee group (bring your own cup), and with her boundless energy and love of the outdoors she spent every summer of her life at her family’s home in Maine!

Predeceased by her beautiful daughter Anne Carter Lessing (Welsh), her beloved husband of 50 years Robert Lessing, her second husband Dr. Thomas Evans, her good friend Lou Gambaccini, her sister Edith, and two brothers Bud and Nate. Her memory will forever live on in her three daughters and sons-in-law, Jane and Victor Fasanella of Robbinsville, NJ, Amy and David Dudeck of Hamilton Square, NJ, Susan and Michael LaVoie of Modest Town, VA, her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and her plethora of cherished friends and colleagues.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home of Princeton, NJ.


Mary (Maria) Balestrieri

Mary (Maria) Balestrieri, 83, of Princeton, died Friday, November 19, 2021, at Brandywine Living, Princeton. Born in Princeton, she was a lifelong resident. Mary worked for many years at the First National Bank of Princeton, Princeton University Firestone Library, and Landau. She was a member of St. Paul’s Church and a devoted supporter of Catholic Charities.

Daughter of the late Salvatore and Maria Balestrieri, she is survived by her brother John and several nieces and nephews. Her siblings, Louis, Sal, Dominick, and Fanny, predecease her.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at St. Paul’s Church, 216 Nassau Street, Princeton. Burial followed in the Princeton Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Church.