Longtime Princeton resident Diane (Didi) Wormser Burke, 94, passed away peacefully at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center on December 26, 2021. While she died on one of the shortest days of the year, she was born on the longest day, June 21, 1927.
Diane had lived in Princeton since 1981 with the late James E Burke, former Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, whom she married in 1981. They shared a love of travel, family, and the arts. During that time, she worked as a docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her well-prepared tours became so popular that she was asked to give private ones to visiting dignitaries and VIPs. She served as a longtime trustee of the Met and the Princeton Art Museum as well as on the boards of the Mercantile Library of NYC, the Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers, the Wellesley College Friends of Art, the Middle East Society of Princeton, and the Russian American Cultural Foundation. Over 30 years ago, she and her late husband founded the James E. and Diane W. Burke Foundation which has focused on children’s health and children and the arts.
Beloved by friends and family for her kindness, compassion, artistry, and love of life, Didi grew up in Larchmont with her sister Renee and parents Elsie and Felix Wormser. As a child she traveled frequently, visiting all the states by age 14 as her father was a mining engineer who also served as Assistant Secretary of the Interior under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
After graduating from Wellesley College with a BA in Art History, she worked at Perls Galleries in New York City which exclusively handled the works of Alexander Calder and other modern artists. In 1951 she married ad exec Frank Schaffer and raised her three children in Greenwich, CT, where she maintained a career as a painter with her own distinct style reminiscent of Henri Rousseau for her jungle animals and later Andy Warhol for her seed packet paintings. While there, Didi and two other women opened and ran a successful art gallery called Gallery 3.
Fluent in French and Italian, Didi also had a lifelong love of the opera, classical music (her favorite composer being Mozart), the works of Trollope, and dachshunds. A woman of great beauty, elegance, and grace, she is survived by her children and their spouses Quentin Schaffer and Erica Anderheggen of New Canaan, CT; Darcy and John Hadjipateras of Greenwich, CT; and Jocelyn Schaffer of Jamestown, RI; as well as six grandchildren – Charlotte, Kylie, and Cameron Schaffer and Peter, Costas, and Sophie Hadjipateras; step grandchildren Alex and Marina Hadjipateras; and stepchildren James and Clo Burke and their children Anna and Alice Burke and Christina Menkemeller and Michael Preininger.
Arrangements are under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.
Matthew David Haar
Matthew David Haar, PhD, died December 9, 2021 in his son’s home in Berkeley, California. He was a clinical psychologist in private practice in Princeton, NJ, from 1983 until October 2021 and a longtime resident of Pennington, NJ.
Matthew was born in New York City in 1945 to Murray and Shirley Haar. He was raised in Jersey City, NJ, in a large and close family where he attended Orthodox Jewish synagogue with his grandfather Jacob Haar, helped in the family wholesale grocery business, and was valedictorian at his high school, Stevens Academy in Hoboken, NJ.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) in 1967, Matthew joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed as a Lieutenant with the nuclear submarine tender USS Simon Lake in Holy Loch, Scotland, where he learned to program computers. After his service, Matthew moved to Berkeley, CA, and designed computer systems for Golden West Bank.
In the early 1970s, Matthew became interested in the human potential movement and psychology. He married Betsie Averett Holt in 1974 and began doctoral studies at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology in Palo Alto, CA. During this time he became a student of the Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher and Roshi, Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi.
In 1982 and with three little boys now in their family, he graduated with a PhD in clinical psychology. The family relocated to Pennington, NJ, where Matthew started his psychotherapy practice in Princeton, NJ, and their fourth son was born.
Over his four decades of practice, Matthew guided hundreds of children, adolescents, and adults toward a better understanding of their emotions and behavior. He closed his clinical practice in October 2021. While a sudden diagnosis of cancer cut short his post-clinical plans to continue training a new generation of therapists, in his final days he drafted a primer on emotions for the lay reader, which will be published posthumously. Matthew also remained a dedicated practitioner of Zen Buddhism to the end of his life.
Matthew is remembered by his family and friends for his big heart, insightful presence, generosity of spirit, and love of life. Among many things, he enjoyed sitting in the sun, dancing to live music, sharing a glass of fine wine, and most of all, spending quality time with loved ones.
Matthew is survived by Betsie, beloved wife of 47 years; sons Jordan, Jacob, William and Samuel; daughters-in-law Rohini and Maya; grandchildren Beata, Lalita, Gemma, Lakshmi, Zofja, Arya, Rahm, Aalia, and Emma; sisters Lynn Reichgott and Diane Haar-Lyons and their husbands Michael Reichgott and Jack Lyons; many adored nephews, nieces, cousins, friends, and patients. He was preceded in death by his parents Murray and Shirley Haar, of blessed memory. Funeral services for Matthew’s immediate family were held in California in December 2021 and the family is planning a New Jersey memorial service in June 2022.