Gabrielle Aline Pittet-Borel
June 2, 1922 – July 8, 2022
Gaby Borel, 100 years old, left us peacefully early on the morning of July 8, 2022 at her home of 65 years in Princeton.
Born in Bière, Switzerland, a farm village with a military base, in the French part of Switzerland, on June 2, 1922, her father, Auguste Pittet, was a Major in the Swiss army and an avid alpinist. Gaby’s mother, Odette Gillieron-Pittet, skilled in the artisanal arts, ran an efficient household. Her brother, Edouard, was born the following year.
Gaby’s father, after postings in various parts of Switzerland, settled with his family in Payerne, where Gaby spent the rest of her growing up years. She often referred with heady enthusiasm to her youth in Payerne as “ma belle jeunesse!” Those years covered pre and early WWII years which included the standard curfews, rationing, and schooling without heat (which she ascertained resulted in children never being sick rather than the opposite). There, she formed what were to be lifelong friendships, attended dances, town balls, and made mischief. Gaby’s spirit and unquenchable appetite for life was countered by a father who, though caring, was a strict disciplinarian. He signed her on for a short stint in the Swiss army’s complementary female division because she had waved at some soldiers on a departing train, and sent her to perfect her German at the Iseltwald girls boarding school run by no-nonsense nuns on Lake Brienz. As was her nature, she managed to have fun there regardless and to master German while making more lifelong friends. Gaby was then able to follow her true calling, painting and drawing, at the Lausanne School of Beaux Arts.
Upon completion, she was hired by the meteorological institute in Zurich to draw weather maps, and it was in Zurich that she met and fell in love with her future husband, Armand Borel, who was doing his graduate work at the Zurich Polytechnic Institute (ETH). In 1947, while Armand was securing his doctorate in Paris, Gaby went to London to learn English where she helped make ends meet by working and initially living in the Moral-Armament center. In her spare time, she drew sketches of a sadly bombed out cityscape and continued to meet more fascinating people. She and Armand then both reconnected in Geneva, where he taught at the University of Geneva, and in 1952, following an offer from the Institute for Advanced Study, Armand proposed, they married, and then sailed to America, where their daughter Dominique was born two years later. After Princeton, an exhilarating trip to Mexico, and a turn in Chicago, they returned to Switzerland, where Armand was then teaching at ETH in Zurich, and a second daughter Anne was born. Finally, with a tenure offer from the Institute for Advanced Study, in 1957 Gaby and Armand made their permanent residence Princeton, NJ.
Gaby and Armand were passionate travelers and nature lovers. Luckily Armand’s work brought them opportunities to not only travel but to spend extended periods of time abroad. Their trips were well researched and they always found the hidden treasures in the less accessible venues of the places they visited. Gaby was gifted with a keen aesthetic eye: museums, art, fossils, geology, and archeology were among her many interests and she always was on the lookout for an as yet undiscovered arrowhead, fossil, or archeological relic whether it was on site or hiding in the local flea markets and auctions. And she found them.
Aside from annual visits to Switzerland, there were three-month stays in Hong Kong three years running and numerous trips to India, the first one having been in 1960, and well as many other countries. In the early years, there were also summer respites in Canada or Maine where Gaby, sometimes cooking over a wood stove, would fry up chanterelles found in the woods or try to serve less identifiable mushrooms to her amused but understandably reluctant husband. To her small daughters, begging for yet another tale to be read and with no book on hand, she would sometimes grab a piece of toast, fold it in two and “read” them a story. Gaby Borel was the indefatigable social conduit of her marriage. She loved meeting new people and the more of an international and intercultural mix the better. The range of her friends was wide and without barriers. She could connect with someone who was 20 just as well as someone who was in their 90s. Not someone who functioned in a club or not for profit group network mode, Gaby helped many others and did good deeds for innumerable people. Whether it was bumping into a new Princeton arrival on Palmer Square, helping them locate a crib and leaving her homemade pie on their doorstep that same evening, or whether it was being there, when no one else was, for a family dealing with isolation and mental illness, she responded with compassion and alacrity to those in need. Her pies and immense generosity were renowned and enjoyed by many over the years.
After her husband died in 2003, Gaby continued to travel, mostly to Switzerland, where she would stay for lengthy periods of time, initially on her own, and then with her daughters. Together they also traveled to Panama, Cuba, Costa Rica, and more. Until nearly her last breath, Gaby was still wanting to plan more trips. She talked of Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, and wanting to go back to India.
Pre-deceased by her husband Armand and her brother Edouard, she is survived by her daughters Dominique and Anne as well as her cousins, niece, nephews, grand and great-grandnieces and nephews, her godchild Alexis, caregiver Floridalma, and friends all over the world.
Gaby Borel and her zestful generous spirit will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.
A celebration in honor of Gaby will be announced at a future time.
Donations may be made in her name to TASK in Trenton and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: Haven for Elephants.
Kathryn M. Yoder
Kathryn Louise Mulhollen Yoder passed away at her home in the early morning hours of July 25. It was as she wanted it. Family and friends visited her bedside to serenade her, read to her, and wish her well on her journey. She was happy! Kathryn was all about giving to others and making sure she left a bit of herself on Earth — in paintings, needlepoint, poems, collages, and in many words of wisdom. She was always the teacher and philosopher!
Trained as a home economics teacher, Kay went on to become a substitute teacher at Princeton High School — on too many subjects to mention. She became a full-time English teacher there later in life. She passed on that love for education to her older daughter who became an English teacher.
When Kay retired, she devoted herself to painting, pottery, collages, and poetry. Even later in her life, she was a frequent guest at her younger daughter’s writing retreats where she thoroughly enjoyed offering opinions and tips to aspiring authors. She was an author herself, writing for children’s magazines and authoring a poetry book, Portraying My Life in Paint and Poetry.
Kay was born unexpectedly in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in her grandmother’s bed when her mother was home for her mother’s funeral. She was raised in Portage, Pennsylvania, and moved at a young age to Johnstown. She had a Little Women type of childhood with four sisters, Belle, Mae, Gladys, and Marjorie, and a loving mother and father, Lillie and Victor. She played the French horn in orchestra and band, survived the 1936 Johnstown Flood, starred as Elizabeth Bennet in her school play, and danced with Gene Kelly (she loved to tell people that).
It was during the summer of 1942, while attending summer school at Penn State, that she met Wayne Yoder when she asked him to join her bridge party (she loved playing bridge!). A tennis date followed, which is ironic, since they never really played again. They were married two years later and remained married for 64 years — living in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Princeton, Savannah, and then back to Pennsylvania and Princeton. Their lives included three children —Charlotte, Thom, and Carolyn. They loved to travel and attend plays, musicals, and the symphony. And they continued to play lots of bridge.
Grams to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she was known to play badminton, whiffle ball, and golf and also enjoyed traveling to her son’s home for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
At the age of 88, Kay moved to Stonebridge where she lived independently and continued to paint. She took up collage, pottery, and poetry, and found peace sitting on her porch surrounded by her flowering begonias and listening to the birds.
She is survived by her children and their spouses, Louis Longo and Jean Schluter Yoder; grandchildren Tim Sherwood and his wife, Arleen; Scott Sherwood and his wife, Renee; and Margaret and Elizabeth Yoder; and great-grandchildren Sam and Ben Sherwood and Abigail and Owen Sherwood.
Donations can be made to the Kay Yoder Scholarship (she had such an impact that they created a scholarship in her honor!) at highlightsfoundation.org/kay-yoder-scholarship. A memorial service will be held at the Foundation’s Barn in Boyds Mills, PA, in late August.
Mary V. Laity
Mary Vicchi Laity passed away peacefully on July 24 at her home in Princeton Windrows with family members by her side. She was 92. Mary was born on July 9, 1930, in a charity hospital on Welfare (now Roosevelt) Island in New York City. Her parents were immigrants from Italy with very little formal education, but Mary benefited from the excellent educational opportunities offered by the New York public schools, first at P.S. 59 in Manhattan, where she gave the Farewell Address (valedictorian’s speech) at her eighth-grade graduation, then at Hunter High School, where she obtained a first-rate liberal arts education. She matriculated at Hunter College, then one of the top women’s colleges in the state, before moving with her family to Miami. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami.
While at Miami, Mary worked over the summers at the Monmouth Hotel in Spring Lake, New Jersey, where she met her future husband of 42 years, Richard Laity, a graduate of Haverford College who was going on to graduate school; Mary and Richard were married in 1951. They spent the first few years of their marriage in Ames, Iowa, where Richard earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Iowa State University and Mary taught fourth grade. In 1955 Mary and Richard moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where Richard was a member of the Chemistry Department at Princeton University, later becoming professor of chemistry at Rutgers, and Mary reared their five children. When the children were older, Mary returned to school, earning an M.A. and M.Phil. in English from Rutgers University. A gifted educator, she taught literature at the University College adult school of Rutgers while a graduate student, tutored children through the volunteer organization College Bound, and taught a wide variety of literature classes, from Charles Dickens to Henry James to Virginia Woolf and others, in the Evergreen Forum, where she had a devoted following of students eager to take whatever course she was teaching.
A lifelong avid reader with an interest in the arts, Mary wrote reviews for the local papers on art, music, and history. She belonged to two reading groups and for 22 years was a member of the Travellers Club — an organization of women who would research and write a paper each year on an eclectic variety of topics; Mary’s numerous papers included studies on Magna Carta and English law, fiction of the Great Depression, and the lost world of Byzantium. She later expanded many of these for the Forum at Windrows, an independent living community to which she moved in 2016.
Mary was active in the Princeton community in other ways, as a member of the League of Women Voters and the Women’s College Club of Princeton (of which she was for many years the historian and publicity chair).
Mary’s professional life included jobs as a proofreader at Peterson’s Guides, fundraiser for Preservation New Jersey, and supervisor for many years of the proofing department at Caliper Corporation.
Mary loved New York City, not only for its cultural offerings, but because she believed that during the Depression and the 1940s, it was good to its poor people, offering them excellent educational and other opportunities.
A wonderful and beloved mother, throughout her long life Mary was always ready to listen to and support her five children, providing for each whatever help or encouragement he or she most needed. And she passed on to them her love of literature and art, her sense of fairness and support for the underprivileged, her patriotism and commitment to citizens’ rights and responsibilities (she never missed a vote), and her unwavering faith in her family. As both mother and grandmother, she treated each child as a unique, special individual. She was a delightful traveling companion, a wonderful cook, a staunch companion in joy and sorrow, and a friend.
Mary is survived by her children and their spouses, James Laity and Mary Anne Festa, Susan Laity, Katherine and Earl Walker, William Laity, and John Laity and Linda Feng, and her grandchildren Richard Laity-Festa, Rachel Laity, Gretchen Laity, Enzo Feng-Laity, and Metta Feng-Laity.
A memorial service will be held in the fall at Trinity Episcopal Church.
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August 1, 1934 – July 27, 2022
Frank Tufano Sr. (August 1, 1934-July 27, 2022), a retired metallurgist, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, and mentor, passed away on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at home surrounded by his loving family.
Frank was predeceased by his son, Frank Tufano Jr., his father, Vincenzo Tufano, his mother, Anna Tufano (Cuomo), and siblings Cecelia Tufano, Joseph Tufano (Irene), Vincent Tufano (Julia), and John Tufano (Theresa). He is survived by his loving wife and companion of 66 years, Emma Tufano (Muentener), his daughter, Allison Clancy and husband Kevin, his granddaughter, Kaitlyn Clancy and fiancé Jarreau, his brother Richard Tufano and wife Kathleen, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Frank was born and raised in Princeton, NJ, and anything Princeton was in his heart, especially the Princeton Tigers. He often told stories of hopping over the fences at Palmer Stadium and Dillon and Jadwin Gyms to watch the games, as well as playing in the war tunnels under Princeton. Frank proudly served his county in the U.S. Army and was a Marksman, stationed on the missile base in Leonardo, NJ.
Frank was a Metallurgical Engineer and spent his 30-year career at Ingersoll Rand in Skillman, NJ, where he was the recipient of five (5) patents; one of which he developed was the process that reduced the corrosion on the silencer of the Navy submarine.
He was a bright and creative man with many interests, particularly golf. At the age of 14, he caddied at Springdale Golf Course for well-known individuals, such as Jimmy Stewart, Mae West, William Bendix, and Don Knotts, all of whom participated in the University’s Triangle Club.
Frank also loved spending time at their Pocono home on Lake Wallenpaupack, which he and Emma built themselves. He enjoyed waterskiing, boating on the lake, and snow skiing. Frank retired from Ingersoll Rand in 1994 and pursed his love of golf, and spent summers at their lake house in Pennsylvania.
A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 11 a.m. at Blawenburg Reformed Church, 424 Route 518, Skillman, NJ 08558 – (609) 466-1832. For those unable to attend the service, it will be streamed live on both the Blawenburg Reformed Church’s Facebook page or through Zoom at the following link: https:/zoom.us/j/97023890396 Passcode: church; or phone: 1-646-558-8656; Meeting ID: 970 2389 0396.
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, designated to multiple myeloma, or Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in remembrance of Frank.
Alexander Edwards Morris
February 8, 1941 – July 25, 2022
Alexander E. Morris, a retired business executive, father, and grandfather, passed away on Monday, July 25, 2022. Alex (“Sandy” to family and childhood friends) was predeceased by Pegie Morris, his loving wife and companion of 57 years, in January. Alex is survived by his son Robert V. Morris, Robert’s wife Kendall L. Morris, their three grandchildren – Parker, Hayden, and Ellie (Richmond, VA), his son Garret E. Morris and his wife Joyce B. Morris (Towson, Maryland). Alex is also survived by his brother Dudley E. Morris (Santa Barbara, CA).
Alex was born and raised in Princeton, New Jersey. He attended The Lawrenceville School and later Princeton High School (Class of 1959). He went on to major in Business and graduated from Rider University (Lawrence, NJ). He enjoyed a successful career, working in multiple industries and roles, including Pharmaceuticals, Office Supplies, and Business Process Consulting.
He was a bright and creative man with many interests. Alex loved history, politics, the traditional catholic liturgy, and most of all spending time with family. He enjoyed good food, investing in real estate, reading, and tending to his recent collection of bonsai trees. Dogs were always special to Alex and his bulldog, Alistair, was by his side at the end.
Alex strove to live his life in accordance with strong personal values. He taught his family the value of hard work, the importance of honesty and of personal responsibility. He also taught them to love and to appreciate the beauty of our physical world.
A funeral mass will be celebrated in Alex’s honor in the chapel at St. Agnes Catholic Church (7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, FL 34120) on Friday, August 5, 2022 at 11 a.m. Burial and an in-home reception to follow (28396 Sombrero Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34135).
In lieu of flowers, a donation to St. Mathew’s House Naples, FL, or to a charity of your choosing will be appreciated.
Elwood “Woody” Willis Phares II
Elwood “Woody” Willis Phares II passed away on Tuesday evening, July 19, 2022, at his home in Princeton, NJ, at the age of 92. With a radiant smile, bellowing laugh, and magnanimous charm, Woody was a generous husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.
Woody was born on June 1, 1930, to Eugene and Ruth (Royer) Phares of Elizabeth, NJ. He attended The Pingry School, where he played on both the football and swimming teams, along with being a member of the 1947 Pingry Hall of Fame golf team. Summers growing up were spent at the beach in Bay Head and Sea Girt, NJ, along with many memorable years with his younger brother, Richard Royer Phares, as a camper and counselor at Camp Waganaki in East Waterford, ME.
After graduating from Pingry in 1947, Woody majored in Management Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) of Troy, NY, graduating with honors in 1951. At RPI, Woody was selected to both the Phalanx Honor and White Key societies, as well as the Theta Xi and Tau Beta Pi fraternities. Woody served as the Vice President of his Junior Class and as Chairman of the Ring Committee during his Senior Year.
A fierce athlete, Woody continued his athletic passion at RPI, playing on both the football and lacrosse teams. Woody was co-captain of the 1951 lacrosse team under coach Ned Harkness, who recalled Woody as “one of the best centers I ever had the pleasure of coaching.” During the 1951 North/South All-Star game, Woody led the team to a 12-11 win, taking all 12 out of 12 face-offs. Woody was selected as an All-American, and named to UVA’s All-Opponent team comprised of players the rival university considered the very best they’d shared the field with. In 1993, Woody was inducted to RPI’s athletic Hall of Fame.
Following his undergraduate ROTC training, Woody joined the 82nd Airborne Division, where he trained in strategic reserve during the Korean War as a 1st Lieutenant Paratrooper, stationed in the South of France.
After the Korean War, Woody attended Harvard Business School, graduating with honors in the class of 1955. While at Harvard, Woody met Jacqueline “Jacquie” Jean Overturf, and they married in February 1956. Together, Woody and Jacquie raised Melissa Jameson “Jamie” Phares and Craig Anthony Royer Phares in Princeton, N.J. The family spent years vacationing in Barbados, Bermuda, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, and Snowmass/Aspen, CO. Woody and Jacquie fostered a passion for travel throughout their 66-year marriage, with countless memories and anecdotes from travel experiences around the globe.
Woody worked in the chemical engineering business for his entire career. Cary Company and Dart Industries, Inc. In 1979 he joined West/Penetone, Inc. (formerly West Chemical Products, Inc) as CEO and President, a position he held until retiring in 2016. Woody proudly took West from a publicly traded company to a privately owned “family company.”
Woody served on the boards of the University Medical Center of Princeton, Crawford House, and The Pingry School. Woody also made consistent charitable contributions to the McCarter Theatre Center, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, the Arts Council of Princeton, RPI,
Harvard Business School, the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Princeton Day School, and Save the Children, among others. Woody was a member of the Harvard Club of New York City, the Coral Beach & Tennis Club of Bermuda; the Pretty Brook Tennis Club, the Nassau Club, and The Old Guard of Princeton. He was additionally a previous member of The River Club of New York, The Bedens Brook Club of Princeton, and the Racquet Club of Chicago.
Woody was an avid skier, tennis, and squash player. He was an arts patron and regular theatergoer. Woody was fun, witty, and a sharp dresser. He loved to play Hearts on his many family trips and vacations. Woody will be remembered for his immense kindness, warmth, and charisma. Every January, he and Jacquie opened their doors on Rosedale Road to celebrate their multigenerational “12th Night” holiday party with the Princeton community. Woody was the life of the party; always smiling, laughing, and making sure all were well fed and hydrated.
Woody is survived by his wife Jacquie; their children, Jamie and Craig (wife Katharine Herring Phares); and his five beloved grandchildren, Hadley, Austin, Didier, Charles, and Keene Phares.
A family burial was held Tuesday, July 26 in the Princeton Cemetery. A memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held in the fall of 2022.
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