December 28, 2022

Obituaries 12/28/2022

Richard “Dick” M. Davidson

On Sunday, December 4, 2022, Richard “Dick” M. Davidson of Chestnut Hill, MA, formerly of Princeton, NJ, passed away at the age of 89.

Dick was born on October 21, 1933 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to William and Sarah (Frye) Davidson. He attended Baldwin Township High School in Pittsburgh, PA, and was named valedictorian of his graduating class in 1951. He then attended Pennsylvania State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in science in 1955.

Dick served in the United States Navy on the USS Rich DDE 820 from 1955 until 1957. In 1956, his naval service included three months in Europe and the Mediterranean during the Suez Crisis.

On October 24, 1964, Dick married Jean Anne Harwood at the Central Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. They moved to Garden City, Long Island in 1969 with their son William shortly before the birth of their daughter Susan. The family moved to Princeton, NJ, in 1978.

Dick started his career at Citibank where he worked as an investment officer and an investment research analyst. He then moved to IBM where he spent over 20 years working in sales and marketing. 

Dick had a passion for Aikido and devoted nearly 30 years to learning and teaching the martial art. He joined the Kokikai practice groups at the Princeton Y and The College of New Jersey and earned a black belt (4th Dan).

Dick loved living in Princeton and often enjoyed long walks in the woods at the Institute for Advanced Study.  He was an avid reader, bird watcher, and classical music lover with affection for the works of J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi. He also loved doing The New York Times crossword puzzle and was known for always having a puzzle and a book with him wherever he went. Dick will be remembered for his dry wit, his great intellect, and his altruistic nature as well as being a loving husband and father. He adored his grandchildren and had a talent for making them laugh and inventing creative games to play with them.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents William and Sarah, his sister Jean, and his brother Robert. He is survived by his wife Jean, his son Bill Davidson and daughter-in-law Michelle Quinn-Davidson, his daughter Susan Davidson Serreze and son-in-law Peter Serreze, and his grandchildren Wesley and Sara Serreze.

A virtual celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick’s memory may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Princeton Public Library.


Michael Antonio “Michele” Toto

Michael Antonio “Michele” Toto, 91, of Lawrenceville, NJ, passed away at home peacefully on Thursday, December 1, 2022. Born in Pettoranello del Molise, Italy, he immigrated to the United States in 1958. He was a resident of Princeton, NJ, for over 45 years before he moved to Lawrenceville in 2004. He worked for Princeton University’s athletic department prior to his role as head groundskeeper at Stuart Country Day School for over 20 years. Michael developed his skill and passion for gardening and beautifying landscapes in Italy where he also pursued a diploma in agriculture. He was proud of his Italian roots and it showed in what he loved to do from dancing, listening to opera and Italian love songs, and reading Italian classics to his interests in history and sharing stories about his life in Italy. He valued education and loved to learn about people’s life experiences. His time in Princeton was the perfect place to sustain his curiosities. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and living a simple life, growing his garden wherever he was, and knowing that God was steering his path. Michael was a member of St. Paul’s Church where he served as an usher for over 15 years and a volunteer lector for Italian masses. He was also a member of the Roma-Eterna Lodge.

Son of the late Giovanni and Venezia (Ruberto) Toto, brother of the late Riccardo Toto, Evelina Toto, Gilda Toto, brother-in-law of the late Camillo Pirone, Giuseppe Toto, and Berardino Toto, and uncle of the late Anthony Toto, he is survived by his loving wife Angelina (Rossi) Toto of 67 years, son Fernando Toto and daughter-in-law Rose, daughter Anna Marie Toto, son Piero Toto and daughter-in-law Felicity, and granddaughter Julia Chandler Toto. He also is survived by two brothers and sisters-in-law Camillo and Cristina Toto, Silvio and Clara Toto, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-laws, Elvira Toto, Maria Pirone, Antoinetta and Jack Niper, Hugo and Mary Jane Rossi, Luciano and Laura Rossi and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and godchildren.

A heartfelt thank you to Michael’s family and friendship circle for their outpouring of love and support especially during his most difficult times over the past eight months. Also, a special thank you to his medical team and Embracing Hospice Care aides, Richard and Mirka, for their excellent and compassionate daily care of Michael.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on December 8 at St. Paul’s Church in Princeton. Funeral arrangements were handled by Mather-Hodge Funeral Home. Memorial contributions in Michael Toto’s memory may be made to the Greater Jersey Alzheimer’s Association.