January 4, 2023

Obituaries 1/4/2023

Phyllis Apple

Phyllis Apple, who turned 100 on November 30, 2022, died peacefully at her home in Princeton, NJ, on December 27, 2022 in the warm embrace of her family. Phyllis moved to Princeton to be close to her daughter Sharon Rose Powell and son-in-law Bob Powell. She had retired several years earlier at the age of 88 as the founder and head of The Apple Organization, a PR firm in South Florida which she ran for 30 years.

In a large feature article in the Miami Herald on the day of her burial service in Charlotte, NC, Phyllis was described as the “queen of real estate” who “put Miami on the map as an international destination” in the 1990s. In her last year as CEO in 2009, the Apple Organization was voted “Best PR Company in the Americas” by a joint collaboration of CNBC and the New York Times.

Effervescent and known to light up a room with her charm and charisma, Apple had also received the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Florida Business Journal — “an honor that crystallized her iconic stature in the world of real estate.” She shared with the Journal one of her tips on longevity: “A positive attitude can keep you young. Stay away from negativity.”

Phyllis Apple, at 91, brought her can-do positivity to Princeton when she moved to her condo in an 1830s house that had been recently renovated by Sharon and Bob. Phyllis was also blessed to live in the same town as her granddaughter Katharine Powell Roman and husband Ben Roman, and her three great-grandchildren Sam, Gabe, and Audrey Roman. Grandson Robert Powell, formerly of Princeton and now residing in Los Angeles with his husband Jerran Friedman, visited her frequently.

Affectionately known as Grandmommy to all of her five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Phillis is also survived by her son Robert Rose and wife Carolyn Rose of Charlotte, NC, and her daughter Susan Marcus and husband Steve Marcus of Amherst, MA.

Phyllis, who was called a “force of nature” by family, friends, and colleagues, began her life as Phyllis Lila Blackman from humble beginnings in Newark, NJ. She joined the Navy as a WAVE in World War II after graduating from Weequahic High School; and married her first husband Lt. Commander Albert Rose from Durham, NC, after the war. The Rose family settled in Greensboro, NC, to raise their three children. Phyllis and her second husband, Bernard Apple of New York City, lived in Charlotte, NC, where Phyllis continued to volunteer for numerous Jewish and community organizations. Phyllis and Bernard moved to North Miami Beach; and at 58 and no longer married, Phyllis launched her professional career in PR at an age when many started planning for their retirement.

In the last decade of her life in Princeton, Phyllis stayed active and relished the many opportunities to attend plays at McCarter; concerts at Richardson Hall; Planned Parenthood and Princton Library fundraisers; lectures at the Potluck Society; and golf at Springdale Golf Club. In addition, she played mahjong with two different groups of friends every week, one of which she organized soon after arriving in Princeton. Phyllis could be seen walking her maltese dog Lucky in town every day in every season. Her laughter, active life, warm smile, and deep love and devotion to her family will always be remembered.

Phyllis was buried at Hebrew Cemetery in Charlotte, NC, on December 30, and received military honors. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name may be sent to give.feedingamerica.org.


Jeffrey Bechler

Jeffrey Bechler, MD, of Princeton passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Thursday, December 29, 2022, due to cancer at the age of 63.

Jeff grew up in California and attended Palos Verdes High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball and met the love of his life, Mary, at a high school dance. He then attended Dartmouth College, majoring in economics and playing baseball. Jeff went on to earn his medical degree from New York Medical College, completed his internship and residency at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

After three years practicing orthopaedics in San Diego following his fellowship, Jeff and Mary moved to Princeton in 1996, where Jeff joined University Orthopaedic Associates, specializing in sports medicine. Jeff served as the orthopaedic consultant and team physician for Princeton University, enthusiastically standing on the sideline at Princeton football games for over 20 years. Jeff was one of the rare few who joined a passion to a profession, and everyone he met benefited from it.

Jeff will be remembered as a loving husband and father as well as a friend, doctor, and coach. Those closest to him will fondly recall him for his selflessness, loyalty, and quick wit. Many treasured memories of Jeff have a connection to sports. He had a lifelong love for sports — playing, watching, coaching, and caring for athletes. Many people will remember their interactions around his kitchen table, where friends, neighbors, and athletes would ask his off-the-clock medical advice on their latest injuries. His calm reassurance and special sense of humor made him everyone’s first call.

Jeff is survived by his wife Mary; children Christopher (Olivia), Katelyn, and Scott; father Thomas; brother Scott (Susan); sister Kim; brothers-in-law Bill (Emma) King and Robert (Andrea) King; sisters-in-law Dede King, Tricia (Fred) Kosmo, Debbie (Steve) Killman, Deirdre Neely, Eileen (Mark) Gillis; 19 nieces and nephews; and was predeceased by his mother Barbara Bechler.

A Memorial Service is planned for 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 7 at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton. A reception will follow at The Bedens Brook Club in Skillman.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes contributions to Nassau Presbyterian Church (nassauchurch.org/giving/give-now/) or to ALK-positive lung cancer research (fundraise.lungevity.org/campaign/In-Loving-Memory-of-Dr-Jeffrey-Bechler).


Richard William Knott
5/3/61 – 12/22/22

Richard William Knott, 61, graduated from Temple University with a degree in accounting and later received an MBA from the University of Virginia. Over the years, Richard worked for the United States Postal Service, Prudential Investments, Oppenheimer Funds, and SEI Corporation. While at Oppenheimer Funds, Richard survived the 9/11 attacks on The World Trade Center, and many colleagues credit Richard for saving their lives by insisting everyone evacuate the building after the first plane struck.

Richard is survived by his two sons, Conor Knott and Quinn Knott; their mother Angela Knott; and his two brothers, Bruce Knott and John Knott. Richard’s parents, Richard J. Knott and Margaret T. Knott preceded him in death.

Richard had a successful career in finance. However, what really gave Richard joy was his love for family, especially his two boys. On many occasions, Richard arranged a vacation home for his extended family during multiple summers in the Outer Banks, NC. It was important for him to provide the family a special place to be together and have fun. Richard also gave generously of his time and talents to various community organizations, most notably as a trustee for Princeton Little League and Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart.

Richard loved sports. He coached both of his sons’ little league teams every year of their little league careers. Richard also made a point to bring his sons to various professional sporting events, and in particular enjoyed seeing as many different professional baseball parks as possible with his family when traveling. A highlight for Richard was visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, with his family. Richard enjoyed golf and shared that love with his sons.

Richard had a very energetic spirit, was thoughtful and generous, and possessed a kind and happy demeanor. He liked to make his family and friends laugh. His mother used to say, “Before Richard’s toe reached the floor each morning, he was teasing his brothers.” Richard spent nearly his entire life focused on other people around him, making sure to be there for his family and friends whenever he could.

A public service to celebrate his life will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton on Friday, January 6, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. Reception to follow at the church.


Mary Glenn Smith

Mary Glenn Smith died at home on December 28, 2022 at the age of 93. We are grateful that she was able to spend Christmas with her family and we thank the staff at Stonebridge for their care.

Daughter of the late Frederick and Maryon Lobdell, Mary Glenn (Mickie to many of her friends) was born in Maine on February 2, 1929. She spent much of her childhood in New Rochelle, NY, and on the family farm in Cambridge, NY. She received her bachelor’s degree from Colby College where she met her husband, Guy. They married in 1952 and started the family that was the center of her life.

In 1965 Mary Glenn and Guy moved to Hillsborough, NJ, where they raised their family. She was an active member of the community. As a cancer survivor, she was particularly proud of her volunteer work with the American Cancer Society and also the Woman’s Club of Hillsborough where she was tasked with awarding scholarships to deserving students. They were parishioners at St. Paul’s Church in Princeton for many years.

Later in life, while living in West Windsor, Mary Glenn was an active member of St. David’s Parish. She sang in the choir and volunteered in the Parish Food Pantry.

Mary Glenn loved spending time with family, going to her beach house on Long Beach Island, traveling to Vermont, antiquing, crossword puzzles, baking, and knitting. She will be remembered as a beautiful, friendly, charismatic woman who brightened the lives of those around her with her beautiful smile.

She was predeceased by her husband, H. Guy Smith in 2005 and her daughter, Margaret. She is survived by her five children, Leslie Taulbee (Dennis), Pamela Farr (Doug), Timothy Smith, (Michelle LaRoche), Katie Lynch (Gerard), Molly Shuck (Scot); 16 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; her brother Brian Lobdell (Joanne); and dear friends, the Lump family.

Visitation will be on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at Kimble Funeral Home, 1 Hamilton Avenue, Princeton, NJ 08542 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Paul Parish, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ at 11 a.m.

Entombment will be at Holy Cross Burial Park Mausoleum, East Brunswick (Jamesburg), NJ.

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741 or at donate3.cancer.org.