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Miscellaneous Hunterdon County, New Jersey Obituaries

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Kevin Phillips
UPPER BLACK EDDY, Pa. - Kevin W. Phillips died March 13, 2003, in Hunterdon Medical Center. He was 50. He grew up in Frenchtown, and lived in Flemington before moving to Upper Black Eddy two years ago. A 1970 graduate of Delaware Valley Regional High School, he was an Air Force veteran. He worked as a counselor at Hunterdon Youth Services in Flemington. He was an avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys football team. His father, Theodore H., died in 1979. Surviving are his mother, Sylvia B. (Robinson) Phillips; two brothers, Kyle of Alpha and Kim of Frenchtown; and two sisters, Cindy Kirchner of Alpha and Renee Phillips of Wilson, Pa. A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m., at Frenchtown Presbyterian Church. Arrangements are by the W.E. Johnson Funeral Home in Holland Township. Memorial contributions can be made to the church, Box 114, Frenchtown, NJ 08825.

Getrude Relles
HOLLAND TWP. - Gertrude A. Bertrand Relles died March 12, 2003, at Hunterdon Medical Center. She was 101. Born in Hillside, she lived in Union before moving to Holland Township in 1961. She was a member of Fellowship Church of Phillipsburg. Mrs. Relles was a homemaker. At one time, she worked as a switchboard operator for N.J. Bell Telephone Co. She enjoyed painting and gardening. Her husband, George G. Relles, died in 1970. A brother, Claude Bertrand, also died previously. Surviving are a son, David of Old Hickory, Tenn.; a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter. A graveside service was held Saturday at Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside. Arrangements were by W.E. Johnson Funeral Home in Holland Township.

Ellen Bergheim
TAMPA, Fla. - Ellen C. Wiley Bergheim, known to her friends as Betty or B, died on Feb. 26, 2003, at University Village in Tampa. She was 92. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she emigrated to America in 1920 with her mother and brother. She lived in Dunellen, Asbury and Clinton Township before moving to Tampa. Her name was later inscribed on the Wall of Honor at Ellis Island and, in 1999, she was honored by being selected to participate in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum Oral History Project. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen for 61 years. Her husband, Fred Bergheim, died previously. Survivors include two daughters, Ellen Rindfleisch of Tampa and Lauren Tucker of Lebanon Township; one son, Fred of Oakland, Md.; 10 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson. Private services will be held on March 24 at the Hillside Cemetery in Plainfield.

Michele Mercadal
ASBURY - Michele K. Mercadal died Sunday, March 16, 2003, at home from cancer. Born in Ludington, Mich., she was the daughter of Kate Johnson Brendel. She grew up on Lake Michigan. She lived in Atlanta before moving to Asbury. She received a bachelor of arts from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. She was a ceramic artist who during her career studied with Shellie Jacobson, Ann Tsubota, Toshiko Takaezu, Peter Voulkos and at the Peters Valley Craft Education Center. Her ceramic work has appeared in two New Jersey Crafts annual exhibits, most recently the 2002 show at the Montclair Museum. Her book, Tattooed Heart, Tattooed Nipple, about her relationship with her sister Caryl and her death from cancer was exhibited at Artists and the Art of the Book at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem, Pa. In 1999 she curated an exhibit of ceramic art, Mud Like A Blessing, for the Hunterdon Museum of Art. Her work also appeared in numerous other exhibits and galleries. In addition to being an artist she was an art and business writer for several Fortune 500 companies. She founded and ran her own gallery focused on fibre art in Atlanta. While living Atlanta in the 1980s she wrote for several art publications including Creative Loafing and Art Papers, covering dance and performance art as well as visual arts. After moving to New Jersey in 1991 she continued that work and also wrote for American Ceramics, Sculpture Magazine, Ceramics: Art and Perception and the Express-Times. She was an active member of the New Jersey Artists' Guild. She was a member of the core group that facilitates the Insight Meditation Community of New Jersey, a Buddhist meditation group that meets in Morristown. She led a grief counseling group at Hunterdon Hospice. In addition to her mother, of Ishpeming, Mich., she is survived by her husband, Chris Talbott; two sons, Christopher Mason of Glen Ellyn, Ill. and Noel Mason of Wheaton, Ill.; a sister, Jodi Crone, and a brother, Kim Mercadal, both of Ishpeming, and three grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for later this spring in Asbury. Interment is private under the direction of Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington. Memorial donations can be made to Hunterdon Hospice, 2100 Wescott Drive, Flemington,NJ 08822.

Minna Marquardt
HAMPTON - Minna Marquardt died March 19, 2003, at Briarleaf Nursing Home in Doylestown, Pa. She was 80. She was born in Hanau, Germany, a daughter of Franz and Augusta Schussler Britsch. She was a civilian volunteer entertaining troops during World War II. She married Siegfried Marquardt in 1949, and they came to the United States in 1951. She lived in Colonia, and then in Lebanon Township from 1962 until moving to Hampton in 1996. She was of the Lutheran faith. A homemaker, she was also an avid gardener and loved crocheting, knitting and music. Her husband died in 1992. She is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Moore of Hampton, with whom she lived; two sons, Harold Marquardt of Laurence Harbor and Wilfried Marquardt of Seattle, Wash.; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson. Private funeral services were held.

Frederick Fifield
BRIDGEWATER - Frederick Fifield died Monday, March 24, 2003. He was 73. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and resided in Jackson and then in Flemington before moving to Branchburg, where he lived from 1983 to 2001. He moved to Bridgewater in 2001. He was in construction for 40 years, handling residential, commercial and heavy industrial projects until 1992. He was a master craftsman at Slip Form Construction with Carpenters Local 1162 in New York City. He then worked as a security guard for Wells Fargo until retiring in 1998. Mr. Fifield served in the Army during the Korean War, attaining the rank of sergeant. He was an active member of the Adult Day Center of Somerset County in Finderne. He was a former elder of Hope Presbyterian Church in Jackson. A brother, Robert Fifield, died in 2002. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Muriel Wagner Fifield; two daughters, Susan Huhn of Bridgewater and Kathleen Romick of Pleasanton, Calif.; a son, Robert Fifield of Easton; a sister, Elizabeth LoPrinzi of Connecticut; three brothers, Henry of Manahawkin, William of North Carolina, and Wilfred of Staten Island, N.Y.; four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Branchburg Funeral Home. Entombment will be in the Somerset Hills Memorial Park Mausoleum in Basking Ridge. Calling hours are today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to the Adult Day Center of Somerset County, 120 Finderne Ave., Bridgewater, NJ 08807.

Helen McPherson
FRANKLIN TWP. - Helen M. McPherson died Sunday, March, 23 2003 at Country Arch Care Center in Union Township. She was 97. She was born in Plainfield, the daughter of Julius and Anna Barker Steiger. She was a homemaker. She was a member of the Cherryville Baptist Church and was the oldest member of its Ladies Guild. She was also a member of the Franklin Township Seniors. A foster mother to many, she was known as 'Gram,' 'Mom,' 'Grams,' 'Aunt Helen,' and The 'Cookie Lady.' She devoted her life to the care of others and opened her home to all in need. Her husband, Albert McPherson, died in 1967. A daughter, Louise Stehr died in 1992. Mrs. McPherson is survived by two grandchildren, Kenneth Stehr of Franklin Township and Ruth Pavlica of Raritan Township, and five great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the church. Burial will be in the Cherryville Cemetery. Arrangements are by Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington. Memorial contributions can be sent to the Quakertown Rescue Squad, Box 225, Pittstown, NJ 08867; the Cherryville Baptist Church, 594 Cherryville Rd., Flemington, NJ 08822 or to Hunterdon Meals on Wheels, Box 358, Quakertown, NJ 08868.

Earl Lawson
BRADENTON, Fla. - Earl E. Lawson died March 19, 2003, at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton. He was 73. Born in Quakertown, he was the son of Chester and Emma Bradschaw Lawson. He lived in Bath, Pa., before moving to Bradenton in 1995. Mr. Lawson worked for the F.L. Smidth Co. in Lebanon, retiring as an inspector after 30 years of service. He was an Army veteran of the Korean War. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Bradenton. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Betty Lawson; one son, Earl Jr. of Bradenton; one daughter, Peggie Graves of Lake Zurich, Ill.; two brothers, Kenneth Lawson of Perry, Fla. and Searle Lawson of Branchville; and five sisters, Mildred Dissler of Quakertown, Mae Eckert of Phoenix, Irma Brock of Bradenton, Hazel Koeferl of Sun City Center, Fla. and Peggy Carley of Waxahachie, Texas. Memorial services were held Saturday in the First Baptist Church in Bradenton. Military honors were rendered by the funeral honor detail from the Fort Stewart (Ga.) Army Base. Interment will take place at a later date in Arlington (Va.) National Cemetery. Arrangements were by Shannon Funeral Home Town Chapel of Bradenton. Memorial contributions can be made to the church, 1306 Manatee Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34205.

Herbert Erck
HOLLAND TWP. - Herbert E. Erck died Monday, March 24, 2003, at Manor Care Health Services in Easton. He was 86. Born in Zion, he lived in Flemington before moving to Holland Township over 50 years ago. He was the son of Emmanuel and Flora Haller Erck. Mr. Erck was a machine operator at Riegel Paper Corp. in Milford, where he worked over 40 years. He was a member of the Frenchtown Community Fellowship and at one time was a deacon of Frenchtown Baptist Church. Two brothers, Arthur and Edwin Erck, and two sisters, Lillian Condon and Regina Erck, died earlier. Mr. Erck is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Mildred Bidewell Erck; a son, Herbert E. Erck Jr. of Olathe, Kan.; two daughters, Genie Grimm of Richmond, Ind. and Sharon Bowers of Hampton; a brother, Walter Erck of Ringoes; a sister, Hazel Sutphin of Ringoes; five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Visitation is set for today at for 10 a.m. at W.E. Johnson Funeral Home in Holland Township, followed by a service at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Cherryville Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Frenchtown Community Fellowship, Second St., Frenchtown, NJ 08825.

Donald O'Brien
BEDMINSTER - Donald Q. O'Brien died Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at Morristown Memorial Hospital. He was 75. Survivors include a daughter, Quin O'Brien of High Bridge. Born in Millburn, he was the son of Howard Adams and Annette Woodward Perry O'Brien. Mr. O'Brien was a descendent of the Rev. Dr. Eleazer Wheelock, first president of Dartmouth College, the Rev. Henry Bezaleel Woodward, first foreign missionary graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, and Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. He lived in New York City and Princeton before moving to Bedminster in 1958. Mr. O'Brien graduated from Duke University with an economics and finance degree. He served in the Naval Air Corps during World War II and in the Army during the Korean War. He was in various marketing posts with the Consumer Products Group, Warner-Lambert Co. in Morris Plains, for 32 years before retiring in 1984. Mr. O'Brien was a member of the Bedminster-Far Hills Athletic Club, and was a former trustee for the Somerset Hills Community Club and the Clarence Dillon Public Library. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, the Hemingway Society, Friends of the Hemingway Collection of the John F. Kennedy Library, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Wagner Society and the New Jersey Jazz Society His wife, Anne O'Brien, died in 1987 and a sister, Kathyrn Pratt died in 2001. He is also survived by two other daughters, Carrie McPhee of Placitas, N.M. ,and Megan Leelman of Lynn, Maine; a son, David Q. O'Brien of Forrest Hills, N.Y., a sister, Barbara Geer of Old Bennington, Vt., and five grandchildren. Funeral services were private. The family will welcome friends to Mr. O'Brien's home on Sunday, April 6, 1-4 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to the Anne O'Brien History Room at the Clarence Dillon Public Library, Bedminster, NJ 07921.

John Brown
BRICK - John William Brown died Friday, March 21, 2003, at Brick Hospital. He was 88. Born in Lancaster, Pa. the son of John and Catherine Ganse Brown, he lived in Annandale for 47 years prior to moving to Brick last month. Mr. Brown was a tool and dye maker for Affiliated Manufacturing in North Branch. He retired at the age of 62. He was a member of Clinton Presbyterian Church. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and boating. His brothers James, Franklin, and Charles Brown, died earlier. Mr. Brown is survived by his wife of 47 years, Isabelle Brown; three daughters, Nancy Steck of Brick, Catherine Karpowicz of Princeton and Joan Hostetter of Landisville, Pa.; a son, James Brown of Flemington; a brother, Robert Brown of Campbelltown, Pa., and five grandchildren. The funeral was held Tuesday at Clinton Presbyterian Church. Interment was in Evergreen Cemetery in Clinton under the direction of Martin Funeral Home in Clinton Township. Memorial contributions can be sent to the church, 91 Center St., Clinton, NJ 08809.

Bessie Piell
KINGWOOD TWP. - Bessie Mae Piell died on Sunday, March 23, 2003 at Rolling Hills Care Center in Clinton Township. She was 102. Born in Kingwood Township to Chester and Carrie LaRue VanSelous, she was a lifelong resident and the oldest resident of Kingwood Township when she resided there. The township honored her during its 250th anniversary celebration in 1996. In an interview then, she told of growing up when there was no electricity and no automobiles. 'We had to go most places by horse and buggy. And most of the roads were hoof-deep in mud,'' she recalled with a laugh. She walked three miles from her family's farm to the one-room school on Warsaw Road. The teacher came by train from Frenchtown each day. As an adult, she was a homemaker and enjoyed gardening and spending time with her family and friends. She was a longtime member of the Baptistown Baptist Church. Her husband, Luther Piell, died in 1975. Her two sons, Newton and Theodore, her brother David VanSelous and two grandchildren also died earlier. Surviving are two sons, Irvin of Grand Rapids, Mich. and Chester of Lebanon; seven grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren. Services will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Baptistown Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Interment will follow in the Rosemont Cemetery, under the direction of the W.E. Johnson Funeral Home in Holland Township. Contributions can be made to the church, Box 195, Baptistown, NJ 08803.

Hazel McNamara
CALIFON - Hazel Dionne McNamara died March 18, 2003. Her husband, John J. McNamara died earlier. She is survived by four sons, John McNamara Jr. of Far Hills, Michael McNamara of Mound, Minn., Terrence McNamara of Califon and Kevin McNamara of Carlisle, Mass.; two daughters, Denise Froelich of Oldwick and Carole Malcolmson of Cambridge, Mass.; and 12 grandchildren. Services were held Saturday at St. Elizabeth's Church in Far Hills. Memorial donations can be sent to Somerset Hills Handicapped Riders Association, Box 305, Oldwick, NJ 08858.

Kathryn Reese
FRANKLIN TWP. - Kathryn E. Reese died March 19, 2003, at Hunterdon Medical Center. She was 90. Born in Shenandoah, Pa., she was the daughter of Ephraim and Carrie Beddall. She resided in Wadesville, Pa. before moving to Franklin Township three years ago. Mrs. Reese was a retired saleswoman for Federated Department Stores in Pottsville, Pa. She was a member of the United Methodist Church of Wadesville and was currently attending the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Grandin. She volunteered for many years at Pottsville (Pa.) Hospital. She also belonged to a Knitting Club in Flemington. Her husband, Joseph Stone Reese, died in 1985. Two daughters died earlier, Jane L. Reese in 1937 and Alice K. Reese in 1999. Mrs. Reese is survived by a son, Jon Edward Reese of Franklin Township; two sisters, Lillian Matlavage of Phoenix and Louise Richardson of Pittsburgh; a brother, John Beddall of Hershey Mills, Pa., and three grandchildren. Services were held Tuesday at Evans Funeral Home in St. Clair, Pa., followed by burial in the Oddfellows Cemetery in St. Clair. Local arrangements were under the direction of Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alice and Kathryn Reese Memorial Scholarship Fund, Pine Grove School District, 103 School St., Pine Grove, PA 17963.

Rita Stashluk
NEW PROVIDENCE - Rita Marie Richter Stashluk, who also used the name Nancy Totten, died March 19, 2003 at home. She was 77. A son, James Stashluk, lives in Pittstown. She was born in New Providence and was a lifelong resident. Mrs. Stashluk was a 1943 graduate of Summit High School. She began her career as a night manager for Western Union in East Orange, where she met her husband of 57 years, Edward J. Stashluk. She then was secretary/treasurer of E.J. Stashluk & Sons until retiring. She was a member of the New Providence Senior Citizen's Club and past president of the Women's Auxiliary, American Legion Post 433. She was also a Sunday School teacher and member of New Providence United Methodist Church. A sister, Edna Jones, a brother, Herbert Richter, and a foster brother, Cleveland Totten, all died earlier. In addition to her husband and son, she is survived by two other sons, William Stashluk of Nashua, N.H. and Edward J. Stashluk Jr. of Austin, Tex.; three daughters, Cynthia McClure of Tulsa, Okla., Mary Huettenmoser of Chatham and Suzanne Barnes of Sandy, Utah; a foster brother, Milford Totten, and 13 grandchildren. A funeral service was held Monday at New Providence United Methodist Church. Burial was held in the church cemetery under the direction of the Brough Funeral Home in Summit. Memorial contributions can be made to American Legion Post 433, Box 712, or the New Providence Senior Citizens' Club, 15 East 4th St., both New Providence, NJ 07974.

George Layton Jr.
BEDMINSTER - George R. Layton Jr. died March 15, 2003, at Morristown Memorial Hospital. He was 75. He was the father of George R. Layton III of Whitehouse Station. Born in Somerville, he was a lifelong resident of Bedminster. A funeral director for 50 years, Mr. Layton was the owner and operator of the Layton Funeral Home in Bedminster. His father founded the business in 1907. Mr. Layton was a 1945 graduate of Bernardsville High School and received his funeral director's license after graduating from the McAllister School of Embalming in New York City in 1953. He served in the Merchant Marines from 1945 to 1947 and was in the Army during the Korean War from 1950 to 1952, attaining the rank of sergeant. He was involved in numerous community organizations. He was a member and former chief and president of the Union Hook and Ladder Co. of Far Hills-Bedminster; a member and former president of the Bedminster-Far Hills Lions Club; a director of the Peapack-Gladstone Bank, which his father helped found in 1921; a member of the Jockey Hollow Chapter, a Sons of the American Revolution in Morristown; and a member of the Bernardsville Service Unit of the Salvation Army. He was a longtime member, elder and deacon of the former Bedminster Reformed Church and was superintendent of the Bedminster Reformed Church Cemetery since 1953. He recently attended Pluckemin Presbyterian Church. His wife of 28 years, Eleanor Hunter Layton, died in 1990. He is also predeceased by two sisters, Mary Sweeney in 1997 and Adele Wachter in 2000. Besides his son, he is survived by two daughters, Marjorie Dzwonczyk of Somerville and Cynthia Gilley of Tuckerton; three sisters, Ruth Scarfe of Huntington Beach, Cal., Rena Chittenden of Bound Brook and Eleanor Knutzen of Bellingham, Wash.; and four grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at Pluckemin Presbyterian Church on Friday. Interment followed at Bedminster Reformed Church Cemetery, under the direction of Layton Funeral Home. Memorial contributions can be made to the Union Hook and Ladder Co., Box 431, Far Hills, NJ 07931, to the Bedminster Cemetery Fund, Box 133, Bedminster, NJ 07921, or the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, 170 Longview Rd., Far Hills, NJ 07931.

Michael Novak
RARITAN TWP. - Michael R. Novak died March 19, 2003 at home. He was 38. He was born in Rahway, the son of James and Virginia Novak, and lived in Neshanic Station before moving to Raritan Township four years ago. He was a graduate of JFK High School in Iselin and was an electrician for A & S Electric in Ringoes. In addition to his mother, with whom he lived, and his father, of Neshanic Station, he is survived by two sons; James Michael Novak III and David Julian Novak, both of Raritan Township; three sisters, Kathleen Ann Novak of Raritan Township, Sharon Novak of Green Brook and Jennifer Novak of Norwalk, Conn.; and his maternal grandmother, Hazel Tyler of Hillsborough. Services were held Saturday at the Countryside Funeral Home in Three Bridges. His body was cremated. Memorial contributions can be made to the Arc of Hunterdon County, 1322 Rt. 31, Suite 5, Annandale, NJ 08801.

Berl Baucom
BELVIDERE - Berl Dean 'Daisy' Baucom died March 18, 2003 at her home. She was 71. She was the mother of Dawn Kenyon of Asbury. Born in Ashville, N.C. to Edward and Bertha Baucom, she had lived in Nathalie, Va. She was a homemaker. Surviving along with Mrs. Kenyon are two other daughters, Gail Hall of Nathalie, Va. and S. Darlene Hosterman, with whom she lived; a son, Cecil Seymour of Huntington Beach, Calif.; seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Graveside services were held on Saturday at Halifax Memorial Gardens in South Boston, Va. Arrangements were by Powell Funeral Home in South Boston.

Eleanor Corbley
HOPEWELL TWP. - Eleanor Corbley died Friday, March 21, 2003, at the home of her daughter, Doreen Ryan. She was 75. Mrs. Corbley was a homemaker. She was born in Jersey City. She lived in Secaucus most of her life and moved to Hopewell Township to live with her daughter four years ago. Her husband, Robert Corbley, and her brother, Francis Shattner, both died earlier. In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Robert Corbley Jr. of Asbury; a brother, John C. Brown, and five grandchildren. A liturgy service took place Monday at Immaculate Conception Church in Secaucus. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, under the direction of Mack Memorial Home in Secaucus.

Antoinette Lawler
STERLING, Colo. - Antoinette M. Lawler died on March 17, 2003 at the Sterling (Colo.) Living Center. She was 84. She was the mother of Karen Pascale of Bloomsbury and the sister of Frank DiVanna of Pittstown. Born in Bound Brook, she lived in Bridgewater before moving to Colorado in 1972. She was a cafeteria worker at Immaculata High School in Somerville. Mrs. Lawler was an avid bowler, gardener, cook and baker. She was predeceased by her husband of 55 years, John Lawler, who died March 27, 1991, a daughter Beverly Lawler, three brothers and two sisters. In addition to her daughter and brother, she is survived by two sons, John Lawler of Hillsborough and Richard Lawler of Sterling, Colo.; five grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Funeral services were held yesterday at Bongiovi Funeral Home in Raritan Borough.

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