The West Windsor Arts Council has named West Windsor residents Hetal Mistry and Jennifer Connaughton, as Volunteers of the Year.
“For a nonprofit organization, one of the most valuable resources are volunteers,” said an Arts Council news release, pointing out that nearly 100 volunteers lend their assistance to the organization every year. National volunteer appreciation week is April 23 to 29 this year.
“We are so grateful to them for lending us their talent and effort, for their warmth and enthusiasm, and for all they continue to do for the arts in our community,” said Aylin Green, Arts Council executive director.
Green said that Mistry and Connaughton heped make the Speakeasy Soirée annual gala fundraiser a huge success, by working to transform the West Windsor Arts Center into an artistic jazzy nightclub. The fundraiser brought in more than $17,000 in support of the arts and education programs for youth and adults offered by the center.
Connaughton is a fashion designer who has been leading the dynamic decorations team for the last three years. “She is able to not only make every detail pop, but to stay in budget with an eye towards creative reuse of materials,” said the news release. “She galvanizes other volunteers to get involved and donates many hours in advance of the event to ensure a spectacular result.”
Mistry is an artist who volunteers on the exhibition committee and on the decor team. “Her hard work and prowess with a brush is well known to all as she paints beautiful backdrops and signage for the event,” said the release.
Mistry is also the committee lead for the upcoming “Dharma in the 21st Century” exhibition, which will be on view at the arts center from May 8 to June 23. This exhibition will also support the Clean Ganga Fund.
The West Windsor Arts Council welcomes members of the community to get involved by becoming a volunteer. For more information go to westwindsorarts.org. Office and gallery hours: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone: (609) 716-931. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PDS junior attends STEM conference
Princeton Day School junior Ann Xu of West Windsor was one of five students from the school who attended the Girls Advancing in STEM Conference at Stanford University from April 2 through April 4.
“The students were chosen to attend the conference because of their strong academic records, a deep and abiding curiosity about math and science, and an aspiration to study these subjects when they leave PDS,” the school said in a news release.
The GAINS Network is a virtual community connecting girls and women with a passion for STEM subjects to support, encourage, teach and inspire one another, states the conference website. At the conference, the students were able to explore STEM careers and met professional women in these fields; connected with other high schools girls interested in STEM; toured the facilities at Stanford; and heard about cutting-edge research being conducted by women in STEM fields.
Peter R. Weale, 66, of West Windsor died on March 25. A well-known community activist and gadfly, Weale ran unsuccessful campaigns for election to the school board in 2004, and for mayor in 2009. He lived in West Windsor for 33 years.
Weale frequently attended West Windsor Council and WW-P Board of Education meetings, expressing concern about issues such as maintenance of properties in the township and fiscal prudence in local government.
He once attended a town council meeting and lined the walls with illegal lawn signs that he had gathered from throughout the township. In the 1990s, he was instrumental in getting sidewalks constructed along Washington Road.
In another instance, he lamented the fact that there were several vacant storefronts in Princeton Junction whose windows were boarded up with plywood. He coordinated an effort to get the windows painted.
Weale also helped lobby the school district to name the baseball field at High School North after David Bachner, a star baseball player at the school who died of cardiac arrest shortly after he graduated. Ultimately, the board decided name the field after Bachner.
Weale was born in Addison, New York, the son of Durland and Martha Weale. He received his BS in agricultural life sciences from Cornell University in 1972. Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps as 1st Lieutenant and went on to receive his MBA from Cornell University in 1976.
Weale worked in marketing distribution and transportation. By the time he ran for mayor in 2009, he said he considered himself semi-retired, but still worked as a consultant.
Weale was co-chair of events for the 1988 War of the Worlds Celebration, chairman and vice chairman of the Sewer Operating Committee and the former chair and vice chair of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Committee. He is a former commander of the American Legion Post 76.
An avid collector of antiques, he had an affinity for antique furniture, cars and bars. Weale could sometimes be seen driving his Ford Model T Pickup with a lawn mower as he took the initiative to mow and maintain public areas such as the Penns Neck Circle.
Weale is survived by his daughter, Jessica of Miami Beach, and his son, Zachary of Hoboken.
In lieu of funeral services, the family will be holding a celebration of life at the family home in on Friday, April 14, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Holly Graham, 51, died on March 23 in Reston, Virginia. Born in Plainfield, she was a resident of West Windsor for 18 years.
Graham attended the University of Pittsburgh, and following her graduation she worked as a bank manager, national account manager and in a classified environment.
She is survived by her mother, Sue Hafer Graham; her husband of 25 years, Mark Trichtinger; and children, Heather and Eric Trichtinger.
John F. Gilligan, 81, of Robbinsville, died on March 26. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Gilligan resided in West Windsor for 35 years before moving to Robbinsville 13 years ago.
After graduating from All Hallows High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Gilligan then went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering. He worked for the Honeywell Company in Boston for seven years and then came to New Jersey, where he served as CEO and president for the Dataram Corporation in Princeton Junction from 1969 until 1984.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Carolyn M. (Wood) Gilligan; his son, Sean M. Gilligan of Arlington, Virginia; his daughter, Maureen Gilligan Nesselrode and her husband, Chris, of Arlington, Virginia.
James G. Timmerman, 83, of West Windsor, died on March 28. Born in New York City, he served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956 and was honorably discharged as private first class.
In 1963, Timmerman graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He began his career with Kearfott Corporation as an engineer, specializing in avionics and navigation systems, ultimately retiring from Kearfott in 1998 after 35 years of service. His designs and subsystems appeared in many air defense, aircraft and space programs, including the F-111 and F-16 aircraft, the MILSTAR satellite, NASA’s SkyLab space station, and the Apollo moon missions.
In 2001, Timmerman moved to Village Grande in West Windsor, where he served on multiple homeowners association committees. He was a charter member of St. David the King Knights of Columbus Council 14716, where he served as financial secretary from 2009 to 2014, a trustee since 2014, and he was named honorary grand knight in 2015.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jean Timmerman of West Windsor; daughter Theresa McCullers and her husband, Howard, of Sterling, Virginia; son Colonel Thomas Timmerman and his wife, J.P., stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and daughter Barbara Soifer, her husband, Jon, of Flemington.
Janet Jeffers, 84, a longtime Plainsboro resident, died on March 23. Jeffers was a graduate of University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
She taught in the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District for many years as a substitute teacher. An avid reader, she was a founding member of the Plainsboro Free Public Library. Jeffers was also a member of the Garden Club of Trenton, Garden Club of America and Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club.
She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Henry W. Jeffers, III; daughter Katherine Jeffers Goldfarb and husband, Rob Goldfarb, of New York City; and son James W. Jeffers and his wife, Raquel, of Hopewell.
Werner H. Schmid, 87, of Plainsboro, died on March 7. Schmid was born in Irvington, and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in public administration.
He served as township manager of Teaneck for 29 years. Schmid moved to Plainsboro in 1994 and continued in public service as a volunteer mediator for municipal courts in Princeton and Hamilton. He also served as a member of the Plainsboro Zoning Board, and volunteered for many years on the CONTACT Crisis Hotline.
Predeceased by his wife, Irene Schmid, in 1991, he is survived by his partner of 23 years, Irene Tedeschi; and his children, Marlena Schmid of Cranford, Marcella Wiles of Bayonne, Paul Schmid (Tina) of Bellevue, Washington, Claudia Faber (Elliot) of Chestnut Ridge and Elisa Rathbun (Daniel) of Howell.
Timothy D. Bertles, 57, of West Windsor, died on March 25. Born in Princeton, Bertles was a lifelong area resident. He worked for several years restoring furniture with his family’s business, Bertles Antiques.
He is predeceased by his father, Paul Bertles; his daughter, Denise Bertles; and his former spouse, Patricia Bertles. He is survived by his mother and step-father, Ramona and Russell David Compton, Sr.; and his children, Kelly Rura, Kevin Bertles and David Bertles.
Memorial contributions can be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind by visiting inmemoryof-memorial.org.
Helen M. Butler, of Plainsboro, died March 26. Butler was a secretary of the Plainsboro Public Library when it was founded. She was a member of the Queenship of Mary Church and was a eucharistic minister for many years.
Butler is survived by her husband, Patrick E. Butler, and her son, James E. Butler.