William Fred Haggan, 79

Owned a construction company July 21, 1940 — Nov 29, 2019 William “Bill” Fred Haggan, 79, of Skillman died on November 29. Bill was born in Jersey City to parents Helen and William and they later lived in Mendham. In his high school years, Bill played football and held an All State record on the track team. He married Madeleine Wilkins at the age of 21 and they began a family. They moved to Long Valley, and in 1978 to Skillman. Bill was the owner of Haggan Corporation, a construction company, and his sons followed him in his line of work. Bill was predeceased by his father William Edward; his son Peter; grandson Stephen; and brother Richard. Bill is survived by his children: William (Annette

Eunice Weart Sharipen, 95

Jan 7, 1924 — Nov 26, 2019 Eunice Weart Sharipen, 95, died on November 26. She was born in Hopewell and had been a resident of the Hopewell, Pennington, Skillman-area all of her life. Daughter of the late William and Ollie Buxton Weart and sister of the late Jane Weart Agin, she is survived by her husband of 70 years, Alex Sharipen. Private funeral services were held in Pennington. She was a member of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Hopewell Presbyterian Church. ■

Kyle Adam Bremer, 30

Kind-hearted young man ... May 14, 1989 — Nov 23, 2019 Kyle Adam Bremer, 30, of Montgomery Township, died unexpectedly on November 23. Kyle was born in Trenton on May 14, 1989 and was raised in Mercerville and Montgomery Township by his parents Patricia and Kurt Bremer along with his dear sister Victoria. Kyle was a 2007 graduate of The Hun School of Princeton and attended Elon University from 2007 to 2011. After college, he held a variety of positions in the brokerage industry and in sales positions with small-business lending firms, home improvement companies, and franchise marketing firms. Intelligent, kind-hearted, caring, and family oriented, Kyle brought a smile to the face of everyone

As You Were: NJ Vietnam Museum to Feature Special Exhibit on Skillman's Stephen Warner

Skillman resident and anti-Vietnam War activist Stephen H. Warner was drafted and — in a strange twist of fate — served in the U.S. Army as a field photographer and reporter in southern Vietnam before being killed in action just before be was scheduled to return home in 1971. Warner’s fascinating and personal story, told through his photographs and in his own words, will be on exhibit at the NJ Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and Museum in Holmdel from January through June 2020. Museum Curator Greg Waters gave a preview of the exhibit to a large group of Rotarians from the Route One Princeton Area chapter at a luncheon in the Hyatt Regency in September. “My job as a curator is to create museum ex

Hometown Heroes

Peter J. Dawson, who grew up in Skillman and now lives in Pennington, phoned The Montgomery News this summer to invite a reporter to attend a Princeton Corridor Rotary Club luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Princeton as his guest. A museum curator was to tell a story with a strange twist-of-fate about Skillman resident Stephen H. Warner — a fervent anti-Vietnam War protestor who earned a degree at Gettysbury College, was drafted, and ended up serving in Vietnam. The US Army assigned Warner to be a photographer and public relations specialist. While he held a privileged position that did not require him to venture anywhere near the front line, Warner wrote in a letter dated Jan 7, 1971: “How can

First Responder Spotlight

EMT Mike Petronella with his mother-in-law Anne Frankel. Families Who Serve Together Stay Together Mike Petronella of Belle Mead joined Montgomery Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) as a cadet when he was a student at Montgomery High School (MHS) 25 years ago. “My father was a paramedic in Trenton, my mother a nurse,” Mike says. “They met on the ambulance. So, for me, it just made sense to get involved.” While a senior at MHS, his classmate Brenda Frankel invited him to dinner one night. Mike explained that he would like to come, but was on call for the rescue squad and might have to leave if there was a call. Sure enough, as soon as dinner was almost over, the tones dropped and Mike was off

Montgomery Police Report a Rash of Burglaries and Two Stolen Cars

Three Belle Mead homes near Route 206 were burglarized “since October” police said. Each of the homes were in an area that had little or no street lighting, and the homes appeared unoccupied at the time of the burglary. In fact, none of the residences had lights on timers. The residents were either out for the evening or away for a few days. In addition, police said there have been a “significant number” of car burglaries throughout the township. Seven people reported motor vehicle burglaries the first week of November. Four cars where in residential areas and had been left unlocked, while the other three had smashed windows and were in commercial parking lots. Article continues after messag

Steele's Wine Cellar Grand Re-opening

Alana and Justin Steele are hosting a grand re-opening of Steele's Wine Cellar Friday, Nov 8, from 4 pm to 9 pm in the Montgomery Shopping Center. Steele’s Wine Cellar, the family-owned liquor store in the Montgomery Shopping Center, has teamed up with Rolling Thunder — a veterans organization with a “few million horsepower of leather-vested POW-MIA advocates." Stop by the store today — Friday, November 8, from 4 pm to 9 pm — for Steele's grand re-opening and to purchase a wreath ($10 each) to support this good cause. In honor of Veteran’s Day, the Steele family will be selling wreaths to place on the graves of veterans, as part of the local Rolling Thunder campaign. The grand reopening will

Local Engineer-turned-artist to Exhibit Her Work at Rocky Hill Library

Montgomery Township Artist Samia Hafiz Shaaban will display her acrylic paintings in the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library's conference room in Rocky Hill throughout the month of November. The Montgomery Woman's Club will provide a reception for her and the show on Saturday, November 9, from 12:30 pm to 4 pm. Shaaban plans to donate 50 percent of her profits to the non-profit club, which promotes good deeds in the Montgomery area, including sponsorship of college scholarships and supporting Crawford House. After 42 years as an engineer specializing in structural design and analysis, Shaaban has retired into her long awaited passion of art, specifically acrylic painting on canvas. Her works includ

Democrats Take Montgomery

Kent Huang (D) and Devra Keenan (D) to join three other Democrats on Montgomery Township Committee in January. Montgomery Democrats Kent Huang and Devra Keenan declared victory on Tuesday night, Nov 5, over Republican committee members Ed Trzaska and Kamran Quraishi. Unofficial results (which do not include mail-in ballots) are: Kent Huang 2,065 Devra Keenan 1,981 Ed Trzaska 1,653 Kamran Quraishi 1,488 Keenan attributed the Democrats' success to getting supporters to show up during an off-year election. Montgomery Township Clerk Donna Kukla said that 20 percent, or 3,711 of 17,948 of registered voters in the township, exercised their right to vote. "That is not terrible," she said. When aske

Residents Warned of ‘Robocalls’ about Polling Locations

Somerset County residents who receive automated “robocalls” announcing a change in their polling location are advised that this is a scam, according to Somerset County Election Board Administrator Jerry Midgette and Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter. Both the Board of Elections and the County Clerk’s Office have received reports of calls like this from residents of several towns, they said. Residents should check the sample ballot they received in the mail, which gives their correct voting location. Questions can be directed to the Board of Elections at 908-231-7084 or ElectionBd@co.somerset.nj.us

No Contest for Montgomery School Board

Five candidates are running for five seats on the Montgomery School District School Board — which includes Rocky Hill Borough. Voters will fill three three-year seats and two unexpired seats in the general election on November 5. Candidates are listed below in alphabetical order. Please click link to read profile. Phyllis Bursh Current school board vice president Three-year incumbent Skillman resident Michael J. Morack Jr. Appointed in 2019 to fill Paul Johnson's seat Belle Mead resident Raghib Muhammad Skillman resident Jinesh "Jin" Patel Appointed in 2019 to fill Rick Cavalli's seat Belle Mead resident Shreesh R. Tiwari Five-year incumbent Skillman resident

Shreesh R. Tiwari, Montgomery School Board Candidate

Shreesh R. Tiwari Skillman Five-year incumbent ● Running for a three-year term ● Partner / business technology leader for ZS, a management consulting and professional services firm, healthcare business technology ● Harvard Business School In His Words: “I’m passionate about education and take pride in the excellent education my two children are receiving in our schools. My sole purpose of seeking a re-election is to continue to strengthen and support the district’s mission to grow confident, compassionate, successful learners by providing engaging, challenging educational experiences." "Our current board is well aligned on district goals, objectives, and methods to achieve student success. T

Jinesh "Jin" Patel, Montgomery School Board Candidate

Jinesh "Jin" Patel Belle Mead Appointed in 2019 to fill Rick Cavalli's seat ● Running for a three-year term (The seat is currently held by Dharmesh Doshi, who has decided not to run again.) ● Assistant vice president, HSBC ● Two children in the MTSD ● The City College of New York In His Words: “For too long, there has been a focus on academics alone. This needs to change. There is much talk about a well-rounded child but not enough action. MTSD needs to be a leader in ensuring that every child is well prepared, not just academically but socially and emotionally. Social and emotional learning are fundamental to achieving this goal." "The introduction of full day kindergarten to enable early l

Raghib Muhammad, Montgomery School Board Candidate

Raghib Muhammad Skillman ● Running for a one-year term (the unexpired term of Paul Johnson who resigned earlier this year) ● Senior IT officer at Axa Equitable ● Master’s degree, computer science, Montclair University ● Bachelor’s degree, electrical engineering, Nadirshaw Eduljee Dinshaw University in Pakistan In His Words: “We are very happy with the education our two children have received in Montgomery. I do think schools in general need to modernize and augment the classroom setting with more technology. At work, we don’t send people to a classroom. About 90 percent is online, digitized, video, and blended learning. My son at the University of Maryland has four classes this semester and

Michael J. Morack Jr., Montgomery School Board Candidate

Michael J. Morack Jr. Belle Mead Appointed in 2019 to fill Paul Johnson's seat ● Running for a two-year term ● Bachelor’s degree in history and education, College of New Jersey ● Montgomery High School (MHS), Class of 2015 In His Words: “The Montgomery school district has given me so much that I would like to give back.” Morack did not return The Montgomery News phone call at press time. Morack was a pole vaulter on the MHS track team. He also achieved the rank of “Life Scout” in the Boy Scouts of America. He graduated from the College of New Jersey in May. As a student-teacher, Morack taught World History to ninth grade students at Foundation Collegiate Academy charter school in Trenton. H

Phyllis Bursh, Montgomery School Board Candidate

Phyllis Bursh, Skillman 3-year incumbent School board vice president ● Running for a three-year term ● Stay-at-home mom ● JD, University of California, Hastings College of the Law ● Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard - Radcliffe Colleges In Her Words: “As an advocate at FAIRTEST, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, (the optional SAT organization) I worked to improve assessments and teaching. My family has lived in Skillman for 14 years and my son attended Montgomery schools from K-12." "Our focus on the school board this year: Hire a superintendent and a business administrator; investigate a later start time at the high school; full-day kindergarten; the food quality K-4

Sylvia C. Kokatnur, 88

Sylvia Cummings Kokatnur, 88, formerly of Belle Mead, died in Lompoc, CA on November 1. In addition to living in Belle Mead for 46 years, Sylvia was a signature member of the Garden State Watercolor Society and the New Jersey Water Color Society. Her awards include a Best in Show as well as the Winsor Newton award for excellence in watercolor. Born in Rochester, NY on February 7, 1931, she was one of two children. She married Arvind V. “Koke” Kokatnur, on February 20, 1954. They raised three children in Belle Mead: Naren, Rani, and Deen. Sylvia was a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother, and found joy in painting throughout her life. She studied fine arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn,

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