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Valerie Hartshorne, 91

Valerie Hartshorne, 91

Founder of Soupe du Jour

August 25, 1931 - January 30, 2023

Valerie Thomas Hartshorne died in her Blawenburg home on January 30 at the age of 91 — surrounded by her family, just as she would have wanted.


Valerie was born in Brooklyn, NY on August 25, 1931 and raised in Locust, NJ. She graduated from Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT, in 1949 and studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York City from 1949 to 1950.


In 1960, Valerie and her husband Nat moved to Blawenburg, with three of their four children and set up home in the 200-year-old Blawenburg Tavern. Their fourth child, Caroline, was born the following spring.


After settling in New Jersey, Valerie devoted herself to being a loving mother, eventually a grandmother and later in life a great-grandmother as well as an entrepreneur and active community member.


Among her accomplishments were establishing and running, with her partner Frad Young, Soupe du Jour, a popular lunch restaurant in Hopewell. Soupe du Jour was a successful lunch spot infused with Valerie’s and Frad’s cooking talents as well as their ability to nurture their customers.


At home, Valerie was a beacon of light for her family and many friends. Her house was welcoming and safe, and there was always something tasty cooking on the stove.


Valerie was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous as well as a longtime volunteer of Planned Parenthood. She was an avid gardener, a lover of animals, and a masterful cook. She will be dearly missed.


Valerie is survived by her children: Anne Allen and partner John George of Blawenburg, Jennifer Hartshorne and husband Steve Gilbert of Princeton, Max Hartshorne of South Deerfield, MA, and Caroline Hartshorne of Blawenburg. She is also survived by her nine grandchildren: Kate Hartshorne, Chelsea Allen, James Allen, Sam Hartshorne, Simon Allen, Rosalie Bush, Tom Hartshorne, Jackson Bush, Greta Bush, along with two great-grandchildren: Nathan and Sofie Cosme.


In lieu of flowers, the Hartshorne family asks that donations be made to Planned Parenthood.


A memorial service is planned for spring 2023. Arrangements are by the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, Pennington. Condolences are welcome at wilsonapple.com. ■

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