The Times, Trenton, New Jersey, April 3, 2005
NEWTOWN, PA -- Janina (Jana) Stahl, 82, passed away March 21.
She lived a full and extraordinary life. She was a courageous, intelligent and formidable lady, the matriarch of her family.
Born in Vienna, Austria in 1923, she grew up in the beautiful city of Lwow, Poland (now Lviv in the Ukraine). While Poland was under siege in World War II, she married Charles Stahl. Together they fled their homeland, crossing over the mountains to Budapest. Their support of the Polish resistance caused them to be incarcerated and separated during the war. They were able to find each other after the war through a pre-arranged contact point. With Poland then under communist rule, they did not return to their homeland. They lived briefly in Vienna, where they had their first daughter, and then in Geneva, where their second daughter was born. A fervent belief in the democratic system was the catalyst that made them leave a comfortable life in Geneva, to immigrate to the United States in 1953, bringing along with them a cook, a governess and a secretary.
They lived in Westchester County, NY, followed by a year abroad in Rio de Janeiro, and then settled in Princeton in 1957, where they raised their family and remained for over 30 years. After volunteering with the Red Cross and the Neuro-Psychiatric Institute, Jana worked for Educational Testing Service for over 20 years until her retirement, but also continued volunteer service for the hospital fete. In the early 1990s she moved to Lawrenceville, and most recently to Pennswood Village in Pennsylvania.
She was an avid and excellent bridge player, a voracious reader, enjoyed a good joke, convertible cars, fine restaurants and the theater. She never lost her lovely Austrian/Polish accent and was, at one point, fluent in seven languages.
Jana will long be remembered by her sister, Halina Eskenazi of Annemasse, France; her daughter Sandra Oliver and son-in-law Ken Oliver; daughter, Jeanie Stahl and her husband John Jacobsen; and sister-in-law Lucynka Smolinska and husband Janusz Smolinski. Her husband Charles passed away in 1985.
Arrangements are being made by the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home in Princeton.
Per her wishes, there will be no memorial service.
Donations in her name may be made to UNICEF, PO Box 3662, New York, NY 10164-2629, or the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey, 707 Alexander Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.