Marilyn A. Lynch, 82, of Princeton died peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Brandywine Senior Living at Princeton. Born in Buffalo, NY, she was a resident of Princeton for over 46 years. Marilyn was a member of St. Paul’s Church and the Princeton-Pettoranello Sister City Foundation.
Daughter of the late Anthony and Matilda (Cramer) Monaco, she is survived by her devoted husband of 58 years, Charles A. Lynch, her daughters Nancy van der Horst, and Cara Lynch, sons-in-law Jan van der Horst, and Rafael Alvarez, grandchildren Rose van der Horst and Rafael E. Alvarez, two brothers and a sister-in-law Anthony and Rose Monaco, Jr., David Monaco, niece Victoria Pohlman, and nephews Paul and John Monaco. The family would also like to acknowledge the many caregivers who tended to Marilyn over the last four years.
As a child, Marilyn and her brothers spent 5 years at the German Roman Catholic Orphanage in Buffalo. Though sadly separated from her parents, she had many fond memories of the care she received from the Sisters of St. Francis. Her mentor, Sister Francesca, inspired her to become a teacher and a lifelong advocate for children. A graduate of D'Youville College in Buffalo, NY, Marilyn started her career as an elementary school teacher, and taught for seven years in the Buffalo area, then South Bend, IN, and Westfield, NJ.
Marilyn went on to earn her master’s degree in Nutrition from Rutgers University in 1979 and returned to the workforce offering pre/post natal nutritional counseling for the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program in Newark, NJ. She later joined WIC at the NJ State Department of Health in Trenton, as a Program Coordinator and then as Assistant Director for all WIC agencies in NJ for more than twenty-five years. She was a staunch advocate for children and breastfeeding mothers, and she pioneered policies to address and serve the homeless, those stricken with HIV/AIDS, and more. She addressed many conferences nationwide on the advances that the NJ WIC Program had instituted and she developed a mentoring and internship program to groom recent Nutrition graduates, in an effort to better prepare those joining the field for certification exams.
Marilyn passionately and determinedly championed causes that she believed in and gave her all to realize her vision. She retired from the Health Department in 2006 and received many accolades for her contributions to the health and welfare of NJ women and children.
Marilyn was an avid tennis player until her early 70’s, and competed in local tournaments and Volvo Tennis. She often advanced to the final rounds, and faced opponents more than twenty years younger. She was a fierce competitor.
In her leisure, Marilyn enjoyed gardening, local symphony events, going to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, fine dining, and many travels and cruises with her husband, Charles. In 1965, they famously embarked on their first trip to Europe with toddler Nancy in tow. They traveled around Europe for 3 months with no jobs or home to return to. That was the first of many adventures together.
A memorial mass will be celebrated at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church 216 Nassau Street, Princeton at 11am on Friday, February 8th. Burial services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Church or to D’Youville College.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.