Rosemary Poecker

Rosemary (Zoppo) Poecker, 73, most recently of Belle Mead, NJ, passed away on February 26, 2023, after a recent illness. Daughter of Ted and Edyth (Colagrande) Zoppo, she was born and raised in the Lakeview section of Paterson, NJ, living just around the corner from the many aunts, uncles, and cousins of her large Italian family.  She was proudly educated by the Salesian nuns at St. Anthony’s parish elementary school, followed by Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, NJ, where she was the valedictorian of her class.  Rosemary received her Bachelor's Degree in History from Montclair State University and her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Miami University in Ohio. 

Rosemary met her future husband, Gary, when they were in their late teens at the Milk Barn in Wayne, NJ, where she was a waitress and he was a guy who left tips much larger than the cost of his milkshake.  They dated on and (mostly) off through college and graduate school, but reconnected when Rosemary returned from graduate school, marrying in June 1974.  They raised their two children in Columbia, NJ, near where Gary taught for 24 years at North Warren Regional High School in Blairstown, NJ, and in Bangor, PA.  

Rosemary’s professional life was dedicated to religious, educational, and social welfare causes.  She was a founding member of a local pregnancy support services organization and was the Director of Counseling Services for the group.  She helped countless low-income women and children in the Slate Belt, PA, area access resources like diapers, formula, and clothing, as well as shelter when needed.  She also worked at ProJeCt of Easton, which was an interfaith social services support agency in the Lehigh Valley.  At various points in time, she also worked as a CCD teacher, substitute teacher, school counselor, and church secretary.  She was a devout Catholic and was always an active member of her parish communities, including Our Lady of Good Counsel in Bangor, PA, and later St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Pen Argyl, PA.

In 2017, Rosemary decided to leave Pennsylvania in order to live closer to her children and settled in St. Francis Residence in Denville, NJ, until its closure in 2021.  She was also a resident at Morris Hall in Lawrenceville, NJ.  Most recently, she lived in Belle Mead, NJ.

Predeceased by her parents Ted and Edyth and husband Gary, she is survived by her son Ted Poecker of Belle Mead; daughter Edye (David) Kamenir of Skillman; grandchildren Gabrielle and Oliver; and sister Rita (Jim) Vietmeier, along with a number of cousins who were like siblings to her.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10AM on Thursday, March 2, 2023, at St. Paul’s Church, 216 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ 08542. Burial will be private.  Shiva will be observed at The Jewish Center of Princeton on Sunday evening, March 5, 2023, from 7-8:30PM with minyan at 7:30.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Salesian Missions, New Rochelle, NY at

Arrangements are under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.