August 23, 1939 - November 16, 2020
HAMILTON – Marilyn Fontes Jose, 81, of Hamilton, passed away November 16th.
Born in Providence, RI to Manuel and Stephania (Wikiera) Fontes, she graduated cum laude from Salve Regina College with a BA in mathematics. She began teaching at Warwick Veterans’ Memorial High School in Warwick, RI and was awarded an NSF grant to the University of Illinois for her MS in mathematics.
There she met and married the love of her life, David Jose. After settling in Hamilton Township, she taught at Ewing High School, The College of New Jersey, Villa Victoria and Hightstown High School, finally retiring in 2010.
Marilyn was a lifelong activist. In 1960 she was a Kennedy Golden Girl for JFK and a Pell Bell for Claiborne Pell. At her college graduation, Senator Pell announced his Pell grants program, honoring students like Marilyn. An active member of the Hamilton Democratic Club and Hamilton Democratic Municipal Committee for District 61 for more than 30 years, she served as a Democratic committee person, on various township committees and was instrumental in restoring Gropp’s Dam in 1987.
She also served as a trustee of the Hamilton Township Free Public Library, on the board of the NJ Library Trustees Association, and as secretary of the Hamilton Friends of the Library.
Marilyn helped form unions in Rhode Island and at The College of New Jersey. She was a member of the Polish Arts Club of Trenton, the Legion of Mary and the Rosary Altar Society. She sang in several choirs, performed in drama productions, and served as a cantor at Our Lady of Sorrows in Hamilton and at Most Holy Redeemer in Roebling. She became a prison minister in the 1980s and in 2016 became an Extraordinary Minister at the Ann Klein Forensic Center in West Trenton.
Predeceased by her parents, brother Manuel Fontes, and nephew Stephen Carter, Marilyn is survived by her husband, David; her children David (Karen Uffalussy), Amanda (Bruce Alderman) and Stephanie (Richard Teed); her grandchildren Xander Byron, Liam, Mason, Brigid, and Sabrina Alderman, and Ethan and Lyla Teed; her sister Janice Fontes; many nieces and nephews, especially Thomas Carter and his children Cassidy and Scarlet, and countless cousins. She will miss and be missed by many friends, especially Frank DiNatale, Kathy Hartz, her Dinner Club “The Dinos” at the Town & Country, and any student who told her over the years, “Today I opened my mouth, and you fell out.”
Arrangements are under the direction of the Buklad-Merlino Yardville Memorial Home, 30 Yardville-Allentown Road in Yardville. A celebration of Marilyn’s life will be held next year. In lieu of flowers, her family prefers donations to be made in her honor to the Polish Arts Club of Trenton’s Scholarship Program. Cremation services will be private.
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