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Funeral Home Christy Funeral Home

A service in Laura's memory will be held on Saturday, March 2nd at 11:00 AM at the First Presbyterian Church, 119 N. 2nd St. Millville, NJ, 08332. Because Laura loved flowers, arrangements may be sent to the church. Donations in memory of Laura may be sent to Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc. 17 E. Main St. PO Box 474, Millville, NJ, 08332.

Obituaries » Laura Brooks Staehle Johnson

Laura Brooks Staehle Johnson

Millville – Laura Brooks Staehle Johnson, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, died on February 19th, following a prolonged illness. Well-known for her generosity, humor, beauty, intelligence, and tenacity, Laura excelled at everything she did. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Born in Newark, NJ to Dr. George and Alma Staehle, Laura graduated from Kent Place School and attended Connecticut College. She was a lifelong learner and avid reader, with a particular interest in genealogy and history. She loved books of every kind, and while her children attended The Ellison School she founded the library there (in addition to serving on the school’s board of trustees). She was also an excellent writer, demonstrated by her time at the helm of the newsletter for the New Jersey Society of the Colonial Dames of America, for which she served as president and also as a Regent for Gunston Hall, home of Founding Father George Mason. Even on a small scale, her beautifully written and heartfelt thank you notes were a joy to read.

Laura was extremely active and seemingly tireless, whether on her daily walks around Laurel Lake with Harvey the dog or climbing over stiles on the moors of Scotland, making beds and breakfast for visitors, digging in the garden, tending to the chickens, birds, cats and whatever other hungry creatures came by, and visiting her children and friends all over the country and the world.

She was a great connector of people, whether as a hostess at her famous biannual Buckshutem Bash, or in her duties for over fifty years as class secretary for Kent Place School. Her empathy for others and warm demeanor put everyone instantly at ease, a characteristic that made her welcome while visiting and comforting homebound employees during her time at Wheaton Industries. She also served on the board of trustees at WheatonArts, to which she had a special connection as a direct descendent of T.C. Wheaton, founder of Wheaton Industries.

Although she loved to travel, Laura’s favorite place was her home on the Maurice River, and her passion for New Jersey’s Bayshore region led her to her most recent position as the Director of Development and Marketing at the Bayshore Center at Bivalve. When not at work, Laura could be found monitoring the osprey nest with her telescope, navigating her rowing shell through the marsh, or ferrying her guests to the “shack” for cocktails, followed by an elaborate homemade meal overlooking the river.

Laura is survived by her daughters Alexa Kontes, Zoe Kontes, Laura Kontes Ames (Kevin), and by her son William C. Kontes (Kim) and five grandchildren: Constantine and Sophia Kontes, Kevin and William Ames, and Kalliope Brooks Kontes.

Laura is also survived by her brother Stuart Staehle (Alice), her sister Pamela Staehle Eilenberg (Tom), and by her niece, nephews, aunts, cousins, and friends. She was predeceased by her brother Richard and her parents.

A service in Laura’s memory will be held on Saturday, March 2nd at 11:00 AM at the First Presbyterian Church, 119 N. 2nd St. Millville, NJ, 08332. Because Laura loved flowers, arrangements may be sent to the church. Donations in memory of Laura may be sent to Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and Its Tributaries, Inc. 17 E. Main St. PO Box 474, Millville, NJ, 08332.

Memories and expressions of sympathy for Laura Brooks Staehle Johnson may be shared on the Obituary Tribute Wall at www.christyfuneralservice.com.