Zeta Amicae Estelle Tadlock Johnson, dies at 91
Estelle M. Dillon Tadlock Johnson, age 91, made her spiritual transition into eternal rest on March 23, 2011 at the Merwick Care and Rehabilitation Center after a long battle with medical challenges. Born in Trenton, NJ on May 29, 1919 and moved to Princeton in 1930 where she remained a resident until her death. Estelle is predeceased by her parents John and Mary Dillon Tadlock, her brother, John Tadlock, Jr., former husband, Samuel J. (“Shakey Sam”) Johnson, daughter, Mallory A. Johnson and granddaughter, Deborah J. Lynch. She is survived by her brother Joseph W. Tadlock (Willa Mae) and four daughters: Carla M. Stephens, Carol J. Lynch, Dana L. Johnson, and Loren S. Rosa (Jose). She leaves eight grandchildren: Tracy E. Livingston (Osborn), Michele D. Philips (William); Kyle E. Stephens (Annie); Derrell A. Lynch (Cynthia); Devin J. Lynch; Kenya S. Johnson (Patricia); Talisha K. Miller and Timothy J. Miller, and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews cousins and friends.
Estelle was a long-standing member of Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. church and an active member of the Rachel Conover Missionary Society. She was employed as an Instructional Aide with the Princeton Regional School System and retired after fifteen years from the John Witherspoon School. Estelle was educated in the Trenton and Princeton school systems and was awarded her diploma from Princeton High School. For over 50 years, Estelle was a strong advocate for public housing and senior citizens and was a founding member of Princeton Community Housing. As an active member of the community she was a former commissioner of the Housing Authority of the Borough of Princeton; a trustee of Princeton Community Housing; a past president of the Hageman Houses Tenant Association, former member of the Mercer County Registry and Election board for 30 years; the New Jersey Election Committee, the Mercer County Democratic Central Committee; the National Council of Negro Women; a member of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and a member of Princeton-Trenton Zeta Amicae of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority for over 40 years.
After retirement, she volunteered as reader in the Summer Pre-Kindergarten Program and participated in the Grandparent/Grandpartner program. Always interested in the community and history, particularly Black American history, she was an historian in her own right and had been interviewed, and quoted, about her life and experiences as a long time resident of Princeton. She was asked to be a volunteer for the Princeton Historical Society where she aided in collecting and sharing information on the migration of African-Americans to Princeton that was on display for several months. She kept abreast of the changing history of Princeton and its changing communities as well as Black Princetonians, their rich history and accomplishments of which she maintained quite a “library” of clippings and photographs of people and events. Estelle wrote poetry with her friend, Al Cartusciello (deceased), and compiled a book of Black poems entitled “Poems on Blacks to be Remembered” which they submitted to and was accepted by the Library of Congress. Her observations and concerns for others prompted Estelle to begin a program entitled “Tea and Tales” with the premise being to encourage tenants at the Spruce Circle senior citizen housing to come out and socialize with neighbors as they sipped tea and snacks in a living room setting. Estelle shared her poetry and comical notes with the hope of sparking some laughter and invited others to do the same.
Estelle always had an interest in old furniture, china, fabric and was an amateur artist drawing with pencil and charcoal. Prior to her passing she continued to pursue her work on the family genealogy which she began many years ago. Estelle loved family and friends, had a great sense of humor and was a caring, loving and giving person. She left a very meaningful and loving legacy and will be dearly missed but not forgotten. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in her memory to: Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church 170 Witherspoon Street Princeton, NJ 08542; Princeton Senior Resource Center 179 Spruce Circle Princeton, NJ 08540; Princeton Hospice Care 208 Bunn Drive Princeton, NJ 08540; Princeton-Trenton Zeta Amicae of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Scholarship Fund P.O. Box 5986 Trenton, NJ 08618 HEARD