Mary Jane Thurston

Obituary of Mary Jane Thurston


Mary Jane Thurston, age 78, a resident of Lawrenceville, N.J. for more than 50 years, died peacefully from complications of kidney disease on October 26, 2019 after a long illness.

She was the wonderful wife of Lewis Thurston and mother of daughters Linda, Karen, and Jill. Mary Jane grew up in LaGrange, Illinois, graduated from the University of Michigan, and worked as a medical technologist, a real estate agent, and most recently in the test division of Educational Testing Service prior to her retirement.

She was an avid reader, enjoyed puzzles of all kinds, art museums, giraffes, knitting, bridge, and television crime and medical shows. Her home was always an inviting, friendly place, especially to her daughters' friends.  Mary Jane lived a happy life on her own terms and was an outspoken preacher of tolerance and a fierce opponent of racial, gender, and other prejudices. She was a women's rights advocate and greatly appreciated sincerity and authenticity.

Mary Jane was predeceased by her parents, Dick and Mary Ada MacNeal Freriks and brother Robert Scott Freriks. She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Lewis Thurston, three daughters and sons-in-law: Linda Thurston (Tom Cunniff) of Mount Prospect Illinois; Karen Thurston (David Lillis) of Brooklyn, NY; and Jill Pierantozzi (Brad) of Groton, MA and eight grandchildren: Beth, Cassie and Julia Cunniff; Jake and Sophia Lillis; and Aidan, Gabriel and Micah Pierantozzi. She is also survived by her brother, David Freriks (Laurie) of Hinckley, Illinois and nieces Sarah and Emily and nephew Will.

A memorial service to celebrate Mary Jane's life will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 2PM at the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, of which she was a member; 2688 Main St, Lawrenceville, NJ.

Relatives and friends may visit with the family on Friday, November 15, 2019 from 6-8PM at Poulson & Van Hise Funeral Directors, 650 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.

To send condolences to the family, please visit In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, PO Box 872, Trenton, NJ 08605 or




6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, November 15, 2019
Poulson & Van Hise Funeral Directors
650 Lawrence Road
Lawrenceville, New Jersey, United States

Memorial service

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, November 16, 2019
The Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville
2688 Main Street
Lawrenceville, New Jersey, United States
Memorial service