Mary Rose Dusch-Chavern (Balph), of Cranford, New Jersey, passed away early morning, on Friday, October 29, 2021, at the age of 95. She was born on July 24,1926 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Helen (Wettach) & James Balph, Jr. She attended Cornell University and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Psychology.
She married Glen A. Dusch on May 20, 1954 in Pennsylvania and his career took them to Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and San Jose before moving back east and settling in Cranford in 1961. Her daughter Carol was born in December 1962 and son Jim was born in July 1964. Mary began working for the newly created Union County Youth Services Bureau in 1973, and became its Director in 1978. During this time she gained great satisfaction working with underserved youth who were susceptible to high school dropout and delinquency in the County. In 1979 she left the County to become Executive Director of The Bridge, a youth and family counseling agency primarily serving Essex County from its offices in West Caldwell and Irvington. For the next 20 years she led The Bridge's expansion of services in a variety of communities and programs.
In 1984 she attended her 40th reunion for Dormont High School, which was also attended by her childhood neighbor, friend and ultimate love of her life, Robert Chavern. That reconnection resulted in their marriage on April 3, 1988 and more than 30 years of adventures and memories. Throughout that time and until her passing she lived in her beloved home on Willow Street in Cranford, surrounded by lovely friends and neighbors. Mary is survived by her son and his family, James and RenÃ©e Dusch of North Yarmouth, Maine and four grandchildren, Isabel, Sawyer, Isaac, and AndrÃ©. She is also survived by her brother, James Balph & wife, Judy, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Mary's family is especially thankful for long time friend and neighbor, Lee MacArthur, Tom & Grace Rice & their family, Diana Kaskiew, and Fern Buchanan for their continued love and support of Mary. She would not have had the long life and joy of living on Willow Street until her passing without you, and for that we are forever thankful and indebted.
A memorial service is being held this Saturday, November 6th, at 11:00 AM in the First Presbyterian Church, 11 Springfield Avenue, Cranford. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Mary's name to The Bridge, 800 Bloomfield Ave. West Caldwell NJ 07006.