Stoutsburg Cemetery Trustee Board (updated July, 2019)
John B. Buck, President
Stoutsburg Cemetery Association’s current President, John B. Buck, has been a lifelong resident of Hopewell, New Jersey. John resides with his wife Elaine and shared three sons, Aaron, Jason, and Joseph (JB) who went to be with the Lord on September 22, 2000. JB is buried in the family plot along with his beloved grandmothers Pauline (Peggy) Nevis and Delores Ewing, great-great grandmother, great-grandparents, uncles and cousins.
John has served as Vice President for over 10 years starting under the direction of former President Robert Grover. As a young adult, John helped his grandfather, Elmer Nevius, and uncle, Earle Nevis, with various duties. While working with his grandfather and uncle, John was also trained to lead the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association which has been in existence for over 300 years.
John proudly serves as President to such a distinguished group of African Americans who rose from slavery to being men and women of valor who are now lying in their final resting place at Stoutsburg.
S. Elaine Buck, Assistant Secretary
S. Elaine Buck has also been a lifelong resident of Hopewell and serves as Assistant Secretary on the Stoutsburg Association Board. Elaine is married to John Buck, and is the proud mother of three sons, Jason, Aaron, and Joseph (JB) who is resting in Stoutsburg Cemetery along with his maternal great-great grandmother (Ada Hightower), maternal great-grandparents (Robert and Hester Coleman), and grandmothers, Peggy Nevis and Delores Ewing. Elaine’s grandfather, Robert, operated a burial vault business in the late ‘50’s and early 60’s. It was this business that served families interred in Stoutsburg Cemetery.
Elaine is honored to serve on the Board assisting the secretary, Beverly Mills, as they work together to be the voice for those who contributed and sacrificed so much to Stoutsburg and surrounding areas.
Abdel Gordon, Trustee
Abdel Gordon was raised in Hopewell Valley and educated in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District. Abdel became a Trustee of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association in 2013. He is a descendant of the Waldron family who has been in the region since the 1800s. Abdel and his wife Kokeshia currently live in Ewing Township, New Jersey and are the proud parents of one daughter, Zayla. Abdel has been a long-standing member of the Second Calvary Baptist Church in Hopewell, New Jersey, where he serves on the Usher Board.
Baron Holland, Treasurer
Baron Holland is a former resident of Hopewell, New Jersey. Baron, who currently resides in Wyncote, Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters, has served as Treasurer for the past 16 years. Barons’ involvement with the cemetery began early when he began helping his grandfather, Earle Nevius, who was then serving as Stoutsburg’s caretaker after Wilmer Grover. Baron recalls working alongside his grandfather as a child picking up sticks and twigs to help maintain the grounds. As he grew older, Baron started to understand the significance of Stoutsburg’s history which he says has changed over the years.
“In the beginning I think Stoutsburg gave African Americans a sense of pride and comfort to know they had such a beautiful resting place on the hill. Today our history has transitioned to a great opportunity to educate other cultures and the younger generation about our history and contributions. Serving on this Board is very personal for me as I lay the foundation to pass the legacy of Stoutsburg onto my children so they become good stewards of the cemetery.”
Along with his grandfather, Earle, other family members in Stoutsburg include Baron’s grandmother Virginia Nevius (Earle’s wife), his father Barry, uncle Bruce, Aunt Beverlee Tucker, and several cousins.
Beverly Mills, Secretary
Beverly Mills has lived in Pennington the majority of her adult life with her husband Robert and two sons. Beverly is the fourth generation to reside in a home that has been in her family for over a century. This home, purchased by her great-grandfather, was passed down to her father (William “Shud” Smith) who was also a lifelong Pennington resident buried in Stoutsburg alongside his wife, Jean.
When Beverly was “drafted” in the 1970s by her uncle Fred Clark to take the role of secretary, she took the position very reluctantly. It wasn’t long that she began to see the importance of preserving the legacy of the cemetery. Beverly’s role became even more poignant after Earle Nevius presented her with an old ledger from the early 1900’s that had her great-grandfather’s handwriting when he was cemetery secretary! As a child Beverly also recalled hearing stories about the cemetery from her grandmother, Herma Fields, who was raised and educated in Stoutsburg.
As an African American raised in a town with less than 1% Black population, Beverly clearly understands the historical significance of Stoutsburg. Throughout the years Beverly’s interest has grown to the point that she, along with Elaine Buck, has begun researching the lives of those buried in the cemetery. It is their ultimate goal to produce a book with the information they gather.
Aside from her father and mother, other descendants of Beverly’s buried in Stoutsburg include great-grandparents, grandparents, an aunt, uncle and several cousins.
Robert “Glen” Nevius, Caretaker
Glen Nevius lives in Lawrenceville with his wife Bertha where they raised four children.
Glen has taken on the responsibility as caretaker for the past decade. As a child Glen remembers riding his bike along with other kids up to the cemetery however his involvement with Stoutsburg didn’t come until years later as an adult. Glen fondly recalls being “stolen” by his uncle Earle Nevius with orders to “come up to the cemetery to help with caretaking duties.” For the next four to five years Glen worked alongside Earle maintaining the beauty of the grounds. They worked together until he officially took over as Stoutsburg’s caretaker after Earle’s passing.
Glen understands the importance of preserving the beauty of Stoutsburg and has his son, Robert Glen Nevius, Jr. now working along his side. “Just as I was recruited years ago, I have recruited my son who has worked with me for the past three years.” Beside Glen’s uncle Earle other descendants include his father Lester Nevius, aunts, uncles and cousins.
It is comforting to know the maintenance of Stoutsburg Cemetery is in the capable hands of a father who has passed the importance of being a good steward on to his son!