By Dave Enscoe, Advertising Department
Sidney Hewett flew 58 combat missions before he was shot down over Germany in May 1944. He crash landed his P-47 Thunderbolt in field and, bleeding from shrapnel wounds to his legs, set his aircraft afire to keep it from the enemy. Captured by the Germans, he spent a year in a POW camp before being liberated by the Allies.
After the war Sidney worked as a sales rep in Michigan for a few years before returning to his home town of Absecon and buying the A.E. Stone Paving Co. with his brother-in-law, C. Clifford Allen. In 1958, he and his wife, Doris, built a house on two acres overlooking the meadowlands on Iowa Avenue. He helped raise two children in that house and lived there until his death in 2001. Doris, who is 90, still lives there today.
The house, now up for sale, stands on high ground that slopes down to the wetlands and Absecon Creek. It's actually more like two houses in one: the original four-bedroom home and a two-bedroom 1993 addition with two full baths, a full-sized kitchen, a great room, separate garage and a private entrance. The two structures, with nearly 4,000 square feet of living space, are connected only by a common laundry room.
Sidney and Doris, also a lifelong Absecon resident, built the addition for themselves while their daughter, Janet Scepansky, moved back into the main house with her husband, Tim and their daughter.
The original house features a sunken living room with two picture windows, built-in book shelves in all four corners, window seats and a two-sided wood burning fireplace that also faces the formal dining room.
"The woodwork was all done by my uncle, John Clark, who owned Clark Millwork in Pleasantville," Janet says.
Off the dining room is a sunroom with two skylights and a flagstone floor. The kitchen was remodeled about a year ago and is now equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite counters, cherry cabinets, a built-in wine cooler and a breakfast nook. There's also an attached greenhouse and a two-car garage.
The second floor has four bedrooms with oak floors and a full hall bath. Another full bath is located in the master bedroom suite, which has a bow window, built-in cabinets and window seat.
Highlighting the 1,200 square foot addition is a great room with a cathedral ceiling, a wall of windows and glass doors to a brick patio overlooking the meadows. The spacious first-floor master has a private bathroom and a staircase in the great room leads to a second-floor guest bedroom.
More living space is found in the walk-out English basement, which features a finished den with a regulation pool table, a half bath and another wood burning fireplace. There's also a huge workshop, and a separate storage room.
The house is heated and cooled with a multi-zoned geothermal system. There are two wells, one for the irrigation system and one for the geothermal system. The house also has city water.
Outside, the yard is landscaped with towering holly and cedar trees. "That big holly tree at the end of the hill, I could jump over it when we first moved in," Janet says.
Off the greenhouse is a brick patio with a fish pond and a waterfall shaded by a massive cedar tree. "This is a real bird sanctuary," Janet says. "We have bald eagles, red tailed hawks, all the waterfowl you can think of. In the evenings the sunsets over the meadows are fantastic."
When the house is sold, Doris will be moving to an assisted living facility in Maine, where her son lives. Janet, whose husband died 14 years ago, isn't sure where she's going.
"I may move up to Maine," she says. "I'm going to be a girl without a home. I have a bucketful of memories. I was 10 when I first moved here."
But Doris may have the most difficult time leaving her home of 56 years.
"It's very hard for all of us, but especially for my mom," Janet says. "She thought she'd live all her days here. I just hope that whoever moves here doesn't cut down that big cedar tree. The birds love it."
For more information on this property, which is listed for $450,000, call Pamela Stearns of RE/MAX Atlantic, 609-457-5986.
Size: 6 bedrooms, 4 baths