A retired postal worker from Old Bridge died after his sister-in-law served him a lethal cocktail of pineapple juice, maraschino cherries and antifreeze, State Police said yesterday.

Maryann Neabor, 53, a certified emergency medical technician, was charged yesterday morning with murder, accused of poisoning Jonathan Neabor, 58, last Wednesday while he was visiting her home in Shamong Township in the Pine Barrens of Burlington County. He died Friday.

Her husband, Michael Neabor, 54, was home during his brother's visit but has not been implicated in the slaying, said trooper Stephen Jones, a State Police spokesman.

Jonathan Neabor was single and had no children. Investigators think financial gain was a possible motive in the killing, Jones said.

"He had some assets in stocks and bonds," said Jones, who added that investigators were also trying to confirm preliminary information they received about an insurance policy.

In Old Bridge, the victim's friends and neighbors were in stunned disbelief yesterday. They described Neabor as a soft-spoken bachelor who collected old records and wrote a newsletter column for his former union, the National Association of Letter Carriers.

"He was the nicest man you'd ever want to meet. This man was lovely," said Eileen Metelski, one of his neighbors on Austin Avenue.

Another neighbor, Bob Tanne, who worked alongside Neabor at the Elizabeth Post Office for more than 20 years before both retired, had begun to worry when his friend did not show up Thursday for an outing to a Somerset Patriots baseball game.

Tanne said he was "shocked and hurt" when he heard the news yesterday.

In Shamong Township, some of the people who know Maryann Neabor described her as a kindly woman who had served on the town's rescue squad and lectured schoolchildren on the dangers of illegal drugs.

One of her neighbors, Eileen Gomez, said Maryann Neabor helped her obtain her CPR certification.

"She always seemed like she wanted to help," Gomez said. "This is a terrible, horrible thing to be charged with."