Obituaries for the week of March 2
● By J. Chambless
IRENE B. TAYLOR
Irene B. Taylor, 87, of Avondale, passed away at her residence on Feb. 21.
Born in West Grove, she was the daughter of the late James C. and Suzanna Mackey Taylor. She was a bookkeeper at Conard-Pyle, Star Roses in West Grove for 60 years, retiring in 2005. She was a member of the Avondale Presbyterian Church, where she had served as an elder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, and a moderator or the Presbyterian Women’s Group. She enjoyed gardening and sewing.
She is survived by one brother, James R. Taylor and his wife Alice of Wilmington, Del.; one nephew, Douglas R. Taylor; and one niece, Kendra S. DiOrio. She was predeceased by one sister, Alice Cooper.
A funeral was held Feb. 27. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In memory of Irene, a contribution may be made to the Avondale Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 446, Avondale, PA 19311. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
MICHELE 'MIKE' DIPIETRO
Michele “Mike” DiPietro, 101, passed away on Feb. 24 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.
He was the husband of Teresa D’Anastasio DiPietro, with whom he shared 49 years of marriage. Born in Cesa, Rocca St. Maria, Italy, he was the son of the late Girolamo and Antonietta DiMatteo DiPietro. Before Mike came to the U.S., he was enlisted in the Italian Army during World War II. He was captured by the British and became a POW, first in Africa, and then in England. When he came to the U.S. in January 1957, he first worked in the mushroom industry for a short time, then he worked for the Basilio Brothers. After working in construction, he worked as a machinist at Hewlett-Packard for 20 years, retiring in 1983. He enjoyed gardening, wine making, reading, being with family and friends, going to Mass, and in his later years, watching Mass on TV.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by one daughter, Lisa G DiPietro of Kennett Square; one sister, Lisa DiPietro of Teramo, Italy (age 99); one nephew, Gianni DiPietro of Pinerolo, Italy; and one niece, Antonietta DiPietro of Ancona, Italy. He was predeceased by two brothers, Father Pietro DiPietro and Giulio DiPietro.
A funeral was held March 2. Burial was in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. In memory of Mike, a contribution may be made to the American Heart Association, 1617 JFK Boulevard, Suite 700, Philadelphia PA 19103; or Neighborhood Hospice, 400 East Marshall Street, West Chester PA 19380. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
MARY JANE MAHAFFEY
Mary Jane Mahaffey, 82, of West Grove, died peacefully in her sleep on Feb. 22 after a long illness.
Jane was born to Alfred and Lillian Slade in 1932 in Philadelphia. She graduated from Upper Darby High School in 1950 and then attended Beaver College, where she majored in music. After graduating in 1954, she sang solo soprano in many recitals and performances. After marrying George H. Mahaffey III in 1955, Jane became a homemaker and professional piano teacher to many young people over the next 40 years. She enjoyed boating and golf, and was an energetic leader in her church and community.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her sister Dorothy (Dottie) Langston. She is survived by her son, George W. Mahaffey; her sister, Betty Morgan; and her two grandchildren, Evan George Mahaffey and Katharine Leigh Mahaffey.
In lieu of flowers or other acknowledgements, the family requests that donations be made to The Boy Scouts of America. Jane had requested a private funeral service to be reunited with her loving husband, George H. Mahaffey III. The family wishes to extend special appreciation the staff at the Jenner’s Pond Retirement Community and the Willow Tree Hospice for their dedication to assure Jane’s comfort. To leave an online condolence, visit www.griecofuneralhomes.com.
Mary Wollaston, 59, of Landenberg, passed away on Feb. 19 at Conway Medical Center, outside of Myrtle Beach, S.C., after a courageous battle with leukemia.
She was born in 1955 in Havre de Grace, Md., to Francis Krzywicki and the late Helen Chessock Krzywicki. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a BS in home economics, and later earned her certificate in early childhood education from Immaculata University. She owned and managed Wollaston Day Care out of her home for over 30 years. Mary was passionate about raising children, and not just her three. She loved every child that came into her life and treated them as her own.
Mary was energetic about her health and nutrition. She loved gardening, cooking, shopping, and decorating for the holidays. She spent many hours on the sidelines of a soccer field and in the audience of many dance recitals, always supporting and encouraging her children’s extracurricular activities. She cared a lot about education and was a member of the Kennett Consolidated School District School Board and the Southern Chester Country Chamber of Commerce for many years. She will be greatly missed by both her family and friends, but always remembered.
Surviving is her husband of 37 years, Thomas Wollaston; three children, Scott Wollaston (Megan), Laura Chandler (Chris), and Carrie Scallan (Ross); four grandchildren, Gus Wollaston, Kylie Chandler, Madelyn Chandler, and Charlie Wollaston; four siblings, Michael Krzywicki, Matthew Krzywicki, Denise Sinigaglio, and Carol Wilson; 11 nephews and ten nieces; and over 200 kids she would claim as family that came through her daycare. Also surviving is her father, Frank Krzywicki.
A memorial service was held on Feb. 27. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to AWAREmed Heath and Resource Center, 4710 Oleander Dr., Myrtle Beach, SC 29577; or Maximized Living online at www.maximizedlivingfoundation.org. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
LOUISE M. LEOMBRONE
Louise M. Leombrone, 65, of Oxford, passed away on Feb. 22 at her home.
She was the wife of Joseph W. Leombrone. Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late James V. and Carmen Forte Rosati. She attended the Church of the Sacred Heart in Oxford.
She is survived by her husband; one son, Joseph A. Leombrone of Oxford; one grandson, Gavin Albert; and one brother, Louis Ruoff. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Katrina L. Albert. Funeral services and interment were private. Donations in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
EDWARD J. VETRONE
Edward Joseph Vetrone, 93, of West Grove, left this world on Feb. 23 to be reunited with his loving wife of 69 years, Anna Margaret Dreger Vetrone, who predeceased him in 2011.
Born in Philadelphia in 1921, he was the son of the late Ernest Vetrone and Edith Myers. Ed and Ann eloped prior to his deployment to the European Theater in World War II. Ed was a combat photographer from November 1942 to October 1945. His battles and campaigns were in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe. His decorations and citations were the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart, and European African Middle Eastern ribbon with five battle stars and one arrowhead.
When he returned from the war, he worked for Philly Blue Print, then at Gulf Oil Refinery until his retirement in 1983. His hobbies were flying airplanes, playing harmonica, carpentry, motorcycles, rebuilding engines, fishing, boating, traveling and spending winters in South Padre Island, Texas. He also loved watching Eagles football. He was a kind person, well loved, generous to a fault. His smile was infectious. He will be missed greatly.
He is survived by two sons, Joseph E. Vetrone of West Grove, and Edward G. Vetrone and his wife Loretta of Orlando, Fla.; one sister, Edith Fulgium of Norwood, Pa.; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by two sons, Thomas and Ernest Vetrone; and three brothers, Ernest, Jack and Robert Vetrone.
A funeral was held Feb. 27. Burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, donations on memory of Ed can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
SHIRLEY J. MATHIAS
Shirley J. Mathias, 80, of Kennett Square, passed away on Feb. 24 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.
She was the wife of Philip H. Mathias, with whom she shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Braddock, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Eugene and Clara Bunt Fischer. She was a homemaker, and also taught home economics at Penncrest High School in Media, Pa. She was a faith-filled and Godly woman, and she was an active member of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Unionville. She loved spending time with and encouraging family and friends, taking an active interest in each one. Shirley was a volunteer greeter at Longwood Gardens. She enjoyed sewing, reading, tennis, bird-watching, travel with Phil, and beautiful sunsets.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by one son, Mark F. Mathias and his wife Laura of Rochester, N.Y.; two daughters, Marcy L. Wisbauer and her husband Kenny of Charlottesville, Va., and Sharon L. Mathias of Kansas City, Mo.; one sister-in-law, Dona Fischer of Greenville, S.C.; five grandchildren, Andrew Mathias and his wife Allison, Jeremie Mathias, Kevin Mathias, Katie Wisbauer and Kelli Wisbauer; and one great-granddaughter, Samantha Mathias. She was predeceased by one brother, Earle E. Fischer.
A funeral was held Feb. 28. In lieu of flowers, a contribution in Shirley’s memory may be made to St. Michael Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 178, Unionville, PA 19375. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
MARIE E. COMER
Marie E. Comer, 86, of Oxford passed away Feb. 27 at Twin Pines Health Care Center in West Grove.
She was the wife of the late Claude Comer. Born in Lancaster, she was the daughter of the late William and Margaret Marson Jamison. She was a member of the Redemptive Faith Community in Oxford, and the Oxford Senior Center.
She is survived by a daughter, Patricia Crowl and her husband Daniel of Oxford; five grandchildren, Wendy Hughes and her husband Jeff of Lincoln University, Penny Hatrick of Oxford, Brian Crowl and his wife Esther of Oxford, Katie Marie Comer of Rising Sun, Md.; six great-grandchildren, Daniel Hughes, Amber Hughes, Hope Crowl, Emily Hatrick, Jacob and Jay Lynn; and two great-great-grandchildren, Faith Noel Hughes and Austin Murray. She was preceded in death by her son, David Comer.
Funeral services were held March 3. Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Redemptive Faith Community, 24 Jason Dr., Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
JESSE J. DEFREES
Jesse John DeFrees, 41 of Lincoln University, died on Feb. 22 at his home.
He was the husband of Charlene Costa DeFrees, with whom he shared 16 years of marriage. Born in Reading, he was a son of Ronald and Joyce (Stuebner) DeFrees of Reading. He was a 1996 graduate of the University of Delaware, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations. He was district manager of Hospitality & Facilities Maintenance in the Northeast Region 2 for Ferguson Enterprises of Newport News, Va. He was a member of several professional organizations, including the Institute of Real Estate Management, Delaware Apartment Association, New Jersey Apartment Association, Pennsylvania Apartment Association, and the National Apartment Association. He was the perfect dad to his three girls, Maggie, Paige and Emily; always supporting them and attending their recitals and competitions in gymnastics, dance, piano and musical theatre.
Survivors include, in addition to his wife, daughters and parents, one brother, Dallas DeFrees of Reading.
A funeral was held March 2. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Contributions in his memory are encouraged to The Phyllis Recca Foundation, 104 Richardsons Brook Drive, Kennett Square, PA 19348 (http://phyllisreccafoundation.org ). To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com .
LOIS MARIE MCDADE
Lois Marie McDade, 56, of Oxford, passed away on Feb. 28 at her home.
She was the wife of Michael K. McDade. Born in Lansdowne, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Alberta Supernavage Lydon. She was employed with Jenner’s Pond Retirement Community in West Grove. She was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Oxford. She enjoyed the outdoors and spending time with her family.
She is survived by her husband; two daughters, Jessica Schlegel (Chad) and Megan Mauri (Robert, Jr.); two sons, David McDade and Michael McDade; three brothers, David Lydon, Stephen Lydon and Jeffrey Lydon; and one sister, Joan Skatz. She was preceded in death by her brother, John Lydon.
Friends may call from 9 to 9:45 a.m. on March 5 at Sacred Heart Church (203 Church Rd., Oxford), followed by her Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.