Obituaries for the week of April 27
● By J. Chambless
JUAREEN LAMASTUS HELMBRECK
Juareen LaMastus Helmbreck, 89, formerly of Wilmington, Del., died on April 17 at the Ruston Residence of Jenner's Pond Retirement Community in West Grove, following a long illness.
She was born in 1925 in Minter City, Miss., the daughter of B.H. LaMastus and Rubie J. Manning. She attended local schools and business college in Memphis, Tenn., before going to work during World War II as a secretary for the U.S. Army. In 1949, she met Earl Helmbreck, a young graduate student at Columbia University, whom she later married, and with whom she raised three daughters while he taught and attended graduate school in New York and Virginia before moving to Delaware to teach in 1963. She was a full-time homemaker and devoted wife for 64 years. The couple divided their time after her husband's retirement between their home in north Wilmington and their summer home on Cape Neddick in Maine. They traveled extensively, spending part of each winter in Madeira, Portugal, for nearly 20 years.
Helmbreck was active in the Caesar Rodney Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Delaware Republican Party, serving for many years as a delegate to the party's state convention. She was also an enthusiastic gardener and antique collector who participated in an antique study group called “Questers.” For several years, she worked as a volunteer guide at Winterthur Museum and Gardens before the museum had a staff of permanent professional guides. She was also a member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Bellefonte, where she taught Sunday school and was on the altar guild.
She is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Earl J. Helmbreck, Jr.; three daughters, Alice Dewson (Tom) of Greenville; Valerie Mascitti (Albert) of Hockessin; Gretchen Gates (Carl Jr.) of Lewes; a brother, Jackie Lee LaMastus of Grenada, Miss.; one granddaughter, Dr. Alexis A. M. Mascitti of New York City; six grandsons, Carl S. Gates III of Tampa, Fla., Wilson C. Gates of Lewes; Matthew E.M. Mascitti of Philadelphia; Thomas E. Dewson of West Chester, Taylor M. Gates of Alexandria, Va., Ruben A.D. Mascitti of Philadelphia; two great-grandsons, Maximilian A. Mascitti of Philadelphia and Luke S. Brown of New York City; and two nieces, Missy LaMastus of Jackson, Miss., and Jeri Thompson of Drew, Miss.
Services will be at noon on May 4 in the Alison Community Center of Jenner's Pond Retirement Community, Greenbriar Lane, West Grove, PA 19390. Burial will be private. Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the American Diabetes Association, 150 Monument Road, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 or diabetes.org. To leave an online condolence, visit www.griecocares.com.
HELEN L. VANSANT
Helen L. Vansant, 78, of West Grove, passed away on April 14 at her home.
She was the wife of the late James Vansant. Born in Rolling Springs, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Chester Blair and Evelyn Elizabeth Soltenberger Bowser. She was a member of the Kennett Square Missionary Baptist Church and the Oxford Senior Center.
She is survived by three sons, James Vansant Jr. of Cochranville, Chester Charles Vansant of Salisbury, Md., and Samuel Paul Vansant of Oxford; four daughters, Grace Ann Pyle of Elkton, Md., Evelyn Mae Vansant of Boiling Springs, S.C., Donna Darlene Anderson of Brownsburg, Ind., and Ethel Louise Wagner of Perryville, Md.; 24 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren; five brothers, Sam Bowser, Paul Bowser, Earl Bowser, George Bowser, all of Delaware, and Clinton Bowser of Vt.; and one sister, Ethel Bowser of Newark, Del.
Funeral services were held April 18. Interment was in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear, Del. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
JEAN MARIE RUSNAK SLATER
Jean Marie Rusnak Slater, 57, of Avondale, died suddenly on April 15 at the Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove.
She was the wife of J. Todd Slater, with whom she shared 30 years of marriage. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she was the daughter of Raymond and Mary (Greene) Rusnak. Jean loved working with kids. For over 17 years, she was an instructional aide at Greenwood Elementary School. She loved birds, gardening, painting, antiquing, reading and simply being a part of nature. She loved the game of lacrosse and supporting her husband as “Mrs. Coach.” She was a fan of The Ohio State Buckeyes and loved the Cleveland Browns. She loved her “small town” of Kennett Square and its diversity, and the friends she had made here. But most of all, she loved her two daughters, and spending quality time with her family.
Survivors include, in addition to her husband and parents, two daughters, Lauren Slater (Aden) of Virginia Beach and Hilary Slater (Miguel) of Kennett Square; five sisters, Cynthia Hickman (Don) of Grandview Heights Ohio, Mary Voldnes (Idar) of Centerville Va., Julie Oster (Guy) of Atlanta Ga., Annie Rusnak of Lakewood, Ohio, and Audrey Rusnak also of Lakewood; her in-laws James D. and Edna F. Slater of Glenn Mills; and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral was held April 24. Contributions in her memory may be made to Kennett Education Foundation, PO Box 849, Kennett Square, PA 19348 for the Jean Slater Lacrosse Scholarship. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit www.griecocares.com.
Edwin Murphy, of Oxford, passed away on April 14 at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.
Born in West Chester, he was the son of Edwin L. Murphy and Brenda L. Smith Roark. He enjoyed fishing, gardening, camping and cooking. He was loved by his family and friends and will be dearly missed.
In addition to his parents, Eddie is survived by his two daughters, Athena L. and Anastasia B. Murphy; two sons, Edwin R. and Logan X. Murphy; a stepdaughter, Leona Warren; his stepfather, Ronald Roark; one brother, James L. (Gabrielle) Murphy; two sisters, Audry M (Joshua) Frost and Christina; and his fiancee, Samantha Price.
A funeral was held April 21. Interment was in the New London Presbyterian Cemetery. Donations in Eddie's memory can be made to The Eddie Murphy Memorial Fund, c/o The Ruffenach Funeral Home, 224 Penn Avenue, Oxford, PA 19363 to help with the funeral cost. Online condolences can be made at www.ruffenachfuneralhome.com.
ANTOINETTE H. GREEN
Antoinette H. Green, 77, of Oxford, a retired home daycare provider, died on April 18 at Inpatient Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester, with family by her side.
Born in Chester in 1938, she was a daughter of the late Ernest M. Hesling and Vera Ralston Hesling. She graduated from Notre Dame High School in Moylan, class of 1956. She worked for Bell Telephone in Chester for six years. In 1959, she married her soulmate, John P. Green, and they lived a fairytale romance until his passing in 2007. In the early 1970s, Toni opened Toni’s Toddlers in her home, where she was fortunate enough to provide care to over 265 children. Later in life, she became “The MomMom” to all those who knew and loved her best.
Toni was an avid tennis fan, puzzle enthusiast, and Notre Dame football fanatic.
She is survived by her daughter Kathleen Clendening, and son in-law, Richard Clendening, with whom she lived; daughter in-law Sharon Green of Sunbury; sister Veronica Hesling of Millsboro, Del.; brothers Ernie Hesling of Shrewsbury, Mass., and Ed Hesling of Lincoln University; seven grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
A funeral was held April 24. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Neighborhood Health Agencies, Inc., 795 E. Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Andrea Ortiz, 81, of Oxford, passed away on April 17 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.
She was the wife of the late Juan Pagan Rivera. Born in Patillas, Puerto Rico, she was the daughter of the late Julian Ortiz and Juana De Jesus.
She is survived by nine children, David Pagan Ortiz of Claymont, Del., Miguel A. Pagan and Grendaly Pagan, both of New Castle, Del., Juana Pagan and Eddie Pagan of Lowell, Mass., Carlos Pagan, Ana Pagan, Glady Pagan, Eneida Pagan all of Patillas, Puerto Rico; 19 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held April 20. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
JENNIE HILL HINDMAN
Jennie Hill Hindman, born in 1923, passed away peacefully on April 17, surrounded by her children.
She began her life in Delaware County, with her family eventually settling in New London. A graduate of Oxford Area High School in 1941, she worked at Bainbridge Naval Station during World War II. She married Harvey E. Hindman (deceased) in 1946, and they moved to Coatesville in 1952. Jennie was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Coatesville, and retired from the Chester County Intermediate Unit, where she was an educational support professional, in 1985. She retired in New London, and eventually became a resident of the Pocopson Home as her health declined. Jennie was a gifted seamstress and gardener. She enjoyed volunteering with Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and many school organizations. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.
She is survived by her son, Robert Hindman and his wife Joanne of Great Falls, Va.; her daughter Denise Hindman Grier and her husband Bob of Chadds; and her granddaughters, Elizabeth Grier of Great Falls, Va., and Jordan Grier of Pittsburgh, Pa. She was also the mother of the late Phyllis M. Hindman of Los Angeles, Calif.
A memorial service is planned for May 4 in the Chapel at The Pocopson Home, in West Chester. Interment will be private. Donations may be made to The Palliative Care Program at The Pocopson Home, in lieu of flowers. Please indicate “Pocopson Home Palliative Care” on your donation and mail to: The Pocopson Home, Attention Palliative Care, 1695 Lenape Road, West Chester, PA 19382-6800. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
STANLEY K. HAZZARD
Stanley Kenneth Hazzard, “Uncle Buddy,” 87, of West Grove, died on April 22 at Twin Pines Healthcare Center in West Grove.
Born in Kennett Square, he was a son of the late Lawrence Lincoln and the late Bertha (Rector) Hazzard, Sr. Stanley enjoyed growing up in Kennett Square and attended Kennett schools. He loved puzzles and could complete them in a very timely manner. The family would like to acknowledge Twin Pines Healthcare Center and Heartland Hospice for their exceptional care and concern for Uncle Buddy.
Survivors include several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Stanley was predeceased by one brother, Lawrence L. Hazzard; and one sister, Louella H. Spencer.
A funeral was held April 27. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to Heartland Hospice, 5 Christy Drive, Chadds Ford, PA 19317. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
FRANCIS X. O'SULLIVAN
Francis Xavier O'Sullivan, 79, of Kennett Square, passed away on April 22 at his home in Crosslands.
He was the husband of Roberta Jane Pecherski O'Sullivan, with whom he shared 50 years of marriage. Born in Teaneck, N.J., he was the son of the late Samuel and Winifred (Carroll) O'Sullivan. Frank earned a B.S. in industrial relations from the University of Bridgeport (Conn.) and proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps. He was the former corporate director of employee relations and partnerships for Hercules Incorporated, where he worked for 33 years, retiring in 1994. Afterwards, he was an adjunct professor for the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Throughout his career, he was a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His interests were his family, reading, sports and bird watching.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by one son, Joseph O'Sullivan and his wife Cheryl and grandchildren PJ and Maggie of Kennett Square; and daughters Jane Ellen O'Sullivan of Lomé, Togo (West Africa), and Sara Carroll O'Sullivan of New York City; two sisters, Mary Young of Pottstown, Pa., and Anne Marie Vadino of Issaquah, Wash.; one brother, John O'Sullivan of Woodland Hills, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews, family members and friends. He was predeceased by two brothers, Joseph and Vincent O'Sullivan; and two sisters, Anne O'Sullivan and Veronica De Kimpe.
A funeral was held April 29. Burial was in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Kendal-Crosslands Benevolence Fund, P.O. Box 100, Kennett Square, PA 19348; or to the American Heart Association, 1617 JFK Boulevard, Suite 100, Philadelphia, PA 19103; or St. Patrick's Church, 205 Lafayette St., Kennett Square, PA 19348. To leave an online condolence, visit www.griecocares.com.
KRISTA ELAINE STANLEY-LONGENECKER
Krista Elaine Stanley-Longenecker, 42, of Georgetown, Del., formerly of Cochranville, was called home by the Lord on April 21 at her home.
Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of Gibbs and Audrey Porter Stanley of Kirkwood, Pa. She graduated from Oxford Area High School class of 1990. She was employed with Pizza Palace in Georgetown, Del. She enjoyed spending time with her children and her grandson.
She is survived by her parents; three children, Emily Longenecker, Kaylah Longenecker and Johnny Longenecker, all of Delaware; one grandson, Koleton Cruz of Delaware; one brother, Tim Stanley of Nottingham; and one sister, Cheryl Thompson of Lincoln University. She was preceded in death by a brother, Gibbs William Stanley.
Services were private. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
KELLY ANN KEATING
Kelly Ann Keating, 28, of West Grove, died suddenly on April 21 at her home in West Grove.
Born in Wilmington, Del., she was the daughter of Donald F. and Kimberly (Wilson) Keating. She attended Avon Grove schools. More recently she was a cash services rep for Sunoco A-Plus of West Grove. She adored her dog, LuLu.
Survivors include, in addition to her parents, her stepmother, Donna; her paternal grandmother, Dolores Keating; her maternal grandparents, Christine and Robbie Wilson; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A visitation with family and friends will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. April 30 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home Inc. (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). Her funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be held privately. Contributions in her memory may be made to Kacie’s Cause, 232 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA. 19348. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit www.griecocares.com.
JOHN W. CULLEN
John W. Cullen, 90, of St. Anne’s Retirement Community, Columbia, formerly of Oxford, passed away after a brief illness on April 23 at Lancaster General Hospital.
He was the husband of Alma Lloyd Cullen, with whom he shared 69 years of marriage. Born in Rising Sun, Md., he was the son of the late Horace and Frankie Kline Cullen. John was employed with the Chester Water Authority and retired in 1988 after 36 years of service. He was a member of Sacred Heart Church, Oxford. He enjoyed woodworking and gardening.
He is survived by his wife; one nephew, Michael Bennett (Sharon) of Parkesburg; and two nieces, Dr. Jean Beil (Joseph) of Newtown Square, and Nancy Mellinger (Robert) of Strasburg. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Ruth Cullen and Kay Bennett.
Mass of Christian burial was celebrated April 27 at Sacred Heart Church in Oxford.
Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Vista School of Autism, 1021 Springboard Dr., Hershey, PA 17033. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.