Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of June 1

06/02/2015 01:21PM ● By J. Chambless
JOE WILLIAMS, JR.
Vice Admiral Joe Williams, Jr. USN (retired), died peacefully on May 15 in Kennett Square at the age of 92. His wife, Margaret, was at his side.
He was a native of Magnolia, Ark., and attended college for a year following high school prior to joining the United States Navy in October 1940 as an apprentice seaman. Thirty-seven years later, after holding all rates and ranks through Vice Admiral, he retired from the Navy. Among other decorations, he received the Legion of Merit with Gold Star and the Distinguished Service Medal. 
During World War II, he served as an enlisted man in the Atlantic and Caribbean, and after being commissioned Ensign in April 1944, he spent the rest of the war in the amphibious forces through the New Guinea and Philippine campaigns. He ended the war as Commanding Officer of a rocket launching LCI(R).
After the war, he attended Submarine School in June 1949 and later commanded one diesel and two nuclear submarines for a total of eight years. He served as Deputy Director Special Projects Office in Washington, the group responsible for Polaris, Poseidon and Trident Weapons Systems. He then served as Chief of Staff for Submarine Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Va. Subsequently, he was selected to Rear Admiral and became Director of Submarine Warfare at the Pentagon. His next tour of duty was Commander Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., the Navy’s largest shipyard. After being promoted to Vice Admiral, he finished his career with three years as Commander Submarine Atlantic Fleet and Commander Submarine Forces, NATO.
Vice Admiral Williams retired from the Navy in 1977 and for the next four years was Director of Nuclear Submarine Construction, General Dynamics. He left that position to form his own nuclear utility management firm, providing consulting services to various utilities. He served as Senior Vice President, Nuclear for both Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company and Toledo Edison Power Company.
While in the Navy and under Navy auspices, Vice Admiral Williams attended the United States Naval War College, the United States Nuclear Engineering School, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Maryland, from which he earned a B.S. in business. 
Vice Admiral Williams was married to the former Margaret Smith of Cotton Plant, Ark., and they had been living in Kennett Square. He is survived by his wife of 73 years; his son, Clark Williams of Pendleton, Ore.; and daughters Marcia Bohannon of Tarija, Bolivia, and Susan Jo Williams of Austin, Texas. Also surviving are grandchildren Dr. Stewart Williams of San Francisco, and Margaret Heil of Nahant, Mass., who is married to John Heil and has two children, Collette and Nathaniel.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on June 14 at the Crosslands Campus (at Kendall-Crosslands Communities), 1660 E. Street Road (off Route 926), Kennett Square. An interment ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on June 15 at The U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium, 101 Cooper Road, Annapolis, Md. Memorial contributions in the memory of Vice Admiral Joe Williams, Jr. USN (retired) may be made to the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First Street, SW, Rochester, MN 55905; or The Submarine Force Library and Museum, 1 Crystal Lake Road, Groton, CT 06340. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
DEBORAH ANN MILLER
Deborah Ann Miller, 44, of Nottingham, passed away on May 23 at home.
Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of Virginia Miller Campbell of Nottingham and the late Roger Dale Campbell. Deborah was a member of the Lighthouse Freewill Baptist Church in Nottingham. She enjoyed riding go-karts with her nephew. 
She is survived by her mother; four children, Sasha Speakman of California, Joshua Gilbert of Cochranville, Allen Speakman of Lexington, N.C., and Gary Ryan Gilbert of Cochranville. She was preceded in death by her sister, Doranda Campbell.
Graveside services were held May 29 at Nottingham Cemtery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
RUTH ELLEN LAWS CRAIG
Ruth Ellen Laws Craig, 87, of Lincoln University, passed away suddenly on May 20 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, surrounded by her loving family.
She was the wife of John M. Craig. Born in Wilmington, Del., she was the daughter of the late Walter Pierce and Ruth Lipscomb Laws. Ruth was employed with DuPont as a secretary for 25 years. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Newport, Del. She enjoyed cooking, reading, travel, luncheons with Conrad Ladies, and spending time with family and her grandchildren. She especially enjoyed her family reunions at Nottingham Park.
She is survived by her husband; nine children, Jacques Craig (Jill), Johnathan Craig, Ann Marie Spencer (Larry), Michele Swan (the late Kenneth Swan), Beth Tanzilli (John), Wallace Craig (Janet), Thomas Craig (Alice), Stephen Craig (Lisa), and Edward Taylor (Cindi); 19 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.
Funeral services were held May 30. Interment was in Kemblesville United Methodist Church Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
SARAH IDA  BRISON-WALLS
Sarah Ida Brison-Walls, 92, passed away Twin Pines Health Center in West Grove.
She was born in Lambertown , Pa., in 1923 to the late Harvey and Bessie Brison. She worked for a number of years at JB Swayne’s Mushroom Farms. After retiring early, she became a homemaker, caring for many of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nephews. She enjoyed baking, playing bingo, gardening, collecting bells, visiting the Kennett Area Senior Center, laughing and spending time with family. She loved the Lord and was a faithful member of Greater Works Ministries Church.
Sarah is survived by one daughter, Patricia A. Tynes of Kennett Square; and a nephew that she raised as a son, Mitchell A. Brison (Cathy) of Kennett Square; six grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild; as well as siblings: Edward Brison of Georgia, Charles Brison of Concordville, Pa., Geneva Smith of Norfolk, Va., Alberta Brown of Coatesville, Pa., Lilian Davis of Delaware, Marcia Carter of Virginia Beach, Va.; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. Sarah was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, Kenneth Taylor Walls; and siblings Alvin H. Brison, Ernest Brison, James Brison, Elmer Brison, Paul Brison, Sadie Mae Christie, Vivian Brison, Catherine Downes and Margret Patton.
A funeral was held May 30. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In memory of Sarah, a contribution may be made to the Kennett Area Senior Center, 427 South Walnut Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348; or to the American Diabetes Association, 150 Monument Road, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
CHARLES A. THOMPSON
Charles A. Thompson, 80, of Oxford, passed away on May 27 at Twin Pines Health Care Center in West Grove.
He was the husband of Dolores Shuler Thompson with whom he shared 50 years of marriage. Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late Alvin L. and Hilda Kaiser Thompson. Charles retired from Oxford Borough and the Oxford Area School District after many years of service. He enjoyed Oxford history and collecting unique antiques.
He is survived by his wife; one son, John C. Thompson (Frankie) of Avondale; one stepdaughter, Linda McKim (Lenny) of McEwen, Tenn.; four grandchildren, Jason McKim, Lindsey Weddle, Justin Thompson and Jacob Thompson; and one great-grandson, Colten Weddle. He was preceded in death by a brother, James Thompson. 
Funeral services were held June 1. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may sent at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
WILLIAM BORROR, JR.
William "Bub" "Gene" Borror, Jr.,  65, of Perryville, Md., formerly of Kennett Square, died suddenly on May 27 at the Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre De Grace, Md.
He was the husband of JoAnn Palmatary Borror, with whom he shared 45 years of marriage. Born in Darby, Pa., he was the son of the late William E. and the late Mildred G. (McCombie) Borror, Sr. He was predeceased by his brother, Glenn L Borror. 
He served our country in the Army as a chauffeur at the Pentagon, and was stationed at Fort Myer, Va., during the Vietnam War. He was a parts manager in the automotive business for most of his life, retiring in 2012.
He was an avid fan of motor sports, specifically dirt track modified racing and NASCAR. He enjoyed many hobbies, including croquet, snowmobiling, remote-control cars and planes, boating (and tubing). Many remember him coaching Little League even long after his sons were through, and then his grandson as well. He loved old rock and roll and country music, and spending time with his dog, Cocoa. 
Bub's true gift was being a great father. He was very proud of his three kids. His boys followed in his footsteps -- Tim in the music industry and Kyle in the automotive industry. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him, including his sons, Timothy and his wife Andrea of Palmyra, N.J., and Kyle and his wife Heather of Peach Bottom, Pa.; his daughter Erin Miller and her husband Vidal of Cochranville, Pa.; and his four grandchildren, Sebastian, Joey, Tamara and Tyra. 
A visitation with family and friends will be helf from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 3 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home Inc. (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). The family will also be hosting a celebration of his life on June 7 at 2 p.m. at his daughter's home in Cochranville. Interment will be held privately. Contributions in his memory may be made to either the ASPCA, PO Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090-6929; or to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation, P.O. Box 781352, Philadelphia, PA 19178-1352. 
To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com .
SANDRA J. RIDEN
Sandra J. Riden, 77, Kennett Square, died on May 29 at the Hospital Of The University Of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
She was the wife of Jack Riden, with whom she shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Lewistown, Pa., she was a daughter of the late Robert and the late Mary Jane (Kilmer) Yocum. Sandra and Jack lived for over 20 years in Camp Hill, Pa., before moving to Berwyn and eventually Kennett Square. She enjoyed needlework, growing orchids and playing bridge. She loved to travel, especially to Camden and Bar Harbor, Maine, and many places in the West. Most of all, she loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.
Survivors include, in addition to her husband, one son, Kurt Riden and his wife Jackie of Etters, Pa.; two daughters, Allison Ingaglio and her husband Philip of West Grove, and Leslie Staats and her husband Kurt of Northeast, Md.; one brother, Eugene Yocum and his wife Dixie of Carlsbad, Calif.; one sister, Phyllis Patterson of Shiremanstown, Pa.; and seven grandchildren, Avery, Erin, Caitlin, Ryan, Ian, Cody and Zack.
A visitation with family and friends will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on June 5 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home Inc. (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). A memorial service celebrating her life will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be held privately.  Contributions in her memory may be made to The Arthritis Foundation, 1330 W. Peachtree St., Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30309. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit www.griecocares.com.
MARIA J. JIMENEZ-DORSEY
Maria I. Jimenez-Dorsey, 45, of Nottingham, passed away on May 28 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.
Born in Jennersville, she was the daughter of Francisco and Margie Nieves Jimenez of Nottingham. She was a member of St. Rocco Catholic Church in Avondale, and Sacred Heart Church in Oxford. She was employed with Landhope Farms in New London, and McDonald’s in West Chester as a manager. Maria loved painting.
She is survived by her parents; former husband, Donald Dorsey; one son, Angel Molina; four sisters, Rosey Jimenez of Lancaster, Daiana Jimenez of Downingtown, Jackie Jimenez of Morgantown, and Alexis Jimenez of Oxford; and two best friends, Madelin Ortiz of Gap, and Maritza Brown Ortega of Lincoln University.
A mass of Christian burial was held June 2 at St. Rocco Catholic Church in Avondale. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
ROBERT O. WAGONER
Robert O. “Bob” Wagoner, Sr., 88, of Oxford, went to be with the Lord on May 29 at the home of his daughter, Diane. 
He was the loving husband of the late Marian Hogg Wagoner. They were married in 1949 at the Penningtonville Presbyterian Church in Atglen, and enjoyed 42 years of marriage. Bob was born in Lancaster, and was the son of the late Oscar J. and Mary E. Wagoner.  He was predeceased by his brother, J. Donald Wagoner; and sister, Ruth Knott.
He was a loving, strong, honest, hard-working dad, granddaddy and great-granddaddy, and is survived by his three children, Diane W. Farris (Raymond), Judy W. Delp (Graham Jr.), both of Oxford; and Robert Wagoner Jr. (Teresa) of Quarryville. He has seven grandchildren, Amy L. Shah (Harshish), Amber L. Corbett (Andrew), Timothy J. Delp (Melissa), J. Alexander Delp (Bobbie Jo), Mollie C. Freed (Stephen), Taylor E. Wagoner, and Evan R. Wagoner. He is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Timothy G. Delp, Victoria R. Delp, Julianna B. Cordero, Ayanna Shah, Nikhil Shah, Haileigh Corbett and Jackson Corbett; as well as many nieces and nephews. 
Bob graduated from Oxford High School in 1945. He lived and farmed in Oxford and Lincoln University before going to work for Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation. He retired with 33 years of service. Devoted to his family, Bob enjoyed making and refinishing furniture and caning chairs. He also enjoyed gardening, genealogy research, and collecting antiques. Bob and Marian enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, Ireland, Scotland and all up and down the eastern United States. He was a member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church and former member of the Russellville Grange.
A graveside funeral service for friends and family will be on June 3 at 11 am. Interment will be at Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be sent to Hospice and Community Care, 685 Good Drive, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604. Online condolences may sent at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
ELIZABETH OWSLEY
McCOMAS D'IGNAZIO
Elizabeth Owsley McComas D'Ignazio (Libby) was born in Burkesville, Ky., in 1924. On May 29, 2015, she put on a pretty dress and went dancing with Babe in heaven.
She is survived by her four children, Fred (Janet), Lisa (John), Owsley (Teri ), and Tim (Nancy). She is also survived by her nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her three brothers, Keith, Jack and Leslie, predeceased her.
Libby moved from Burkesville to Louisville, Ky., when she was a child. She was a graduate of Stephens College, and active in tennis and many school and community activities. She met her future husband, Babe, when her brother Leslie brought Babe home with him on leave from their duty as pilots in the Army Air Corps during World War II.  Libby and Babe married and moved to Media, Pa. Libby immediately became active in Christ Church in Media, where she worked in the altar guild, sang in the choir and volunteered as church secretary for Father Albert, the pastor for many years. They were active in community affairs and held an annual "Sword of Hope" dinner at the Towne House, and eventually raised tens of thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society.
Libby was an avid tennis player. She played tennis right into her 80s and won so many trophies she couldn't fit them all on any one shelf. She and Babe were very outgoing people and they created a large circle of friends at their homes in Media/Moylan, their seashore home in Avalon, their winter getaway in Key Largo, and their farm in Oxford. They continued working on charities their entire lives. In her later years, Libby continued to worship enthusiastically at Christ Church in Media, where several of her grandchildren were christened. She and Babe had many pets, especially an army of dogs, over the years. Libby especially loved her dog, Soda. 
Sadly Libby's battle with Alzheimer's continued until she quietly and peacefully passed away. She was a colorful, larger-than-life character. She needed a husband like her, and found him in Babe D'Ignazio. They would have celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary this August. Both passed at the age of 90.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Requiem Eucharist on June 20 at 10 a.m. at Christ Church (311 S. Orange St., Media). Interment will be in Edgewood Memorial Park. Floral arrangements will not be accepted at the church. Please consider a donation to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., 17th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline