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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of July 6

07/06/2015 04:00PM ● By J. Chambless


Carl R. Fretz, former president and vice-chairman of the Peoples Bank of Oxford, passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on July 2. He was 85.

Carl (“Poppy”) was born in 1930 in Oxford. Hewas preceded in death by his beloved wife, Eleanor Nash Fretz, with whom he spent 54 years of marriage. Carl was a devoted father to Carlene Fretz of Oxford, Karen (Fretz) Andress and her husband Jay of Oxford, and Lisa (Fretz) Baughman and husband Bob of Landenberg. He was adored by his grandchildren, Joshua, Tyler, Jacob and Susanna Andress, and Alex and Carli Baughman. And his beloved dog, Mozie.

Carl was the son of Herbert Fretz, Sr., and Lillian Pierce Fretz, and is survived by his sister, Jeanne Cerro of Booneville, N.Y., and sister-in-law Shirley Nash Owens of Lincoln University. He was preceded in death by his brother, Herbert Fretz; and sister, Erma Thorne.

Carl attended Oxford area schools (Class of 1948) and earned numerous varsity sports letters, performed in many musicals and was awarded Best All-round Senior in 1948. Upon graduation, he started his 56-year career at Peoples Bank of Oxford, beginning as a file clerk and retiring as vice-chairman.

During his years as a bank executive, the bank grew to over 120 employees working at seven locations, from Longwood to South Oxford, and captured 80 percent of Oxford’s banking business. Carl was proud to witness the overwhelming success of Oxford’s first drive-through bank.

Carl happily led a life of service to the community of Oxford. He provided leadership as president of the Oxford Lions Club, member and treasurer of the Oxford Area School Board for nearly a decade, a founder of the Oxford Athletic Association, officer of the Union Fire Company and ambulance association, Oxford Area Historical Association board member, and chairman of the board of Oxford Mainstreet Inc.

Carl was a member of the Oxford United Methodist Church for over 71 years. Many will remember his expressive tenor voice that he willingly shared at church and community events, including fundraisers, variety shows and hundreds of weddings and funerals. He was also an avid sports booster of the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers.

Carl was awarded Citizen of the Year in 1980 and received high honors when he was nominated for inclusion in the inaugural class of Distinguished Alumni of Oxford Area School District. His greatest joy was living a life in service to others. Carl will be loved and missed by all who were fortunate to know him.

Visiting hours will be held on July 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the United Methodist Church (Market and Addison streets, Oxford).  Visitation will also be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7,  followed by a service at 11 a.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the United Methodist Church in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at


Walter N. Harris, 96, a lifetime resident of Lincoln University, passed away on June 28 at Twin Pines Health Care Center in West Grove.

He was the husband of the late Virginia D. Jones Harris. Born in Lincoln University, he was the son of the late Charles Norman and Elena Susana Martin Harris. Walter was a member of the Oxford United Methodist Church. He was also a lifetime member of the Rough and Tumble Historical Association in Kinzers, Pa. Walter built his own tractors and entered them in tractor shows. He also piloted his own BT 13 plane and enjoyed collecting antiques.

He is survived by one daughter, Gay Harris of Lincoln University; one son, Kenneth C. Harris and his wife Jackie of Oxford; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Mildred Fisher of Strasburg and Elizabeth Brubaker of Christiana. He was preceded in death by a son, Mark N. Harris; and brother, John Harris.

Funeral services were held July 3. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at


Wendell James Woods, Sr., 40 of Avondale, passed away on June 29.

He was the husband of Jennifer L. Todd Woods, with whom he celebrated 19 years of marriage. Wendell was an avid fisherman. He loved animals, camping, working on cars with his boys, riding his Harley with his wife on the back, but mostly he enjoyed spending time with his family, and with friends whom he considered family.

In addition to his wife, Wendell is survived by his children, Kevin M. (Lindsay) of Lancaster, Wendell James Jr., Justin J. and Kimberly L., all at home; his granddaughter, Rylee Grace; his father and mother, Samuel and Catherine Davis Woods of Rising Sun, Md.; and his siblings, Rose Millery, Rebecca Senter, Barbara Hamptom, Bille Guinn and Sarah Burgents. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews who loved him very much.

A funeral was held July 3. Interment was in the Quarryville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Wendell's memory can be made to The Children's Inn at NIH, 7 West Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Online condolences can be made at


Harl Lynn “Bud” Coomes, Jr., 84, of Nottingham, passed away after a lengthy illness on July 2 at Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove.

He was the husband of Juanita B. Smith Coomes ,with whom he shared 58 years of marriage. Born in Nottingham, he was the son of the late Harl, Sr., and Margie Wilson Coomes. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Bud attended the Kennett Square Missionary Baptist Church. He owned and operated JMB Market in Nottingham, retiring after 48 years of service. He enjoyed stock car, NASCAR and drag racing.

He is survived by his wife; one son, Michael L. Coomes and his wife Debra L. of Nottingham; and one sister, Dorothy Rash of Mabank, Texas. He was preceded in death by a brother, Hubert Coomes; and a sister, Edith Roland.

Funeral services were held July 6. Interment was in Nottingham Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Kennett Square Missionary Baptist Church, 408 Bayard Rd., Kennett Square, PA 19348. Online condolences may be made at


Rocco (“Rocky,” “RJ”) J. Malchione, 95, of Kennett Square, passed away on July 4 at Jenner’s Pond..

He was the loving husband of Margaret Biondi Malchione, who passed away in 2006, and with whom he shared 65 years of marriage. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Peter and Rose Mascaro Malchione. He was a mushroom grower for 40 years, until his retirement in 1981. Rocky was a member of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church, where he served as a hospitality minister. He pitched for the Toughkenamon “Tuffies,” and was a member of the Kennett Old-Timers Baseball Association Hall of Fame. He was an expert trout and bass fisherman and was a member of the SCCSFA Sportsmen’s Club.

He is survived by two daughters, Rosemarie Marenco and her husband Fred of Avondale, and Laraine Maddalozzo and her husband Lorenzo of Kennett Square; two brothers, Mario P. Malchione of Avondale, and John L. Malchione and his wife Helen of Avondale. He was a doting grandfather to five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by one great-grandson, Lukas Kevin Kremer; and one brother, Anthony V. Malchione.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on July 10 at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church (8910 Gap Newport Pike, Route 41, Avondale). His funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery (Route 82, Kennett Square). In memory of Rocky, a contribution may be made to St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church, P.O. Box 709, Avondale, PA 19311. Online condolences may be made by visiting


John Komarnicki, Jr., 71, of Ocean View, Del, passed away peacefully on July 2, after his nearly four-year battle with cancer.

He was born in 1943, in Chester, Pa., to John Komarnicki and Janet Bowman. Before moving to Delaware in 1999, he worked in the field of non-destructive testing and owned his own business. John was a U.S. Navy veteran, Boy Scout leader and mentor, and an avid sportsman who enjoyed boating, fishing, camping, hunting, and golfing. John was a tradesman and brilliant mechanic who could fix anything. He was a friend to anyone in need, giving without hesitation.

He is survived by his life partner and best friend, Meg Haney; his daughter, Julie Redding (Brian); son, J. Scott Komarnicki (Sarah); and his grandchildren, Griffin, Ashlyn and Cohen Redding, and Addison and Fischer Komarnicki. Additionally, he will be deeply missed by his brother, Kirk (Debbie) Komarnicki and sister, Kathy (Stan) Dubin, numerous other Komarnicki and Haney family members, and countless friends.

A celebration of life will be held on July 13 at noon at the Ocean View VFW Post 7234. Donations in his name to the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania/Myeloma, can be made online by visiting:, or by mail. To donate by mail, you must first visit and print the “Gifts by Mail” donation form.


Audrey A. Bove, 85, of Avondale, passed away on July 2 at the Pocopson Home.

She was the wife of Robert E. Bove, Sr., who passed away in 1993, and with whom she shared 44 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of the late Daniel and Myrtle Talley Dougherty. She was a mushroom packer at Avon Heights Mushrooms in Avondale. She enjoyed watching TV, eating ice cream, and being with her family and friends.

She is survived by two sons, Robert E. Bove, Jr. and his wife Debbie of Avondale, and Steven Bove and his wife B.J. of Phillipsburg, Pa.; two daughters, Cathy Rynier and her husband William of Coatesville, and Stacey Miller and her husband Steven of Avondale; one sister, Dannette Pusey of West Grove; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren..

Her graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on July 10 at the Union Hill Cemetery (Route 82, Kennett Square). In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 399 Market Street, Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Online condolences may be made by visiting

Obits July 8

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