Obituaries for the week of Oct. 26
By J. Chambless
HELEN TOWNSEND MATSON
Helen Townsend Matson, 90, of West Grove, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Oct. 17 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.
She was the wife of Thomas Matson, who passed away in 1998, and with whom she shared 28 years of marriage. Born in Jonesborough, Tenn., she was the daughter of the late Frank and Lilly Mae Cole McKee. She was a certified nursing assistant at the Pocopson Home in West Chester for 10 years, before retiring. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Kennett Square, the Kennett Senior Center and the Golden Slippers Dance Group. She enjoyed gardening, sewing, quilting and traveling.
She is survived by one son, Bobby Townsend, Jr., and his wife Mary Jane of Nottingham; one daughter, Julia A. Emery and her husband Warren of Downingtown; one sister, Mary Malone of Jonesborough, Tenn.; nine grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by one son, David F. Townsend.
A graveside service was held Oct. 22. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
CHARLES E. WALLNER
Charles E. Wallner, 84, of Kennett Square, died on Oct. 16 at Southeastern Veteran’s Center in Spring City, Pa.
He was the husband of Louise Cloud Wallner, who died in September of this year, and with whom he shared 38 years of marriage. Born in Hanceville, Ala., and raised in Montgomery, Ala., he was one of six children and the son of a Lutheran minister. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a Second Lieutenant and was discharged as a First Lieutenant in 1956. He graduated from Auburn University in 1953 with a degree in mechanical engineering and worked for over 50 years as a licensed professional engineer. He was employed by the DuPont Company for 28 years as an engineer in plastics, producing the first nylon fishing line. He later served as Town Engineer and Building Inspector for the Borough of Kennett Square. With his wife, Louise, he built and renovated houses in Sea Isle City, N.J., and was loved as a host, storyteller, and boatsman. He was a devoted father and grandfather who was filled with love and pride for his children and their families.
He is survived by a son, John C. Wallner (Cristina); and a daughter, Kathleen Allen (Rich); a stepson, Edward Killheffer (Sharon); and two stepdaughters, Margaret Oplinger (Tod) and Christine Muench (David); six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Also surviving are two sisters, Edna Ruth Billings, Barbara Ann Sorter (Jack); and one brother, Francis Wallner. He was preceded in death by his wife, Louise Cloud Wallner; brother Norman; sister Agnes; and his parents, Reverend and Mrs. Herbert E. Wallner.
A funeral was held Oct. 23. Interment was in Longwood Cemetery. Contributions may be made to SEVC Welfare Fund, in memory of Lt. Charles Wallner, Attn: April Harley, Southeastern Veteran’s Center, One Veterans Drive, Spring City, PA 19475. To share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
ALLEN L. KINNER
Allen L. Kinner, 69, of Eaton, Ohio, formerly of Oxford, Pa., died on Oct. 14 at his home.
Born in 1946 in Dayton, Ohio, he was the son of the late Estle Lloyd “Bud” and Faye Ellen (Weisenbarger) Kinner. He was a 1964 graduate of Eaton High School and served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star Medal. He was a plastic engineer for Collins & Aikman in Havre de Grace, Md., a member of the NRA, and followed the plastic industry news for many years.
He is survived by his son, Jason A. (Ashli) Kinner, of San Jose, Calif.; brothers Sam D. and Cindy (Brown) Kinner of Eaton, Ohio; Terry and Beth (Hopkinson) Kinner of Chino Valley, Ariz.; Ellen (Kinner) and Kenny Saucier of Eaton, Ohio; grandson Eric M. Kinner; many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service was held Oct. 21 in Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oxford Senior Center, 12 East Locust St., Oxford, PA 19363, in memory of Faye Kinner. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.barnesfuneralhome.com.
Elizabeth (Liz) O’Neill, 91, died peacefully on Oct. 13 at Jenners Pond in Jennersville, after a 21-year bout with Parkinson’s disease.
She was born in 1924 in Philadelphia, the daughter of Christian and Alma Wilhjelm. She is survived by husband William O'Neill; her son Charles; her daughter Martha Belyea; and four grandchildren, Travis, Ansley, Margot and David.
She attended University of Pennsylvania and was an active alumnae and Theta. Liz and Bill were married for 63 years. In addition to raising their two children, she returned to school and received a masters degree in special education from American University, and taught at the Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. Liz and Bill enjoyed traveling and had many fun times on their excursions through Europe and the U.S. Together, they spent many a wonderful summer at their cabin on Moose Pond in Denmark, Maine.
Services and burial were private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent in her name to Moose Pond Association, PO Box 674, Bridgton, ME 04009 (www.moosepondassociation.org).
HAZEL MAE PRESTON
Hazel (“Sis”) Mae Preston, 81, of Nottingham, formerly of Lenni, Pa., went to be with our Lord on Oct. 18 at Lancaster General Hospital.
She was the wife of James Thomas Preston, with whom she shared 63 years of marriage. Born in Lenni, Pa., she was the daughter of the late David Iford and Hazel Dugan Iford Jackson. Sis was employed with Crystal X, Lenni, Sears, Granite Run Mall and Grey Fox Inn, Aston. She enjoyed spending time with her family, her home and traveling.
She is survived by her husband; three sons, Thomas David Preston (Joy) of Rising Sun, Md., Michael Joseph Preston (Wanda) of Bear, Del., Edward John Preston of Lawrenceburg, Ky.; one daughter, Patricia Jean Armstrong (Alfred) of Landenberg; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two daughters, Sandra Preston and Susan Preston; one brother, Richard Iford; and two sisters, Betty Iford Dean and Marie Iford.
Services were private. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
MARK D. WELLS
Mark D. Wells, 66, of Hockessin, Del., passed away on Oct. 17 at the Christiana Hospital.
He was the husband of Carole Abrams Wells, with whom he shared 9-½ years of marriage. Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late William R. Wells, Sr., and Anna Barry Wells. Mark was the director of weapons training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Md., retiring in 2007 after 37 years of service. He had also served as a Court Commissioner for Cecil County, Md. He was a Chief Warrant Officer 4 in the U.S. Army. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a door gunner in a Huey gunship. He was a member of the 176th Assault Helicopter Co.-Muskets. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, his dogs Sarge and Chief, and being with his family and friends. He was a member of the Chesapeake City VFW Post 7687, a former Commander of the Hockessin VFW, American Legion and Ducks Unlimited.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Mark W. Wells and his wife Amanda of Smyrna, Del., and Michael D. Wells and his wife Melissa of Midland, Ga.; one daughter, Sara Silva of Orlando, Fla.; one stepson, Robert Sohlman and his wife Erin of Wilmington, Del.; one stepdaughter, Stephanie John and her husband Steve of Newark, Del.; one brother, Emerson H. Wells of Landenberg; his twin sister, Myra Conway of Doswell, Va.; and seven grandchildren, Lexi, Airi, Ethan, Heny, Matthew, Mattix and Brayden.
His memorial service was held Oct. 21. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Chesapeake City VFW Post 7687, 304 Basil Avenue, Chesapeake City, MD 21935. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
WESLEY M. BURRITT
Wesley M. Burritt, 24, of New London, passed away on Oct. 16 at his home in New London.
Born in Christiana, Del., and raised in New London, he was the son of George and Linda (Kelly) Burritt. Wesley was a 2009 graduate of Avon Grove High School and studied heating and air conditioning at Delaware Community College. He was working with his dad in his paintless dent-repair business. Wesley loved riding his four-wheeler, working out with his dad and brother, and playing with his dog, Bruno. He was always willing to help his family, friends and neighbors.
Along with his parents, he is survived by his paternal grandmother, Frances Burritt; and his brother Michael, both of New London; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
A funeral was held Oct. 26. Interment was in New London Presbyterian Cemetery in New London. Contributions in his memory may be made to Kacie’s Cause, 232 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348, or online at www.kaciescause.com. To view his online obituary and share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
HELGA E. WEIGEL
Helga E. Weigel, 87, of Oxford, passed away on Oct. 20 at her home.
She was the wife of the late Jack A. Weigel, with whom she shared 53 years of marriage. Born in Germany, she was the daughter of the late Otto and Anna Musstnut Raupp. She was a member of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and attended Mt. Vernon Christian Church. Helga was a homemaker who loved gardening and her pets.
She is survived by one daughter, Nancy E. Weigel and her fiancé Daniel Whitehurst of Rising Sun, Md.; one brother, Heinz Raupp, of Germany; and one sister, Friedel-Erndwein and her husband Kurt of West Chester, N.Y.
A funeral was held Oct. 24. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Episcopal Relief & Development, P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
BETTY JANE MILLER
Betty Jane Miller, 92, of Avondale, peacefully passed away on Oct. 21 while residing at the Ruston residence of Jenner's Pond.
She is survived by two children and their spouses, Larry and Janie Miller and Wendy and Clint Rector; and five grandchildren, Tarrie, Larry, Nathan, Ryan, and Derek. Her daughter DyAnn, and her husband Rick, predeceased her.
Born in Toughkenamon, she was the daughter of the late Florence and George Surgeson. She had three sisters and one brother. Betty Jane was married for 54 years to the late James R. (Bing) Miller. She was a member of Toughkenamon Presbyterian Church since a young child. At various times she was a deacon, an active member of the Women's Circle, organized the One Great Hour of Sharing program, and taught Bible School. Once her children were grown, Betty Jane worked at Johnson's Musical Kindergarten. In later years, she was a "candy cart lady" for Jennersville Hospital.
Betty Jane was a caring and selfless woman. She was known for her generosity and many benefitted from her "care packages." Her sense of humor was always present. She will be missed by many.
A celebration of Betty Jane's life will be held on Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. am at the Toughkenamon Presbyterian Church in Toughkenamon. In lieu of flowers, donations honoring Betty Jane may be made to: Neighborhood Service Center-Food Bank, 35 N. Third Street, Oxford, PA 19363; or Toughkenamon Presbyterian Church, 147 Church Street, Toughkenamon, PA 19374. For more information, visit www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
MILLARD H. MCCOMSEY
Millard H. McComsey, 87, of Oxford, passed away on Oct. 22 at the Ware Presbyterian Village.
He was the husband of the late Ellen Faye Dawson McComsey. Born in Hickory Hill, Pa., he was the son of the late Charles J. and Adrianna Kurtz McComsey. Millard owned and operated with his family their family store in Hickory Hill for over 40 years. He proudly served his country and was a veteran of the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Improved Order of Red Men Ocklokonee Tribe No. 212, Elk Township Historical Society, and Oxford Alumni Association.
He is survived by one son, Robert C. McComsey, and his wife Patricia.
A funeral was held Oct. 27. Interment was in the Oxford Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.ruffenachfuneralhome.com.
BARBARA F. ENGLAND
Barbara F. England, 78, of Oxford, passed away at Union Hospital in Elkton, Md., on Oct. 19.
She was the wife of the late Floyd N. England, who passed away in January 2015, and with whom she shared 52 years of marriage. Born in Oxford in 1937, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Florence (Taylor) Fisher. She was a lifelong resident of Oxford. After graduating from Oxford Area High School, Barbara worked for RCA. She was a longtime homemaker, and later served as a bus driver for Krapf Bus Company until she retired in 2003. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, canning fruits and vegetables, and tending to her chickens, ducks and farming activities. But, most of all, she enjoyed being “mom-mom” to her grandchildren. Barbara was a devoted wife to Floyd, loving mother and “mom-mom” who will be greatly missed.
She is survived by four sons, Joseph (Mary), William (Kelly), Steven (Susan) and Charles (Judith), all of Oxford; 16 grandchildren; one great-grandson; one great-granddaughter; a sister, Constance F. MacNeal of Oxford; a brother, Joseph Fisher (Gayle) of Oxford; a sister-in-law, Sandy Fisher of Oxford; three foster brothers, James Russell (Cheryl) of Weirton, W.Va., David Bristow and Frank Jobeck, both of Oxford; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, Howard Fisher; and brother-in-law, William MacNeal.
Family and friends are invited to a memorial service on Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. at Nottingham Presbyterian Church in Nottingham. Interment will be at Oxford Cemetery immediately following. In lieu of flowers, donations in Barbara’s memory can be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Heart Association. Online condolences may be mad at www.ruffenachfuneralhome.com.
William “Bill” Cooney, 83, of West Grove, formerly of Long Island, N.Y., passed away on Oct. 20 at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wilmington, Del.
Bill was the husband of Maureen Grady Cooney, with whom he shared 55 years of marriage. Born in 1932 in New York City, he was the son of the late William C. Cooney and the late Verna Louden Cooney. He served our country in the Third Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1952-53. He also served in the U.S. Air Force from 1957-61 in The Strategic Air Command 509th Bomb Wing. He worked for many years for Seaboard World Airlines, which today is now Fedex. He loved to tinker with automobiles and once restored a 1928 Buick. He also loved planes. and in earlier years enjoyed flying a 172 Cessna.
Survivors include, in addition to his wife, three sons, Thomas E. Cooney and Linda of Denver Colo., James W. and Yvonne of Hooksett, N.H., and William C. and Justine of Nottingham; and his eight beloved grandchildren, Sean, Megan, Deirdre, Billy, Nolan, Anna, Lena and Charlie.
A funeral was held Oct. 26. Burial was in Calverton, N.Y.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675; or the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19103. To view his online obituary and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
C. THOMAS HENDERSON
C. Thomas Henderson, 75, of Oxford, passed away on Oct. 23 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.
Born in Trenton, NJ he was the son of the late Cloyd and Alice Downs Henderson.
Tom retired from ATACS in Oxford as a security guard, and was formerly employed with the Oxford Cabinet Company and the family farm. After retiring, he enjoyed helping as an “Amish Taxi.” He enjoyed trout fishing.
He is survived by one brother, John Ralph Henderson of Rising Sun, Md.; one sister, Jean H. Botts of Middletown, Del.; and a good friend, Gale Shepherd of Kirkwood.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 29 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. (86 Pine St., Oxford), where family and friends may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Hugh Lesley, 82, of Columbia, formerly of Oxford, passed away on Oct. 22 at his home.
He was the husband of the late Joyce Gibson Lesley, and former husband of Ruth H. Lefever. He was the companion of Fran Urban. Born in Lancaster, he was the son of the late Joseph and Bertha Brubaker Lesley. Hugh was the owner of a poultry and grain farm and the Lesley Christmas Tree Farm in Kirkwood. He graduated in 1950 from Oxford High School. In 1954, Hugh received his agriculture degree from Penn State University, where he was a member of the Pershing Rifle Military Fraternity. He served in the U.S. Army for two years. He attended Union Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood. Hugh was an avid Edsel, Lincoln Mercury and old Ford car collector.
He is survived by his four children, Kenneth Lesley (Catherine H. Osman) of Washington, D.C., Karen Lesley (Ronald G. Rice) of Airville, Pa., Eileen Scotten of Oxford, and Peter Lesley of Kirkwood; five grandchildren, Dwayne H. Scotten, R. Christopher Scotten, David Lesley, Sarah O. Lesley and Cheyenne E. Lesley; five great-grandchildren; two sisters, Susan Derrickson of Milford, Del., and Mary Lou Pexton of Evanston, Wyo.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 31 at Union Presbyterian Church (5637 Street Rd., Kirkwood). where friends and family may visit from 3 to 4 p.m. Interment will be in Union Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Oxford Library, c/o Carrie Bresler, 48 S. 2nd Street, Oxford, PA 19363. Visit www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
WALTER MENGES, JR.
Pastor Walter Menges, Jr., 88, of Lancaster, passed away on Oct. 21.
He was the husband of Bertha A. Schweizer Menges, with whom he celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on June 12, 2015. He was born in Chester, son of the late Walter, Sr., and Sybilla Kinsey Menges. He was a graduate of Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn., Class of 1950, and Princeton Seminary in Princeton, N.J., Class of 1953. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving during World War II in Germany. Pastor Menges attended Wheatland Presbyterian Church. He served his first church at Scottstown Presbyterian Church, in Scottstown, N.Y.; and served 28 years at Forest Park Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. He also served various churches in the Susquehanna Valley Presbytery PCA and retired in September of 1997 after being in the ministry for 44 years, from 1953 to 1997.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, is one son, William J. (Barbara) Menges; five daughters, Margaret L. (Dale) Engle; Ruth L. (Mark W.) Hook; Bonnie L. (Steven) Fry; Grace E. (Carl) White; and Priscilla (William L.) O’Byrne III; 18 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers, William R. Menges and Robert M. Menges; and one sister, Helen A. Menges. He was preceded in death by one son, Timothy I. Menges.
A memorial service was held Oct. 26. Interment was in Millersville Mennonite Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to: PCA Retirement and Benefits Ministerial Relief Fund, 1700 N. Brown Rd., Suite 106, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. To send an online condolence, visit www.Workmanfuneralhomes.com.
GEORGE P. EBERWEIN
George P. Eberwein, 73, of Landenberg, passed away peacefully in his home on Oct. 24, surrounded by his family.
He was the husband of the late Gerhild Neumaier Eberwein, with whom he had shared 49 years of marriage at the time of her passing in 2012. Born in Hatboro, he was the son of the late George P., Jr., and Margaret Pavlick Eberwein. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He retired from DuPont Company Louviers in Newark, Del., in 1991 after 30 years of service. George enjoyed fine woodworking, hunting, fishing, and especially his family.
He is survived by one son, Brian Eberwein and his wife Kim of West Grove; daughter-in-law Kamela “Shelly” Eberwein of Harpers Ferry, W. Va.; two grandchildren, Vincent John Eberwein and Amy Michelle Bush; one sister, Peggy Ann Stankiewitch and husband Joe of Schuylkill Haven; and two grandpups, Peanut and Chase. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Sandra Ewing; son, Barrett Eberwein; granddaughter, Allison Ewing; and brother, Russell Eberwein.
A prayer service will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 30 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. (86 Pine St., Oxford), where friends may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be at the Rose Bank Cemetery in Rising Sun, Md. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
LORRAINE IRENE DILLEY SETTLE
Lorraine Irene Dilley Settle, 81, of Harrington, Del., passed away on Oct. 24 at the Milford Memorial Hospital in Milford, Del.
She was the wife of Harvey C. Settle, with whom she shared 18 years of marriage. Her first husband, Cecil E. Dilley, Sr., passed away in 1982, and with whom she shared 29 years of marriage. Born in Kennett Square, she was the daughter of the late Ralph and Ruth Cardin Brower. She was a nurse’s aide at Pocopson Home for 20 years, retiring in 2001. She was a member of the Kennett VFW, Ladies Auxiliary, and the Delaware State Police Crime Watch. She enjoyed the beach, going to the casinos, and being with her family and friends.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by four sons, David C. Dilley of Landenberg, Charles W. Dilley and his wife Robin of Downingtown, Edward A. Dilley and his wife Sharon of Oxford, and Cecil E. Dilley, Jr., and his wife Tami of Kirkwood; two daughters, Sharon I. Fielding and her husband Larry of Warwick, R.I., and Susan J. Couram and her husband Ronald of Parkesburg; two brothers, Ralph Brower of State College, and Richard Brower of Kennett Square; one sister, Jane Nickle of Frankford, Del.; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by one brother, William B. Brower.
A visitation with friends and family will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 30 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). Her funeral service will follow at noon. Burial will be in the Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In memory of Mrs. Settle, a contribution may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 150 Monument Road, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.