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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of May 2

05/03/2016 12:41PM ● By J. Chambless


Peter J. Jingleleski, 50, of Kennett Square, passed away on April 24 in Wilmington, Del.

He was the son of John J. and Helen Bridy Jingeleski of Kennett Square. Peter was a manager at the White Glove Car Wash in Wilmington, Del. Prior to that, he worked in the distribution center at the News Journal for 22 years. He was a sports fan, especially football. He enjoyed boating, being with his family and friends, and was kind and courteous to all people and made friends very easily.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his companion, Michelle Benson and her daughter Janaundi of Wilmington, Del.; one brother, John S. Jingeleski and his wife Mary Beth of Claymont, Del.; three sisters, Annette Dennis and her husband Brian of Claymont, Del., Carol Jingeleski of Mt. Carmel, Pa., and Susan Horton and her husband Steven of Pickerington, Ohio; and an aunt, Maria Bridy of Mt. Carmel, Pa.

A funeral was held April 29. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Henry Louis Smrke, 81, of West Grove, passed away on April 25 at his residence.

He was the husband of Gerlinde Sauberlich Smrke, who passed away in 2012, and with whom he shared 54 years of marriage. Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada, he was the son of the late Louis John and Stovik Bronisawa Smrke. Henry was a food inspector for the U.S. government for 16 years, retiring in 1993. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Army for 20 years. He enjoyed food, talking about his military days, and being with his family.

He is survived by three sons, Brian L. Smrke and his fiancee Kimmi Sanders of West Grove, Ingolf W. Smrke and his husband Ben of Lowell, Mass., and Steve L. Smrke and his wife Dot of Oxford.

His service and burial will be held at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Mariano Zavala Bedolla, 82, of Kennett Square, passed away on April 27 at Neighborhood Hospice.

He was the husband of Maria Natividad Lara. Born in Pamaseo, Moroleon, GTO, Mexico, he was the son of the late Ciro Zavala and Maria Bedolla. Mariano worked as a mushroom packer at Basciani Foods in Avondale until his retirement. He was a member of St. Rocco’s Catholic Church. He enjoyed working in his garden, watching TV, playing with his parakeet, and being with his family and friends.

In addition to his wife, he survived by ten sons, Ciro Zavala Lara, Miguel Zavala Lara, Efrain Zavala Lara, Jaime Zavala Lara, Santos Zavala Lara, Artemio Zavala Lara, Mariano Zavala Lara, Alfonso Zavala Lara, Nicolas Zavala Lara and Juan Carlos Zavala Lara; two daughters, Maria Socorro Zavala Lara and Patricia Zavala Lara; five brothers, 37 grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.

A visitation with friends and family will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. May 5 at St. Rocco Catholic Church (333 Sunny Dell Rd., Avondale. His funeral mass will follow at 7 p.m. Burial will be at 11 a.m. May 6 at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Elwood “Tony” D. Darone, 67, of Kennett Square, passed away on April 27.

Born in West Chester, he was the son of Hazel Darone Smith of Kennett Square. He was a night watchman at Kendal-Crosslands in Kennett Square for over 20 years. He was a member of the Avondale Fire Company. He enjoyed model trains, reading and spending time at the firehouse. Tony was a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in the U.S. Air Force (1969-1973). He was stationed in both Thailand and Vietnam.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by one brother, Robert Combs and his wife Judy of Troutdale, Va.; three sisters, Pamela Roten and her husband William of Williamstown, Pa., Karen Roark of Avondale, and Crystal Baker of West Grove; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by one brother, Joseph Darone.

A funeral was held May 3. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In memory of Tony, a contribution may be made to the Avondale Fire Company, 23 Firehouse Way, Avondale, PA 19311. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Margaret Morrison Brown, 88, of Oxford, died on April 26.

She was the wife of Jay Brown, who passed away in 1976. She was the daughter of the late Catherine (McHugh) and William Morrison. She was a waitress at the Varsity Grille restaurant for many years, until the day it closed. She loved her time there and made lots of fans and memories. For fun, she enjoyed bus trips to Atlantic City to the boardwalk and casinos. At home, she loved sitting on her back deck in the warm sunshine, watching the kids go to and from school each day. Spending time with her great-grandchildren Alexis, Hayden and Brooks was her favorite way to pass time.

Living without her are her daughter, Lillian Coates and her son-in-law, Gary Coates of Oxford; her son, Jerry Brown, also of Oxford; a granddaughter, Jennifer Miller; and two grandsons, Gary and Mike Coates; one brother, Jack Morrison; and two sisters, Dorothy Ziegler and Mary Pierson. She was preceded in death by her three sisters, Helen McCoury, Eleanor Bard, and Anne Morrison; and two brothers, Charles and Frank Morrison.

Margaret (Peg) was a lifetime member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Oxford. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her, especially her family. Services are private.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Peg’s memory to a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made at


Charles Steven Kuhn, 70, of West Grove, passed away unexpectedly, surrounded by his family, on April 30 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

He was the husband of Diane Gartside Kuhn, with whom he shared 29 years of marriage. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., he was the son of the late Charles and Mildred Stoff Kuhn. Charles was a veteran of the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division Military Policemen and served in the Vietnam War. He graduated from John Carroll University in Cleveland in 1972. He was employed with Sphere Risk Partners in Media as an insurance claims adjuster. He also built and maintained websites, and was a horse handler at Brandywine Raceway. Charles was a left-handed pitcher in the Detroit Tigers minor league system from 1965-1973. He spoke five languages, including Russian, Latin and Vietnamese. He loved reading, listening to acoustic guitars, his family pets, and was an avid Phillies and Eagles fan. He especially loved spending time with his grandchildren and feeding the animals in his backyard.

He is survived by his wife, Diane Kuhn; daughter, Cinnamon Gray of California; two stepsons, Pierre Caron (Pam), and Dominic Rivera (Nan); stepdaughter, Laurie Whitton (Dave Crawford); granddaughters, Shelby, Amber, Autumn, Noel, Faithe, and Madison; two brothers, David Kuhn and Thomas Kuhn; sister, Christine Polito; and mother and father-in-law, Vera and Herb Langille.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. May 5 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. (86 Pine St., Oxford), where friends may visit from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday. Interment will be in Little Elk Creek Friends Cemetery in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at


Robert Sloane Wickes, a longtime resident of Landenberg, died on April 20 at the age of 76 following a lengthy illness.

Born in Chestnut Hill, he attended Albany and Deerfield Academies and graduated from Scotia (N.Y.) High School and Cornell University. He was a wartime veteran of the U.S. Army. Bob worked in the field of global compensation for manufacturing firms, mostly for Foamex, Inc., and Green, Tweed & Co. A noted collector of antique wrenches, Bob was featured on a episode of “Modern Marvels” on the History Channel.

Bob served as a Republican Committeeman for London Britain Township in 2013. He was assistant scoutmaster of his son's Boy Scout troop in the 1990s. He converted a shed on his property for his Landenberg friends to meet bi-weekly, which they did for years. This meeting place was featured in an article in the New York Times. These friends showed great devotion and kindness to Bob during his illness.

Bob is survived by his wife of 43 years, Nancy, of Landenberg; and his son Rush, of Las Vegas, Nev. Also surviving Bob is his extended family. Burial will be private. Memorial donations in Bob's memory would be appreciated to: Disabled American Veterans ( Condolences to the family may be made at


Elsie Isabella Petroll Johnson passed away on April 28. She was 84 years old.

Born in Rockland, Del., she was the daughter of the late Fritz Petroll and the late Anna Ogle Petroll.

She was the beloved wife for 60 years of the late Joseph W. Johnson; mother of Jay Johnson and his wife Janet, and John Johnson and his wife Terry; grandmother of Christopher and Daniel Johnson; sister of Bertha P. Bowman (Bradford), Margaret "Peggy" Belt (Dean), Fritz "Pete" Petroll, Jr. (Pat) and Walter O. Petroll (Barbara). Elsie was predeceased by her siblings, William Frederick Petroll and Ann P. Crowe-Gonser.

Elsie had a lifelong love of horse racing. She managed, then owned, the Gallery at Centerville Art Gallery. Elsie, along with her late husband,, were instrumental at the Longwood Fire Company, where Joe served as Chief for decades, and Elsie supported so many members, their families, events and most of all the community in which they lived. She was a member her whole life at Immanuel Episcopal Church in the Highlands in Wilmington. She will be deeply missed, especially by her beloved bassett hound, Daisy, who was always at her side

A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 4 at the Longwood Funeral Home of Matthew Genereux (913 E.Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square). Her funeral service will be at 3 p.m. May 5 at Immanual Church Highlands (2400 W. 17th St., Wilmington, Del). Burial will follow the funeral service in Longwood Cemetery. Memorial donations would appreciated in Elsie's name to the Longwood Fire Company, 1001 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA 19348.


Anthony Scerni, 83, of Kennett Square, passed away on April 30 at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

He was the husband of Luise Haag Scerni, with whom he shared 44 years of marriage. Born in Wilmington, he was the son of the late Innocenzo and Maria Ferrante Scerni. He was a self-employed real estate investor, retiring in 2013. He was a member of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church in Avondale.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. May 9 at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church (8910 Gap Newport Pike, Avondale). His funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m. His entombment will be at Cathedral Cemetery in Wilmington. In lieu of flowers, a contribution in his memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Erma Sharpless Gray passed away peacefully at the age of 103 on April 25.

She spent most of her years in West Chester and Kennett Square, but resided in Brinton Manor, Glen Mills, for her last years. She was the wife of the late Samuel Gray, with whom she shared 10 years of marriage. Erma was born in Westtown Township and was the daughter of the late Wesley and Clara (Ginsley) Sharpless. She spent her life helping others, as evidenced by taking care of four generations of the Smedley family. She worked at Elwyn, the Barclay Home, as the administrator, the Hickman Home in the kitchen, and the Friends Home as manager of the dietary department. After her retirement, she spent many hours volunteering at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital and the Pocopson Home. She loved watching sports, pet sitting for others, and being with family.

Erma is survived by her stepson, William Gray of Maryland; two grandchildren, Ellen Liversidge of California and Richard Bleecker of New York; and lifelong friends Willard Smedley (Julia) of Kennett Square, and William Smedley (Janet) of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and their families.

Aunt Erma, known as Rosie by her cherished “sons” and their families, was a truly amazing lady. She was deeply loved and will be missed by all who were blessed to have known her.

Services and internment will be held privately. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Friends Home, 147 W. State St., Kennett Square, PA 19348. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Philip Ralph Griffin, Sr., 80, of Landenberg, died on May 2 at his home, surrounded by his family.

He was the husband of Shirley F. Wooten Griffin, with whom he shared 60 years of marriage. Born in Landenberg, he was a son of the late Joseph Harry and the late Violet Elizabeth (Simmers) Griffin. He was a mill worker at NVF Company, retiring after 47 years of service. He was a fine carpenter, a perfectionist, could build or fix anything, and built the home he lived in his entire life. He also enjoyed working on cars, fishing, camping and traveling. In the 1960s, he was a volunteer fireman for Kennett Fire Company.

Survivors include, in addition to his wife, one son, Philip, Jr., and his wife Diane of Croydon, Pa.; one daughter, Dawn Darlene Hill and her husband David of Landenberg; two sisters, Leona Mayfield of Dagsboro, Del., and Nellie Sluder of Wilmington, Del.; and grandchildren, David Hill Jr., Philip III and his wife Karston, Theresa Griffin, Christine Griffin and Joseph Griffin. He was predeceased by 14 brothers and sisters.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 5, and 10 to 11 a.m. on May 6, at Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home Inc. (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). A funeral ceremony celebrating his life will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Contributions in his memory may be made to Kennett Area Senior Center, 427 S. Walnut St., Kennett Square, PA 19348. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit

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