Obituaries for the week of July 18
● By J. Chambless
W. Thomas Musser, chairman and founder of The Tri-M Group, LLC and lifelong resident of Chester County, 81, passed away on July 9 at his home in Kennett Square after a brave battle with brain cancer.
He was the husband of Bonnie Anderson Musser, with whom he shared 52 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late Wilmor G. Musser and the late Ethel Thomas Musser. A 1952 graduate of Unionville High School, he attended the University of Florida. He served our country in the United States Navy as an air traffic controller on the USS Shangri La (CVA 38), operating in the Atlantic Fleet. He was chairman and founder of The Tri-M Group, LLC and EnerG Test, LLC with offices in Allentown, Pa., Lock Haven, Pa., Middletown, Del., and Baltimore, Md.
Tom served the community both locally and nationally. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester, and formerly a member of Unionville Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and church representative to the Donegal Presbytery.
He was past Master of the Kennett Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and past High Priest of the Kennett Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons, past Commander of the Brandywine Commandry, past Master of Gunning Bedford Council Wilmington, DE, past Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal & Select Masons of DE, member of the Philadelphia Priory Knights of the York Cross of Honor, past President and board member of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Southern Chester County Medical Center (now Jennersville Regional Hospital), past President and past member of the Kennett Square Rotary Club (now Rotary at Longwood) and a Paul Harris Fellow, past President of the Southeast Pennsylvania Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (now Eastern PA ABC), past National board member and past Regional Vice President of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), past National President Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), past Board member of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), past Chairman of the Leadership Conference of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), past Chairman of Pennsylvania National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Guardian Advisory Council, past National Chairman National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Free Enterprise Council, past national board member of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), past Chairman of the Board for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Educational Foundation, past National Chairman of the Board of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), past Trustee & member of the Educational Foundation of Chester County, past President of the YMCA of Central Chester County (now Brandywine Valley), past Chairperson of the Kennett-Unionville YMCA Capital Fund Drive (1996-97), raising $5,200,000 for the YMCA in Kennett Square, Past Chairman, Kennett Area YMCA Capital Campaign (2011-12) raising $3,000,000 for the expansion of the YMCA of Kennett Square, PA, past Board member of the Conard-Pyle Co, past Board member of the Department of Defense Advisory Board for the National Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR), past Board member of the Chester County Hospital Foundation, past member Chester County Hospital Capital Campaign committee, past member National Board for Workforce Fairness Institute, and past Vice Chair and board member of U.S. Naval Institute Foundation Board of Trustees.
Tom testified several times before Congress for business and construction issues, and met with President George W. Bush on three different occasions, in reference to issues facing independent businesses.
A leader for many associations in our community he gave of both time and treasure. He was a trusted friend and mentor to many.
In 2016 he was inducted into the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Business Hall of Fame; also in 2016, Tom was the recipient of the Jordan Award from the Chester County Community Foundation. In 2013 he received the Chester County Community Foundation Corporate Social Investment Award. He was a 2008 Unionville High School Wall of Honor Inductee. In 2000 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Central Chester County YMCA (now Brandywine Valley). In 1996 Tom was named Outstanding Citizen, by the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce. In 1995 he was named CEO of the Year by the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry and in 1989 Tom was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.
Tom is survived by his wife, Bonnie A. Musser (nee Anderson) of Kennett Square; one daughter, Traci Musser Bauguess and her husband Ronald E. Bauguess of Port Deposit, Md., and their children Kayla Renae Bauguess and Xander Thomas Bauguess; and one son, Thomas H. Musser of Kennett Square; two brothers, Richard D. Musser and his wife Doris, and Harry W. Musser and his wife Peggy; brother-in-law William D. Anderson, Jr. and his wife Sherry; sister-in-law Terry Anderson Vosburgh and her husband Bruce. Tom is also survived by six nieces and nephews and their families.
A funeral was held July 18. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Naval Institute Foundation, 291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402; or Neighborhood Hospice, 795 E. Marshall Street, Suite 204, West Chester, PA 19380. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
LOUISE WILLIS VANNOY
Louise Willis Vannoy of Kemblesville passed away on July 9 at 99, just a few months shy of her 100th birthday.
She was the daughter of Lillian Creswell Willis and Daniel J. Willis of Newark, Del. Louise was a graduate of Newark High School and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Delaware in 1939. She joined the New London Presbyterian Church in 1940 and served as both a deacon and trustee. She and R. Page Vannoy, her husband of 46 years, owned and operated the “Old Brick Barn” dairy farm at the crossroads on Appleton Road. She enjoyed the companionship of her dogs and cats and was an avid horsewoman. She especially liked trail riding with family and friends. She also enjoyed foxhunting, always pointing out to newcomers that “it’s really just a fox chase, we don’t ever catch the fox.” She was especially proud of her article, “Mom’s a Lady Foxhunter,” which was published in Landenberg Today. She loved all things medical, and for 35 years she served as a Red Cross volunteer at Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove.
She was predeceased by her husband, R. Page Vannoy; sons, Robert Page Vannoy, Jr. and Dan Page Vannoy, who was killed in Vietnam. Louise is survived by her daughter, Jeanne Vannoy Schramm of West Liberty, W.Va.; two grandchildren, Adriane Vannoy Schramm of Averill Park, N.Y., and Darian Vannoy Schramm of San Diego, Calif.; and one great-granddaughter, Love Psychedelic Schramm Nevai of Averill Park, N.Y.
In the final months of Louise’s life, she was blessed with the true friendship and excellent care of her three lovely home health aides, Sarah Goland, Trish Dunn McAlevey, and Terry Penny Dunn. The family would like to thank them for their loving aid to Louise.
A service was held on July 16 at R.T. Foard & Jones Funeral Home (122 W. Main St., Newark, DE 19711). Burial was in New London Presbyterian Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made payable to the Delaware SPCA and sent in care of the funeral home. To send condolences, visit www.rtfoard.com.
CHARLES P. PESCE, JR.
Charles "Chuck" P. Pesce, Jr., 69, of Jefferson Township, passed away on July 9.
Chuck was married to Susan G. (Davidheiser) Pesce. Born in Wilmington, Del., he was the son of the late Charles P. Pesce, Sr., and Marietta (McNemar) Pesce. He graduated in 1964 from Salesianum High School. He continued his education at the University of Delaware, where he obtained a degree in horticulture. For many years, he owned a mushroom growing business and a trucking business. Chuck was captain of the University of Delaware Baseball team, he played in Shenandoah Valley Baseball League, and his love of baseball continued as he played for the AAA Phillies Farm System Organization as a catcher. After pro ball, he played semi-pro baseball in Wilmington. Later, he played fast-pitch softball for the Reading Sunners. A few years back, he was inducted into the Kennett Old Timers Hall of Fame. Chuck was an active member of the Harvest Chapel Church, where he made lasting friendships. Last year, Chuck volunteered to go on a mission trip to Haiti. While in Haiti, he was a part of a team of men who built new benches for a church that had none. What he gained from the trip was a deeper understanding of God. Chuck's family and friends were everything to him. He had a huge heart, and a smile and a laugh that would light up any room.He will be missed, and he will always be loved.
Additional survivors include his children, Maria Pesce of Womelsdorf, Whitney Chalcas and husband Johnny of North Carolina, Triscia Pesce and fiancé Stephen Kenny of North Carolina, and Hilary Sanchez and husband William of Lebanon. There are five grandchildren: De'Aundra and D'Andre Vazquez, Lilliana, Addison, and Landon Sanchez; his sisters, Betty Ann Pesce of Delaware, and Linda Rigler and husband Earl of North Carolina; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Interment will be private at at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Hershey Lupus Foundation, 218 W. Governor Rd., 1st Floor, Hershey, PA 17033. Online condolences may be made at www.milkinsgilesfuneralhome.com.
ROBERT J. DUNN, SR.
Robert J. Dunn, Sr., 86, of Kennett Square, passed away peacefully at Chester County Hospital on July 10.
He was the husband of Jeanette Mattson Dunn, with whom he shared 65 years of marriage. Born in 1930 at Chester County Hospital, he was the son of the late Wilbur and Jennie O’Neil Dunn. Bob graduated from Kennett High School, Class of 1947, and was a lifelong resident of Kennett Square. He worked as a postman in Kennett for 37 years, retiring in 1987. He loved hunting, sports and watching the Phillies. He played Minor League baseball and was a member of the Kennett Old Timers Hall of Fame.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Robert, Jr. (Georgann) of California, Pa., Jeffrey (Kathleen) of West Chester, and Stephen (Kim) of West Grove; one sister, Joyce Faville (Roy) of Chadds Ford; and six grandchildren. He was predeceased by one sister, Joan Leo; and two brothers in infancy, Leslie and William.
A funeral was held July 16. Burial was private. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Kennett Area Community Center, 136 W. Cedar Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
KENNETH E. WILSON, JR.
Kenneth Edgar Wilson, Jr., a retired Navy Rear Admiral, died at age 90 on July 7 at the Kendal Crosslands retirement community in Kennett Square.
He was the son of Jane Hance Wilson, of Taney Place, Calvert County, Md., and Kenneth Edgar Wilson, of Baltimore, Md. Ken was born in Philadelphia in 1926, was raised in nearby Narberth, and attended Lower Merion High School in Ardmore. In 1944, he entered the U. S. Naval Academy and graduated in 1947 with the Class of 1948. He also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he received a master’s degree in Naval construction and engineering in 1952. It was during his time at MIT that he met Shirley Smith of Rutland,Vt., and they were married in 1951. Ken and Shirley went on to have four children, and they moved several times throughout his career, providing many adventures for the family.
Ken’s naval career spanned 35 years and he had a particular passion for submarine and ship building. He had various sea assignments on cruisers and submarines, including deployment in the Holy Loch, Scotland. Later in his naval career, he served ashore as Commander of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, and the Vice Commander of Naval Ships and Naval Sea Systems Commands at Navy headquarters in Washington, D.C. He retired from the Navy in 1978, at which time he was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. He later served in executive positions in Exxon Enterprises and International Companies and as an independent management consultant of the public utilities.
Ken and Shirley loved to travel. In their earlier years, planned trips with the children were often based around routes that would provide the most opportunities to stop and visit battlegrounds, naval bases, and anywhere he could pose the children for pictures with cannons. In 1969, Ken and Shirley bought an old home in the village of Belmont, Vt. He could often be found tinkering in his workshop or sprucing up the outside of the house. Ken was an avid golfer and at home, he always took time to play croquet in the yard.
Upon Ken’s retirement, he and Shirley moved to Crosslands, where they remained very active in the community. They enjoyed trips to various places around the world, but most beloved to them was Scotland and their home in Vermont. Shirley passed away in 2012; they were married for 61 wonderful years.
Survivors include his four children, Barbara (Lloyd) Conley of Solomons, Md., Nancy Drake of Exton, Kenneth Wilson III (Mimi) of Zelienople, Pa., and Sarah (Daniel) McKay of Drexel Hill, Pa.; 11 grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren. In addition to his wife Shirley, he was predeceased by his older sister, Sue Wilson Tabor, of St. Augustine, Fla.
A funeral was held July 18. Burial with full military honors was held at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis Md. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Advent, 201 Crestline Drive, Kennett Square, PA 19348; or to the Crosslands Reserve Fund, PO Box 100, Kennett Square, PA 19348 or at www.kcc.kendal.org, with the “donate now” icon. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
MILES I. CLARKE
Miles Ira Clarke, 20, of Cochranville, passed away July 12 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.
Born in the same hospital, Miles was the son of Mervyn Clarke of Millersville, and Birgit Jochen Clarke of Cochranville. Miles was of German and Jamaican heritage. He was a part of the 2014 graduating class of Oxford Area High School, where he was an important member of the basketball team. He attended The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus, and planned to transfer to Shippensburg University in the fall. Miles immensely enjoyed basketball, eating a home-cooked meal, listening to music, and playing video games. He loved being around his family, friends, and his dogs. Miles had a contagious laugh and personality that lit up the room and made people around him smile.
He is survived by his father and stepmother, Susan Clarke; mother and her companion, Carl Trice; brother, Mervyn Clarke, Jr., and his girlfriend, Casey Sinex; sister, Morgan Clarke and McKayla Clarke; stepbrother, Troy Boddy; stepsister, Latoya Boddy; and a host of uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.
A funeral was held July 18. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford, PA 19363, to offset the cost of the funeral. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Born in Milwaukee, Wis., and brought up in Chicago, Geraldine Catherine Walsh MacMillan has passed away, just a few months short of her 101st birthday.
She was a talented pianist, starting piano lessons at the age of 6 and attending the University of Illinois Champaign to study for a BA in music, where she met her future husband Norman (“Mac”) MacMillan. Music was always an important part of her life. She continued to play the piano until well into her 80s, and loved jazz and standards as much as classical music. In 1957, the family moved from the Midwest to the West Coast, where she lived until about 12 years ago, when she came back east to the Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford. She had a zest for life and loved traveling, visiting most parts of the U.S. and Europe. She was a kind and generous lady, a true friend to many, and a loving mother to her family.
She is survived by her son, Donald (“Mac”MacMillan and his wife Beth of Lincoln University; her late son Douglass MacMillan’s widow, Julie, of San Francisco, Calif.; and by her daughter Norma and husband Tim Fraser, who live in London; plus many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Ware Presbyterian Village Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
WILMER E. FRAVER
Wilmer E. Fraver, 89, of Cochranville, passed away on July 14 at Twin Pines Health Care Center in Chatham.
He was the husband of Mary Jane McComsey. Born in Lancaster, he was the son of the late Glenn and Pauline Gordon Fraver. Wilmer was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served during World War II. He was employed with GM Boxwood Plant for 33 years. He was a member of Beulah Baptist Church. He was mechanical and could fix just about anything. Wilmer enjoyed working with his hands, walking, and collected clocks.
He is survived by his wife; two children, Perry Fraver and Patti Farmer, both of Kirkwood; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; one brother, Gordon Fraver of Oxford; and one sister, Una Springer Todd of Elkton, Md. Wilmer was preceded in death by a son, Wilmer E. Fraver, Jr.
Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Beulah Baptist Church, 3815 Newark Rd., Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
BERNICE COYNE BOON
Bernice "Bert" Coyne Boon, 91, formerly of St. Michaels, Md., and Ocean Grove, N.J., passed away on July 13 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.
She was the widow of Jacob Boon Jr., who passed away in 2004, and with whom she shared 58 years of marriage. Originally from Caldwell, NJ., she graduated from Caldwell High School and attended LaSalle College in Newton, Mass., where she received her degree in merchandising and was immediately hired as a buyer and model at Hanes. Most notably she was the manager of the Culinary Art Store in Wilton, Conn.,where she also taught gourmet cooking classes. Cooking was her passion and after her tenure at the Culinary Arts Store, she continued to teach cooking. She loved her grandchildren, and hosted them for the entire summer at the Jersey Shore in Ocean Grove for over ten years. She was very proud of the fact that five generations of her family had vacationed and/or lived in Ocean Grove, N.J. As a young woman, she volunteered with Planned Parenthood. Bernice was a longtime member of the Ocean Grove Ladies' Auxiliary and a volunteer with Meals on Wheels in Ocean Grove N.J. She also volunteered at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., and was a member of the P.E.O. philanthropic organization, as well as a docent at the Episcopal Christ Church in St. Michaels. "Bert" was known to her friends and family as a warm, generous and gracious woman who always had a twinkle in her eye and loved to cook and entertain.
She is survived by her son, Alexander, and her daughter-in-law, Kristy; three grandchildren, Andrea, Rebecca and Dr. Toria McHarg and Toria's husband, Ian McHarg; two great-grandchildren, Avalyn and Lennox McHarg; and other family members and many dear friends.
A memorial service will be held in Ocean Grove, N.J., in the Tabernacle at 11 a.m. on Sept. 24. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, PO Box 248, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756; or to the Dementia Society of America, PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
EDWIN J. HOFFMAN, JR.
Edwin J. (“Hap”) Hoffman, Jr., 73, of Landenberg, passed away on July 12 at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.
He was the husband of Joan Pasqua Hoffman, with whom he shared 52 years of marriage. He was born in 1943 in Pottsville, Pa., to the late Edwin J. Hoffman, Sr., and Doris White Hoffman. He was a 1961 graduate of Pottsville High School. He was employed at Hewlett Packard for 34 years, until 2001. He then became a Bailiff at the Chester County Courthouse. Hap loved his family. He enjoyed spending time with them. His three granddaughters held a special place in his heart. Hap also loved participating in and watching sports. He especially enjoyed watching football and was an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan. He coached high school girl’s basketball and softball for the Kennett School District. One of his biggest accomplishments was leading the girl’s basketball team to three district championships. He also brought flag football to the Kennett area in the 1970s.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Ed Hoffman and his wife Debbie of Maytown, Pa., and Scott Hoffman of Kennett, Square; three granddaughters, Taylor, Mollie, and Lauren of Maytown; a sister, Ruth Devlin of Pottsville; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Gertrude Hoffman; and by a grandson, Matthew. In keeping with Hap’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.
MARY DOLORES PALITA
Mary Dolores Palita, 87, of Oxford, died on July 14 at her home.
Born in Chester, Pa.,
Mary graduated from Eddystone High School in 1947. Before marriage,
she worked at Millers Flanders and AT&T as a telephone operator.
She married her high school sweetheart, Tony, and lived and raised a
family in Brookhaven before moving to Oxford in 1989. She was a
member of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Oxford. Mary greatly
enjoyed time spent with her family, reading, puzzles, crocheting, and
the many trips she and her husband took after his retirement.
She was the daughter of the late Benjamin Hefton and Helen Dougherty Hefton. Mary is survived by her husband of 66 years, Anthony Palita; and their children, Anne Marie (John) Smith, Francis (Kathleen) Palita, Michael Palita, Anthony Palita, Vincent Palita, James (Jensine) Palita, Annette Palita, Lorraine Palita; sisters Catherine Agnes Barnett, Marie Evans, Theresa Booth; 15 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A mass of Christian burial was celebrated July 19 at Sacred Heart Church in Oxford. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
JOHN W. PAISLEY
John W. Paisley, 36, of Landenberg, went home to be with the Lord on July 17.
He was the husband of Melissa Mehlbaum Paisley, with whom he shared 10 years of marriage. Born in Tyler, Texas, he was the son of Rev. Marvin L. Paisley and Marcia Kaufman Paisley. John was a devoted father and husband, gifted with tremendous talent in photography, videography, culinary arts, and many other artistic endeavors. He enjoyed sharing his great love of nature and the outdoors with family and friends, and spent many hours hunting, fishing, and working on the family’s farm. He had a special passion for antique cars, especially his prized 1955 Chevrolet Belair. He was invaluable for many years with his meticulous preparation of antique carriages showing at the Devon Horse Show. He enjoyed Bible study and was an encouragement to others in their daily struggles and walk with the Lord.
In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived by his daughter, Kailynn M. Paisley, 9, and son Tyler M. Paisley, 5; his sister, Judith Paisley Barnes; and his grandmother, Ollie Paisley.
A visitation with friends and family will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. July 22 at the Oxford Church of the Nazarene (116 E. Locust St., Oxford). His funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to help defray the cost of funeral expenses to: Melissa Paisley, Box 382, Landenberg, PA 19350. Online line condolences may be made by visiting www.griecocares.com.