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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Sept. 4

09/05/2017 11:03AM ● By J. Chambless


Charles Edward Brady, 72, was called home to glory on Aug. 23.

Charles was married to Jo-Ann White Brady and resided in North East, Md. He was born in 1944 to the late Nathaniel W. Brady, Sr., and Ann (Jones) Brady of Nottingham. After graduating from Oxford High School in 1962, he received his associates degree in business in 1964 at Goldey-Beacom College. He was drafted into the Army and stationed in Germany from 1965 to 1967. Upon his return, he completed his degree in business administration at Cheyney University in 1979. Charles was employed by General Motors Assembly Plant from 1964 to 1999 (35 years). During that time, he completed his education and service to his country while working and supporting his family.

He was a member of the Mount Zoar A.M.E. Church in Conowingo, Md., since 2005. His interest in sports started at Oxford High School, where he lettered in three sports – baseball, basketball and soccer. Also, he played the trumpet and sang in the Senior Class Choir. He continued through his professional career to develop young leaders by coaching team sports. In his retirement years, Charles enjoyed playing tennis and golf.

He is survived by his wife, Jo-Ann White Brady; son, Charles Chadwick “Chad” Brady of Bear, Del.; brother, Nathaniel W. Brady, Jr. (Marie) of Oxford; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. He was blessed with an abundance of friends.

A service was held Aug. 30. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Visit


Snowe Walsh, 88, of Kennett Square, formerly of Avondale, passed on Aug. 25 at home.

Born in Mt. City, Tenn., she was the daughter of the late John and Bettie Smith Maxwell. She was employed with Chester County Pocopson Home in West Chester as a healthcare nursing assistant and retired in 1998. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Kennett Square and the Kennett Area Senior Center. She loved cats and flowers and was an avid reader.

She is survived by one daughter, Susan Waltman of Nottingham; one son, Larry Walsh of Wilmington, Del.; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and one brother, Tommy Maxwell (Bonnie) of Mt. City, Tenn.

A graveside service was held Aug. 20 at the Union Hill Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at


Benny Mack Holcomb, 65, of Oxford, passed away on July 12 of a heart attack while staying at the home of his son and his family in California.

He was born in 1951 to the late LeRoy and Marguerite Holcomb of Hillsville, Va. He is survived by his wife, Dawn Evans Holcomb Oxford; his son, Curtis and Lola Holcomb Hemet, Calif.; his daughter, Kristie Holcomb Sugar Hill, Ga.; stepchildren Brett and Andrea Sydenstricker of Oxford; granddaughter Emily Holcomb of Hemet, Calif.; grandson Anthony Nasdeo Sugar Hill, Ga.; step-grandsons Chaice, Brody and Ryan of Oxford; brothers Bill Holcomb and his wife Rose of Davenport, Fla., and Olen Holcomb and his wife Faith of Oxford; sisters-in-law Betty Jean Holcomb (Robert M.) and Betty Holcomb (Lynwood), both of Virginia; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; brothers Lynwood, Robert M. and Curtis; sisters Shirley and Betty; as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1969-1973. While serving his country he was one of 3,500 crew members aboard the ship USS Bon Homme Richards under the command of captain Dickson W. Alderton. The carrier spent nearly seven months in the coastal waters off Vietnam. He helped decommission the ship in Washington State on July 2, 1971. He enlisted as a Seaman and left as a Leading Seaman with honors and an honorable discharge. While living in Pennsylvania, he worked for many years at Laurel Valley Farms as a truck driver. A celebration of his life with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and the folding of the flag, will take place on Sept. 23 at the Lake Ridge Resort in Hillsville, Va., at 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend to share fond memories of Benny with his family and friends.


Carla Dawn Weaver, 67, of Oxford, passed away on Aug. 25 at home.

She was the wife of the late Sidney R. Weaver. Born in Kingston, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Carl and June Smith Kishbaugh. Carla enjoyed spending time with her family, and especially her grandson.

She is survived by two sons, Tim A. Weaver (Sara) of Nottingham, and Tom R. Weaver of Nottingham; one daughter, Tami A. Sheets (Jeff) of Oxford; one grandson, Camden Weaver; and one brother, Preston Whitesell (Carol) of Hatfield. She was preceded in death by a sister, Sherry Wood.

Funeral services were held Sept. 1. Interment was in Union Cemetery in Kirkwood. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Oxford Golden Bears Football, in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at


Betty Jean Harris, 78, a loving and devoted wife and mother, transitioned into eternal rest on Aug. 26 at home.

She was born in Atlanta, Ga., in 1938 to the late Ralph and Dorothy Harrison. Betty was co-owner of D&B Fuel Company for over 30 years.

Those who will cherish fond and precious memories of Betty are her loving husband of over 50 years, Thomas Harris; three daughters, Brenda Childs of Atlanta, Ga., Vickie Brunswick of Philadelphia, and Sharon Cummings of Philadelphia; one sister, Leola Bentley, of Atlanta, G.; five brothers, Joseph Bonner of California, and Nathan Jackson, Ralph Harrison, Clarence Harrison, and Kenneth Harrison of Atlanta, Ga.; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren; as well as other relatives and friends that will miss her. Betty was preceded in death by a son, Alan B. Cummings.

A funeral was held Sept. 1. Burial was in Media Cemetery. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Wayne F. Rice, 83, of Oxford, passed away quietly at his home on Aug. 28.

He will join his wife of 43 years, Doris K. Rice, who left us in June of 2013. Originally from Quarryville he was the son of Forrest and Ruth Rice of Greentree, Pa. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Jeffery R. Hoffer; and will be cherished and remembered by his three sons, David Hoffer, James Hoffer, and Thomas Rice of Lititz. His memory will also be carried forward through his three daughters-in-law, Jody Hoffer, Karen Hoffer and Yvonne Rice; along with his nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Wayne was an employee of 38 years with RCA, and five years with Aberdeen Proving Grounds. He was a member of the Masonic Order of Oxford and a lifetime member of The Slumbering Ground Hog Lodge of Quarryville. Wayne and Doris loved to travel, their pets, and the creation of their lifelong home on Brick Road, but the majority of their lives were dedicated to their family and assisting their friends and community.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 8 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. (86 Pine St., Oxford), where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. At the conclusion of the interment at Oxford Cemetery, friends are invited to join the family for light refreshments at the Oxford United Methodist Church (18 Addison St., Oxford). Flowers may be forwarded to the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, and online condolences may be made at


Andrew Robert Matyas, Sr., 73, a wonderful man, husband, dad, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to many, passed away on Aug. 26.

He was most proud of his family and enjoyed the time spent with them. In 2002, he and his wife moved from Newark, Del., to Ocean Pines, Md. He loved boating and fishing, and was an avid Eagles and NASCAR fan.

He was born on June 1, 1944 to Andrew and Eleanor (Jean) Matyas in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. For 39 years, he was an employee of the General Motors Wilmington Plant. He was a member of the Ocean Pines Corvette Club, MSSA Organization, and the Ocean Pines Angler’s Club.

He will be sadly missed by his wife of 34 years, Helen; daughter Denise Crossan and husband Cecil of Bear, Del.; son Michael Jones and wife Cortney of Hockessin, Del.; granddaughter Michele Williams and husband Jason of New Castle, Del.; grandsons Sean Crossan of Bear, Del., and Mason and Callum Jones of Hockessin, Del.; great-grandsons Julian Crossan and Jacob Williams of Bear, Del.; and sister Marion (Peter) of Virginia.

A celebration of life service was held Sept. 1. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at


Anthony “Tony T” Talamonti, 72, of Kennett Square, peacefully passed away on Aug. 26 at home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was the husband of the late Betty Lou Talamonti, with whom he shared 46 years of marriage. Born in Wilmington, Del., he was the son of the late Giuseppe and Frances (DiTomasso) Talamonti. Tony worked at A. Duie Pyle, Inc., as a manager of operations, retiring after 30 years. He then went on to start his own company, World Class Fire Equipment, and became America’s No. 1 Metz Agent while working with Metz Aerials, USA Division and the Rosenbauer Group. He traveled the U.S. and abroad, making many good friends along the way. Tony was a special person, a selfless man who dedicated his life to his community and helping others. Whether it was the lifetime he spent volunteering at the Kennett Fire Company, serving as president for over 35 years, readily assisting with the cleanup effort in New York after 9/11, or helping someone in need, he never asked for anything in return or desired any recognition. Tony was a member of the Four Seasons Motorcycle Club. He also enjoyed an occasional game of golf, spending time with his grandchildren, and Saturday morning breakfasts with his buddies. A devoted family man, Tony was an incredible role model for his family.

Survivors include three daughters, Pamela Talamonti, Angela Kavanaugh, and Donna Schuibbeo (Eric), all of Kennett Square; one son, Joseph Talamonti (Kim) of Cochranville; 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; one sister, Donna Miller (Dan) of Kennett Square; and his mother-in-law, Betty B. Harkins of Kennett Square. He was predeceased by two brothers, Luigi and Joseph Talamonti.

A funeral mass was held Sept. 1. Interment was at Cathedral Cemetery in Wilmington, Del. Contributions in Tony’s memory may be made to ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, 321 Norristown Rd., Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002; or St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. To view Tony’s online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Michele Denise Burt Shockley, 52, of Fair Hill, Md., died on Aug. 26 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

She was the wife of Philip K. Shockley, with whom she shared 27 years of marriage, and the loving mother of Reilee Shockley. Born in Chester, Pa., she was the daughter of Richard Burt of West Chester, and the late Lorraine (Sidlow) Burt.

Michele earned an Associates degree from Keystone Business school in Swarthmore. She was a talented dog trainer for many years, opening her own business in 2013 in Oxford. She was successful in many aspects of dog training, but specifically loved competition obedience training and herding. In recent years, she was involved with Paws For People pet therapy with her dog, Finn. Michele was incredibly artistic and loved crafting, drawing, and painting.

In addition to her father, husband, and daughter, survivors include her sister Donna Combs and her husband Ronnie of Nottingham; and her nephews Cody and Shane. She also leaves behind her three Border Collies she loved dearly – Chase, Finn, and Breezy.

A funeral service was held Sept. 1. Contributions in her memory may be made to Paws for People, PO Box 9955, Newark, DE 19714. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Nicholas F. Repetto, 23, of Lincoln University, passed away suddenly on Aug. 28.

Born in West Chester, he was a son of Maureen Boyle and Joseph A. Repetto, Jr. Nicholas was a 2012 graduate of Oxford High School. He attended Cecil College, where he played soccer. In his spare time, Nicholas enjoyed playing Xbox, watching his favorite shows, and playing soccer. Nicholas was very inquisitive and “researched everything.”

Nicholas is survived by his mother, Maureen Boyle Repetto of Lincoln University; his father, Joseph A. Repetto, Jr., and his wife Nashara of Lincoln University; his maternal grandparents, Maureen and Frank Boyle of West Chester; his paternal grandfather, Joe Repetto of Beckley, W. Va.; his paternal grandmother, Sharon Repetto of Downingtown; his siblings, Zachary Repetto, Dylan Repetto, Tanner Repetto and Serena Maccombie; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A funeral service was held Sept. 3. Contributions in his memory may be made to Kacie’s Cause, 232 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348; or Oxford High School Boy’s Soccer Program, 705 Waterway Road, Oxford PA 19363. To view his online tribute and share condolences with the family, visit


Johnny Ray Rominger, 38, of West Grove, passed away on Aug. 27.

Born in West Chester, he was the son of Eva Sue Dickens Rominger of West Grove and the late John Henry Rominger. In his youth, Johnny had a passion for Little League, whether it was pitching or hitting home runs. He loved the sport and his skills were outstanding. He enjoyed being with his family and friends, especially his daughter and granddaughter. He also enjoyed surfing the net, and had the nickname of Craigman.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by one daughter, Adrian Rominger of Drunmore, Pa.; and one granddaughter, Abriell. His service and burial were held privately. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Lois F. Peterson, 77, of West Grove, passed on Aug. 30 at home.

She was the wife of Jonas Peterson. Born in Erwin, Tenn., she was the daughter of the late Clyde and Maude Breckens Hardin. She is survived by her husband; one son, Jonas Peterson of West Grove; four daughters, Sheila-Jo Peterson of Avondale, Joyce Peterson of Hesperia, Calif., Ima Jean Peterson of Avondale and Mary Lou Visser of North East, Md.; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Fred Hardin and Warren Hardin, both of Erwin, Tenn. She was preceded in death by a granddaughter, April Burnett.

Services are private. Online condolences may be made at


Andres Guzman-Canongo, 20, of New Castle, Del., passed away on Sept. 1 at his residence.

Born in Wilmington, Del., he was the son of Felix Guzman and Teresa Canongo Acateco of New Castle, Del. He was a cook at Spare Rib Express in New Castle, Del. He enjoyed going to the beach, walking, working out, and being with his family and friends. He was a member of St. Rocco’s Church.

In addition to his father and mother, he is survived by one brother, Gilberto Guzman-Canongo of New Castle, Del.; one sister, Araceli Guzman-Canongo of New Castle, Del.; and many aunts and uncles.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 8 at St. Rocco Catholic Church (313 Sunny Dell Rd., Avondale). His funeral will follow at noon. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Elizabeth “Cisy” Cohen Behrend, 76, of Quarryville, passed away on Aug. 30 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimers Disease.

She had an exciting and colorful career serving the United States government that spanned 40 years. She served proudly in the Gaza Strip between Egypt and Israel with the Multinational Forces and Observers. She retired from the Pentagon in 1997 having served the Army Chief of Staff. In 1984, Elizabeth was awarded the Commanders Medal for Civil Service. Elizabeth loved to travel with her husband, Ron, to all corners of the globe. She loved her family, country, and all creatures great and small.
She is survived by her husband of 46 years, Ron; one daughter, Catherine Saunders (Alan) of Little Britain; three grandchildren, Christopher Reeder (Mandy) of Kirkwood, Sarah DiFilippo (Kyle) of Quarryville, and Rachel Saunders (Zach) of New Providence; and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Sydney and Catherine Detwiler Cohen; and one brother, Sydney B. Cohen.
A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. (86 Pine St., Oxford). Online condolences may be made at


H. Valeria “Buckie” Pratt, 99, of Kennett Square, went home to be with the Lord peacefully on Sept. 2 at The Friends Home. 

She was the wife of Gilbert MacFarland Pratt, Sr., who predeceased her in 2006. The two shared 68 years of loving marriage. Born at Scarlet Thicket Farm in Willowdale, she was the daughter of the late William and the late Gertrude Augusta (Reyner) McCombs. Valeria was a 1937 graduate of Unionville High School. She is predeceased by a brother, William McCombs, and sisters Gertrude Peterson, Mary Walton, and Dorothy Cloud.

Valeria was a very dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker; her family always came first and she never missed remembering birthdays of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She loved cooking for and serving her family. Sunday dinners were always big enough to cover the whole kitchen table and she always made room for guests. Valeria was a very active member of Willowdale Chapel for a large majority of her life; she taught Sunday school, participated in volunteer work, was a member of the small missions society group, and played the piano for the church choir for a period of time. Over the years, Valeria enjoyed weekend trips to Port Herman or Ocean City, N.J., with her sister and other family members. She loved gardening, bird watching, and observing the deer and other wildlife in her back yard.

Valeria is survived by her sons, Gilbert M. Pratt, Jr., and his wife Kathleen of Strasburg, Pa., and Richard D. Pratt and his wife Kathy of Willowdale; her daughters, Virginia Pitts and her husband Joseph of Unionville, and Jean L. Edwards and her husband Kemp of Greenwood, Iowa; her nine grandchildren; her 14 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A Life Celebration will be held Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. at Willowdale Chapel (675 Unionville Rd., Kennett Square).  A reception will follow at the church.  Interment will be held privately. Memorial contributions may be made in Valeria’s name to Samaritan’s Purse (Hurricane Harvey Relief), P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC, 28607. To view her online tribute and to share memories with her family, visit

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