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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Sept. 18

09/19/2017 12:37PM ● By J. Chambless


Kelly Elizabeth Coy, 26, of Cochranville, passed away on Sept. 6.

Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of Richard Ianieri of Oxford, and the late Lisa Griffith Coy. She was an inspector at AmCom in Atglen. Kelly was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Avondale. She enjoyed doing hair, any form of nail art work, loved adventures, trips to the beach and anything that made her niece happy.

In addition to her father, Kelly is survived by four brothers, Michael D. Coy of Cochranville, Richard Ianieri, Jr., of Coatesville, Nick Ianieri and Mark Rich, both of Oxford; two sisters, Amber D. Coy and Rachel Coy, both of Cochranville; stepmother Michele Rich-Ianieri of Oxford; stepfather David Coy of Cochranville; maternal grandparents, Marvin and Linda Griffith of Cochranville; paternal grandmother Barbara Robinson of Oviedo, Fla.; paternal step-grandmother Jane Ianieri of Orlando, Fla.; and her niece Charish Navaeh of Cochranville, who she raised.

A funeral was held Sept. 14. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. To view her tribute and to leave a message of condolence for her family, visit


Helen Margaret Stewart, 79, of Oxford, passed away on Sept. 7 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

Born in West Grove, she was the daughter of the late John Everett and Emily Louise Berell Donache. She was a member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church, Ocklokonee Council No. 212 Degree of Pocahontas, and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 2666 Auxiliary, Oxford. Helen retired from Hyponex in 2002 as a bookkeeper. She enjoyed spoiling her grandchildren, and gardening.

She is survived by her son, Robert M. Stewart, Jr. (Regina) of Oxford; daughter, Sandra Poole of Oxford; three grandchildren, Megan Elizabeth Stewart, Amanda Lee Poole and Jessica Lynn Stewart; and brother, John Everett Donache, II (Donna) of Nottingham.

A funeral was held Sept. 14. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Ocklokonee Council No., 212 Degree of Pocahontas, 114 Brick Road, Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at


John R. “Bob” Merhar passed away peacefully at his home with his family by his side on Sept. 11.

Bob was born in Springfield, Mass., in 1937. He graduated from Classical High in Springfield. In 1959, he received his B.S. in chemistry from St. Lawrence University and later received his master's in metallurgical engineering from RPI in Troy, N.Y. After resigning from the U.S. Army with the rank of Captain, he worked as a metallurgist for a small company in Worcester, Mass. He then worked for DuPont as part of Remington Arms in Ilion, N.Y. He finished his career with DuPont in Wilmington, Del.

A member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Bob was an active volunteer, serving as a garden volunteer with Winterthur Museum, Case Trading Post in the Wheelwright Museum in New Mexico, and the Pecos National Historical Park in New Mexico. He was a member of the Kennett Township Historical Commission, the Kennett Area Senior Center, the Chester County Community Foundation and the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. Bob was a past Mayor of Newport, N.Y., a past president of the Shrewsbury Jaycees in Shrewsbury, Mass., and a pastpPresident of the Metal Injection Molding Association (MIMA). He also served on Eagle Scout Committees and Boards of Review with the Mohegan Boy Scout Council in Worcester, Mass., the General Herkimer Boy Scout Council in Herkimer, N.Y., and the Chester County Council Boy Scouts in West Cheste. Bob also enjoyed traveling, his home in New Mexico, tinkering with antique clocks and walking.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Judith M. Merhar; his sons Thomas (Cori) and Steven; his grandchildren Michael (Brie), Joshua, Courtney and Justin; and his great-granddaughter Mia. Bob is also survived by his sister, Carole J. Martino; and his cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, John H. Merhar and Janet Cummings Merhar; his son, Robert L. Merhar; and other relatives.

A funeral was held Sept. 15. Interment was private. In lieu of flowers, consider contributions to the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, c/o Development office, 3535 Market Street, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104, or online at To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Michael Robert Brabson passed away in his sleep on Sept. 9, two days before his 64th birthday.

He lived on a farm at Chrome, Oxford, with his wife of 26 years, Gayle (Pierce). He was born in West Grove to the late Robert R Brabson and the late Norma (Prange) Brabson and grew up in Chrome. He leaves behind his wife, Gayle; his son, Michael of Ephrata; his stepson, Joseph Beavers of Allentown; brother, Thomas and his wife Kathy of Cinnaminson, N.J.; sister, Terri and her husband Ken Elliott of College Station, Texas; and four nieces and nephews. His brother Randall died in 1988.

Michael loved farming and his collection of John Deere tractors. He milked cows for a neighbor from the age of 14 and had earned enough to have a brand new 1969 Plymouth Sports Satellite waiting for him by the time he could get his driver’s license at 16. He played guitar in a local band and loved 70s rock music. Besides farming, he loved Harley-Davidson motorcycles and anything Mopar. He enjoyed cattle, his cats and dogs, especially Penny, burgers and fries.

He drove tractor trailers for a number of years for P. Kramme and H.R. Ewell, and then milk trucks for local companies, picking up milk at night in five counties. At the same time, he farmed with his wife, raising beef cattle, corn and hay, and did custom round baling. He had a quick wit and sometimes irreverent sense of humor, and many friends far and wide. He worked hard and played hard. He was truly one of a kind, gone way too soon.

A memorial service will be held at Media Mennonite Church in October. The date will be announced later. Online condolences may be made at


Tabitha Mae Lyons, 31, of York, passed away on Sept. 10.

Born in Reading, she was the daughter of Elizabeth Anne Lyons Parker of Cochranville and the late James Robert Birchler. Tabitha loved animals and enjoyed horseback riding, dancing and spending time with her friends.

She is survived by her mother; four daughters, Amelia, Ivy, Naomi and Jasmine; one son, Tyler; and paternal grandfather, John Birchler. She was preceded in death by her father; brother, Zachary Madron; and maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Mink Lyons.

A memorial service was held Sept. 16. Interment was private. Online condolences may be made at

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Matthew Ryan Butler, 28, of Atglen, passed away on Sept. 6.

Matthew was born in Quarryville. He was the son of Timothy Butler and Holly Vargas. A graduate of Octorara High School, Matthew went on to work as a landscaper for his father’s business, Fresh Start Landscaping. Matt was always very tidy and affectionately known as a “neat freak” by family and friends. He also loved Halloween – it was his favorite holiday! Matthew was the kind of person to offer those in need the shirt off of his back – he would do anything for anyone and will be dearly missed by all that knew him.

Matthew was a loving son, brother, uncle and friend. He is survived by his maternal grandfather, Roy F. Hughes; his brothers and sisters, Cassandra Hampton, Shelby Fuller, Michael Fuller, Sebastian Vargas, Brianna Vargas, Anthony Vargas, Anthony Salerno, Timothy Butler Jr., Travis Butler, and Daniel Payne; his nieces, Addalyn Hampton and Jaylynn Salerno; as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. Matthew’s memory also lives on with his best friend, Aleshia Davis – she was his greatest supporter through thick and thin. Matthew was also very loved and encouraged by his stepmother, Helena Butler, and stepfather, Alex Vargas.

A memorial service was held Sept. 15. Contributions in his memory may be made to Kacie’s Cause, 232 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Margaret Conard Mason, 99, of Kennett Square, died on Sept. 13 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

She was the wife of the late Joseph F. Mason, who died in 2012, and with whom she shared 74 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, she was a daughter of the late Roland and the late Edith (Harward) Conard. She was a 1936 graduate of Unionville High School. Margaret was a seamstress by trade and also helped with the family business. After retirement, she and her husband made many different crafts that are enjoyed to this day by family and many in the community. In recent years, Margaret was thankful for her caregivers and many friends at Steward Place at Ware Presbyterian Village. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her family was her pride and joy.

Survivors include one son, Joseph “Richard” Mason (Nancy); two daughters, Margaret M. Scarlett and Barbara M. Frezzo (Emidio); five grandchildren, Richard Mason (Betsy), Jeffrey Mason (Veronica), Clifford Scarlett (Bonnie), Shannon Helmecki (Todd), and Scott DiStefano (Christina); and 11 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by three sisters, Virginia, Catherine, and Evelyn; and her son in-law, Clifford B. Scarlett.

A visitation will be held Sept. 20 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home Inc. (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). Her mass of christian burial will be at 11 a.m. at Saint Patrick Church (212 Meredith St., Kennett Square). Interment will be in St. Patrick Cemetery.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Benevolent Care Fund of Ware Presbyterian Village. Checks payable to Ware Presbyterian Village and mailed to Presbyterian Senior Living, Resource Development Office, One Trinity Drive East, Suite 201, Dillsburg, PA 17019. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Lorraine A. “Lorrie” Steele, 63, of West Grove, passed away on Sept. 14 in the memory care unit at Sunrise of Westtown after a seven-year battle with dementia.

She was the beloved wife of R. Scott Steele. Born in Philadelphia and raised in West Chester, Lorrie was the daughter of the late Charles “Chip” and Marjorie Frey Gibson. She was a 1972 graduate of Henderson High School, followed by an art degree from Mount Saint Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a master’s degree in special education. Before her retirement, Lorrie was employed with the Chester County Intermediate Unit in Downingtown for 27 years, ending her career as the Supervisor of Special Education Services. Lorrie loved music, and as a faithful member of the West Grove United Methodist Church, found much joy singing in the Chancel Choir. In addition to singing, she enjoyed painting, playing the violin, 70s rock music, traveling, and spending time with family and friends in Ocean City, N.J. But what brought the most joy to Lorrie’s life was time spent with her children and grandchildren.

In addition to her husband, Lorrie is survived by her daughters, Lindsay Hetherington and her husband Scott of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Megan DuBois and her husband Greg of West Chester; a son, Adam Brannan and his wife Gabrielle of Perkasie, Pa.; a stepdaughter, Mandy Steele Baran and her husband Chris of Wilmington, Del.; two grandchildren, Rachel and Josh Hetherington; and a sister, Donna Logsdon of Horse Cave, Ky.

A visitation will be held Sept. 20 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the West Grove United Methodist Church (300 N. Guernsey Rd., West Grove). Her funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Green Mount Cemetery in West Chester. Contributions in Lorrie’s memory may be made to the West Grove United Methodist Church, 300 North Guernsey Road, West Grove, PA. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Perk V. Ticknor passed away on Sept. 14 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.

He was 89 years old. Born in Morton, Delaware County, he was the son of the late George and Alice Wood Ticknor.

He was the beloved husband of the late Carole M. Ticknor; father of Gary Ticknor and his wife Kathy, and Joseph Ticknor; grandfather of Michael Ticknor, Matthew Ticknor and Catie Ticknor; and great-grandfather of Elizabeth Ticknor and Raelynn Ticknor.

Visitation with the family will be from 10 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the Longwood Funeral Home of Matthew Genereux (913 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square). A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will follow the service in Arlington Cemetery, Drexel Hill. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Perk's memory to Neighborhood Hospice, 400 East Marshall Street, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19382.


L. Ethel Weaver, 86, resident of Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community and formerly of West Grove, passed peacefully from this life on Sept. 16 while in hospice care at her residence in the retirement community.

She was the wife of, and proceeded in death by, Edgar H. Weaver. Ethel was the daughter of the late Fay DuVall Miles and Jesse Clarence Miles. In her spiritual life, Ethel loved Bible study and hymn singing. Due to relocations, including North Carolina and Tennessee, Ethel was active in several different churches and had previously taught children's Sunday school classes. Most recently she enjoyed attending New London Baptist Church in Kelton prior to her move to Quarryville. In her personal life, Ethel loved gardening, sewing, quilting, and just spending time with her family.

Born in Troutdale, Va., Ethel relocated to Landenberg and graduated from Avon Grove High School, class of 1949. Ethel was a career homemaker, although she had also worked for the Hewlett Packard Company in Avondale.

She is survived by one son, Kenneth Weaver of Parkesburg; two daughters, Peggy Thomas of Quarryville, and Linda Ashley of Mountain Home, Ark.; four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Edna Paisley of Genesse, Pa., Reba McLimans of Oxford, and Blanch Newhouser of Onley,Va. She was preceded in death by two brothers, one sister, and two grandsons.

Funeral services will be held at Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community's Ellingsworth Auditorium (625 Robert Fulton Highway) at 11 a.m. Sept. 22. Visitation and viewing for friends and family will precede the service, starting at 10 a.m. Interment will immediately follow the service in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ethel’s memory may be made to The Kinsman Fund at Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community, or to Hospice and Community Care at 685 Good Drive, Lancaster, PA 17604. Online condolences may be made at


Robert (Bob) Newton Cleaver of Chestertown, Md., passed away peacefully on Sept. 11 with his family by his side. He was 83 years old.

Bob was born in 1933 in West Grove, and is the son of the late Arthur Davis Cleaver and Ruth Newton Cleaver of Chrome, Pa. Bob’s first eight years of school were spent at the Chestnut Grove one-room school house in Oxford. He later graduated from the Oxford High School in 1951. Following this, he attended the Goldie Beacom Business College in Wilmington, Del., and received an associates degree in business. He enlisted in the Army in 1953 and served until 1955.

After his military service, he attended Washington College and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1958. It was there that he met and married fellow student, Elizabeth Ann Hurst, his wife of 57 years. They had two daughters, Catherine and Nancy. They enjoyed extensive travel, gardening, entertaining and visiting their grandchildren.

After graduation from college, Bob began his 32-year career with Aetna Life and Casualty. Bob retired from Aetna in 1990. Following retirement, Bob and Ann moved back to Chestertown and built a home.

Bob is survived by his daughter, Catherine Scott and her husband Robert Scott of Kingwood, Texas, and his daughter, Nancy Beam and her husband Troy Beam of Wallkill, N.Y. He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Jessica, Evan and Rachel Scott; as well as several cousins. He is predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth Ann Hurst Cleaver; and his sister, Helen Cleaver Reburn.

A memorial service will be held at the Fellows, Helfenbein and Newman Funeral Home (130 Speer Rd., Chestertown, Md.) on Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Cleaver Hurst Fund at Washington College. This is an endowed fund that assists with the financial needs of students from the Eastern Shore particularly from Kent, Cecil, and Queen Anne's counties. Online condolences may be sent to the family at  

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