Obituaries for the week of Oct. 9
● By J. Chambless
ILSE NINA WATKINS
Ilse Nina Watkins, 99, of Nottingham, passed away on Sept. 19 at home.
She was the wife of the late Samuel G. Watkins. Born in Kaiserslautern, Germany, she was the daughter of the late Max and Martha Schmidt Waldner. Ilse was 6 years old when she moved to the United States from Germany. She was an exceptional artist, especially oil painting.
She is survived by three sons, Todd Watkins of Moore, S.C., Robert Watkins of Nottingham, and Scott Watkins of Nottingham; two grandchildren, Craig Watkins and Erin Lenone; and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a sister, Martha Nickelson.
Services were private. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
CHERYL REAGAN LEEDS
Cheryl Reagan Leeds, 58, of Newark, Del., passed away suddenly on Sept. 28 at her residence.
She was the wife of Norman D. Leeds, Jr., with whom she shared 30 loving years of marriage. She will be greatly missed by her beloved children, Stephen Douglas Leeds of Wilmington, Del., and Alexandra Reagan Leeds of Newark, Del. Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of Janet Walter Reagan of Hockessin, Del., and the late Charles B. Reagan, Jr. Cheryl was a Registered Nurse, working at Christiana Care Visiting Nurses Association, retiring in 2016 after 33 years of service. She took great pleasure in cooking gourmet meals and entertaining. It is hard to believe that her heart faltered, since her compassion, generosity and love for others was so strong.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Thomas A. Reagan of Atlanta, Ga. In addition to her husband, children and mother, she is survived by one brother, Steven M. Reagan of Atlanta, Ga.; one sister, Linda C. Reagan of Hockessin, Del.; one uncle, Dennis W Reagan, Sr., of Bear, Del.; one aunt, Sandra R. Broadhead of Freemansburg, Pa.; and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral was held Oct. 6. Burial was in Longwood Cemetery in Kennett Square. To view her online tribute and to a share a memory with her family, visit www.griecocares.com.
JUSTIN LUKE BENNETT VANCLEAVE
Justin Luke Bennett VanCleave, 21, of Oxford, passed away on Sept. 25 at Jennersville Regional Hospital.
Born in Elkton, Md., he was the son of Barry L. and Sheree L. Boyer VanCleave of Oxford. He attended The Davidson School at Elwyn, in Media. Justin loved dinosaurs, bright colors, and “Toy Story,” especially Woody and Bulls Eye.
He is survived by his parents; three brothers, Zachary VanCleave, Brenden VanCleave and Joshua VanCleave, all at home; maternal grandparents, Richard and Pat Boyer of Oxford; and paternal grandmother, Ruth VanCleave of Roanoke, Va.
Funeral services were held Sept. 30. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
JIMMIE J. ACORD
Jimmie Joe Acord, 57, of Oxford, passed away on Sept. 30 at Chester County Hospital in West Chester.
He was the husband of Jeanette Gagneaux Acord, with whom he shared 35 years of marriage. Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late Willie and Norma Canaday Acord. Jimmie enjoyed camping, fishing and crabbing.
He is survived by his wife; two sons, Jimmie Joe Acord (Melanie) of Oxford, and Joseph Wolfgang Acord of Oxford; one daughter, Joline Gwyn Acord (Kyle Culberson) of Peach Bottom; four grandchildren, Cora Jo Acord, Devon Kyleen Culberson, Kayla Bree Culberson and Jaxon Wendell Kyle Culberson; and three brothers, David Acord of Nottingham, Ricky Acord of Nottingham, and William Michael Acord of Oxford. Services were private. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
CAROL JEANNE MURPHY
Carol Jeanne Murphy, 88, of Kennett Square, passed away on Oct. 3 at her residence.
She was the wife of Joseph E. Murphy, Jr., who passed away in 2000, and with whom she share 47 years of marriage. Born in Evanston, Ill., she was the daughter of the late James Nugent and the late Marjorie Forshee Nugent. She was a registered nurse, last working for Crosslands in Kennett Square.
Carol was a member of St. Patrick Church in Kennett Square. She enjoyed entertaining her family, reading a good book, little children, her husband’s jokes, and being with her family and friends.
She is survived by three sons, Joseph E. Murphy III and his wife Debra of Amherst, N.H., Timothy J. Murphy and his wife Bernadette of Plano, Texas, and Matthew W. Murphy and his wife Angela of Holly Springs, N.C.; three daughters, Mary Ruth Johnson and her husband Thomas of Kennett Square, Marjorie Campbell and her husband William of Park City, Utah, and Julia Anne Welch and her husband Rudolph of Half Moon Bay, Calif.; four brothers, Patrick Nugent of Cambridge, Md., Richard Nugent of Wilmette, Ill., Thomas Nugent of Delavan, Wis., and John Nugent; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by one brother, James Nugent.
A funeral was held Oct. 7. Burial was in St. Patrick’s cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the ALS Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter, 321 Norristown Road, Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002; or to the Robert N. & Lenora C. Zearfoss Fund for Crosslands Staff Support, P.O. Box 100, Kennett Square, PA 19348. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit www.griecocares.com.
LUCILLE PHILIPS LIGGITT
Lucille Philips Liggitt, 88, of Oxford, passed away on Sept. 30 at The Glen at Willow Valley in Lancaster.
She was the wife of the late Robert R. Liggitt. Born in West Grove, she was the daughter of the late Lewis K. and Lucie Penny Philips. Lucille graduated from Oxford Area High School, class of 1946. She continued her education at The Pennsylvania State University, graduating with a degree in education. She owned and operated L.K. Philips & Sons Florist and Greenhouses in Oxford with her family. Lucille was a member of Oxford Presbyterian Church, where she served as a deacon and elder. She was also a member of the Oxford Contemporary Club, various bridge clubs, and was active in the American Red Cross blood drives. Lucille enjoyed dancing and following the Penn State Nittany Lions football team.
She is survived by a son, R. Michael Liggitt and wife Lynn F., of Strasburg; a daughter, Nancy L. Greer, wife of W. Edward of Lancaster; four grandchildren, Neil E. Deaver (Suzy), Lauren E. Gingerich (Brandon), Kelly Liggitt Bucklen (Keith), M. Gordon Liggitt; and six great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a brother, Paul L. Philips.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 12 at Oxford Cemetery (220 N. Third St., Oxford).
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Oxford Presbyterian Church, 6 Pine St., Oxford, PA 19363; or Hospice Community Care, 685 Good Dr., Lancaster, PA 17601. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Joan Black, 63, of Millsboro, Del., passed away on Oct. 1 at her residence.
Born in Chester, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Charles J. and the late Veronica McGlynn Flynn. Joan was a homemaker and she enjoyed taking care of people, and being with her family and friends.
She is survived by one son, Justin Black of Georgetown, Del.; three daughters, Kimberly O’Brien-Fuller and her husband Jason of West Grove, Cynthia Black and her boyfriend Mike Discavage of Wilmington, Del., and Jessica Cieszynski and her husband Chris of Landenberg; eight grandchildren; ten siblings; and her former husband, Joseph L. Black, Jr. She was predeceased by her son, Joseph L. Black, III.
A funeral was held Oct. 9 in West Grove. Burial was private. In lieu of flowers, make a donation in loving memory of Joan to Go Fund Me, at https://www.gofundme.com/in-loving-memory-of-joan-black. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with the family, visit www.griecocares.com.
IVAN A. CREWS
Ivan Anderson Crews, 94, of Oxford, passed away on Oct. 3 at home, surrounded by family.
He was the husband of Jeanetta Moore Crews, with whom he shared 58 years of marriage. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Ivan Hall and Margaret Anderson Crews. Ivan was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps, and served in World War II and the Korean War. He graduated from Ridley High School, received his bachelor’s degree in history from Kings College in Delaware, and his teacher’s degree from West Chester University. He was a fifth grade teacher for the Oxford Area School District for 29 years and retired in the early 1990s. Ivan accepted the Lord as his Savior as he prepared to deploy to India during World War II at the age of 19. He faithfully attended church all his life. He enjoyed bird watching in his back yard, the Philadelphia Phillies, and especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife; one son, Joel Anderson Crews (Barbara Jean) of Millersville; two daughters, Karen Brenneman (Ronald) of Oxford, and Rebecca Misiura (Larry) of Boyertown; ten grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Wesley Crews of Peach Bottom, and Marvin Crews of North Carolina. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Joseph Crews and Leonard Crews.
A funeral was held Oct. 7. Interment with full military honors was in Edgewood Memorial Park in Glen Mills. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Highland Baptist Church or Child Evangelism Fellowship of Chester County, PO Box 50, Coatesville, PA 19320. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Leonard “Steve” Davidson, 90, of Unionville,passed away peacefully at home on Oct. 4, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born in 1927 in Unionville, to the late James Davidson and Beulah Nunemaker Davidson. In addition to his parents, Steve was predeceased by his loving wife, Shirley, with whom he shared 40 years of marriage. He was also predeceased by three brothers, Paul “Lem” Davidson, James Davidson, and John “Jack” Davidson; and three sisters, Mitzi Cooper, Geraldine McLaughlin, and Mary O’Fiesh.
Upon his graduation from Unionville High School, class of 1945, and just prior to his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard to serve in World War II. In 1950, he was reassigned and served in the Korean Conflict.
After time served, he began his career as a stone mason, which he continued into the 1970s. In 1958, Steve joined the United States Post Office and retired in 1993, after 35 years of service. Steve was a member of the Unionville Presbyterian Church for 50 years, and an active member of the East Marlborough Zoning Board for over 40 years. He and his wife volunteered for the Unionville Community Fair for over 20 years. One of Steve’s greatest joys was sharing in both his children's and grandchildren’s lives. He could be seen at their sports, music, and school events. He enjoyed playing cards with his friends, family trips to Top Sail, N.C., and rooting for Philadelphia sports teams.
He is survived by three sons, James E. Davidson of Landenberg, Robert S. Davidson and his wife Carol of Collegeville, and John P. Davidson and his wife Vicki of Avondale; daughter-in-law Carol Davidson of Avondale; one sister, Marion Guest of Kennett Square; and seven grandchildren, Ashley, Matthew, Olivia, Joseph, Samuel, Abby, and Jenna.
A visitation will be held Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. at Unionville Presbyterian Church (815 Wollaston Road, Route 82 and Wollaston Roa), Unionville). His funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Unionville Cemetery. In memory of Steve, a contribution may be made to JDRF, 555 Croton Road, Suite 11, King of Prussia, PA 19406 (www.jdrf.org). To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
JANIE W. HUDLER
Janie W. Hudler, 84, of Avondale, passed away on Oct. 7 at the Pocopson Home.
She was the wife of Harold Hudler, who passed away in 2004, and with whom she shared 53 years of marriage. Born in Ashe County, N.C., she was the daughter of the late Roy Wallace and the late Mary Lou Vannoy Wallace. Janie was a machine operator at NVF in Newark, Del., retiring after over 40 years of service. She was a member of the Kemblesville United Methodist Church. Janie enjoyed crocheting, gardening, shopping, going to church and being with her family.
She is survived by one son, Harold N. Hudler, Sr., and his wife Susan of Avondale; two daughters, Loretta Sturgis and her husband Jim, and Debbie Terry and her husband Louie, both of Landenberg; three grandchildren, Stephanie Folk and her husband Gary, Harold N. Hudler, Jr., and his wife Colleen, and Melissa Terry; and two great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square), and again from 10 to 11 a.m. Oct. 12 at the Avondale Presbyterian Church (420 Pennsylvania Ave., Route 41, Avondale). Her funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be the Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In memory of Janie, a contribution may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market Street, Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit www.griecocares.com.
BETTY JANE HENNESSEY
Betty Hennessey, 88, a resident of Severna Park, Md., for more than 50 years, passed away peacefully following a long illness.
She grew up in Kennett Square. She graduated from Kennett High School in 1947 and subsequently completed a stenographic course at Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Del. Following her marriage to Richard (Dick) Klein Hennessey in 1960, they relocated and settled in Severna Park, Md. They resided in Severna Forest and were charter members of the Severna Park United Methodist Church. Betty worked as a legal secretary and retired from Anne Arundel County Government in 1992. After the loss of her husband in 1995, she pursued many activities, including visiting family and friends, traveling and playing bridge. In addition, she was a member of the “Every Other Thursday” Ladies Duckpin League for over 15 years. In 2015, illness forced her to leave her much-loved home and move to Brightview Severna Park, where she lived until her death.
She is survived by numerous family members and friends around the country who loved her deeply and will miss her greatly. A visitation be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Barranco & Sons, P.A. Severna Park Funeral Home (495 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, Md.). A graveside service will be held on Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. in Longwood Cemetery (945 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square). In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Hospice of the Chesapeake, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena MD 21122. Online condolences may be made at www.barrancofuneralhome.com.
EDITH L. FLESSNER
Edith L. Flessner, 93, of Oxford, formerly of Newark, died on Oct. 4 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.
She was the wife of Donald Flessner, with whom she shared 64 years of marriage. Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late Leslie A. and Edith M. Kessler Grand, and sister to her late brother, Leslie Grand. Edith received her BS and Master’s Degrees from Drexel University and attended the University of Minnesota for her Doctorate. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Newark, and the Oxford Presbyterian Church. Always a volunteer, Edith served as a Lay Chaplain at Christiana Hospital for 15 years. She conducted several programs for the residents of Ingleside Retirement Home to help them through the long winter months. She was an active Girl Scout for over 80 years, including five decades with the Chesapeake Bay Girl Scout Council.
She is survived by her husband; two sons, Donald Flessner (Kathleen) of Akron, Ohio, and Kenneth Flessner (Rehana) of Denville, N.J.; one daughter, Leslie Meredith (Gerald) of Tucson, Ariz.; and seven grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 16 at the First Presbyterian Church (292 W. Main St., Newark, Del.), where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Chesapeake Bay Girl Scouts, ATTN: Eileen Pelham, 225 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, DE 19702. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
GEORGE C. GUSS III
George C. “Sonny” Guss III, 75, of Oxford, passed away on Oct. 7 at Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville after a long illness.
He was the husband of Louise D. Guss (nee Kearney) with whom he shared 52 years of marriage. Born in Bryn Mawr, he was the son of the late George C., Jr., and Kathleen McManus Guss. George graduated from Monsignor Bonner High School Class of 1959. He honorably served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959-1963. He was employed with the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in the 1980s as a pipefitter, and went on to join the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers at the shipyard. George retired in 1995 and moved to Oxford with his family. He was employed with the Oxford Borough as the Building Inspector and Code Officer.
He is survived by his wife; two sons, Michael Guss and Christian Guss (Monica); eight grandchildren, Michael Jack, Daniel, Megan, Luke, Gabriel, Vincent, Gerard and David; one sister, Bessie (Jack); niece Kathleen (Theo); and grandniece Julia.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Oct. 12 at Sacred Heart Church (203 Church Rd., Oxford), where friends may visit 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Interment will be in St. Agnes Cemetery in West Chester. In lieu of flowers, request Mass Cards in his name or donations in his name may be made to St. Michaels World Apostolate, P.O. Box 514, Bayside, NY 11361. Visit www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
JOSEPH A. MCMILLAN
Joseph A. McMillan of West Grove, formerly of New London and Kelton, passed away on Oct. 2 after a brief illness.
He will forever be remembered as a man of devout faith, a friend, husband, brother and father. He was born in 1946 in West Grove, and attended Avon Grove schools, graduating in 1963. Post graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and served from 1963 to 1967 aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Saratoga during the Vietnam War. Post military service, he attended Widener University and graduated with a B.S. in engineering and worked for E.I. DuPont for the majority of his professional career in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia, and lived a brief time in Florida and Georgia. He was an expert in quality systems, quality assurance practices, ISO 9000 and ISO 9001; and taught at the University of Delaware, Lincoln University and Patrick Henry Community College.
He was a man of great faith, an ordained minister, and served as part of the clergy at the Full Gospel Lighthouse in West Grove and Jennersville, New London Baptist Church in New London, and at other ministries in Pennsylvania and Virginia, delivering sermons and performing many marriages, baptisms and providing comfort at funerals. He previously served on the parent or regional boards of the Full Gospel Lighthouse, New London Baptist Church and Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International.
He was a founder of Southern Chester County’s first alcohol detoxification program at the Southern Chester County Medical Center (Jennersville Hospital) and was active in supporting drug and alcohol treatment programs locally and nationally. He was also a lover of nature and animals, having grown up surrounded by, and working on, dairy, corn, wheat and other crop farms, and was an avid nature and landscape photographer.
He was predeceased by his former wife, Emma Cecilia (Cel) McMillan (Harvey); his parents, Claude Allen McMillan and Ella Mae McMillan (Eggers); his sisters Alice A. Hearne and Gloria B. Lewis; and brother Charles (Chuck) E. McMillan. He is survived by his sister, Dora Ina Walraven; his four children, Michael C. McMillan (Jessica) of Jacksonville, Fla., Lawrence W. McMillan of Jacksonville, Fla., Ila Marie McMillan (Kirk Wiseman) of Landenberg, and Joseph Allen McMillan, Jr. (Jordan Charles-Henri Girard) of New York, N.Y.; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Family visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14 at Christ Church at the Grove (1986 Newark Rd., Route 896, Lincoln University), with memorial services immediately following at 10:30 a.m. All who wish to celebrate his life thereafter are invited to join the family in the church’s celebration hall post memorial service at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Avon Grove Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 266, West Grove, PA 19390. The foundation supports students seeking to attend college or university post high school, with an emphasis on financial need.
IRENE MARIE GIULIANO
Irene Marie Giuliano, 74, of Cochranville, passed away on Oct. 7 in Ware Presbyterian Village, Oxford.
She was the wife of Raymond A. Giuliano, with whom she shared 54 years of marriage. Born in Ridley Park, she was the daughter of the late Julius and Nora Agnes Sheehan Levandowski. She graduated from Notre Dame Moylan, Pa., class of 1962. Irene was a member of Our Lady of Consolation Church in Parkesburg. She enjoyed cooking, baking and the beach.
She is survived by her husband; two sons, Ray J. Giuliano and his wife Jody, and Kevin M. Giuliano; one granddaughter, Christina Giuliano; one step-granddaughter, Samantha Gizzi; and three brothers, John Levandowski, James Levandowski and Leo Levandowski.
A memorial mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Oct. 17 at Sacred Heart Church (203 Church Rd., Oxford), where friends and family may visit from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 314 Good Dr., Lancaster PA 17603. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
TIMOTHY L. ROARK
Timothy L. Roark, 55, of Nottingham, passed away peacefully at his residence on Oct. 4, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born in 1961 in West Chester, to Charlotte Ann (Hampton) Roark and the late Robert Glenn Roark. He was a dedicated truck driver for 30 years. In his leisure time, he would often be found fishing or attending car shows and tractor pulls. Timmy enjoyed spending time with his family watching T.V., and junk yard hopping on Saturday with his son.
Timmy is survived by his wife of 31 years, Lisa Roark; daughter, Nicky Egolf; son, Matthew Roark; daughter, Samantha Roark; son, Timothy Roark, Jr.; brother, Robert Roark and his wife Vicky; brother, Matthew Roark; sister, Lori Roark; brother, Joshua Roark and his wife Dee; three grandsons, Christopher, Jacob, Liam Egolf; two granddaughters, Daisy Cole and Bobbie Roark; and several nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held on Oct. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at R.T. Foard Funeral Home, P.A. (111 South Queen Street, Rising Sun, Md.). A celebration of Timmy’s life will be held on Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. at Bible Evangelical Church of Kennett Square (500 E. Cypress St., Kennett Square). To send an online condolence, visit www.rtfoard.com.