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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Sept. 10

09/11/2018 01:42PM ● By J. Chambless


Clarence "Brownie" Leroy Brown, of Kennett Square, passed away on Aug. 26 at his home as he wished. He was 89 years old.

Born in Dilworthtown, he was the son of the late Margery Brown. Brownie was the beloved husband of the late Patricia Campbell Brown, who passed away in 2018; and father of Claudia Leslie Davis, Marta Carol Brown, Corey Patrick Brown and Sondra Patricia Brown. He was also survived by seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held Sept. 8 from 1 to 2 p.m., with a memorial service at 2 p.m. at the Longwood Fuineral Home & Cremation of Matthew Genereux, Inc. (913 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania). A reception with the family will follow the memorial at the Kennett Square VFW, 704 W. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square. Memorial donations to the Kennett Square VFW would be appreciated. Burial will be private.


Mary Elizabeth Slack Cheek Miller, 89, passed away on Aug. 30 at her home in Oxford.

She was born in 1928. She was the daughter of the late Norman B. and Greta R. Slack. Liz was a lifelong resident of Oxford and a lifelong member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church. She was employed as a secretary for the Oxford School District, the Oxford Presbyterian Church and the Oxford Cemetery.

She was preceded in death by husbands, John Dean Cheek and William Miller. She is survived by her three children, John Dean (Skip) Cheek, Jr. and his wife Joanne, Ann Marie (Cheek) Terry and her husband Rich, and Donna Elizabeth (Cheek) White and her husband Barry; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. She is also survived by Bill Miller’s children, Judy (Miller) Jones and husband Richard, and Rebecca (Miller) Kleinz and husband Dennis; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

She was known by many as “Grammy Liz.” She attended many sports events, concerts, plays, birthday parties, weddings and celebrations of many of her “adopted” children and grandchildren.

A service was held Sept. 8. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the following organizations that were important to her: Union Fire Company No. 1, 315 Market St., Oxford, PA 19363; Oxford Presbyterian Church, Willow Tree Hospice, 616 E. Cypress St., Kennett Square, PA 19348; or Ware Inhouse Services, 7 E. Locust St., Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at


Ruth DiCecco Wright, 97, of Oxford, a longtime resident of Avondale, passed away on Sept. 4 at Ware Presbyterian Village.

She was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, Earl H. Wright. Born in Bakers Station, she was the daughter of the late John and Mary (Ricciuti) DiCecco. She lived in Avondale until moving to Ware Presbyterian Village in 2007. Ruth graduated from Avon Grove High School in 1939 and worked for L.L. Logan in New London before taking a position at the Avondale Post Office, where she worked for 33 years. Ruth was a lifelong member of the Avondale Presbyterian Church, always serving in many areas. She was active in the Avondale Fire Company, serving as treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary for 40 years. She was a past member of the London Grove Grange. After retiring from the post office, she was a volunteer at the hospital in Jennersville for 23 years. She and Earl were active in the Circle 4 Square Dance Club for 18 years. They traveled for reunions and conventions of the 82nd Airborne. They spent summers camping.

Ruth is survived by her daughter, Barbara Wright Fyffe of Oxford; her granddaughter, Jenifer Sylvia (Fyffe) Mahley and husband Chuck, of Pleasant Gap, Pa.; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and great-great-nieces and nephews. Ruth was predeceased by her sister, Mary (DiCecco) Stalder; and three brothers, John, James and Theodore DiCecco.

There will be a celebration of Ruth’s life at 11 a.m. Sept. 14 at the Avondale Presbyterian Church (420 Pennsylvania Ave., Avondale). Friends may visit with the family from 10 to 11 a.m. Burial will be private. Contributions in Ruth’s memory may be made to Willow Tree Hospice, 616 E. Cypress Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Deborah Jean Hays Wilson, 65, entered eternal rest on Sept. 4 after a nine-year battle with cancer, in her home on Media Road, surrounded by her loved ones.

Debbie surprised her family with her arrival on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1952. She was the daughter of the late Grace Fisher Hays and Arthur Hays. She was born in West Grove Hospital in West Grove.

She attended Oxford Area High School, class of 1970. Debbie was the wife of Gary Wilson. They met in high school and shared 49 years of marriage.

She was a devoted mother to daughter, Lisa Higginbotham and son, Chad Wilson; a wonderful sister to Joyce Hays Patrick (Gene), and brother, John Hays; and a loving grandmother to her six grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a sister, Donna Lynn Hays.

Debbie lived in the Oxford area all her life. She was a member of the Christian Life Center in Lincoln University. Through the years, she was employed with Lipkins Furniture Store and Dollar General Store, both of Oxford. Later she worked for HomeCare for the elderly. She always did what she could do to comfort anyone in need.

She was an avid collector of cookbooks and making sure all holiday dinners were special. She shared many recipes with her friends, and made sure her grandchildren all had birthday cakes and Easter egg hunts. Debbie was deeply loved by her “therapy” group at McDonald’s in Jennersville.

A funeral was held Sept. 9. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Neighborhood Hospice, 400 E. Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380. Online condolences may be made at


Richard Thomas Ross, 90, of Aston, passed away on Sept. 7 at home.

He was the husband of Ruth Sumner Ross, with whom he shared 68 years of marriage. Born in Port Deposit, Md., he was the son of the late Edward and Esther Thomas Ross. A resident of Oxford for many years, he graduated from Oxford High School in 1945, where he lettered in basketball and was voted the wittiest in his class. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps, having enlisted during World War II. After serving his country, he obtained a degree in aeronautical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He then worked for All-American Engineering in Wilmington, Del., followed by Westinghouse in Essington, Pa., and for almost 30 years at Scott Paper Company, also in Essington, where he was awarded four U.S. patents for machine design.

Richard had a passion for living that never waned. That, along with an active mind, resulted in a life with many interests. He was a craftsman and held high standards for himself and others. As a young man, he built and flew model airplanes when radio control was a novelty. With his small box of assorted tools, there was little he could not fix. He loved the fantasy world of Walt Disney, visited Disney parks often, and actively collected Disney toys and memorabilia. He also collected coins, stamps, and numerous antique items that caught his eye at auctions, flea markets and yard sales, which he attended frequently. He had an excellent memory; you would be hard pressed to mention a topic he did not know something about. He enjoyed family life and took an active interest in his children and grandchildren.

Richard is survived by his wife; three sons, Steven Edward Ross of Phoenix, Ariz., Darrell William Ross of Burlington, Vt., and Kerry Michael Ross of Swarthmore, Pa.; one daughter, Judith Diane Richards of Santa Cruz, Calif.; ten grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and two sisters, Laura Gerisch of The Villages, Fla., and Dorothy Wooten of Perryville, Md. He was preceded in death by two sons, Ronald Allan Ross and Richard Thomas Ross, Jr.; one sister, Jane Schopp; and three brothers, David Ross, Joseph Ross and John Paul Ross.

A visitation begins at 10 a.m. with a funeral following at 11 a.m. Sept. 12 at Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. (86 Pine St., Oxford). A private interment will be in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Main Line Health Hospice. Make checks payable to “The Home Care and Hospice Foundation,” 240 North Radnor-Chester Rd., Radnor, PA 19087. Online condolences may be made at

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