Obituaries for the week of Dec. 17
By J. Chambless
JAMES S. MACKEY
James S. Mackey, 89, of Landenberg, and Rehoboth Beach, Del., passed away on Dec. 7 at his residence.
He was the husband of Fern Barber Mackey, who passed away in 2001, and with whom he shared 48 years of marriage. Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late Raymond S. Mackey and the late Nancy Thompson Mackey. He farmed the family farm until the mid-1960s, but he was always a farmer at heart. He was a carpenter, retiring in 1993 from PKF Mark III in Newtown. He was a member of Manor Presbyterian Church in Cochranville, and the New London Masonic Lodge No. 545. He enjoyed collecting antique tools, going to auctions, watching old movies on TV, and being with his family and friends.
He is survived by one son, Raymond J. Mackey and his wife Louise of West Grove; three daughters, LeAnne Pugliese and her husband John of West Grove, Joyce Mackey Holton and her husband James of Landenberg, and Gail Bridgham and her husband Russell of Isle of Palms, S.C.; one brother, David Mackey of Punta Gorda, Fla.; 11 grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.
A funeral was held Dec. 12. Burial was in the Faggs Manor Cemetery in Cochranville. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
Herbert Sheets, of Oxford, passed away peacefully on Dec. 5, just 15 days before his 97th birthday.
In 1951, he married Ola M. Hall Sheets, with whom he shared 34 years of marriage. Ola passed away in 1985. Born in Rugby, Va., in 1921, he was the son of the late Charles and Malinda Weaver Sheets. He was a decorated veteran of World War II. Arriving at Normandy in June 1944, he fought from Omaha to the Elbe River, where his battalion stopped to meet up with the Russian Army. Fighting in Normandy, Southern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe, they were in combat for 201 consecutive days. Herbert enjoyed hunting and was a passionate fisherman, often bringing home trophy sized fish. He was an avid fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles, and could tell you all the stats of both sports. Over the last ten years, he often spoke about going to be with the Lord and was at peace with it. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his five daughters, Joyce (Charles) Wilson of Christiana, Jalana Thomas of Lancaster, Elizabeth (Richard) Gehrman of Wahoo, Neb., Sara Stava of Quarryville, and Martha (Michael) Pell of Peach Bottom; two sons, Jeffrey (Tamathe) Sheets and Benjamin (Joan) Sheets, both of Oxford; 15 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; two sisters, Faye Henderson of Marion, Va., and Nell Farmer of Mouth of Wilson, Va.; and one brother, Joe Sheets of Mouth of Wilson, Va. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Malinda Sheets; and nine siblings.
A funeral was held Dec. 15. Interment was in Union Cemetery of Freemont, West Nottingham. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Honor Guard, American Legion Mason Dixon Post No. 194, 338 E. Main St., Rising Sun, MD 21911. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
PHILIP L. GILBERT
Philip Louis Gilbert died peacefully in his sleep on Nov. 28.
He was born in 1927 in New York City, and was the only child of Isadore Humphrey Gilbert and Estelle Bernstein Gilbert. Phil attended Woodmere Academy, graduating in 1944. He attended Swarthmore College, graduating in 1948 with a BA in chemistry. He received his MBA from Adelphi University. Phil met Alice Wade Higley in their freshman year at Swarthmore, and they were married the November following their graduation. In 1998, they retired to Kendal-Crosslands Communities in Kennett Square. Phil and Alice were introduced to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) at Swarthmore College and became convinced Friends after their graduation. Phil is remembered as an active Quaker. He served on many national Quaker organizations. In retirement, Phil enjoyed working with his wife to raise money at the London Grove Meeting annual flower sale.
Phil lived to care for people. His conversion to Quakerism followed his experiences during
World War II, including his work on the Manhattan Project, living with a stream of Jewish refugees while in high school, and his broad education at Swarthmore College. His business life included
creating and marketing innovative blood products at Certified Blood Donor Service; working in marketing hospital and pharmaceutical information at IMS America; and managing Northeast
Paramedical Inc., which designed, crafted and wholesaled prosthetic limbs.
Philip is survived by his children and their spouses, Esther Gilbert (Christine), Elizabeth (Richard) and Thomas (Ellen); his five grandchildren; and his two great-grandchildren. Alice, his wife of 64 years, predeceased him in 2012.
A Quaker memorial service is planned for Crosslands at 2 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2019. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Phil’s name to Swarthmore College. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
ELWOOD T. BOYD, JR.
Elwood Thomas Boyd, Jr., 74, of Cleveland, Ga., formerly of West Grove, passed away on Nov. 22 at home.
He was the husband of Ruth Ann Donnelly Boyd, with whom he shared 55 years of marriage. Born in Coatesville, he was the son of the late Elwood Boyd and Elizabeth Boyd Taylor. He was employed as a service manager and mechanic, and previously owned Boyd's Exhaust in Oxford. He had lived in Georgia for the past 20 years.
He is survived by his wife; one daughter, Yvonne Boyd of Atlanta, Ga.; a sister, Barbara Shoun and husband Mike of Carlisle; and two aunts who helped raise him, Mary Hilton of Coatesville, and Ruth Schoch and husband Fred of Cochranville. He was preceded in death by a brother, William “Skeets” Taylor.
A celebration of life will be held Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. in the community room at the Penn Township Building (260 Lewis Rd., West Grove). Contributions in his memory can be made to the Arthritis Foundation, 1355 Peachtree St., N.E., Suite 600, Atlanta, GA 30309.
DENNIS L. HILL
Dennis Lloyd Hill, 61, of Cockeysville, Md., formerly of Rising Sun, Md., passed away on Dec. 5 in the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Md., surrounded by his loved ones.
He enjoyed reading and studying the Bible. He was an avid, self-taught guitarist. He enjoyed listening to country music when he wasn’t playing it, as well as fishing, spending time on his boat, and visiting museums. He was an expertly skilled carpenter by trade. Dennis was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served as an Indirect Fire Infantryman. He was born in West Grove, and lived most of his life in Rising Sun, Md.
He is preceded in death by both parents, James Hershel and Janet C. Hill (Horn). Dennis is survived by his wife, Maureen Gayle Hill (Hamilton); his son, Aaron Lee Hill and his wife Erika of El Paso, Texas; his daughter, Jennifer Lynn Cain and her husband Jason of Oxford; two grandsons, Levi Cain and Saul Munoz; two stepdaughters, Amy Hatfield and boyfriend Jeff Byrd of Millsboro, Del., and Heather Walls and her husband Kent of Pasadena, Md.; three step-grandchildren; four brothers, Ronnie Hill of Lancaster, Pa., Larry Hill of Oxford, Roy Hill of Oxford, and Gary Hill of Peach Bottom; and three sisters, Marie Herrera of Altus, Okla., Angela Eisenfelder of Nottingham, and Donna Steiner of Altus, Okla.
A funeral was held Dec. 14. Interment was in West Nottingham Cemetery in Colora, Md. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Harry Hess, 86, of West Grove, passed away on Dec. 10 at Sunrise at Westtown.
He was the husband of Anne Bartholomew Hess, with whom he shared 49 years of marriage. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Edwin L. Hess and the late Alma Mattern Hess. Harry was a salesman at Urie & Blanton in Wilmington, Del., retiring in 1994. He was an avid fisherman, and he also enjoyed the shore and being with his family and friends.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by one daughter, Katherine Solomon and her husband David of West Grove; and one granddaughter. He was predeceased by one brother, Lewis Hess.
His service and burial will be private. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.greicocares.com.
ROBERT TAITT MANTELL, SR.
Robert Taitt Mantell, Sr., 90, of Kennett Square, passed away on Dec. 9 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.
He was the husband of the late Alice M. Ohlfs Mantell, who passed away in 2015, and with whom he shared 60 years of marriage. Born in Philadelphia in 1928, he was the only child of the late Raymond A. Mantell and the late Anne Taitt Mantell. He joined the Army but later joined the Air Force Reserves and retired after 20 years of service as a Major. Robert Studied at Lehigh University and joined the Theta Delta Chi Fraternity. He graduated in 1952. Following college, he began work at Scott Paper Company, where he met Alice Ohlfs. Robert and Alice were married in 1955. The two had three children, Robert (1957), John (1959) and James (1960). Robert enjoyed going to his Uncle's house on the Sassafras River with friends and family, where he developed a love for the Chesapeake Bay. In the early 1990s, he realized his dream of having a home on the river. Alice and Robert got their real estate licenses and began a career shift in their mid-50s. Robert loved traveling with his wife, utilizing plane rides from the Air Force as well as going on cruises. He was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. He was also an active member of the Kennett Senior Center and enjoyed going to their social events, and the Chadds Ford Historical Society. He was a former Pennsbury Township Supervisor.
Robert was predeceased by his son, John R. Mantell, in 1987. He is survived by his two sons, Robert T. Mantell, Jr., and his wife Kathleen of New London, and James F. Mantell and his wife Annie of Morton, Pa.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A funeral was held Dec. 14. Interment was at Union Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be mailed to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Attn: Membership Department, 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.griecocares.com.
Thelma I. Howell, 88, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 8 at Ware Presbyterian Village, Oxford.
She was the wife of the late Russell B. Howell, Sr. Born in Lancaster, she was the daughter of the late Reese B. and Osa Meadows Webb. Thelma was employed by Hewlett-Packard. She was a member of Gospel Lighthouse Free Will Baptist Church in Nottingham.
She is survived by two sons, Russell B. Howell (Wilma), and James D. Howell (Linda); and grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Nancy W. Watson; and a son, Frederick D. Howell. She was the last survivor of eight siblings.
A funeral was held Dec. 13. Interment was in Union Cemetery of Fremont in West Nottingham, Pa. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
JOHN M. SHIRES
John M. Shires, 78, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 11 at his home.
He was the husband of Rebecca L. Weaver Shires, with whom he shared 58 years of marriage. Born in Elkton, Md., he was the son of the late Rev. John and Ethel Gray Shires. John retired from Gore, Inc., in Elkton, Md., and Newark, Del. He attended Oxford United Methodist Church. John enjoyed playing golf with his wife, Becky, and family. He was an Eagles and Phillies fan.
He is survived by his wife; three daughters, Terry Shires Smyth (John) of Oxford, Sherry Shires Damico of Lancaster, and Jonna Shires Ryman of Oxford; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Lois Haley (Donald) and Darlene Baluta (George), all of Pleasant Hill, Md.
A funeral was held Dec. 18. Interment was in Union Cemetery, Kirkwood. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Oxford United Methodist Church, 18 Addison St., Oxford, PA 19363. Oxford, PA. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
CATHERINE M. BOYER
Catherine M. Boyer, 93, of Kennett Square, passed away on Dec. 12, surrounded by her family, at the Chester County Hospital.
She was the wife of William Horace Boyer, who passed away in 2011, and with who she shared 67 years of marriage. Born in Kennett Square, she was the daughter of the late John Angelo Winters and the late Pearl Johnson Winters. She loved her spring and summer trips with her husband. She worked at Pocopson Hone for 20 years as a nursing assistant.
She is survived by one brother, Kenneth R. Winters of Wilmington, Del.; one sister, Ruth DiSerafino of Springfield, Pa.; and a nephew/son, Richard Johnson, who was raised by Aunt Catty and Uncle Horace, and his wife Vicki, and grandchildren, of Avondale; and many nieces and nephews.
Her graveside service was held Dec. 18. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the American Heart Association. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit www.griecocares.com.
MICHAEL P. BRACKIN, SR.
Michael (Mike) P. Brackin, Sr., 55, of West Grove, passed away on Dec. 9 at his home.
Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late Harold (Pete) Pyle Brackin, Sr., and Rita Lafferty Brackin. Mike enjoyed spending quality time with his children and grandson, as well as fishing, collecting knick-knacks, watching Western movies, helping others and working with his hands.
He is survived by his former wife, Marie Brackin; one son, Michael P. Brackin, Jr.; one daughter, Lauren M. Brackin (Hugo Herrera); one grandson, Daniel Brackin; one brother, Joseph L. Brackin; and four sisters, Mary Ann Bassett (Edward), Elizabeth L. Macbeth (J. Ross), Theresa M. Heckert (James) and Christine R. Mullen. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Harold P. Brackin and Lawrence E. Brackin.
A funeral was held Dec. 17. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Vincenza Falletta, 93, of Patchogue, Long Island, N.Y., passed away on Dec. 15 at Twin Pines Nursing Home in Chatham.
She was the wife of the late Michael Falletta. Born in Brooklyn, she was the daughter of the late Vito and Rosalia Angello Loberro. Vincenza was a retired seamstress. She enjoyed bingo and watching game shows on TV.
A prayer service will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 22 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. Interment will be held at the convenience of the family. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.