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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Jan. 7

01/07/2019 09:59AM ● By J. Chambless


Nancy Lou Krivanek, 71, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 24, at home in Elk Township, following complications from cancer.

She was born in Hamtramck, Mich., and was the daughter of the late Edward and Eleanor (Obuch) Abraham. She graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit and taught at middle schools in Michigan. She and her husband, Neil, moved to Newark, Del., where she substituted in the Newark school system. They moved to the Oxford area and raised crops, cattle and sheep on their farm. The sheep supplied the wool for a business of yarn production, weaving and knitting creations. Her weaving group took prizes in the Sheep to Shawl contests at Pennsylvania Farm shows. She also served as tax collector for Elk Township in the early 1980s. She enjoyed boating in summer on the Chesapeake Bay. 

She is survived by her husband, Neil, with whom she shared 49 years of marriage; a sister, Sue Ann Snow of Kansas City, Kan.; and nieces Emily Snow of Kansas City and Megan (Watson) of Bonner Springs, Kan., and nephew Mark Gary of Longwood, Fla. She was preceded in death by her sister, Katherine Gary of Lancaster, Pa.

A memorial service is planned for Jan. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Flickerwood Wine Cellars in Oxford. In lieu of flowers, donations to the World Wildlife Fund would be appreciated.


Mary L. Baylis, 87, of West Grove, passed away peacefully at her home on Dec. 30 after a long illness.

She was predeceased by her husband, Robert T. Baylis, whom she married in 1951, and her beloved dog, Perky. Born in Princewick, W.Va., in 1931, she was the daughter of the late Nora Agnes Dick and the late Walter Daniel Griffith. Mary adored sewing and gardening, and was always tending to the beautiful peonies and roses that surrounded her home. She enjoyed visiting her many nieces and nephews in New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia and Illinois. Mary loved attending family reunions in West Virginia. Before retirement, she worked in the sewing room of the West Grove Hosiery Mills in West Grove, and Wanamaker’s Department Store in Wilmington, Del.

Mary is survived by her beloved niece and caretaker, Dawn “Dawnie Baby” Scanlon of Oak Ridge, N.J.; her sister, Lois Green of Baltimore, Md.; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. She was predeceased by four sisters, Eulalia, Marie, Erma and Margie; as well as one brother, Delbert.

A viewing will be held Jan. 5 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Foulk & Grieco Funeral Home (200 Rose Hill Rd., West Grove). Services will begin at 7:30 p.m. Interment will be held Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. at Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Mary’s memory to the West Grove Fire Company, PO Box 201, West Grove, PA 19390; or the Avon Grove Lion’s Club, 600
N. Baker Station Rd., West Grove, PA 19390.


George L. Mars, 76, of North East, Md., died on Dec. 30 due to complications from pneumonia in the Union Hospital of Cecil County in Elkton, Md.

Born in Perryville, Md., in 1942, he was the son of the late Charles William and Irene Mary (Collins) Mars. George spent his entire life in North East, Md. He was self-employed, operating Mars Used Auto Parts until his retirement. He had a passion for automobiles and spent most of his life working with them. George especially loved and enjoyed his family and pets.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Linda C. (King) Mars; two daughters, Sherry Mars of Elkton, Md., and Dana Carter (Daniel) of Rising Sun, Md.; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; a sister, Phyllis A. Meadows of Newark, Del.; and two brothers, John W. Mars of Lake Orchard, Mich., and Charles A. Mars of North East, Md. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Donald L. Mars, Sr., and Albert R. Mars; and sisters Janet Elaine Salmons and Shirley Mars Brown.

A funeral was held Jan. 4. Interment was in North East Methodist Cemetery. To send condolences, visit


Gary Steven Rule Jr., 41, of New London, passed away on Dec. 28 after a long battle with a heart condition. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Gary is survived by his father, Gary Rule, Sr.; mother, Ada Spencer; stepmother, Bonni Rule; half-brothers, Steven Rule and Kyle Raysor; as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. Gary attended Avon Grove High School. He loved building computers, playing the guitar, and analyzing sports statistics. He was an avid fan of local professional sports teams such as the Eagles, and also loved his many pets, including rabbits. He had a very kind heart. He will be dearly missed.

A memorial service will be held at the Avondale Presbyterian Church (420 Pennsylvania Ave., Avondale) on Jan. 19. Visitation begins at 10 a.m., with a service at 11 a.m.


James Harris Hamlin (Jim), 57, of Oxford, passed immediately into the arms of his Savior on Jan. 2 at his home, after a battle with prostate cancer.

He was the husband of Suzanne Shepherd Hamlin, with whom he shared 34 years of marriage. Born in Aurora, Colo., he was the son of the late Frederick Joseph and Helen Gharrity Hamlin. Jim was employed as a senior vice president of Eagle Energy Systems in Kennett Square. He was an active member of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Oxford, where he served as Sunday school superintendent, chairman of trustees, elder, and moderator of the session. Jim also served on the Board of Bethany Christian School. He was also a member of the Kennett Square Golf and Country Club from 2005 to 2016. He had a passion for golf, loved spending time with family, traveled extensively, and enjoyed sports, reading, surf fishing and the beach.

He is survived by his wife; two children, Kathleen Gharrity Lefever (Eric) of Quarryville, and William Shepherd Hamlin (Emily) of Oxford; two grandchildren; and five siblings, Catherine Hepp of Eustis, Fla., Andrew Hamlin of Gaithersburg, Md., Robert Hamlin of Lakeland, Fla., Carol Schmitt of Reston, Va., and Mary Holden of Burke, Va.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 12 at Bethany Presbyterian Church (2483 Baltimore Pike, Oxford). Friends and family may visit at the church on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery. Donations in his memory may be made to Bethany Christian School, 1137 Shadyside Rd., Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at


Penelope Jane Simone, of Kennett Square, died on Dec. 30.

She was born in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was the identical twin of Aileen, younger sister of Catharine, and older sister of brother Alasdair and baby sister Phyllis. Educated in Edinburgh, she graduated from James Gillespie’s High School for Girls, and began her working life with the Scottish Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries. She married her childhood sweetheart, Hugh Douglas McLeod, a navigating officer with the British Merchant Navy, in 1967. Together they emigrated to South Africa in 1968, where Hugh was tragically killed in a car accident. Jane returned to her parents’ home in Northern England. She took up riding, and studied with the British Horse Society, under which she gained qualifications as an instructor. She emigrated to the United States to join her twin sister, Aileen, in 1972. In 1973, Jane met and married Louis Francis Simone of Pittsburgh. In 1979, they had a baby girl, Gwyneth Nicola, and in 1982 they had a son, David Matthew.

They moved several times within the United States as a consequence of Lou’s career, and came to Kennett Square in 2002, where Jane was director of development at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, a position she took up in the fall of 1999. She retired in early 2015.

Jane was a fine horsewoman, a talented writer and a great cook. She was an avid lover of classical music, though her tastes were electric. She loved to travel, she studied and understood history and was adamant that education should be the lifeblood of all. She was an acute observer of humankind, a friend to all she met and knew, and she inspired those around her to strive to do their best.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 45 years, Lou; her daughter Gwyneth and her husband John Hawn; her son Dave; her twin sister Aileen Elliott; sisters Catharine Castree and Phyllis Carruthers; and her only brother, Alasdair Allan.

In her memory, donations may be made in her name to St. Joseph’s Indian School, P.O. Box 326, Chamberlain, SD 57326. Jane supported this Lakota Sioux charity. Her service will be held privately.

To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Jorge Gomez Mercado, 37, of Avondale, passed away on Dec. 30 at his residence.

Born in Tepehuajes, Almoloya de Alquisiras, Mexico, he was the son of Ma Felix Mercado Flores of Mexico and the late Rogelio Gomez Mercado. Jorge was a self-employed painter. He was a member of St. Rocco Catholic Church in Avondale. He enjoyed collecting model cars, and being with his family and friends.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by three sisters, Maria Gomez Mercado, Cenorina Gomez Mercado, and Belen Gomez Mercado, all in Mexico. A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at St. Rocco Catholic Church (313 Sunny Dell Rd., Avondale). His funeral mass will follow at 7 p.m. Burial will be in Mexico. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Artemio Zavala Avalos, 55, of Wilmington, Del., passed away on Jan. 1.

He was the husband of Maribel Zavala of Mexico. Born in Rancho Las Penas, Moroleon, GTO, Mexico, he was the son of the late J. Edwiges Zavala and the late Valeria Avalos. He was a mushroom worker at Pietro Industries in Kennett Square. Artemio was a member of St. Rocco Catholic Church.

He enjoyed watching sports of TV, and being with his family and friends.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two son, Luis Angel Zavala and Juan Carlos Zavala, both in Mexico; two brothers; and three sisters.

A visitation will be held from 5 to t p.m. Jan. 11 at St. Rocco Catholic Church (313 Sunny Dell Rd., Avondale). His funeral mass will follow at 7 p.m. Burial will be in Mexico. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Gilbert W. Holton, 97, a lifetime resident of Landenberg, passed away on Jan. 7 at his residence.

Gilbert shared 60 wonderful years of marriage with his wife, Doris Crossan Holton, who passed away in 2011. Born in Landenberg, he was the son of the late George F. Holton and the late Laura Sealy Holton. He was a lifetime member of Landenberg United Methodist Church. Gilbert was the tax collector for London Britain township for 24 years, and had served as the secretary of the Landenberg Building Association. He was the office manager at Richard M. Crossan for 28 years, retiring in 1986. Gilbert served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He is survived by three sons, G. Allen Holton of Staunton, Va., Donald G. Holton and his wife Teresa of Landenberg, James K. Holton and his wife Joyce of Landenberg; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by two brothers, Vernal Holton and Ralph Holton; and one sister, Doris Siple.

A visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Jan. 11 at Landenberg United Methodist Church (205 Penn Green Rd., Landenberg). His funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Kemblesville United Methodist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Landenberg United Methodist Church, PO Box 36, Landenberg, PA 19350. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Donald Irving, 68, of Ocala, Fla., passed away on Dec. 28 from cancer.

A member of the USTA for 52 years, Donald was a highly successful and respected trainer and driver until 1988, and then continued as a horse breeder in Florida. He was Breeder of the Year for six consecutive years and inducted into the Florida Racing Hall of Fame in 1999.

Donald leaves behind his beloved wife, Sandy Irving; son Brandon Irving (Jenna Kolles); two grandchildren; brother-in-law Dr. Denis Rubal (Cathy); sister-in-law Cory Rubal (Scott Ovian); nieces Tina Jo Irving, Katie Ovian, Deborah Nicholls (Mark), Patricia Taneja (Raj), Maggie Beatty (Shawn),
Amanda Overton (Matt), Melissa Gould (Eli); nephew Dustin Ovian; and dear lifetime friends, Barry Speakman, John Walsh, Sam McMichael, and fellow horseman Ben Stafford. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dana and Jo Anne Irving; and brother, Daniel Irving.

At Donald’s request, there will be no service and internment will take place at a later date. Donations can be made in the memory of Donald to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be made at


Jesse Robert Tipton, 65, of Wilmington, Del., passed away in his home on Dec. 23.

Jesse was born to Adgie Tipton and Nancy Rice in West Chester. He is survived by his daughters Alicia M. Tipton of Nottingham, Jessica L. Tipton of Harrisburg, and Kristina D. Tipton-Balcazar (Sergio) of Kennett Square. In addition, he is survived by numerous grandchildren. Jesse’s children and grandchildren were the light of his life and he loved them dearly. He was predeceased by his parents, Adgie and Nancy; his eldest daughter, Angela; and several siblings.

He was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and a retired dispatcher of Tipton Trucking Co., Inc. For years he was active in the community as a coach for the Oxford Little League & American Legion baseball teams. Jesse was an avid fan of the Philadelphia Eagles & NASCAR.

A visitation will be held at the Masonic Lodge (246 N. 3rd St., Oxford) on Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be no interment, as Jesse’s body was donated to Anatomy Gifts Registry. Upon receipt of his remains, Jesse will be laid to rest in the Delaware Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery.

He will be greatly missed, but he has been reunited with his eldest daughter, Angela, who he  missed immensely.

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