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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Jan. 28

01/29/2019 08:31AM ● By J. Chambless


Gary William Chaillou, 67, left this Earth, surrounded by loved ones, on Jan. 19 in his home in Landenberg.

He was born in 1951 in Baltimore City, Md., and was raised in Baltimore and Ellicott City, Md., by the late Wallace and Ethel Chaillou. He graduated from Glenelg High School in 1969. Gary shared 15 years of marriage to Margaret (Meg) Hereth and their blended family of five children -- Gary’s daughter, Danielle, and his four stepsons, Jamie, Nick, Alex and Cody. “Grumpa” Gary was especially proud of his grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Wallace; sister Janis; and his extended family, friends and neighbors in Quail Hill, Pa.

Gary will be remembered as a hardworking and devoted man. He was always happiest serving others. He served in the U.S. Marines, as a Daytona Beach Police officer, and U.S. postal worker. He moved to Pennsylvania when he married Meg in 2003, where he worked at University of Delaware as a research assistant in the Poultry Division at the School of Agriculture until 2010. Gary finished working as a security officer for G4S in Wilmington, Del. His hobbies were shooting, gardening, riding his motorcycle, reading, and having long conversations about anything and everything. Gary was a skilled handyman and was often called on for help, which he willingly gave. Gary loved all animals, especially his dog Pace, his chickens and his tarantula, “The Bug.” Most of all, people will never forget his love and devotion to Meg, family and friends. Gary fought a two-year battle with cancer and is finally at peace.

Gary’s Celebration of Life will be held at The Farmhouse (514 McCue Rd., Loch Nairn Golf Club, Avondale) on Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Dr. John L. Cooper died peacefully in his Lincoln University home on Jan. 21.

He leaves behind his wife of 29 years, Hiroko Takahashi Cooper. He is also survived by his daughters Sarah Foley (Rich) and Charity Pitcher-Cooper; son David Cooper (Cara); their mother, Susan Pitcher; and three grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Roberta Fox (Michael); and a brother, Don Cooper (Lindsey Burroughs); and was preceded in death by his parents, John E. and Marion Orr Cooper.

John, born in 1941, grew up in Pittston and Bethlehem, Pa. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1965 and received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Yale University in 1970. After graduation, Dr. Cooper was hired as chemist for the DuPont Company in Wilmington, and worked there until his retirement in 2001. He worked on many novel materials while at DuPont, including Kevlar and Tyvek, and holds several patents. He also worked for the joint venture Toray-DuPont and spent several years living and working in Japan.

He was an independent thinker and lifelong learner with many interests, including the history of the steam locomotive, photography, Jomon pottery, agricultural practices, art, family genealogy and the sciences. John was active in his community through the Jaycees and was a founding member of the Avon Grove Recreation Association, which provided sports and other opportunities to the youth of Avon Grove. He was committed to his family, loyal to his friends and provided unwavering support and opportunity for those he loved. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

A memorial gathering was held Jan. 28. In lieu of flowers, gifts to the Hickory Hill District Amish Poor Fund (c/o BB&T Bank) to support the local Amish community, are thankfully accepted. Online condolences may be made at


Delores June Baeckel, 85, of Oxford, passed away on Jan. 8 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

Known by family and friends as June, she was the wife of the late Arthur “Bud” A. Baeckel, Sr. Born on New Year’s Eve, 1933 in Baltimore, Md., she was the daughter of the late George E. and Edna Viola Williams Albrecht.

June is survived by her children, Charlotte B. Johnson and her husband Robert of Oxford, Robert S. Baeckel and his wife Carmen of Oxford, and Anna M. Groff and her husband Michael of Millersville; one granddaughter; and two great-grandchildren who reside in Florida. She was predeceased by a son, Arthur A. Baeckel, Jr., who passed away in July 2009. She enjoyed close and supportive relationships with each of her children’s spouses.

Bud and June shared almost 60 years of marriage before his passing in 2012. They built their home in 1956 on Scroggy Road in Oxford, where they raised four children and lived most of their lives. The family had many pets over the years and June loved them all. She was especially close to her constant companion, Colleen, a King Charles Cavalier. June also enjoyed the beauty of nature in her home in Oxford, and later in Millersville, and was especially fond of hummingbirds.

She was the youngest of seven children. After marrying Bud and moving to Oxford, June soon came to enjoy the beautiful rural setting. She and Bud took up archery and it quickly became her passion. Her skill as a Ladies Bare Bow Amateur Archer led her to win three Pennsylvania State Archery Championships as well as placing in numerous national tournaments and qualifying for the World Archery Championships.

Services will be at the convenience of the family. Online condolences may be made at


Michael (Mike) Aaron Harpe, Sr., of Newark, Del., formerly of West Grove, died on Jan. 22 in Newark, Del. He was 57 years old.

Mike graduated from Avon Grove High School in 1979. He worked as a chemical operator for Formosa Plastics Corporation in Delaware City for 35 years. He enjoyed fishing and attending music concerts, with his favorites being Van Halen, Metallica and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Mike was a loving father and grandfather and spent his life being a provider.

He is survived by his daughter, Christine Michael (Joshua); his son, Michael Harpe, Jr. (Dawn); his son, Brandon Harpe (Tina); several grandchildren; his parents, William and Annie Harpe; as well as his brother, Daniel Harpe. He is preceded in death by his brother, William Harpe, Jr.

Interment will be private. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Francine L. Shipley, 91, of Oxford, formerly of Shawville, Pa., passed away on Jan. 20 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

She was the wife of the late Walter L. Shipley. Born in Shawville, she was the daughter of the late Walter H. and Frances Billotte Kyler. She was formerly employed with Riverside Markets in Clearfield, Pa. Francine was a member of the Shawville United Methodist Church. She enjoyed taking care of her family and volunteered at the election polls in Clearfield County.

She is survived by her two daughters, Linda S. Gouge of Oxford, and Doris E. Hessong of Shawville; seven grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a son, Gerald Thomas, in 1987.

A funeral was held Jan. 26. Interment was in Crown Crest Memorial Park in Clearfield, Pa. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Shawville United Methodist Church, PO Box 162 Shawville, PA 16873. Online condolences may be made at


Helen E. Olivieri, 90, of West Grove, passed away on Jan. 20 at her residence.

Born in Landenberg in 1928, she was the daughter of the late William Rigler and the late Lydia Crossan Rigler. She was one of eight children -- William (Tucker), Laura (Perk), Mary (Pip), Audrel (Audey), Lydia, Earl, and Margaret (Magee). Helen was very proud to be a member of the Rigler family and of her Landenberg roots.

She is survived by her sister, Margaret; her two sons, Francis G. Olivieri and his wife Lorelei, and Thomas J. Olivieri and his wife Karen; and one grandchild.

A graveside service was held on Jan. 28 at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Meals on Wheels, 404 Willowbrook Lane, West Chester, PA 19382. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Randall M. Willis, Jr., infant, born on Jan.16, 2019, passed away at Chester County Hospital on Jan. 17, 2019.

Born in West Chester, he was the son of Randall M., Sr., and KaSaundra Crossan Willis of Oxford. Randall and KaSaundra would like the world to know that their son was a fighter. He had his mom’s nose and his dad’s chin. He was born with a full head of hair and he opened his beautiful eyes many times for his parents. He is their most favorite thing.

Randall is survived by his parents; paternal grandparents, Randall and Mary Willis; maternal grandparents, Donna and Joe Massey; uncle Eric and aunt Jen Edwards; aunt Vicki and uncle John; cousins, Madelyn and Mason Edwards; cousin Kylee; and Team Werkheiser, as well as many other family members and friends.

Services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Adoptions From the Heart, 1525 Oregon Pike, Suite 402, Lancaster, PA 17601. Online condolences may be made at


James L. McLimans, 84 of Kennett Square, passed away into heaven on Jan 10 at home following a lengthy illness.

He was married 49 years to Zora “Scottie” McLimans. He was the son of the late Solomon Pusey McLimans and the late Florence Myers McLimans. Born and raised in West Grove, he attended Avon Grove High School.

James retired from A. Duie Pyle after 25 years and owned McLimans Furniture Store until 2008. He was a huge fan of NASCAR, having held Dover Downs tickets for decades. Baseball and the Phillies were a favorite until the very end. Watching his grandson, Hunter, play baseball for many years was a huge joy for Jim. Jim was an honest, humble, hardworking man with a dry wit that would put a smile on anyone’s face.

In addition to his wife, Scottie, he is survived by two sons, Scott of Kennett Square, and Michael of Wilmington, Del.; a grandson; a brother, William McLimans, Sr., and his wife, Reba; as well as three nieces, Melissa, Debbie and Kim; and four nephews, John Jr., William Jr., James and Scott. James was predeceased by his brother, Robert McLimans; brother, John McLimans, Sr.; and sister, Mary Moore.

A service was held Jan. 14. Interment was at New London Presbyterian Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in James’ memory be mailed to KAU Little League, 873 E. Baltimore Pike, PMB 472, Kennett Square, PA 19348; or to the American Cancer Society, POB 42040, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.


Wade Hampton Barker, Jr., 88, of Kennett Square, passed away on Jan. 24 at his home.

He was the husband of Joanne Parsons Barker, who passed away in 2016, and with whom he shared 64 years of marriage. Born in Yorklyn, he was the son of late Wade H. Barker Sr. and the late Mary Jones Barker. He was the assistant business administrator at Longwood Gardens, retiring in 1989 after 35 years of service. He was a member of the Hamorton United Methodist Church. He enjoyed going on yearly family trips to the beach, spending time with family, and participating in and watching sports on television.

He is survived by one son, David S. Barker of Kennett Square; one daughter, Dianne B. Bramble of West Grove; two grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters. In addition to his parents and wife, he was predeceased by his siblings W. Russell Barker, J. Richard Barker, Maxine Brown, Dorothy Alfree, and Evone Durborow.

A visitation will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Hamorton United Methodist Church (1052B East Baltimore Pike, Route 1, Hamorton, Pa.). His memorial service will follow at 2:30 p.m. Burial will be private. In memory of Wade, a contribution may be made to the Hamorton United Methodist Church at the above address or to the American Kidney Fund ( To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Frank Zagorskie, 77, of Avondale, passed away on Jan. 25.

He was the husband of Maureen Formanowski Zagorskie, with whom he shared 55 years of marriage. Born in Hazleton, Pa., he was the son of the late Louise Marsit Zagorskie and the late Charles Zagorskie. A 1961 graduate of Hazleton High School, he excelled as a three-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball and baseball. Career highlights included being on Pennsylvania's Big 33 football team in high school and being invited to try out with the Detroit Tigers. After graduating from the Pennsylvania Police Academy, Frank was an officer in Avondale, Kennett Square and New Garden Township. He served on the board of supervisors for New Garden Township while working as road master for the township, retiring in 2004.

Frank enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, boating, fishing, hunting and golfing. A longtime member of the Italian American Citizen’s League in Kennett Square, and FOP of Chester County, he will be missed by many.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his loving daughters, Cindy Zagorskie and Lisa DelSignore (husband Frank); five grandchildren; and one great-grandson. He is also survived by his brother, Charlie Zagorskie (wife Dolores); nieces, nephews and countless friends.

A visitation will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 1 at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church (8910 Gap Newport Pike, Route 41, Avondale). His funeral mass will follow at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to the following: Avondale Fire Company, 23 Firehouse Way, Avondale, PA 19311; or The Chester County FOP , 218 N. Church St.,West Chester, PA 19380; or All Mutts Matter, P.O. Box 13041, Wilmington, DE 19850. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Deborah C. Masters, 83, of Oxford, passed away in her sleep on Jan. 26, at home with her husband and three sons at her bedside.

She was the wife of Ronald E. Masters, with whom she shared 60 years of marriage. Deborah was born in Melrose, Mass., the daughter of the late Phillip and Elizabeth Baker Chamberlain. She graduated from Pittsfield High School in Massachusetts. She took her nurses training at West Suburban Hospital and attended Wheaton College in Illinois. She earned her Ph.D. at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. She was director of counseling at Dominican University, and was on the faculty of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. She was a member of the American Psychological Association, and she was a member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed traveling, and especially loved teaching, and mentoring students in psychology.

She is survived by her husband, Ronald; three sons, Bradley (Melinda) Masters of Sunrise, Fla., Gregory (Renee) Masters of Kennett Square, and Eric Masters of Chicago, Ill.; six grandchildren; four brothers, Phillip Chamberlain of Arizona, Jason Chamberlain of Hilton Head, S.C., Nathan Chamberlain of Florida, and Charles Chamberlain of New Orleans, La.; and two sisters, Anna Jones and Lois Jones, both of Weston, Mass.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Oxford Presbyterian Church (6 Pine St., Oxford).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church in Deborah’s name. Online condolences may be made at

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