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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of April 8

04/09/2019 11:03AM ● By J. Chambless


William A. Finnen, Jr., 89, of West Grove, passed away on April 7 at Penn Medicine Hospice, West Chester.

He was the husband of Jane Abernethy Finnen, who passed away on Feb. 7, 2019, and with whom he shared 65 years of marriage. Born in Union , N.J., he was the son of the late William A. Finnen and the late Lillian Steigerwald Finnen of Landenberg. Bill served his country as a member of the U.S. Air Force, and was a  Korean War veteran. He had 34 dedicated years of service with AT&T and retired in 1987. 

He served the community of Penn Township for 55 years, as Township Secretary from 1960 to 2015 and as Township Supervisor from 1972 to 2015. Bill and his wife, Jane, provided the township with its first home in the basement of their house, where public meetings were held and the business of the township was conducted.  They were known to provide baked goods and coffee for every meeting.  

In May of 2004, Bill was recognized by the Pennsylvania State Association of Townships and entered into the Supervisor Hall of Fame for his service to community. At that time, he stated in an interview that he believed it was his job to "work with the people, listen to the people, and provide a service to the people."

During his tenure, the township grew from a farming community of 960 people to a suburban community of 5,511. During his tenure, the township built a township building, a ten-acre park, and developed into the commercial hub of southern Chester County, including a thriving business district, shopping center, hospital, YMCA, and multiple age-restricted housing developments. Even in retirement, he remained an active member at various township events, such as the annual picnic and served on the Planning Commission, Historical Commission and Friends of Penn Township. 

 Upon his retirement, the Penn Supervisors re-named the Penn Township Community Room the Finnen Community Room to honor their years of service and contribution to community

 He was a member of the Swayne, Campbell, Testa, VFW Post No. 5467 in Kennett Square, and  the Avon Grove Lions Club. He enjoyed gardening, farming and traveling, was a history lover, and was an avid fisherman and hunter. His passion was to serve others. 

He is survived by two daughters, Suzanne Sylvina and her husband Michael of West Grove, and Dianne Swenson and her husband David of West Grove; one brother, Edward Finnen of Elkton, Md.; one sister, Margaret Richardson and her husband Monte of Landenberg; six grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Bill was predeceased by one granddaughter, Stacy Sylvina Connell.

A visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. April 17 at the Penn Township Building (260 Lewis Rd., West Grove). His memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Robert Clyde “RC” Gochnauer, Sr., 87, of Summerville, S.C., husband of Elaine “Penny” Pennington Gochnauer, entered into eternal rest on March 28.

Robert was born in 1931 in Kennett Square, son of the late Clyde Simon Gochnauer and Catherine Mitten Gochnauer.  He was a retired U.S. Navy veteran, proudly serving for 20 years.   His Navy career sent him all over the world.  Retiring at the age of 38 opened new adventures and a new career.  Drawing on a lifetime love of cars, he opened his auto repair shop and sold, repaired and restored automobiles, specializing in imported and sports cars. His passion for cars led him to join the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in 1963.  He was sought out for his expertise on building racing car engines and many young men and women were mentored by him.  His need for speed, and loving consent from his wife, Penny, he started driving the race cars he built.  He raced both sedans and open wheel cars all over the Southeast, earning a National License.  When he had to give up driving, he volunteered and became an event official, serving at every level including Chief Steward.  He will always be remembered for his level-headed decisions, smiles, and those hats! RC was a lifetime member of the Sports Car Club of America and the Fleet Reserve Association.  He was a former member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Charleston, and a current member of St. Theresa the Little Flower Catholic Church, Summerville S.C.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Elaine Gochnauer “Penny” of Summerville, S.C.; daughter, Patricia G. Huffman of Summerville, S.C.; two sons, Robert C. Gochnauer, Jr. of Wilmington, N.C., and Larry F. Gochnauer (Janet M.) of Lawrenceville, Ga.; two sisters, M. Catherine Eick of Kennett Square, and Mary Anne Fazio (Lorenzo B.) of Oxford; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Mark Allen "Rusty" Gochnauer.

A funeral was held April 8. Interment was in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Care of SC, 9225 University Blvd., Ste. E2A, North Charleston, SC  29406. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit



Joseph John Roark, 91, of Kennett Square, passed away on April 1 at his residence, surrounded by his loving wife and family.


He was the husband of Caroldean Eller Roark, with whom he shared 63 years of marriage. Born in Creston, N.C., he was the son of the late John Roark and the late Melvina Lewis Roark. Joe retired from General Motors in Wilmington, Del., in 1981, after 31 years of service. He was a member of the Hamorton United Methodist Church in Hamorton,  the VFW Post No. 5467, American Legion Post No. 491, and  Lodge No. 475 F.& A.M. Joe enjoyed watching the local sports teams on TV and being with his family and friends. He enjoyed nothing more than being outdoors and caring for his five-acre property. Gardening, landscaping, and cutting his own wood for the fireplace was his passion will into his 80’s. Joe was known by his nieces and nephews as “Superman." He could and would do anything for anyone. In addition to his wife, he is survived by one sister, Georgia Perry of West Jefferson, N.C.; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three  sisters, Geneva Roark, Virginia Watson, and  Mary Elizabeth Price; and three brothers, Ralph Roark,  Kyle Roark and Bruce B. Roark.

A funeral was held April 5. Burial was in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Hamorton United Methodist Church; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 5467; Parkinson’s Research; or a charity of your choice. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit



Dewey J. Bolen, Jr., 84, of Nottingham, passed away on March 30 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was the husband of Shirley D. Broomell Bolen, with whom he shared 62 years of marriage. Born in Elkton, Md., he was the son of the late Dewey J. Bolen, Sr., and Alice E. Jones Rentfrow. Dewey was employed with NVF Company in Kennett Square for 45 years. After retiring, he was employed with D’Ambrosio Chevrolet in Oxford. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 2666, Oxford. He enjoyed sports, NASCAR and wrestling. Dewey especially enjoyed attending all his grandchildren’s events.

He is survived by his wife; one son, Ernest J. Bolen (Marcia) of Nottingham; two daughters, Judith A. England (Charles) of Oxford, and Jodine A. Kinney (Dean) of Nottingham; seven grandchildren; one step-grandson, Nick Sharpe; and one great-granddaughter, McKayla Bolen. He was preceded in death by two brothers, James H. Bolen and Robert L. Bolen.

A funeral was held April 4. Interment was at Brick Friends Meeting Cemetery in Rising Sun, Md. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Brandywine River Valley Hospice, 121 Bell Tower Lane, Oxford, PA 19363. Visit



Patricia S. Undercuffler, 81, of Oxford, died on April 1 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

Pat was born in 1937 in Syracuse, N.Y., and reared in Waynesboro, Pa. She graduated in June 1958 from Bryn Mawr School of Nursing. Pat married Bob Undercuffler, a Presbyterian seminarian, in 1960 and together they embarked on a journey that effectively blended their skills, passions and faith. In nine widely divergent communities from Buckhorn, in eastern Kentucky, to Wilmington, Del., Pat discovered ways to nourish friendships and to compassionately serve.  Pat worked for the improvement of health in the communities in which she lived and worked, and she was committed to collaboration and lifelong learning. For 16 years she was nurse and child advocate with Buckhorn Children & Family Services on their campuses in Kentucky and Ohio. For five years, Pat was nurse/health educator for Delaware Adolescent Program, a state-wide program for pregnant teens. She embodied Girl Scout principles and thrived as she helped Scouts learn and practice all the skills of the health and safety badges. She was a member of the Bach Society in Louisville and a founding member of the Arlington Civic Chorus in Texas. As violinist she was a member of the Pennsylvania All State Orchestra. She played the piano in the neighborhoods of Ware Presbyterian Village Health Center in Oxford.   

Pat was the mother of four children, Beth, Phil and Karen. She was preceded in death by her first born, Robbie. Her family includes five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Pat’s life will be celebrated on April 20 at 11:30 a.m. with visiting, lunch and the service beginning at 1 p.m. in the Auditorium of Vista Ridge Pavilion, Ware Presbyterian Village. Gifts in memory of Pat Undercuffler may be made to Buckhorn Children & Family Services, 116 Buckhorn Lane, Buckhorn, KY 41721; or Hanover Presbyterian Church, 1801 N. Jefferson St., Wilmington, DE  19802. Online condolences may be made at



Charles Evan Law, 78, of West Grove, passed away on April 6 at his residence.

Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late George Law, Sr., and the late Catherine Russ. Charles worked for Kennett Crouse for 30 years, retiring in 1991. He enjoyed watching nature, and being with his family and friends.

Charles is survived by one brother, George Law, Jr., and his wife Janet of Shillington, Pa.; one sister, Mary Law Green and her husband James of Berryville, Va.; three nieces; and two nephews.

A visitation will be held from noon to 1 p.m. April 10 at the Foulk Funeral Home of West Grove (200 Rose Hill Rd., West Grove). His funeral will follow at 1 p.m. Burial will be in St. John’s Cemetery, Lewisville, Pa. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit



Carol Jean Yarnall, 88, passed away on April 6 at Garden Spot Village in New Holland, Pa.


She was the wife of the late Hoopes Thatcher Yarnall, with whom she shared 58 years of marriage. Born in Landenberg, she was the daughter of the late John Robert and Ethel Maie Reeves Edwards. Jean graduated from Delaware School of Beauty Culture in Wilmington, Del., in 1950. Jean and her late husband, Hoopes, had worked side by side, operating the family dairy farm in Russellville for over 50 years. She was an active member of the Chester County Farm Women Society, where she held various offices. She was a lifetime member of Russellville Grange No. 91 and the Cochranville United Methodist Church. Jean had a lifelong passion for cooking, and loved to share that passion with family and friends. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren.

She is survived by two sons, William H. Yarnall and Dean M. Yarnall, both of Oxford; two daughters, Patricia J. Patton of Oxford, and Nancy L. Gray and husband Alan of Christiana; three grandchildren; and one sister, Sue Frame of Avalon, N.J. She was preceded in death by five brothers, Rufus Van, Dean, Milton, Donald and William Edwards; and four sisters, Pauline Wade, Marian Leonard, Dorothy Eppehimer and Barbara Kauffman.

A funeral will be held April 11 at 11 a.m. at Cochranville United Methodist Church (92 Church St., Cochranville), where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Cochranville United Methodist Church, 92 Church St., Cochranville, PA 19330; or Hospice and Community Care, 4075 Old Harrisburg Pike, Mount Joy, PA 17552. Online condolences may be made at



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