Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of April 15

04/16/2019 09:20AM ● By J. Chambless

WILLIAM A. FINNEN, JR.

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 www.kuzoandfoulkfh.com.

 

ROBERT W. VROOM

MARYANN G. VROOM

Robert William Vroom, 89, and wife Maryann Gloria Vroom (née Shannon), 86, of Lady Lake, Fla., formerly of Perth Amboy, N.J., and Stated Island, N.Y., together passed away on April 7 and April 6, respectively. They were happily-married for 68 years and lovingly remained together in death.

Both born in Staten Island, N.Y., Robert was the son of the late Frederick and Augusta (née Bovenizer) Vroom and brother of the late Frederick J. Vroom. Maryann was the daughter of the late John and Stella (née Miller) Shannon and sister to the late Eugene Shannon and Walter Shannon.

Together they were devoted spouses, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. They are survived by their two sons, John J. Vroom and wife Deborah of Lincoln University, and Robert F. Vroom and wife Sharon Borrelli of Belle Vernon, Pa.; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Robert was a proud veteran of the United States Navy, serving in the Korean Conflict. He was a loyal member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 in New Jersey and New York, retiring in 1993 after 65 years of dedicated service, as well as a member of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida, and the American Legion Veterans Memorial Post 347, Lady Lake, Fla.

Maryann was an avid reader and enjoyed watching old Westerns side-by-side with her husband, Robert. She was a proud homemaker and loved spending time with her family. 

A private funeral service and interment will be held at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. (86 Pine St., Oxford). Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com

 

JEANNIE M. PREECE

Jeannie M. Preece went home to be with the Lord March 29, peacefully at home with family, after a long illness.  

She was the wife of the late Jay S. Preece. Born in Chester County, she was the daughter of the late Vernon and Edna Mae Martin Mackey. She was an active member of Safe Harbor Baptist Church in Cochranville. Jeannie loved children and was a foster parent to over 205 children.

She is survived by her children, Robbin Preece of Fort Worth, Texas, Jeanna Preece of Oxford, Ashely Humphrey of Fredonia, Pa., Sean Preece of Leola, Pa., Patrick Preece of Dover, Del., Christina Smith of Elkton, Md., Autumn Stanley of Washington D.C., Adam Preece of Oxford, and Andrew Preece of Oxford.  She is also survived by 18 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many friends. She was preceded in death by her sons, Vernon and Randy Preece; and granddaughter, Danna Lunger.  

A memorial service was held April 13. Interment was private. Visit www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com

 

CLYDE C. BROWN

Clyde C. Brown, 90, of Nottingham, passed away on April 11 at Jennersville Tower Health Hospital, West Grove.

He was the husband of Jean Wallace Brown, with whom he shared 65 years of marriage.  Born in Nottingham, he was the son of the late Horace C. and Virginia Pless Brown. Clyde was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. He was employed with Aberdeen Proving Grounds and retired after 40 years of service. Clyde enjoyed gardening, woodworking and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife; three daughters, Joni Irons (Greg) of Downingtown, Sharon Kennedy (Alan) of Oxford, and Kimberly Eshelman (Andrew) of Lancaster; one son, Daniel Brown (Mary) of Oxford; ten grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one brother, Norman Brown of Nottingham; and two sisters, Shirley Montgomery of Fremont, Calif., and Helen Matyas of Berlin, Md. He was preceded in death by a brother, Delmar Brown.

A funeral was held April 16. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142; or American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123. Visit www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com

 

RUBY JEWEL TRIVETT

Ruby Jewel Trivett, 79, of Oxford, passed away peacefully in her home on April 9.

She was the wife of the late Carson Lee Trivett, with whom she shared 60 years of marriage. Born in Fanrock, W.Va., she was the daughter of the late Bernie and Ella Spurlock Frye. Ruby was a caregiver for 42 years. She loved helping others in any way possible. She was a born-again Christian who loved the Lord and lived by faith. She will be dearly missed.

She is survived by her three best friends, her daughters, Donna Kay Trivett of Oxford, Lola Jean Boyd of Nottingham and Julia Lynn Mitchem of Oxford; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one sister, Melony McGrady; one brother, Donald Frye; son-in-law, Donnie Ray Mitchem of Oxford; two grandson-in-laws, Robert Magee and Ronald Hart; and one grand-daughter in law, Heather Boyd. She was preceded in death by her father, mother, four sisters, two brothers, and one granddaughter.

A funeral was held April 15. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.

 

ANNA MARTELLI

Anna Martelli, 98, of Kennett Square, passed away on April 12 at Linden Hall.

She was the wife of Anthony J. “AJ” Martelli, who passed away in 2004, and with whom she shared 45 years of marriage. Her first husband, John David Burke, passed away in 1953. Born in Northbrook, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Delmar Shaw and the late Tressa Smith Shaw Oatman. She was a member of the Toughkenamon Presbyterian Church, and a life member of the Kennett Senior Center, where she worked in the kitchen and assisted with crafts. She enjoyed sewing, cooking, baking, traveling, and being with her family and friends. She was a homemaker. In her earlier years, she had worked at the NVF Company and Powell Mushrooms.

She is survived by one son, Peter G. Martelli, Sr., and his wife Denise of Toughkenamon; one daughter, Ruth DiBenedetto and her husband Francis of Wilmington, Del.; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by one brother, John Shaw; one sister, Ruth Eaby; one daughter, Barbara DiFilippo; and one granddaughter, Angela DiBenedetto Matt.

A visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. April 18 at the Kuzo Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square) Her funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit www.kuzoandfoulkfh.com.

 

CLAUDE J. WATSON

Claude J. “June” Watson, 91, of Kennett Square, passed away on April 12 at Penn Medicine Hospice.

He was the husband of Virginia Roark Watson, who passed away in 2013, and with whom he shared 66 years of marriage. Born in Mountain City, Tenn., he was the son of the late Claude Watson and the late Winnie Graybill Watson. Claude worked in the mushroom industry and in various paper mills in Delaware. He retired in 1986 after 18 years of service at the Curtis Paper Company in Newark, Del. He enjoyed vegetable gardening, outdoor landscaping, helping others,  and being with his family and friends.

He is survived by one son, John F. Watson and his wife Melissa of Hockessin, Del.; one daughter, Christina Watson of Smyrna, Del.; and one grandson. Claude was predeceased by one daughter, Sheila Watson Knotwell; one son, Kenneth Watson; two brothers, Jay Watson and Walt Watson; and one sister, Beatrice Taylor.

A visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on April 22 at the Kuzo Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square. His funeral service will follow at noon. Burial will be the Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. In memory of Claude, a contribution may be made to the Penn Medicine Hospice, 400 East Marshall Street, West Chester, PA 19380. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.kuzoandfoulkfh.com.

MARY GIBSON MAIR

Mary Gibson Mair, 99, formerly of Kennett Square, died on April 6 at Brookdale Spruce Wood Senior Living in Durham, N.H.

She was predeceased by Robert Dixon Mair, her husband of 57 years. Born in Tracyville, New Brunswick, Canada, she was the daughter of the late Hannah (Evans) and Stewart E. Gibson. She worked as a legal secretary in Fredericton, NB before her marriage, and as a secretary in the Unionville School District after her children grew up. She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and West Chester University.

Mary was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Kennett Square for over 50 years. She sang in the church choir and served in many volunteer positions, including as Elder and a member of the Christian Education Committee that started the church kindergarten. Mary loved music and poetry. She was a member of the Northern Delaware Oratorical Society and the Community Chorus in Kennett Square, and instilled a love of writing and reading in all her children. Concerned about a tragic drowning in the early 1960s, she worked with a group of women to develop the Southeastern Chester County Red Cross Learn-to-Swim Program and volunteered for many years as a swimming instructor in local ponds and pools.

Mary was an avid bridge player and won duplicate tournaments well into her 90s. She was a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, and with her husband hiked the Milford Track in New Zealand, the Alps in Switzerland, Austria, and France, and climbed Mt. Snowden in Wales.

Mary is survived, and sorely missed, by her four children, Marilynn, Robert (Susan), Ian, and Wendy (Tim); her nine grandchildren; and her six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her seven sisters; and is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is planned for June 8 in Kennett Square. Arrangements are by Kuzo Funeral Home, Inc. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Red Cross or Constellation Hospice, 180 Low St., Newburyport, MA 01950.

BILL CARR

Bill Carr, 83, of West Grove, passed away on April 14 at the Chester County Hospital. 

He was the husband of Ruth Jordan Carr, with whom he shared 59 years of marriage. Born in Bluff City, Tenn., he was the son of the late Paul Carr and the late Nola Cagle Carr. Bill worked in the Parts Department at Chrysler Corp in Newark, Del., retiring in 1996 after 30 years of service. He served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps. Bill enjoyed lawn mowing, and had his own lawn mowing business. He took pride in taking care of his lawn and his customers. He enjoyed being with his family and friends, and he especially adored his children and grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by one son, Michael Carr of West Grove; one daughter, Lori Blacker and her husband Steven of Landenberg; one brother, Ben Carr and his wife Michele of Landenberg; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by one sister, Mae Teel.

A visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to noon April 23 at the Kuzo Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). His memorial service will follow at noon. Burial will be private. In memory of Bill, a contribution may be made to Habitat for Humanity, 322 West Lamar Street, Americus, GA 31709-3543. To view his online tribute, and to share a memory with his family, visit www.kuzoandfoulkfh.com.

 

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline