Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of May 27

05/28/2019 10:27AM ● By J. Chambless


Kayla M. Brown, 28, of Holtwood, and formerly of Delaware, passed away on April 30.

Born in 1990 in Jennersville to Thomas V. Brown, Sr., husband of Rebecca of Holtwood, and Sandra (Boothe) Brown of Delaware. She was preceded in death by her son, Nathan Leppo; and her sister, Heather Brown, both of Delaware. Kayla is survived by her siblings, Timmy Brown of Holtwood, Thomas Brown Jr., Kyle Brown, both of Delaware, Brandy and Manny; her grandparents, Ruth Taylor of Pennsylvania, Harold Brown of North Carolina, and Joanna and Donald Boothe; and may aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Kayla enjoyed dyeing her hair, doing her nails, and loved to draw and color.  She lives on, for she was an organ donor and saved four lives. Kayla will be missed by so many. To send the family a condolence, visit Kayla’s memorial page,



Gerald “Jerry” E. Parsons, of West Grove, entered into God’s arms on May 22 at home, with his loving family by his side.

Born in 1930 to James and Erma Parsons, Jerry was a native son of West Grove, and a graduate of Avon Grove High School, which is also where he met the love of his life, Dorothy. They celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary this year. His other lifelong passions included being a proud member of the West Grove Presbyterian Church, as well as an AASR Scottish Rite Valley Mason of Wilmington’s 32nd Degree, belonging to the New London Lodge No. 545. Jerry spent 20 years in military service, nine with the U.S. Navy, and 11 with the U.S. Air Force. In civilian life, he drove charter buses for Readers & Greggs, later switching from private to public transportation and school buses. Once he parked his last bus, he found yet another job working in the security department for Longwood Gardens. After finally retiring, Jerry continued his service to the community by joining a band of volunteers at Jennersville Hospital.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; two daughters, Denise Parsons of West Grove, and Dianne Mehn of Leesburg, Fla., and son-in-law Karl Mehn, also of Leesburg, Fla. He’s also survived by his loving granddaughter, Michelle Valdez and her husband Chris; a grandson; and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his little brother, Floyd Parsons of Avondale; and three nieces. He was predeceased by his sister-in-law, Elizabeth “Loukie” Parsons.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. May 29 at West Grove Presbyterian Church (139 W. Evergreen St., West Grove), where friends and family may visit from 9 to 10:45 a.m. A Masonic service will be held at 10:45 a.m. Interment with full military honors will be in New London Presbyterian Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to West Grove Presbyterian Church or Brandywine River Valley Hospice (121 Bell Tower Lane, Oxford, PA 19363). Visit



Joy U. Garber 93, of Oxford, passed away on May 17 at home.

She was the wife of the late Richard I. Garber. Born in Williamsport, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Ellis and Laura Greene Updegraff. Joy received her degree as a Registered Nurse from Episcopal Hospital, Philadelphia in 1947. She was in the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps during World War II. She was a member of the Oxford Senior Center. She attended Bethany Presbyterian Church in Oxford. Joy loved playing the piano, knitting, swimming, gardening and reading cowboy stories. She had such a contagious laugh.

She is survived by her niece, Laura Linda Lewis, and nephew, William Lewis, with whom she lived; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a sister, Margaret Jane McMaster; and a brother, Pete Updegraff.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. June 1 at Bethany Presbyterian Church (2483 Baltimore Pike, Oxford). Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Neighborhood Hospice, 400 E Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380. Online condolences may be made at



Robert Burchill Stewart, 86, of Kennett Square, passed away peacefully on May 17 after nine months of fighting brain cancer.

He was an artist, outdoorsman and a proud father of four girls, but above all a gentleman with a sense of humor and dogged work ethic. Born in Sewickley, Pa., in 1932, Bob grew up with mother, Eileen Burchill and father, John Alexander Stewart and his two siblings, his older brother, John, and his younger sister, Eileen. He went to Princeton High School and met his wife, Carol Theresa Scasserra of Kingston, N.J., and afterward attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, where he learned graphic design and taught painting and drawing. Bob served in the U.S. Navy for eight years and piloted a landing craft for troops in the Korean War. Once Bob and Carol got married they moved to New York City, where he worked in various advertising agencies. When Bob and Carol started a family, they settled back in New Jersey. Bob and Carol retired to Kennett Square.

He was an avid sportsman and belonged to both Black Rock Gun Club and Nassau Gun Club. He traveled all over the world to hunt and fish.

He is survived by his wife, Carol; his daughters Karen, Celia, Alison and Emily; his 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. 

Burial was on May 25 at the Highland Cemetery in Hopewell, N.J. In lieu of flowers , a donations  in Robert Burchill Stewart’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit



Elizabeth Louise Reynolds Witman entered this world during a winter snowstorm and left it to return to God on a warm spring morning. She was born in 1922 to the late John J. and Mabel (Whiteman) Reynolds in Sylmar, Pa. At age 7, she moved with her parents to the farm near Nottingham overlooking “The Barrens” (now Nottingham County Park), where she spent the rest of her life and raised her own family.

She graduated from Oxford High School, class of 1940, and attended classes at West Chester Teachers College until her father died and it became necessary for her to support her mother and sister. Louise worked in the office of Conard-Pyle in West Grove until her marriage in 1944 to Horace W. Witman. Later, when her children were in school, she returned to work as a clerk for the U.S. Postal Service, Nottingham branch, retiring in 1992.

She became a member of Nottingham (Greenstone) Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday school and was active in the Women’s Association. Louise was the second woman ordained as a Ruling Elder in the United Presbyterian Church by the congregation at Nottingham. For several years she volunteered as an election official in West Nottingham Township, when elections were held in Fremont Grange Hall. She loved music, playing the piano and singing. Skilled at sewing and needlework, for many years she made her young daughters matching hand-smocked dresses.

Louise is survived by one daughter, Elaine Pennell (Dale); one son, John William; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; two stepchildren; one sister, Ann R. Wilcher of Charlotte, N.C.; and an “honorary” daughter, Vildiz Onay Ediger of Ankara, Turkey, an American Field Service exchange student who lived with the Witman family for the 1963-1964 school year; and Louise’s precious cat, Molly. She was preceded in death by her husband, Horace; and daughter, Hope Ann Kirk.

A funeral was held May 28. Interment will be in Brookview Cemetery in Rising Sun, Md., alongside Horace and Hope. In lieu of flowers, donations in Louise’s memory may be made to Calvert Manor Nursing Home, 1881 Telegraph Rd., Rising Sun, MD 21911.  Online condolences may be made at


Patricia (Patty) Sheneman Weir, 64, of Kemblesville, died peacefully on May 24.

She was the beloved wife of Charles W. Weir, Jr., of Kemblesville. Born in Drexel Hill, she was the daughter of the late Dorothy and Harry Sheneman. Patty retired from PNC Bank after 44 years of service.

She is survived by her stepdaughter, Kimberly (Weir) Bright and her husband Ronald; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; mother-in-law, Evelyn Weir; two sisters, Karen Briggs and Dottieann Tjersland; one brother, George Sheneman; brother-in-law, Ronald Weir and his wife Lois; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, Harry Shenenman, Jr.; and father-in-law, Charles W. Weir, Sr.  Patty leaves behind many friends and co-workers.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 ( Visit


Gary Lance Gamache, 64, of West Grove, passed away peacefully at his home on May 27 while surrounded by his loving family, after a brave fight with brain cancer. 

Born in 1955 in Southington, Conn., he was the son of George and Myrna (Krampitz) Gamache, beloved husband of Rita (Androwick) for 30 years, and loving father to Heidi (Anthony) Raimato, Britta, and Krista Gamache. He was also a loving brother to Sheri (David) Lejeune and Lori (Michael) Maghini.

Gary attended Immanuel Lutheran School & Bristol Central High School in Bristol, Conn., where he enjoyed track and cross-county. He received his Bachelor’s degree in biology from Wake Forest University and his Master’s degree in personnel management from Troy State University. He enthusiastically served his country in the Army, earning many medals and commendations, and achieved the rank of Captain before entering the civilian workforce. Gary found his career passion in being a financial advisor, which he did for almost 30 years. His reputation for honesty and exceptional skill led him to many accolades and more importantly, lifelong friendships with clients. Gary took the time to share his talent and mentored countless people along the way. He loved spending time with his family hiking, traveling, attending concerts and watching sports. He loved making others smile and will forever be missed.

A visitation will be held May 31 from 10 to 10:45 a.m., followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. at Assumption BVM Church (300 State Rd., West Grove). Interment will be in St. Patrick’s Church Cemetery in Kennett Square. Visit



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