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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Sept. 9

09/09/2019 02:28PM ● By J. Chambless


Paul Marvin Johnson, 90, of Oxford, passed away on Sept. 2 at Jennersville Hospital Tower Health in West Grove.

He was the husband of the late Colleen Charlton Johnson, and first wife, the late Mabel Marie McCarty Johnson. Born in Stanley, N.D., he was the son of the late Peter and Matilda Johnson. He served in the United States Coast Guard from 1948 to 1951 in Cape May, N.J. Paul was a member of Oxford Church of the Nazarene. He was the youngest of eight children. Paul moved from the Dakota Prairie in 1937 to the mountains in Northern Idaho. In 1950, he met Marie and together gave their hearts to the Lord. They were married for 23 years and had a wonderful life together raising four boys before going home to be with the Lord. Later, Paul was introduced to another of God’s jewels, Colleen. 

He is survived by four sons, Carl Johnson (Katie) of Rio Grande, N.J., Alvin Johnson (Jane) of Oxford, Paul Jonson (MaryRuth) of Oxford, and Mark Johnson of Nottingham; 12 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; two stepsons, Richard Davis of Newark, Del., and Michael Davis of Oxford; and one stepdaughter, Cindy Davis.

A funeral was held Sept. 6. Interment was in Cold Spring Cemetery in Cold Spring, N.J. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Erma Holyness Association, 470 Sea Shore Rd., Cape May, NJ 08204.  Visit


Bryan Junior Eldreth, 79, of Landenberg, went to be with the Lord on Sept. 1 at Christiana Hospital, surrounded by family.

He was the husband of Joan Ann Eldreth, to whom he was devoted for 59 years of marriage. Bryan was the son of the late Lester Eldreth and the late Belle Wyatt Eldreth. He was born in Brushy Mountain, N.C. He graduated from Kennett Square High School and began his working career at Chester Trico, where he was a manager, until retiring after 20 years of service. He was a longtime employee of Pocopson Home, where he provided maintenance and security services. It was the job he loved the most. Bryan built strong bonds with both residents and staff during his tenure. He had been approaching his 40-year anniversary at Pocopson when he had to quit working in April 2019 due to illness.

A member of the Avon Grove Church of the Nazarene since 1977, Bryan was very active in church activities. He especially loved photography. His other interests included fishing, gardening, birds, and science fiction. He enjoyed spending time with his friends and family, and always greeted everyone with a warm smile.

Bryan is survived by his loving wife, Joan Ann; his two beloved daughters, Suzan Paisley (Dennis) and Cynthia Eldreth; two cherished grandchildren; and three treasured brothers, James Roger Eldreth, Millard Raymond Eldreth (Shirley), and Ronnie Lester Eldreth (Dorothy).

A funeral service was held Sept. 7. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit



Joshua Holcombe and his son, Mason Holcombe, of Rising Sun, Md., passed away on Sept. 1.

Joshua was the husband of Katie Ann Holcombe, with whom he shared nine years of marriage. Joshua was the son of the late Theodore Curtis Holcombe and Delinda Lee Holcombe of Conowingo, Md. Joshua was born in Philadelphia, and attended Rising Sun High School. Mason was born in Bel Air, Md., and was a student at Bethany Christian School in Oxford.

In addition to his wife, Joshua is survived by a son, Connor; his sister, Rhianon of North East, Md.; his brother, Justin of Rising Sun, Md.; and his paternal grandmother, Helen Holcombe of West Grove.

Funeral services will be private and interment will be in the Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Katie and Connor Holcombe Care Fund and should be mailed to the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine Street, Oxford, PA, 19363. Visit


Martin Ortiz, 52, of Kennett Square, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 5 at the Reading Hospital. 

He was the husband of Norma Ortiz, with whom he shared his life for over 32 years. Born in Pachuquilla, Estado de Mexico, he was the son of the late Margarito Ortiz and the late Brigida Castaneda. Martin was one of the most respected and self-made successful mushroom growers of Kennett Square. He was a member of St. Rocco’s Catholic Church, the American Mushroom Institute, and the Sheriff’s Association of Chester County. Martin enjoyed working and was very motivated by his family. He loved to help others and give back to his community. He was known to make people laugh by his charismatic personality and sense of humor. His smile will be greatly missed by all who loved him. 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Johnathan Ortiz of Kennett Square, and Martin A. Ortiz of Kennett Square; his little puppy, Lena; his grand dogs, Lady and Archer; four brothers, Adan Ortiz of Avondale, Juan Ortiz of West Grove, Pablo Ortiz of West Grove, and Lucas Ortiz of West Grove; four sisters, Vicenta Ortiz, Lucia Ortiz, Rita Ortiz and Guillermina Ortiz, all who reside in Mexico; brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews, godchildren, friends and employees. He was predeceased by two brothers, Adelaido Ortiz and Antonio Ortiz.

A visitation will be held Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at St. Rocco’s Church. His funeral Mass will follow at noon. Burial will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the American Heart Association, 1617 JFK Boulevard, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19103. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Larry Raymond Fitzcharles, 71, has passed away.

A former resident of Unionville, he was living in Buffalo, Wyo.  He was the son of the late Carl V. and Helen C. Fitzcharles, and is survived by his son Zachary and wife Lyndsay Fitzcharles, as well as his five siblings and spouses – Donna and Richard Thompson, Carl and Jill Fitzcharles, Duke and Rita Fitzcharles, Linda Neville (wife of the late Scott Neville), and Jeffrey Fitzcharles.

Larry started his career in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District as a teacher at Patton Middle School, and later became assistant principal. Later, he became the principal at Hillendale Elementary School. After retiring from a successful career in education, Larry and his family moved to Buffalo, Wyo., where they spent 25 years operating a ranch and serving as hunting guides. He will forever be remembered as a kind, intelligent, hardworking educator and family man.


Jason Anthony LeChette, 23, of New London, passed away unexpectedly in the early morning of Sept. 5.

He was the beloved son of Rick and Kathy LeChette, and cherished brother of Eric LeChette and his wife, Kelli. Jason was thrilled to recently become an uncle for the first time with the birth of Bryce Edward LeChette, son of Eric and Kelli, and was joyfully looking forward to being the “fun uncle” for Bryce. Jason loved hunting and fishing with his lifelong friend, Dilan, with whom he formed Fully Flocked, a goose hunting guide service. Jason loved bowling, and was thrilled to travel to Las Vegas in 2017 with his family and lifelong friend Adam to bowl in the USBC Nationals.

Jason was born on Christmas Eve 1995, and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating his birthday with the Christmas holiday. He was a 2014 graduate of Avon Grove High School and a 2015 graduate of the nursing program at TCHS in New London. His interest in nursing started with a life-threatening illness in November of 2011, when he was 15. He was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia and received a bone marrow transplant at A. I. DuPont hospital after completing a grueling series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He fought valiantly through this illness while receiving school instruction in the hospital, then later at home, due to his need to be protected from exposure to infections. He was able to return to school and was eventually hired as a nursing assistant at A.I. DuPont, where he was loved by the young patients and staff. He was hired as a corrections officer at Chester County Prison in July of 2018, and quickly became a respected and admired member of the staff. He was training to apply for a position on the prison CERT team at the time of his death. 

Jason was athletic his entire life, playing Little League baseball for Avon Grove, and later football in middle and high school, prior to his illness. He worked hard and was able to return to the football team in his senior year.

Jason was preceded in death by his grandparents and his cousin, Edward Wooding.  He is survived by his parents; brother; nephew; and many cousins, aunts and uncles.

Friends and family are invited to visit on Sept. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Edward L. Collins Funeral Home (68 Pine St., Oxford).  

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