Obituaries for the week of Nov. 4
● By J. Chambless
MICHAEL W. OKONSKI
Michael William Okonski, 87, of Aston, passed away on Oct. 25 at his daughter’s home in Oxford.
He was the husband of Janet Ann Allen Okonski, with whom he shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Chester, he was the son of the late Michael and Catherine Kish Okonski. Michael graduated from Chester High School Class of 1950. He was a veteran and engineer of the U.S. Army, and served in the Korean War. He was employed as a boilermaker with Sun Oil Company, retiring in 1995. He was a member of the Sapphire Club of the Sun Oil Company. He was an avid fisherman and made his own fishing lures. He enjoyed fly fishing, woodworking and the outdoors. He enjoyed watching baseball and football, and was an avid Phillies and Eagles fan.
He is survived by his wife; one daughter, Michele Fleming (Rick) of Oxford; one granddaughter; one sister, Anne Steciw of Chester; a special nephew, Robert Allen and family of Aston.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 15120, Chicago, IL 60693; or the American Lung Association National Direct Response Headquarters, 1200 Hosford Street, Suite 101, Hudson, WI 54016-9316. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Christopher “Butch” Iacono, 72, of Kennett Square, died on Oct. 28 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.
He was the devoted husband of Joan Iacono, with whom he shared 50 years of marriage. Born in 1947 in Chester, he was the son of the late Christopher Iacono and the late Dora (Liberatore) Iacono. Christopher graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Widener University. He went on to attend Widener to earn his master’s degree in business administration. This led to his lifelong career in marketing, where he was a vice-president of marketing at Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.
He was a parishioner of St. Patrick’s Church in Kennett Square for many years. He was a man of great faith, which helped him through a long and difficult illness. He was the life of the party and knew how to have a good time. He loved telling stories, sometimes true and oftentimes embellished. Christopher loved all things Philadelphia sports. His biggest passion was undoubtedly his family. He loved Sunday dinners with all of his kids and grandkids. In his later years, he particularly enjoyed sitting on his back deck, watching all of the grandchildren swim. He loved spending time on the beach with his family and friends, baking in the sun, crabbing with the grandkids, and making his signature steamed crabs. He was the Crab King.
Christopher is survived by his loving wife, Joan; his daughter, Melissa Arthur and her husband Jim; his son Craig Iacono; his son Marc Iacono and his partner Casey; as well as eight grandchildren.
A funeral was held Nov. 4. Interment was at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Christopher’s memory to The Amyloidosis Foundation, 7151 N Main St., Ste. 2, Clarkston, MI 48346 (www.amyloidosis.org). To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.kuzoandfoulkfh.com.
Dorothy “Dot” Michener, 88, passed away on Oct. 27 at the Inn at Freedom Village's skilled nursing in West Brandywine.
Dot was born in 1931 in New York City. She was the daughter of Harold Weiner and Catherine Peterson Weiner. In1949, she graduated from Lakewood High School in Lakewood, N.J. In 1950, she married Edward Frankman. The couple had three children. In 1975, Dot married Milton Michener, who died in 2010. After graduating from Monmouth College, she went on to earn an advanced degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. Her professional career included serving as a director of a pilot Head Start program as well as being the educational director with private schools in four states. Dot also served as assistant superintendent at the North Bellmore, N.Y., school system. Her love for writing lead to another career as the author of numerous classroom guides for teachers. She also wrote curriculum for the American Lung Association.
Dot shared her passion for life with all whom she met. Whether she was shepherding children and eventually grandchildren through New York City's Museum of Modern Art or watching a sunset with them at the beach, she he passed along her love of life. Dot continued to thrive during retirement and worked each day to be a blessing to someone.
She is survived by two daughters, Linda Reddinger and her husband Lee of Schaefferstown, Pa., and Kathy Hanks of Lawrence, Kan.; a son, Keith Frankman and wife Melissa Martin of Cochranville, Pa.; stepchildren Dan and Sue Michener of Patterson, N.Y., and Dean Michener of Morrisville N.C.; ten grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren.
Services and burial will be held privately. To view Dot's online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit www.kuzoandfoulkfh.com.
DOROTHY MAE BOOHAR
Dorothy Mae “Peggy” Boohar (McMichael), 77, of Nottingham, passed away on Oct. 29 at home, surrounded by her loving family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Charles Boohar, with whom she shared 48 years of marriage. Born in West Grove, she was the daughter of the late Lester (Buck) and Dorothy Golden McMichael of Oxford. In her earlier years, Peggy enjoyed fishing and hunting. She also enjoyed making homemade jelly and canning and talking to everyone she met.
She is survived by her two daughters, Frances Cyr (Raymond) of Wilmington, Del., and Debbie Miller of Nottingham; one son, Walter L. Boohar of Nottingham, with whom she resided; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; three sisters, Janet Tice of Nottingham, Vicki Stoker of Newark, Del., and Christine Harper of Oxford; one brother, Lester David McMichael of Newark, Del.; one half-brother, Allen Thompson of Lincoln University; stepmother, Linda Wallace of Oxford; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister, Rebecca Taylor.
Services were private. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Brandywine River Valley Home Health and Hospice, 121 Bell Tower Ln, Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
WALTER S. SOLIWODA
Walter S. Soliwoda, 97, of West Grove, went home to be with his Lord on Oct. 30 at Ware Presbyterian Village.
He was the husband of Helen Galloway Soliwoda, who passed away in 2015, and with whom he shared 72 years of marriage. Born in Williamsburg, Mass., he was the son of the late John Soliwoda and the late Rose Dombkowski Soliwoda. Walt graduated from Haaren High School in New York in 1940 and immediately joined the military. He served in the United States Army as 1st Lieutenant from 1940 through 1945. He was a World War II veteran. During that time Walt served in The European Theater under General George Patton’s 3rd Army, serving in England, Belgium, France and Germany. After serving in the military he graduated from the West Chester State Teachers College (now West Chester University) on a GI bill and received a master’s degree from the University of Delaware. He was a high-school teacher in the Kennett Consolidated School District for 30 years, retiring in 1979. After his retirement he worked at the Chester County Court House, Clerk of Courts Office, and was secretary for London Grove Township for many years.
He was a devoted member of the West Grove Presbyterian Church, joining in 1947 and being active for 72 years. He was ordained as an Elder in 1954 and served as a Deacon from 1952 to 1954. He loved traveling with his wife and was able to visit places near and far.
He is survived by two sons, Wesley Soliwoda and his wife Evelyn of West Grove, and Gary Soliwoda and his wife Andrea of West Grove; one daughter, Elaine Rhodewalt of Sandy, Utah; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Walt was predeceased by three sisters and seven brothers.
A visitation will be held Nov. 23 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the West Grove Presbyterian Church (139 W. Evergreen St., West Grove). A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. He will be laid to rest privately, beside his wife at the Faggs Manor Presbyterian Cemetery in Cochranville. Contributions in his memory may be made to the West Grove Presbyterian Church or City Gate Mission, 17 N. 7th Ave, Coatesville, PA 19320. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit www.kuzoandfoulkfh.com.
HAROLD W. CROSSAN
Harold Wilken “Skip” Crossan, 92, of Newark, Del., died on Nov. 1.
Skip was born in 1927 in West Grove, a son of Thomas Roland Crossan, Sr., and Emma Margaret Burns. His paternal grandparents were Thomas Wilken Crossan and Drusilla Strickland; his maternal grandparents were Benjamin Burns, Sr., and Eliza Jane Kelley. Skip was raised near Kemblesville, where he lived and farmed with his father until his death in 1978. They owned and operated a farm on the Pennsylvania/Maryland state line on Lewisville-Strickersville Road, which today is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Fair Hill (MD) Natural Resource Management Area.
Skip is survived by his wife of more than 35 years, Teresa (Crisostomo) Crossan; five nieces and one nephew. He was preceded by his parents; his sister, Mildred (Mrs. Ellis) Ayers of Rising Sun, Md.; and his brother, Thomas Roland Crossan, Jr. of Ephrata.
A celebration of Skip’s life will be held on JNov. 9 at 11 a.m. at Kemblesville United Methodist Church (1772 New London Road, Kemblesville). Family and friends may attend the visitation beginning at 10 a.m. The burial will follow at Kemblesville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made payable to “Helen F. Graham Cancer Center” and sent in care of R.T. Foard and Jones, Inc. To send an online condolence, visit www.rtfoard.com.
WILLIAM L. WILSON
William Lloyd Wilson, Sr., 89, of Avondale, passed away on Oct. 31 at Twin Pines Health Care Center in West Grove.
He was the husband of Janice Marie Greer Wilson, with whom he shared 48 years of marriage. Born in Mountain City, Tenn., he was the son of the late Alfred and Lola Belle Eggers Wilson. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Korean War. He was Baptist by faith. He was a self-employed truck driver, delivering hay and straw to the local horse farms, and was also retired from Hudson Farms in West Grove. He enjoyed taking care of his yard, working on cars and trucks, and spending time with his family and pets.
He is survived by his wife; one son, William Lloyd Miles of Arizona; one daughter, Judith Casanta (Leonard) of West Grove; four stepchildren, Jerry Ricky Price (Sue) of New London, Linda Pastorius (Bob) of West Grove, Edward Price (Sally Mull) of Rising Sun, Md., and Christine Rickabaugh (Paul) of Cochranville; 12 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; 12 step-great-grandchildren; and five siblings, Boyd Wilson of Mountain City, Tenn., Stacey Wilson of Nottingham, Nell Greer of Toughkenamon, Curtis Wilson of Quarryville and Gordon Wilson of London Grove. He was preceded in death by one daughter, Penny Wilson Brown; one grandson, Eric Price; one great-granddaughter, Aria Sydenstricker; and one brother, Tom Wilson.
A funeral was held Nov. 5. Interment was in New London Presbyterian Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Elsmere Veterans Administration Hospital, 1601 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19805. Online condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.