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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Nov. 25

11/25/2019 06:12PM ● By Steven Hoffman


Charles P. Morrison, Jr., 64, of Nottingham, passed away surrounded by his family on Nov. 18 at the Pocopson Home in West Chester.

He was the son of the late Charles P., Sr., and Marian Harris Morrison. Charles was the former owner of AJ’s Arcade and Billiards in Oxford, and formerly employed with Flowers Baking Company, formerly Tasty Baking Company, in Oxford. He loved all Philadelphia sport teams, especially Phillies baseball, and enjoyed coffee, reading the newspaper and playing pool.

He is survived by two sons, Michael Morrison (Erin Melrath) of Lincoln University, and Stephen Morrison (Ann) of Honey Brook; four granddaughters; one grandson; one brother, Jeffrey Morrison (Lisa) of West Grove; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by one brother, David Morrison; and one sister, Joyce Nicewonger.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers donations in his name may be made to Willow Tree Hospice, 616 E. Cypress St., Kennett Square, PA 19348. Online condolences may be made at


James Edward Hampton, 45, of York, passed away on Nov. 16 at the York Hospital.

He was the son of the late Shyral Basom Hampton and Mitchell Hampton of Maryland. He was a construction worker and had worked for various companies. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and being with his family and friends.

In addition to his father, he is survived by two brothers, David Hampton of Landenberg, and  Michael Hampton of Leola. His service and burial were private. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Pearl Comer, 93, of Hockessin, Del., passed away on Nov. 19 at Brackenville Center.

She was the wife of Edgar H. Comer, who passed away in 2007, and with whom she shared 65 years of marriage. Born in Shouns, Tenn., she was the daughter of the late Walter Jones and the late Doncie Farmer Jones. She was a member of the Kennett Square Missionary Baptist Church. Pearl was a homemaker, and she enjoyed baking cakes, mowing grass, gardening, was a great seamstress, and also enjoyed being with her family and friends.

She is survived by two daughters, Wanda C. Barwell and her husband Larry of Nottingham, and Jane Brown and her husband Steve of Wilmington, Del.; one sister, Mary Tanner of Elkton, Md.; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by one brother and two sisters.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Dec. 2 at the Kennett Square Missionary Church (408 Bayard Rd., Kennett Square). Her funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Longwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Kennett Square Missionary Baptist Church, 408 Bayard Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Ralph H. Smith, 78, of Nottingham, passed away on Nov. 21 at home.

He was the husband of Joan Webb Smith, with whom he shared 58 years of marriage. Born in Bel Air, Md., he was the son of the late Roy and Bertha Brown Smith. Ralph resided in the Oxford and Nottingham area all of his life. He was a longtime self-employed truck driver and was recently employed with Kunkel Auto Parts, Rising Sun, Md., as a deliveryman. He was an avid sports fan and enjoyed NASCAR, Penn State University football, fishing, hunting and traveling.

He is survived by his wife; two sons, David R. Smith (Susie) of Kirkwood and Daniel R. Smith of Nottingham; one daughter, Karen J. Smith (Philip) of Nottingham; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Juanita Coomes of Nottingham and Maxine Dixon of Nottingham. He was preceded in death by a brother, Roy Smith.

A funeral was held Nov. 26. Interment was private. Online condolences may be made at

                          JACQUELINE HARDING VAN GROFSKI

Jacqueline Harding Van Grofski passed away peacefully on Nov. 24. She was 77.

Jacqueline was preceded in death by her mother Harriet Askew and father Jack Harding.

She was a proud graduate of Kennett High School, the President of the Class of 1959, and a graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in economics. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and received the Emalea Pusey Warner Outstanding Senior Woman Award.

She also earned an MBA in Finance from Widener University.

Jacqueline was an agency principal and vice president of personal lines of Arthur Hall Insurance in West Chester for 20 years and president of Demi Block, LLC, a real estate investment company, and taught economics and finance at Penn State Brandywine Campus.

Her leadership, citizenship, and community activities included serving as president of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce and as coordinator of the West Chester Bicentennial Celebration in 1999. She was honored as the Outstanding Citizen of The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce 2000 and with the March of Dimes Chester County Women of Achievement Award. She served as chairwoman of the West Chester Business Improvement District and was also a member of Wilmington Country Club and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart, Fla.

Her passions were her grandchildren, flower gardening and arrangement, tennis, skiing, college football, quilting, and the Kennett High School Class of 1959.

She will be greatly missed for her unforgettable, uplifting, and infectious smile and laugh, her dedicated passion to be of help and service to others, and her deep Christian belief and faith. She made people feel better and gave them a sense of being. You knew she was aware of you.

Survivors include her husband Thomas Van Grofski, and her children Suzanne Humphreys (Eph), David Blake (Julie),Ted Blake (Elliot), and her special grandchildren Taylor Denham, Cody Denham, Kate Blake, Ben Blake, sister Jill McDonald (William), nephews Nathan McDonald (Kelly), and Cameron McDonald ( Elaine).

Visitation will be held Saturday, Nov. 30 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 W. State Street in Kennett Square, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. across the street at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 212 Meredith Street, in Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Penn Medicine Development, 3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Attn: Abramson Cancer Center or Penn Hospice.


                                      VERNON WAYNE RAMBERGER

Vernon Wayne Ramberger of West Grove passed away at his home on Nov. 7.  He was 79 years old.

Born in Rough and Ready, Schuykill County, Pennsylvania, Vernon was the youngest son of Raymond Ramberger and Helen Rothermel Ramberger.

He was raised and educated in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, where he attended Milton Hershey School and Hershey Junior College.  He furthered his education by earning a bachelor of science degree from Shippensburg State College and a master’s degree from Drexel University in 1970.

He retired from the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District in 1997 after 36 years of dedicated service.  During his tenure, Vernon was assigned to Unionville High School, Charles Patton Middle School, Chadds Ford Elementary School and Hillendale Elementary.  He coached wrestling at both Unionville High School and Avon Grove High School. Vernon was an active member of the Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Association.

After retirement from education and coaching, Vernon enjoyed officiating PIAA Wrestling.  He was a member of the Milton Hershey Alumni Association, the American Library Association and the National Education Association.  He was an “unofficial” member of the Boy Scouts where he volunteered and chaperoned with his sons and grandsons.  Vernon faithfully served as an active member of the West Grove United Methodist Church and their United Methodist Men Group.

 He was the beloved husband of Sara Ann Ramberger (nee Tice) for 58 years; father of Vernon "Chip" Wayne Ramberger, Jr. (Janice) and Raymond Michael Ramberger (Tammy); grandfather of Ryan (KateLyn), Nathan (Emily), Ashley, Justin and Shelby; great-grandfather of Piper Lily; brother of Dorene Story (Tom) of Victorville, CA.  In addition to his parents, Vernon was predeceased by his siblings, Lawrence, Marvin, Mark, Roy, Jean and Helen Mae.

A memorial service was held on Nov. 23 at the West Grove United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Vernon's name can be made to West Grove United Methodist Church, 300 N. Guernsey Road, West Grove or Penn Medicine Hospice, 400 East Marshall Street, West Chester.


                                         Henry Ingersoll Brown III

Henry I. (Jerry) Brown passed away peacefully with his three daughters by his side on Nov. 21. He was 81. 

Jerry was born in Philadelphia on Aug. 16, 1938. He was the son of Clementina Mackenzie Brown and Henry Ingersoll Brown, Jr, both of Philadelphia.

Jerry attended Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, until his family moved to Wilmington, Del. in 1952. He then attended Tower Hill School until ninth grade before attending the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, where he graduated in 1956. Jerry attended Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, receiving his bachelor of arts degree in 1960, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture, receiving his master’s degree in 1963.

Jerry married Caroline “Cookie” Schutt, his high school sweetheart, in 1961.  The two were soulmates. Cookie passed away in 2010.

Cookie and Jerry had three children: Clementina Brown, who lives in Kennett Square; Eliza Brown Hurlbut, who lives in Seattle, WA with her husband, Gary, and their two children, Madeleine and Griffin; and Caroline Brown Lintner, who resides in Greenville, Del. with her husband, Matt, and daughters Alexandra and Beatrice.

Jerry is survived by his two sisters, Clementina Gardner and Marian Lorenz.

He spent his entire working career as an architect at Anderson, Brown, Higley and Associates in Wilmington, serving clients in the Delaware and Pennsylvania communities.

Jerry spent almost every summer in Greensboro, Vermont, fishing and enjoying the beauty of the Northeast Kingdom. His kind nature and sense of humor will be remembered by all who knew him.

The family would like to thank his caregivers, Maribel, Latoya and Jairo, for their loving and gentle care during the past few years.

Contributions in Jerry’s memory can be made to the Buck & Doe Trust, care of Amy McKenna at 200 Frog Hollow Road, Coatesville, PA 19320.

Services in his memory will be private.  A party to celebrate his life will be held at the Foxy Loxy in Unionville on Friday, Dec. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m.

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