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Chester County Press

Obituaries the week of Dec. 16

12/17/2019 02:43PM ● By Steven Hoffman


Gene Hughes, 82, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 5 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. while surrounded by his family.

Born in Poplar, NC he was the son of the late Carson and Bonnie Peterson Hughes.

He worked in housekeeping for 15 years at Pocopson Nursing Home and retired in 2012.

Gene was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend. He had a heart of gold and a smile that would light up any room.

He greeted everyone with warmth and had a genuine caring nature, and because of that he was loved by everyone who knew him.

He is survived by his six children, Vickie Mathers (Chris) of Oxford, Michael Hughes (Suzanne)of Avondale, James Hughes (Tammy), Robert Hughes, Christina Phillips all of Oxford and Tim Hughes (Carrie) of Nottingham; twenty-seven grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; one brother, Morris Hughes; and four sister, Joyce Johnson, Geneva Noblit, Doris Horton and Edna Guy.

He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara Harper Hughes of 43 years; one brother, Alfred Hughes; and one sister, Mary Tracy.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 11 at the Edward L. Collins Funeral Home, Inc. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery, Kennett Square.

Online condolences may be made at


Nancy E. Toms Gyles Patrick Dawson, 81, of Oxford, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

Nancy was the wife of Richard Dawson.
She was born in Philadelphia to Fredrick and Elizabeth Toms and adopted by Barkley and Blanche Gyles of Rising Sun, Md. Nancy was raised in the Rising Sun area.

She was a member of Rising Sun Seventh Day Adventist Church in Rising Sun.

Nancy loved to sing and was proud that she was a certified nursing assistant at Ware Presbyterian Village when it first opened as Oxford Manor.

She loved people and this world is a little dimmer with her passing. She now sleeps waiting for the Lord’s return.

She was survived by her husband; three children, Ladonna Patrick of FL, John Patrick of NC and Michael Dawson of MD; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.


A graveside service was held on Dec. 13 at Brookview Cemetery in Rising Sun, Md.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made at


Vincent E. Sgro passed away on Dec. 8 at Riddle Hospital.

He was born on Dec. 20, 1940 in Upper Darby, Pa. and was a resident of Chadds Ford, Pa. 

He is survived by his loving wife Patricia M. Sgro and son Matthew Sgro. 

A memorial service will be celebrated on Friday, Dec. 20 at 11 a.m. at Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 W. State Street, Kennett Square.


Mary E. Greer Traina, 85, of Kirkwood, passed away on Dec. 7, surrounded by her family.

Mary was born in Oxford, where she met her husband, the late, John G. Morrison.

She was a very hard working, kind, generous and compassionate person. She was a great cook and always had either a crochet hook or puzzle in progress.

She is survived by two sons, James L. Sampson and his wife, Debra (Dyer) and Carl R. Traina; one daughter, Lori M. Kelley and her husband, David of Oxford; five grandchildren; Shannon Sampson, Stacey Sampson, Jamie Sampson, Adam Kelley and Sarah Kelley.

Mary was predeceased by her husband, John G. Morrison, one son, Donald Sampson and two sisters, Virginia Dean and Carolyn Loving.

Funeral services were held on Dec. 14 at Union Presbyterian Church in Kirkwood.

Interment was in Union Cemetery in Kirkwood.

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, or at

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford. Online condolences may be made at


Grace Katherine Rasmussen, 94, of West Grove, formerly of Wilmington, Del., passed away on Dec. 10 at Jennersville Hospital, West Grove.

She was the wife of the late Robert Duane Rasmussen with whom she shared 60 years of marriage.

Born in Tsingtao, China she was the daughter of the late George C. and Liza Maher Bruce.


She was a member of the First Unitarian Church, Wilmington, Del.

Grace was employed with New Castle County Department of Public Works as an engineering draftsman retiring in 1993.

She enjoyed music, playing the piano, reading mystery stories and Egyptology.

She is survived by one son, Keith D. Rasmussen and his wife, Maria C. Rasmussen of Newark, Del.; one daughter, Liza Golter and her husband, Brian D. Golter of Avondale; five grandchildren, Samuel A. Rasmussen, Thomas S. Rasmussen, Jake A. Golter, Nicholas A. Golter and Benjamin D. Golter; two nephews, David Bruce and Glenn Bruce; and one niece, Elizabeth Hay.

She is preceded in death by one brother, George Bruce; one sister, Constance Bruce; and one niece, Constance Bruce.

Services will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford.

Online condolences may be made at


Shirley Ann (Twyford) Joseph passed away on Dec. 2 at Rosewood Gardens Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. She was 89.

Shirley was born on Oct. 3, 1930 in West Grove, and was the only daughter of Margaret Lauffer Twyford and Charles Twyford,

She grew up in the Oxford area, graduating with honors from Oxford High School in 1948. Her education after high school was at Franklin & Marshall College and the Philadelphia Club of Advertising Women.

Shirley was a born achiever and hard worker in everything she did in life, whether she was working as an editor, playing basketball, performing in theater, or participating on the debate team. She was an editor for the “Oxford News” after high school. Other work experience included advertising for the “Sunday News” in Lancaster, serving as assistant advertising manager for the New Holland Machine Co., and then working as traffic manager for an advertising agency, The Ullman Organization from 1955 to 1958. It was here where she met her husband of 57 years, Edward G. Joseph. Shirley and Ed, after marrying in 1958, moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia where Shirley remained at home to raise her two children.

Shirley’s other interests outside of work were taking on the role of president of the Lancaster, Pa. chapter of Venture, an international club for professional women, while at the same time serving as publicity director of the club’s North Atlantic Region.

Her talents included acting, singing, and drawing, and she was a member of the Octoraro Art Association. She also loved to play basketball, tennis, golf, swim, and to bowl to stay fit.

Shirley’s favorite hobby was sewing, a talent she learned from her mother. She enjoyed creating beautiful outfits in her young adulthood and had a true appreciation for fabrics and style. She enjoyed fashion and wearing the latest fashions and always dressed with quality and good taste. Flipping through “Vogue” was one of many favorite pastimes, along with doing some side modeling as needed.

It was her relentless devotion to her family where she really made the most impact. Her love for her roles as mother and wife was never-ending.

In addition to her parents, Shirley was predeceased by her husband in 2015. She is survived by her daughter, Suzanne L. Joseph Roberge, and her granddaughter Lydia S. Roberge of Portland, Me., and her son Scott G. Joseph of Broomall, Pa.   

The Joseph Family would like to direct any memorial contributions in Shirley’s name to the Oxford Veterinary Hospital, LLC, 2227 Baltimore Pike, Oxford, Pa 19363, due to her passion and love of God’s creatures and any condolences can be done online through


Elsie M. Cochran Groseclose, 95, of Oxford passed away on Dec. 11 at Jenners Pond in West Grove.

She was preceded in death by her husband, G. Ferman Groseclose, with whom she shared 57 years of marriage.

Born in Oxford on March 6, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Theodore Roosevelt Cochran and Essie Sumner Cochran.

A graduate of Oxford Area High School, Elsie held multiple retail jobs and worked for Penn Fuel Gas as a secretary before becoming a full-time homemaker. She was also a life member of the Oxford Church of the Nazarene.

The oldest of six sisters, Elsie always welcomed friends and family in her kitchen, as the Groseclose household was the home of many baseball games, auto repair projects and family gatherings. Whether she was known as Mom, Aunt Elsie, Mrs. Groseclose or Mom-mom, everyone was taken care of when they visited.

She is survived by two sons, Larry F. Groseclose (Joan) of Oxford and Carl J. Groseclose (Mollie) of East Waterford, Pa.; three sisters, Helen Holcombe of Jennersville, Jean Root of Jennersville and Terri Hadley of Dover, Del.; four grandchildren, Matthew G. Groseclose of Oxford, Mark W. Groseclose of Oxford, Mollie I. Kilby of Rising Sun, Md., and Chris W. Burton of Rising Sun, Md.; three great-grandchildren, John Andrew Kilby, Sarah Irene Kilby and Tyler William Burton; and several nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by two sisters, Evelyn Vaughn of Wilmington, Del. and Theodora Standt of Hobe Sound, FL.

Funeral services were held on Dec. 16 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford.

Interment was in Oxford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Oxford Church of the Nazarene, 116 E Locust St, Oxford, PA 19363

Online condolences may be made at


Stanley W. Halsey, 86, of Nottingham, passed away on Dec. 11, 2019 at Twin Pines Health Care Center, West Grove.

He was the son of the late John Kent and Mary Millerd Johnston Halsey.

Stanley lived in Southern Chester County all of his life.

He is survived by three brothers, Marvin Halsey of Nottingham, Edwin Halsey of Oxford and Roland Halsey of Glasgow, Del.; and two sisters, Delores Halsey of Newark, Del. and Mary Halsey-Connell of Summit, Del.

He was preceded in death by one brother, Kermit Stanley and one sister, Juanita Halsey Jones.

Funeral services were on Dec. 14 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., in Oxford.  

Interment was in Oxford Cemetery.

Online condolences may be made at


Georgiana Frances Erbrecht, 80, of Nottingham, formerly of Upper St. Clair, Pa., passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Dec. 15 at Calvert Manor Healthcare Center in Rising Sun, Md.

She was the beloved wife of the late John Ronald Erbrecht.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., she was the daughter of the late George R. and Anne M. Dernovsek Chappel.

Georgiana graduated with a fine arts degree in graphic design from Carnegie Institute of Technology and received her master’s degree in art education from the University of Pittsburgh.

She was employed as a substitute teacher in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh where she was loved by all of her students.  She also worked with her husband at Erbrecht Consulting Services in Bridgeville, Pa.

She was a member of Sacred Heart Church and formerly a member of Holy Child Parish, Bridgeville.

An accomplished artist, Georgiana’s passion was painting abstract flowers on canvas with acrylics.

She was a devoted daughter, wife, mother and grandmother.

She is survived by two sons, Brooke Erbrecht (Teresa) of Canonsburg, Pa. and Ted Erbrecht of Greenville, SC; one daughter, Lauren Chesson (Greg) of Nottingham, eight grandchildren, Taylor Champagne Buelna, Jared Erbrecht, Ronnie (Elanna), Gregory and Teddy Chesson, John, Luke, and Tony Erbrecht; and two great-grandchildren, Thalia and Julian Buelna.

She was preceded in death by a brother, George Gene Chappel.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 23, at Sacred Heart Church, 203 Church Rd., Oxford, where friends may visit from 10 to 10:45 a.m.

Interment will be private.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford.

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