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Chester County Press

Obituaries the week of Jan. 13

01/14/2020 01:03PM ● By Steven Hoffman


Michael Edward Watson, 48, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Oxford on Dec. 18.

Michael was the son of Harry Leroy and Ethel Crawford Watson.

He was born on May 30, 1971 at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia.

He was a graduate of Oxford Area High School in Oxford.

He began working for various restaurants as a cook, then sous chef. With over 20 years of experience, Mike began to excel as a professional and created new menu items for employers. He enjoyed making family dishes as well.

Mike was known by the nickname, “WATT”. He was a fan of reggae music and an avid reader of sci-fi, mystery/detective books and movies. He loved to barbecue and had attended many concerts and festivals on the local music scene and then travelled for a short time with other bands.

He is survived by his brothers, Harry Marc Watson and Maurice Ross Watson, both of Oxford; an uncle, James Watson of Downingtown, Pa.; aunts, Gloria Crawford-Thompson of Philadelphia,  Katherine Watson Keitt of Downingtown, Pa. and Connie Watson Lewis of Philadelphia; a nephew, Marcus David Watson of New Castle, Pa.; a niece, Jordan Brittany-Yvonne Watson of Oxford; and his many cousins who are located around the Philadelphia area, as well as in North Dakota, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida and Germany.

Michael was preceded in death by his father, Harry Leroy Watson, who passed away in 2005.

A memorial is being scheduled in early 2020.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford.  Online condolences may be made at


Dorothy (Dot) Magers, passed away on Jan. 9. She was 93. 

She was born on Aug. 7, 1926.

She was preceded in death by her husband Wib and son Steve. Dot is survived by daughter Emilie (Bill), son Chris (Sandy), grandchildren Ali (John), Ben, William (Diana), Stephen (Kate), and Hannah.

Dot lived a long and fulfilling life with many friends and interests. She loved being a mother and thoroughly enjoyed cooking, gardening, and sewing. In later years, she played a mean game of Mah Jong with dear friends.  Dot was a loyal friend with a sweet and loving disposition.  She made friends everywhere she went and was fiercely loyal to those she loved. The world was a better place with her in it.  She will be deeply missed.  A celebration of her life will be set in the near future.


Joseph (Joe) Anthony Di Norscia Jr. passed away peacefully on Jan. 5 at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.  He was 90 years old.

Born in Kennett Square in 1929, Joe was the son of Joseph Anthony Sr. and Mary Gale Di Norscia.   Joe is predeceased by his sister, Anna Di Filippo, and brothers Guy and Anthony, and he is survived by his brother, Alfred Di Norscia.

Shortly after graduating from Kennett High School in 1947, Joe began his career in the transportation business.  In the early years of his career, he worked at Mushroom Transportation in Kennett Square and then later moved to its Philadelphia location where he was elevated to vice president. In 1964, he graduated from LaSalle College Magnum Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and was awarded the William T. Connor Award for the best scholastic record in business administration.

Moving to Vineland, New Jersey in 1968, Joe held executive positions with various transportation companies there, including National Freight, Inc.  In 1973, Joe moved back to Kennett Square where he became a partner and eventual president of Nick Basilio and Sons, an already-successful construction and mushroom growing company.  Joe played a significant role in the formation of Laurel Valley Farms and Rex Mushrooms.  Today, Laurel Valley Farms is recognized as North America’s largest single site mushroom composter.  Rex Mushrooms, a marketing and wholesaler business, later merged with Wilson Mushroom Company and became Country Fresh Mushrooms.  Joe retired as president and CEO of Country Fresh in 2003-2004.  Throughout his career, Joe was recognized as a business leader within the mushroom industry and the Kennett Square community.

Joe is survived by his loving partner of 20 years, Lois Potter.  He is also survived by four children with his first wife, Jeanette (nee Falcone) Di Norscia (deceased):  Joanne Warren, Geri (John)Talley, Joe (Shirley) Di Norscia, III and Annette (Eric) Garofalo; three children with his second wife, Patricia (nee Wehrli) DiNorscia:  Lisa Di Norscia, Michele (Karl) Zimmerman, Michael (Danielle) Di Norscia.  While with Lois, Joe played an important role with his extended family and was like a father to Lois’ children:  Andrea (Mark) Seltzer, Michael Potter, Todd (Robyn) Potter and Cory (Stacy) Potter.

More than anything, Joe adored and was proud of the accomplishments of his paternal grandchildren, great-grandchildren and his grandchildren from his extended family.  With the birth of his great-grandson, Joseph Anthony the 5th, they number 51.

Joe loved the water and was an avid fisherman, fishing well into his 80s with his buddies, Nick Basilio and Bobby Primus. 

He loved the outdoors, planting flowers and gardening.  He passed on his love of growing things to his children who could, of course, never measure up to his tomato crop.

During his lifetime Joe lived life to its fullest and did it “his way.”

A viewing for Joe will be held at Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 W. State Street, Kennett Square on Friday, Jan. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m.  On Saturday, Jan. 18, there will be a funeral mass at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 212 Meredith Street, Kennett Square. Interment will follow at St. Patrick Cemetery, 450 North Union Street, Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Wounded Warriors.


On Saturday, Dec. 28, heaven gained another angel in the form of Shirley Jean McGinnis. On her 90 years, Shirley touched so many hearts and lives with her caring, quick wit and beautiful smile and spirit. 

She was born on Feb. 9, 1929 in Longwood, Pa. to Paul A. Parsons, Sr. and Mary Jane Parsons, nee Lansbury.  She grew up during the golden years at Longwood when Mr. and Mrs. DuPont were active in the lives of the families that worked for Longwood Gardens. She told of the Christmas parties and how the DuPonts took care of the families that worked for them, in good times and bad.  Shirley graduated from Kennett High School in 1947 and worked for the DuPont Company for 38 years.  Her passions were her faith, music, knitting, her family and children.  After her retirement, she worked for Chester County Hospital in admissions and took care of children.

Shirley is survived by her only child, Pamela Eppinger (John, Jr.), her sister-in-law, Mary Parsons {Russell), Deborah Reppert (David), Larry Paul Parsons (Michele), Dionne McNeel (Michael), Rusty Parsons and their children, and grandchildren. In addition, she is survived by family by heart, Deborah and Jim Metro and their children, Alyssa Kidd (Justin), Monica Metro, Stephen Metro and Jarek Metro, as well as James Coldiron. Special thanks to James Coldiron, Ivy Anderson and John Eppinger, Jr. for help with her care.

A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Kennett Square on Saturday, Jan. 18.  Visitation will be at 2 p.m., with services following at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the music program at First Baptist Church.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at



Susie L. Boyer, of Oxford, passed on Jan. 8. She was 67.

Susie was born at Chester County Hospital in West Chester on May 3, 1952. Her parents were Zeola M. Davis and Thompson Boyer.

Susie graduated from Unionville High School, class of 1969. She was employed with Lincoln University and retired after 38 years of service.

Susie enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, doing jigsaw puzzles and word searches. Susie was known for organizing numerous bus trips and traveling with her family.

She was a member of Shiloh Presbyterian Church, Oxford. She was an active member, serving on numerous ministries and committees which included the outreach ministry, which she chaired for several years. She also served on the usher ministry, the breakfast committee, the annual turkey dinner, the food tasting committee. She loved being an active participant in the Shiloh Bible Study Group.
She leaves her memories to be cherished by her lifelong companion, Clarence Webster of Oxford; one son, Michael Webster of Oxford; three daughters, Comea Webster of Newark, Del., Shavon Webster of Oxford and Crystal Webster of Wilmington, Del.; two grandchildren, Sergio Lebron, Jr. of Newark, Del. and Xavier Webster of Oxford; three sisters, Wanda Jones of Kennett Square, Zeola Torres (Emilio) of Lincoln University, Loretta Twyman of Kennett Square; two brothers, Cheyney Johnson of Coatesville, and Anthony Boyer of TX; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A special thank you to her niece, Juanita English.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Vernwood Johnson; and two grandchildren, Joseph M. Williams and Michael Lebron.
A Home Going Service will be held 11 am Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Shiloh Presbyterian Church, 42 S. Fifth St., in Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Interment will be in Union Hill Cemetery, Kennett Square.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Shiloh Presbyterian Church.
Arrangements by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at



Harry F. Culbert Sr., 83, of Boyertown, formerly of Chester County, passed away on Jan. 9 at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

He was the husband of Joan E. (Howell) Culbert.

Born in Chester, he was the son of the late Harry M. and Mary (Paeske) Culbert.

Harry was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He worked for Sealy mattress company in Chester and for CALECO Laundry Equipment Company in West Chester for 20-plus years, retiring in 2001 as plant manager. He enjoyed watching westerns, traveling with his wife and gardening.

Surviving with his wife of 22 years are sons Harry F. Culbert Jr. (husband of Beverly), Steven Culbert, (husband of Lisa), and Richard Culbert, (husband of Sheri); daughters Roxane Ganster, and Francine Shain (wife of Thomas); and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. Along with his parents, he is predeceased by his son-in-law Edward Ganster and sister Marie.

A memorial service will be Thursday, Jan. 16, 11:30 a.m. at Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Inc., 1020 E. Philadelphia Ave., Gilbertsville, with visitation from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Burial will be private and at a later date.

View obituaries or send condolences at



Calvin H. Lilley, III, 68, of Cochranville, passed away peacefully at his home on Jan. 12.

Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late Calvin, II and Jane Massey Lilley.

Calvin was a veteran of the U.S. Navy for 33 years and served in the Vietnam War as a submariner on the USS Abraham Lincoln. He was a devoted hardworking man who was employed at Longwood Gardens for over twenty years and Lincoln University for 17 years.

He loved participating in tractor pulls and was a member of the Rough & Tumble Historical Assoc., Kinzer and Southern New Jersey Gas Engines and Tractors Association.

He is survived by four children, Julie Lewis, Travis Thompson, Tifani Lilley and April Lilley; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; one brother, Albert Lilley; and two sisters, Sharon Evans and Annamary Padilla. 

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 17 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 6 to 8 p.m. on  Thursday, Jan. 16.

Interment will be in Faggs Manor Cemetery, Cochranville with full military honors.

 In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to American Legion Mason Dixon Post #194, 338 E. Main St., Rising Sun, MD 21911.

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

Online condolences may be made at


John Edward Conway, Jr., 84, of Oxford, PA formerly of West Chester, passed away on Jan. 10, at Ware Presbyterian Village, Oxford.

He was the husband of Joann Donato Conway, with whom he shared 62 years of marriage.

Born in Pottsville, Pa. he was the son of the late John Edward, Sr. and Elma Hughes Conway.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

John was an Industrial Salesman. He owned and operated J&J Industrial, West Chester for the past fifteen years.

He attended Assumption BVM Church, West Grove.

John enjoyed hunting, fishing and football.

He is survived by his wife and one son, Mark Conway of Newark, Del.

He was preceded in death by a son, John Joseph Conway and a twin sister, Joan Mackiewicz.

Funeral services were held on Jan. 15, at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc.

Interment was private.

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



Maude Allie (Pauline) Prewitt Baker of Oxford, passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home, surrounded by loved ones, on Jan. 10, at the age of 93.

Pauline was born in West Grove on July 8, 1926 to father, Reese Prewitt and mother, Agnes Rowland.

She is preceded in death by both parents, her husband, Leonard Baker, her four children, Dawn Baker, Steven Baker, Connie Gates, and infant son Ronnie, her brother, Robert Prewitt, her three sisters, Betty Osborne, Bonnie Weller, Ruby Peterson, and her grandson, Gordon Gates.

Pauline is survived by her two brothers, Reese Prewitt and Herbert Prewitt, her three sisters, Mary Hamm, Bernice Hollifield, and Carolyn Moran, nine grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren, and twenty-four great-great grandchildren.

Pauline adored her great-great grandchildren and spent as much time as possible with family. She enjoyed a good yard sale and loved shopping at thrift stores. Pauline was a devoted member of Nickel Mines Mennonite Church and spoke often of the love and support from her church family. Pauline loved the Lord, was faithful in prayer, and left behind a legacy of love and acceptance to all who knew her.

An evening viewing will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 11 a.m., while the visitation will take place at 10 a.m. at Edward E. Collins Funeral Home on 86 Pine Street in Oxford.

Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Nickel Mines Mennonite Church, 1981 Mine Rd, Paradise, PA 17562.
Arrangements by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at

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