Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of May 25

05/26/2020 01:02PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Edna Frances Sherrill Farmer

Edna Frances Sherrill Farmer died at the Christiana Medical Center on May 15 after a stroke earlier in the week. She was 96.

Edna was born in Leaksville, NC to George Sherrill and Nora Sherrill. She lived in Virginia until 1955 before moving to Pennsylvania. Since April 2005, she made the Luther House in West Grove her home.

Edna was active in the New London United Methodist Church as the Sunshine Class teacher for twenty years and sang in the church choir. Also, she was a member of the New London Community Choir. She especially enjoyed friends and neighbors dropping by to see her.

Edna was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Bernard, with whom she shared 54 years of marriage; and her son, Jack. 

She is survived by three children, Betty (and her husband Judson) Gears, of Penn Valley, CA; James (and his wife Sandy) Farmer, of West Grove, and Judy (and her husband Dennis) Blankenbeckler, of Philadelphia; one sister, Faye Campbell, Wytheville, VA; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Her ZOOM memorial service is being planned. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts in her memory to The New London United Methodist Church, 1010 State Rd., New London, PA 19360.

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

Online condolences may be made at

Rosie L. “Peggy” Mabe

Rosie L. “Peggy” Mabe, 85, of Nottingham, passed away on May 15 at her home.

She was the wife of Charles M. Mabe, Sr., with whom she shared 63 years of marriage.

Born in Boone, NC, she was the daughter of the late Frank and Lilly Eldreth Phillips.

Peggy loved her family and friends.

She is survived by her husband; five children, Charles “Chuck” Mabe, Jr. (and his wife, Mary) of Rising Sun, Md., Albert Mabe (and his wife, Donna) of Oxford; Shirley Kilby (and her husband, Keith) of Nottingham, Daniel Mabe (and his wife, Jody) of Nottingham and Larry Mabe (and his wife, Lisa) of Bangor; eleven grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and one sister, Velma Phillips of Lenoir, NC; as well as Regina Hatcher (and her husband Roy) of Middletown, Del.

Services and interment are private.

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

Thelma Gene Ray

Thelma Gene Ray, of Oxford, passed away on May 15 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford. She was 82.

Born in Sugar Grove, VA, she was the daughter of the late Milton and Mary Jane Rich Ford.

Thelma was employed with Neuchatel Chocolates in Oxford for five years.

She was a member of the Ocklokonee Tribe #212 I.O.R.M Degree of Pocahontas.

She enjoyed bingo, quilting, crafts, gardening, jigsaw puzzles and word searches. She also enjoyed going on walks and picking berries.

Thelma always put others first. She was like a mom to her children’s friends.

She is survived by two daughters, Pamela May and Teresa Gebhart; two sons, Darryl Stanley and Christopher D. Ray; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Joyce Kirk and Mabel Pucket.

She was preceded in death by two daughters, Karitia Leto and Dora Gentry; two sisters, Violet West and Stella Campbell; and three brothers Cecil Ford, John Ford and Willis Ford. 

Services will be held at a later date.

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

Online condolences may be made at

Barbara Withey McIntyre

Barbara Withey McIntyre, 84, passed away on May 11 at her home in Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

Barbara is survived by her beloved husband Alan McIntyre, with whom she shared 56 years of marriage, a son David Withey McIntyre and daughter-in-law Margaret, a daughter Elizabeth McIntyre Sutherland, and three grandchildren, Douglas, Kathryn and Ian. 

After teaching fourth grade in Rahway, NJ and at Franklin School in Westfield, NJ, she became a stay-at-home mother.  During this time, Barbara remained active in the community through a variety of volunteer and leadership positions. She received her masters degree in library science from Rutgers in 1990 and had many fond teaching memories of the students from the library at Westfield High School.   

She was an active member of The Presbyterian Church in Westfield for decades.  She taught Sunday School and even supervised the program for several years.  She was the first woman elder in the newly combined Northern and Southern Presbyterian churches.  She and Alan were members of the Co-Weds, and cherished the lifetime friendships created through that fellowship group.   

After living in Westfield for over 40 years, Barbara and Alan retired to their vacation home at Skytop Lodge in the Poconos where they enjoyed golf and lawn bowling, as well as bridge and mahjong with their Skytop and Buck Hill friends.  In 2015, they moved to the retirement community at Ware Presbyterian Village, where they continued to enjoy an active life.

Barbara was an avid collector throughout her life.  At various times, she had extensive collections of piggy banks, inkwells, and Majolica.  A lifelong learner and educator, she would dive deeply into the things that caught her interest, and loved sharing her newfound knowledge with others. Her collections were often on display at the Westfield Memorial Library, and she gave presentations at many schools and meetings. She published a series of articles on Majolica in a newsletter dedicated to the subject.  She taught a course on research for the Westfield Genealogy Society, for which she also served as president. Just this past year, she discovered an interest in photography and was working to improve her skill behind the lens with the Ware Photo Group.

A memorial service will be held at Ware at a later date, followed by burial in Westfield. 

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

Doris J. Heath

Doris J. Heath, 78, of West Grove, formerly of Cochranville, passed away on May 13 at Twin Pines in West Grove.

She was the wife of the late Cecil T. Heath.

Born in Coatesville, she was the daughter of the late Harry S. and Sara Bones Chesnet. 

Doris enjoyed gardening, canning and spending time with her family.

She is survived by one daughter, Ruth Ann Miller (and her husband, David, Sr.) of Newark, Del.; six grandchildren, David Miller, Jr., Kevin Thompson, Jonathan Miller, Allan Thompson, Ashley Thompson, and Jeffrey Miller, Sr.; twelve great-grandchildren, Sierra, Cayden, Kaylie, Delana, Jeffrey, Jr., Makayla, Alex, Mackenzie, Zariah, Ashton, Alana and Allisa; six brothers, James “Pork” Chesnet, Richard “Ike” Chesnet, Allen “Pete” Chesnet, Donald “Tub” Chesnet and Edward “Eddie” Chesnet; and one sister, Sally O’Bryan.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Dolores Miller; two sisters, Elizabeth and Dorothy; and two brothers, Raymond and Harry.

Service will be private.

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

Online condolences may be made at 

William J. Deckman, Sr.

William (Bill)  J. Deckman, Sr., a resident of Oxford and formerly of Kennett Square, passed away peacefully on May 14. He was 83.

Born in 1936 in Wilmington, Del., he was the son of the late Clarence and Bertha Hamilton Deckman.    

Bill graduated from Kennett High School in 1954.  After high school he enlisted into the United States Army Reserves and was stationed at Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, AR, where he met and married his wife Fran.  After serving seven years, he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1965.

Bill was employed with DuPont at the Experimental Station for 15 years as a research photographer, by Hercules Inc. for 20 years as a project manager, and Chester County Department of Emergency Services as a technical manager for 12 years until he retired in 2006.

Bill was a member of both the Kennett Area Jaycees and Kennett Square Borough Council, the Presbyterian Church of Kennett Square, and volunteered for many years with the Longwood Fire Company.  

Bill enjoyed attending classic and antique car shows, discussing politics, listening to oldies music, playing golf, watching baseball and football, and spending time with his friends, family, and grandchildren.  He showed his encouragement and support for his granddaughters by attending their events, from Choir concerts to Girl Scout ceremonies, and had been looking forward to attending his oldest granddaughter’s high school graduation in June. Bill was loved by all and will be truly missed.

He is survived by his sister Lois Egan (and her husband Tom) of West Chester, Pa.; son William Deckman, Jr. (and his wife Cindy) of Wilmington, Del.; son Jeff Deckman (and his wife Kim) of Wilmington, Del.; daughter Suzy Knightly and her husband Jim of Avondale; granddaughters Shelby and Cailey Knightly, grandson Daniel and step-granddaughter Amber.  Bill was predeceased by his first wife, Fran Deckman, with whom he shared 44 years of marriage and his second wife, Doris Deckman, with whom he shared 11 years of marriage.

The viewing and interment will both be private.  

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill’s memory to Longwood Fire Company, 1001 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA 19348 or the American Cancer Society, 1818 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19103.  

Arrangements are being handled by the Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square. Please view the online memorial by going to

Betty Jean Barlow

Betty Jean Barlow passed away at her daughter’s home in West Grove on May 18 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 72.

Betty was born in West Chester, Pa. on Feb. 23, 1948 to the late Ray Lewis and Cora Canter Lewis. She later made Creston, NC her home. She was the wife of the late John T. Barlow, with whom she shared 30 years of marriage.

Betty will be most remembered as a tiny little woman with a grand heart.

Those left to cherish her memories include her son, Paul Barlow (Joy) of Zionville, NC;  daughters Cathy Hallman (Glenn) of West Grove and Patricia Stephens (Eddie) of Zionville,  NC; sister, Geraldine Graef and husband George of Newark, Del., and with whom she resided for the past year and a half; grandchildren, Johnathan (Tiffany), Allyson, Kimberly, Shelby, Jillian; great-grandchildren, Colby, Lilly, Addison; many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her infant son, John S. Barlow and brothers, Bill, Bob, and Mike Lewis.

There will be a private family service held.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to be made to the charity of your choice.

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


Garry Eugene Barnett, Sr. passed from this life into eternity on May 17. 

He was born on Aug. 22, 1960 in Elkton, Md. to the late Andrew and Joan Barnett.

He is survived by his wife, Uvette Barnett; his mother, Joan Barnett, of Pa.; children, Garry Barnett Jr., Jesikah Cooper, both of Md., Tiffany (Nick) Gibson Mallory, and goddaughter, Amie Kinney, of Chillicothe; his foster children, Joseph and Caden Larue, of Chillicothe; grandchildren, Zayden, Julius, Ryan, Renee, Nicholas, Becca, Hadlee, Craig, Avery, Jayden, and Jason; his siblings, Tim Barnett, Darrell Barnett, Andrew (Glenda) Barnett, Margaret King, and Melva (Irvin) Wainwright; his mother-in-law, Doralee Hairston; brothers-in-law, Robert Tyler, of NY, Mike (Gabby) Brown, of Chillicothe, and David Woodfork, of Columbus; a sister-in-law, Jessica (Mel) Brown, of Chillicothe; and two godsons, Elijah and Deondré Wesley . 

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Sue Brown, and a brother-in-law, Gary Davis.

Garry was an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army. He attended the Fayeville Technical Community College in Fayeville, NC. He was a member of the Ionic Lodge #6 of Prince Hall Masons, a member of St. Elizabeth #6 Eastern Stars, and an active member of New Life Christian Church in Chillicothe. He was actively involved in the community with feeding and produce programs. He drove the school bus for Carver Community Center and for Men of Tomorrow. He retired from Chrysler in 2010.

Services were held on May 26 at the Greenlawn Cemetery with Pastor Victor Cousins officiating, and military graveside honors that followed.


SLUG: Obituaries May 27

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline