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Chester County Press

Obituaries June 29

06/30/2020 11:48AM ● By Steven Hoffman

Darrell Alton Freeman

Darrell Alton Freeman, a resident of Avondale, passed away on June 23 at Penn Medicine Hospice in West Chester. He was 82.

He was the husband of Ruth Bailey Freeman, with whom he shared 29 years of marriage.

Born in Lancaster County, he was the son of the late Dolphas E. and Dora A. Roland Freeman. 

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

Darrell was employed with Weinstein Plumbing Supply Company in Kennett Square for 25 years. He was formerly employed with Norcross in West Chester and the Oxford Cabinet Company.

Darrell was good-hearted and enjoyed spending time with his family. He also enjoyed horse racing.

He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Desi D. Schielke of Auburn and Jessica L. Fink of Broomall; seven grandchildren, Elena, Lauren, Steven, Rachael, Chris, Candice and Shona; two great-grandchildren, Beyah and Baron; one brother, Barry Freeman of Raleigh, NC; two sisters, Kay Barker of Oxford and Cheryl Madron of Oxford; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Kimberly L. Freeman; and two brothers, Emil Freeman and Ronald Freeman.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc, 86 Pine St., Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m.  

Interment will be at Cochranville United Methodist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Penn Medicine Hospice, 400 E. Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380. 

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

Online condolences may be made at

Dorris (Abe) E. Kauffman

Dorris (Abe) E. Kauffman, 91, formally of Lancaster County, passed away on June 23 at his home in West Grove.

Born in Mifflin County, Pa., he was the son of the late Susie Kauffman.

He was a carpenter and before he retired he was employed by J. C. Miller in Christiana, Pa.

Kauffman was a member of the Christiana Presbyterian Church, the Christiana American Legion, the Gap VFW and the Sonestown American Legion.

He enjoyed living in the mountains, hunting, camping and being with his family and friends.

He is survived by his companion, Marie Hodges of Texas, one son, Robert Kauffman (and his wife Debbie) of West Grove; two daughters, Diann Kauffman of Lancaster and Brenda Salada and her husband Rick  of Christiana, PA; two sisters, Donna Sauder of Leola, PA and Fern Howe of New Holland, Pa.; thirteen grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by one son, Allan Kauffman and three grandchildren.

His services will be held privately.


To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, please visit

Arrangements are being handled by the Foulk Funeral Home, West Grove.


Linda Mims Phreaner

Linda Mims Phreaner passed away peacefully on June 17 in her West Chester home, following a four-year battle with metastatic breast cancer.

Linda was born on November 9, 1947 to Julius and Marjorie (nee Griggs) Mims. She grew up in Silver Spring, Md. and graduated from Montgomery Blair High School. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Gettysburg College and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

She had a keen intellect and a thoughtful, curious nature, and had a varied career in medical research, business logistics, and information technology.

She retired in 2013 from her job as a systems analyst at Accenture, but never slowed down and devoted herself to volunteering in her community and a newfound passion for gardening.

She was an active member of Birmingham Friends Meeting, board member of the West Chester Friends school, and dedicated volunteer at the Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children.

Linda was preceded in death by her parents, and by her husband of 27 years, Jim Phreaner, in 2012.

She is survived by her sister Bettina Thomasson, two daughters Julie Phreaner and Melissa Baldwin, son-in-law Carter Baldwin, and numerous loving family members and devoted friends.

There will be no memorial service planned for the immediate future, since Linda did not want to put friends and family at risk by gathering at this time.

If desired, friends may make memorial contributions to West Chester Friends School or the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, please visit

Arrangements are being handled by the Foulk Funeral Home in West Grove.

Eileen Marie Coombs

Eileen Marie Coombs, a resident of Oxford, passed away on June 18 surrounded by her family at home. She was 68.

Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of late Thomas Joseph, Jr. and Anna Roslyn Bowman Farrelly. 

Eileen was employed with Harrison House in Christiana, Pa. and Jenners Pond as an LPN and previously with Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a psychiatric nurse. 

She was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Oxford. 

Aside from spending time with her family, Eileen enjoyed reading books and trips to the beach. 

She was survived by Milton Lee Coombs, her husband of 46 years; two daughters, Crystal Coombs (Mike Ross) of Cochranville, Anna Dunn (Nathan) of Oxford: two step-sons, Sean Hughes (Melissa) of Rising Sun, Md. and J. Cristopher Pugh (Linda) of Kennett Square. She had four grandchildren, Katlyn Borchik (Ryan), Mackenzie Coombs, Vanessa Dunn, Travis Dunn and one great-granddaughter Avarie Borchik. She is survived also by one brother; Thomas J. Farrelly III (Jill) of West Chester, and one sister, Theresa Weglarski (Peter) of West Chester. 

She was preceded in death by a sister, Rosemary Pellman. 

Services will be kept private. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) at

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


Robert J. Hopkins Sr, a resident of Avondale, passed away peacefully on June 22 at Ware Presbyterian Village. He was 93.

He was the husband of the late Mary Leo Hopkins, with whom he shared 66 years of marriage until her death in 2016.

Born in West Chester, he was raised in Toughkenamon, attended Kennett High School, and lived most of his life in Avondale. He was the eldest of three sons of the late William E. Hopkins, Sr. and Ruth H. Hopkins. 

He was pre-deceased by his wife and his son Robert J. Hopkins, Jr., as well as two brothers, William E. Hopkins, Jr. and Kenneth J. Hopkins. He also leaves behind three children, Christine Hopkins Rizzotte, Michael L. Hopkins (and his wife Donna), and Gary A. Hopkins (and his wife Elizabeth).

He was loved and will be missed by his eight grandchildren, Diane Rizzotte Bucklaw, Nicholas Rizzotte, Kyle Hopkins, Kellianne Eckman (and her husband Phil), Michael Hopkins, Jr. (and his wife Kari), Jackie McCarthy (and her husband Fred), Gary Hopkins, Jr. (and his fiancée Elizabeth), and Bryan Hopkins. He will also be missed by his nine great-grandchildren, Jeffrey Bird, Jr., Angela Bird, Jason Bucklaw, Zachary Eckman, Juliana Eckman, Michael Hopkins, III, Sophia Hopkins, Kennedy McCarthy and Catherine McCarthy.

He was a member of St Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church in Avondale, and also received blessings while attending Mass and Rosary service while he lived at Ware Presbyterian Village.

Bob was proud to serve his country during World War II.  He enlisted in 1943 with the 3rd Marine Division and spent time in Guam and Okinawa. In 1944, he was on a ship headed for the planned invasion of Japan, which was cancelled following the bombing of Hiroshima and the surrender of Japan. He then served on the island of Chi Chi Jima during what is known as the Chichijima Incident in 1945. He was a prison guard, securing Japanese officers that the United States was holding due to acts that were later charged as war crimes. He was proud of his service and almost always wore his bright red Marine Chi Chi Jima hat. He was honored to ride in the Kennett Veterans Day parade several times and served as Grand Marshal in 2016.

Bob was always a hard worker. During the early years of his marriage he owned and managed gas stations and then later became rooted in the mushroom business. He enjoyed setting up mushroom selling routes for local growers, then later doing so on his own. He also spent several years as a grower. He built the home that he raised his family in, using mostly his own hands, enlisting local friends with various skills to help, and hiring several local specialists for the technical jobs. He was proud of his home and thrilled to have it pass on to his grandson, Michael Jr., who is happily raising his family there.

He always enjoyed being around and visiting with family and friends, being sure to celebrate holidays at the house, or having parties for neighbors and friends. He spent many days in retirement visiting Michael and Gary at their mushroom plants, always helping out whenever he could. He enjoyed all Philadelphia sports teams, puttering around in the yard, growing his rose bushes along the fence, watching the birds at his bird feeder, playing his word-search game and of course, flying the American flag in the yard. He enjoyed time with the McDonalds Breakfast Club and no matter what, or when, always had an interesting story to tell.

His Graveside service will be held at noon on Friday, July 10 at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Route 82, in Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ware Presbyterian Village Employee Fund, 7 E Locust Street, Oxford, PA 19363 or to Willow Tree Hospice, 616 E Cypress Street, Kennett Square, PA  19348.

To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, please visit

Arrangements are being handled by the Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.


Florence May Neff Combs

Florence May Neff Combs, 64, of West Grove passed away on June 27 at Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove.

Born in Oxford, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Mary Sherrer Neff.

Florence was employed with Highmark Delaware until retiring in 2015.

She enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. She also enjoyed her dearly loved pets. She also loved sharing stories of her life.

She is survived by one son, Brian Gary Combs of West Grove; one daughter, Jennifer Combs (and her husband) Shaun M. Combs of West Grove; three grandchildren, Gavin, Chloe and Shanna Combs; and two brothers, Bob Coates of Quarryville and Charles Coates of Rising Sun, Md., and special nieces Cheryl, Vicki and Tracy.

She was preceded in death by one brother, Charles Neff, Jr. and one sister, Katie Eshelman.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. at 86 Pine St., in Oxford.

Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation, 8815 Conroy Windermere Rd. Suite 309, Orlando, FL 32835 or by visiting

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

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