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Chester County Press


12/12/2013 02:35PM ● By Acl


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Dr. Joseph Frederick Eckman, Sr., 70, of Kennett Square, left his earthly body behind on Nov. 29 and moved on to eternal life with his Savior in Heaven, just five months after his diagnosis of melanoma. 

He was the husband of Ellen Ann (Latta) Eckman, with whom he shared 45 years of marriage. He was born in Coatesville, the youngest son of the late Elwood M. and Daisy Weber Eckman.  He attended Penn State from 1961 to 1964 and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 1968. Commissioned by the U.S. Navy, Lieutenant Colonel Eckman served his country at Cubi Point Naval Air Station in the Philippines from 1968 to 1970, during the Vietnam War.  He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve Dental Corps until 1979.

Joe and Ellen Ann returned from the Philippines in 1970 and opened his first dental office in their home in Kennett Square. In 1984, he moved his office to Willowdale, where he practiced dentistry until recently. In 2006, he and his son, Dr. Joe Eckman, Jr., opened a second office in Jennersville. His niece, two nephews, and their sons also followed him into the dental profession. 

Dr. Joe and Ellen Ann have two children,  a daughter, Kathy Ann (Eckman) Joseph, and a son, Dr. Joseph Eckman, Jr.  Kathy Ann and her husband Greg recently moved to Kennett Square from North East, Md., with their three children, Karalyn, Nathan, and Katelyn.  Joe Eckman, Jr., and his wife Elizabeth live in Cochranville with their three children, Daisy, Tucker and Lucy.  Joe’s brother, Lester W. Eckman (Carol Sensenig: deceased 2005) and wife Linda live in North East, Md.  His brother, Walter M. Eckman and wife JoAnne, live in Kennett Square.  Joe has many nieces, nephews and cousins who have been an integral part of his life. 

Joe loved sailing. Basketball was another hobby, and watching and playing sports enabled him to connect with and reach out to others. He also loved music. In addition to serenading his dental patients and encouraging young people to develop their musical talents, he sponsored musical events to enrich the community.  

In 1990, Joe purchased Sandy Hill Camp and Retreat Center on the Chesapeake Bay in North East, MD. Thanks to his foundational vision and hard work, Sandy Hill has continued to grow under the management of his daughter and son-in-law since 1995.  Today, it provides a fun and inspirational camp experience to over 3,000 kids each summer, and hosts retreats for many school, church, and community groups each fall and spring. 

He was instrumental in bringing Young Life, a Christian outreach ministry for high-school students, to Chester County in 1972, and he served as a volunteer leader.  He directed many young people into their career paths and closely followed their successes.  In 1974, he and several other men began weekly prayer breakfast meetings around Chester County which continue today.  

Over the years, Joe has continued to share his time and resources with countless charitable organizations locally and globally. Joe and his family have established the Eckman Family Foundation to facilitate their continued support of these many wonderful ministries.

The public is invited to greet Dr. Joe’s family and friends at Willowdale Chapel on either  Dec. 11 or Dec. 13 between 5 and 8 p.m. The family is creating a book of memories, and would welcome contributions of a written memory, photo, or sentiment either on paper or at  

A memorial service will be held at Willowdale Chapel on Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m.  Interment will follow at Union Hill Cemetery. Willowdale Chapel is at 675 Unionville Road (routes 926 and 82), Kennett Square.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Eckman Family Foundation, 55 Walls Drive, Third Floor, Fairfield, CT 06824. To view Dr. Joe’s online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


William Robert Todd, III, 70, of Oxford, formerly of Clifton Heights, passed away on Dec. 2 at the VA Hospital in Elsmere, Del.

Born in Drexel Hill, he was the son of Martha Danby Todd-Klingler of Oxford and the late William R. Todd, Jr.  He was a member of the Mason Dixon Post No. 194 American Legion, Rising Sun, Md. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army. 

He is survived by his mother; one son, William R. Todd, IV; and one daughter, Susan R. Todd.

A graveside service was held Dec. 6 at Glenwood Memorial Gardens in Broomall. 

 For more information, visit


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Michael (Mike) Ruggirello, 51 of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 1 at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania after a nine-year battle with cancer.
He was born in Detroit, Mich., to Frances and Michael Ruggirello. He graduated from Downingtown High School. He married Ruth Engle in 1986. He was employed by Allen Envelope/Atlantic/National as a machine adjuster for more than 25 years. He loved watching Sunday football with his family and was a diehard Packers fan. He also enjoyed hunting, golfing, watching NASCAR, and riding or working on his Harley.  He loved nothing more than sharing his love of life with his wife and best friend, Ruth, four boys and spending time with his new granddaughter.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 26 years; his children, Michael and wife Sarah, Tim, Tyler, and Josh. He is also survived by one granddaughter, Olivia. Survivors also include both his parents, and his siblings, Michele, Cindy, Tracy, Dan, and Christy; and nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 7 at the Sacred Heart Church in Oxford. In lieu of flowers, send donations in Mike's memory to The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Medicine Development, 3535 Market Street, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Make checks payable to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania (or donate online at

For more information, visit


Virginia H. Watson, 89, of Kennett Square, passed away on Dec. 3 at Brandywine Hall in West Chester.

She was the wife of Claude J. Watson, with whom she shared 66  years of marriage. Born in Creston, N.C., she was the daughter of the late John and Melvina Lewis Roark. She was a nurse’s aide at Chester County Hospital for 18 years, retiring in 1986. She enjoyed bowling, doing crafts, being with her family and friends, and especially family get- togethers.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by one son, John Franklin Watson and his wife Melissa of Hockessin, Del.; one daughter, Christina Watson of Smyrna, Del.; one brother, Joseph Roark of Kennett Square;  one sister, Georgia Perry of West Jefferson, N.C.; and one grandson, Harry Neal Knotwell of Chester, Pa. She was predeceased by one son, Kenneth Watson; one daughter, Sheila Watson Knotwell; three brothers, Kyle, Ralph and Bruce Roark; and two sisters, Geneva Roark and Mary Elizabeth Price.

A funeral was held Dec. 9. Burial was in Union  Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Virginia Coates, 88, formerly of Oxford, passed away on Nov. 7 at Calvert Manor Healthcare Center in Rising Sun, Md., from a fall she had earlier. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, John Coates, with whom she shared 50 years of marriage. Born in Cochranville, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Virgil and Hattie Burleson Franklin. Virginia was the last of a 132-year lineage of Franklins. She was employed in several jobs throughout her life, the last being Ames in Oxford. She loved flowers, fishing, and above all, she dearly loved her cat. 

She is survived by five daughters, Beverly Coates of Virginia, Cynthia Davies of Newark, Linda Caskey of Nottingham, Jacqulin Beecher of Washington, and Jody Maybe of Nottingham; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by five sisters and four brothers, and a great-grandson. 

Private graveside services were held at Eastland Friends Meeting Burial Ground.

Contributions may be made in Virginia’s memory to Seasons Hospice, 253 Lewis Lane, Suite 303, Havre de Grace, MD 21078; or to Eastland Friends Meeting, 51 Sleepy Hollow Road, Nottingham, PA, 19363.

To send an online note of condolence, visit


Spencer "Skip" b. Kennedy, III, 62, of Wilmington, Del., originally of Landenberg, passed away on Dec. 3 at Compassionate Care Hospice at St. Francis Hospital, Wilmington, Del.

He was the companion of Kathy O’Brien for over 17 years. Born in Wilmington, he was the son of Spencer B. Kennedy, Jr., and Jeanne D. West Kennedy of Oxford. He was a construction worker for J.R. Coldiron, Inc., in Avondale for many years, and was a member of the Carpenter’s Local Union No. 626. He loved deep-sea fishing, especially his years spent with friends as “Skipper” aboard the GoGo. He loved his vegetable garden and canning, and was known for his excellent jams. He loved spending time at the family cabin in the mountains.  He enjoyed month-long birthday celebrations.  He was a fun-loving, kind-hearted, good-spirited, genuine human being, always ready for a good time, and will be remembered for his perpetual smile. 

In addition to his parents and partner, he is survived by three daughters, Krista K. Taylor and her husband Daniel of Kemblesville, Nichole D. Kennedy of Kennett Square, and Brittany K. Petrucci and her husband Eric of New London; five sisters, Edith Weidlein and her husband Philip of Newark, Del., Virginia Stidoms and her husband Jesse of Oxford, Donna Norris and her husband Lee of Elkton, Md., Debra Crom and her husband Bob of Jacksonville, N.C., and Peggy Krygier and her husband Ken of Gaithersburg, MD and his step daughters, Jennifer Kutney-Soper (Michael) and Meagan Kutney. He loved being a pop-pop to his four grandchildren, Joey Borror, Dylan Petrucci, Mekhi and Jonathan.  

A funeral and interment were held Dec. 10 at the Kemblesville  United Methodist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Compassionate Care Hospice, 405 East Marsh Lane, Suite 4, Newport, DE 19804. Online condolences may be made by visiting


John "Jack" Williamson Taylor, 91, of Estero, Fla., formerly of Kennett Square, passed away peacefully at Joanne’s House at Hope Hospice in Bonita Springs, Fla., on Nov. 30. 

He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Rebecca Plankinton, also originally from Kennett Square.  He graduated from Brown’s Technical High School in Wilmington, Del.   He proudly served his country in the Army during World War II, spending 27 of his 38 months in the service overseas. Upon early retirement as a mechanic from the Sunoco Oil Refinery in Marcus Hook, Pa., he moved to Estero with Becky to enjoy the sunny, warm climate of Florida.  Competitive shuffleboard was their passion.  He and Becky enjoyed traveling by motorhome throughout the U.S. during the summer, often stopping to visit friends and relatives along the way. Estero became his permanent home following the passing of Becky in 1995.  Jack also enjoyed hosting the weekly bingo games at his retirement village recreation center.

He was preceded in death by his father, William Turner Taylor; his mother, Elizabeth Williamson; and three brothers, William Turner Taylor, Richard Stern Taylor, and Horace Darlington Taylor. He is survived by his brother Newell C. Taylor of Millsboro, Del.  Also surviving are cousins Jayne Taylor (David) Richter of West Chester, Ronald N. Taylor (Donna) of Goodrich, Mich., and William C. Taylor (Marcia), of Bridgeton, N.J.; godson Bradford S. Taylor (Sara); and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral was held Dec. 7 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home in Kennett Square. Interment was in Longwood Cemetery.  Contributions in his memory may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, Gift Processing Center, PO Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741.  

To share condolences, visit


Florence “Dolly” T.  Root, 86, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 4 at  her home.

She was the wife of George C. Root, with whom she shared 53 years of marriage. Born in Cochranville, she was the daughter of the late Ervin Troutman and Olive Gilbert Troutman Sladeski. She was a member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church.

She is survived by her husband; two sons, Matthew Root of Bear, Del., and David Root of Quarryville; two daughters, Sarah Scott of Memphis, Tenn., and Jennifer Root of Oxford; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and one sister, Susan Silverman of New Jersey. She was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Leah Mangerchine; and a brother, Ervin “Sonny” Troutman, Jr. Services were private.

To share condolences, visit


 Lewis Baily Cauffman, Jr., passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on Dec. 5

Called Lee by his family and friends, he was born to Edith and Lewis Baily Cauffman in West Chester in 1950 and moved to Houston, Texas, with his wife and college sweetheart, Leslie, in 1974 to work for Cities Service Oil.  He met Leslie at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where he was graduated cum laude with a Master of Science degree in geology. In addition, he ran cross-country, played lacrosse and rugby, and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.  After their wedding in 1971, Lee and Leslie moved to Calgary, Alberta, to study at the University of Calgary, where Lee obtained his Master of Science in geology.

In 1975, Lee and Leslie bought their first home in West University Place, where they lived and raised their three children, except for a few years in London with Exxon International. Live Oak Friends Meeting was their “church” home, where Lee was the treasurer for many years. Lee was a loving husband and a good father, participating fully in his children’s lives. For many years he coached their soccer and softball teams and was active with his son, Lewis, in Boy Scouts. He and Leslie loved to travel.  Lee particularly enjoyed the family visits to Vermont in the summer. Besides spending time with his family, Lee was an avid reader, history buff, genealogist, and a fan of Penn State football, the Baltimore Orioles and Rice Owls baseball.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Leslie Cauffman; his children and their spouses, Lewis and Karen Cauffman, Abigail and J. Scott McMahon, and Hanna and Christopher Kirby; six grandchildren, Lorelei Cauffman, Kennedy Baily Cauffman, Lewis Baily Cauffman IV, Thatcher Cauffman, Elizabeth Kirby and Miranda Freeland; his brother and his wife, H. Thompson and Jennifer Cauffman; and several nieces and nephews. 

He will be buried at New Garden Friends Cemetery in Toughkenamon on Dec. 14 at 12:45 p.m., and a Friends service will follow at New Garden Friends Meeting House (875 Newark Rd., Toughkenamon).  Friends and family are invited to stay for light refreshments after the service.  A memorial service will be held in his honor in Houston, Texas, in late January.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to West University Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 272727, Houston, TX 77277.

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


Theodore "Teetle" a. Crampton, Sr., 81, of Avondale, passed away on Dec. 5 at Brandywine Hall in West Chester.

Born in Avondale, he was the son of the late Carl and Julia Thompson Crampton. He was a retired truck driver, last working at J.G. Haldeman Brothers in Chadds Ford. He served his country in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict, and was a member of the Kennett Square VFW, and American Legion. He was  as catcher for the Kennett Square Gray Socks, and was inducted into the Kennett Square Old Timers Baseball Hall of Fame. He had gone to the Super Bowl every year for ten or more years. He enjoyed gardening, cooking, playing baseball and watching sports on TV, and spending time with his family.

He is survived by one son, Theodore Crampton, Jr., of West Chester; two sisters, Louise Lewis and her husband Joe of West Grove, and Lola Bowers of Norfolk, Va.; and one granddaughter, Carlee Crampton. He was predeceased by a grandson, Theodore Crampton, III;  three brothers, Carl Crampton, Jr.,  Norris Crampton and Clifford Crampton; and two sisters, Geneva Miller and Ruth Alexander.

A visitation with family and frieds will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 12 at the  Mt. Tabor AME Zion Church (314 Church St., Avondale). His funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Neighborhood Hospice, 795 East Marshall Street, Suite 204, West Chester, PA 19380.

Online condolences may be made by visiting


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Carolyn Chiabrera Catena, 80, of Kennett Square, died on Dec. 6 at her home, surrounded by her family. 

Born in Philadelphia, she was a daughter of the late Biagio and the late Louise (Talamini) Chiabrera. She was a bookkeeper in several industries, most recently for her son at WAC Mushrooms. She was a longtime parishioner of St. Patrick’s Church. She was an avid traveler to destinations far and near. Her home away from home was Ocean City, N.J. When Carolyn was not  traveling, she enjoyed shopping, reading, knitting, baking, dining out, bowling on various leagues and decorating for each holiday. Most importantly, she loved spending time with her family and friends.

Survivors include her husband, Camillo A. Catena; one son, William A. Catena (Amy) of Kennett Square; two daughters, Annette Vattilano (Robert) of Oxford, and Cindy Fragale (Randy  Dieterick) of West Grove; one sister, Marguerite Mastripollito (Phil) of Kennett Square; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.   

A visitation with family will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 12, and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 13, at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home, Inc. (250 W. State St., Kennett Square).  Her Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Friday at St. Patrick’s Church (212 Meredith St., Kennett Square). Interment will be held privately.  

Contributions in her memory may be made to Neighborhood Hospice, 795 E. Marshall St., Suite 204, West Chester PA 19380.  

To share condolences with her family, visit


Mary Lou Daddezio, 83, of Toughkenamon, passed away on Dec. 7 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.

She was the wife of Nazareno A. Daddezio, Sr., who  passed away in 2010, and with whom she shared  62 years of marriage. Born in Wilmington, Del., she was the daughter of the late William and Margaret A. Johnson Conaway. She was  an accounting clerk at Hewlett-Packard, retiring in 1992 after 35 years of service. She enjoyed bus trips to Atlantic City, and spending time with her family and friends. She was a member of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church in Avondale, and a former member of  the Italian American Club Ladies Auxiliary. She was a former softball coach for the St. Patrick’s girls softball team.

She is survived by one daughter, Denise Martelli and her husband Peter of Toughkenamon;  two brothers, Edwin Conaway  of Delaware, and Ronald Conaway of Delaware; one sister, Eva Karauwlen of  Delaware; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a son, Nazareno A. Daddezio, Jr.; three brothers, Albert Conaway, William Conaway, Jr., and Frank Conaway; and three sisters, Ruth Harman, Margaret Conaway and Isabel Brackin.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 13, and again from 9 to 10 a.m. on Dec. 14, at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). Her funeral service will follow at 10 a.m. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Online condolences may be made by visiting


Anna M. McMillan, 75, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 5 at the Chester County Hospital.

Born in London Grove, she was the daughter of the late Ernest and Anna Brown Peterson. She was a certified nursing assistant for 20 years, retiring in 1999. She  last worked at Neighborhood  Visiting Nurse Association in West Chester. She was a member of the Full Gospel Apostolic Church in Kennett Square. She enjoyed gardening, lawn work and playing her guitar.

She is survived by two sons,  Lawrence B. Wilson of Lancaster, Pa., and Hugh D. Wilson and his wife Marjorie of Oxford; one daughter, Violet H. Green and her husband Dennis of Lancaster; five sisters, Adeline Trotter of Dinnwiddi, Va., Joan Griffy of Kennett Square, Shirley Davis of Kennett Square, Jean Glasco of Kennett Square, and Rosetta Juarez of Kennett Square;  her former husband, Bobby McMillan of Media, Pa.; 15 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by one son, Arthur Wilson; three brothers, Arthur N. Peterson, Mason C. Peterson, and Ernest Peterson; and two sisters, Violet Owens and Dolly Peterson.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Dec. 10 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). Her funeral service will follow at noon. Burial will be private. In memory of Anna, a contribution may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Online condolences may be made by visiting   


L. G. Hoover Campbell, 84, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 9 at Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove. 

He was the husband of Bertie Smith Campbell, with whom he shared 61 years of marriage.  Born in Mountain City, Tenn., he was the son of the late Anderson and Zelda Price Campbell.  He was employed with GM Boxwood Plant in the body shop and retired after 34years of service. He attended the Media Mennonite Church in Oxford. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.  He enjoyed collecting tractors and was a jack of all trades who especially enjoyed helping others. 

He is survived by his wife; two sons, L.G. Hoover Campbell, Jr., and wife Brenda of North East, Md., and David Campbell and wife Cathy of Oxford; one daughter, Norma Pierce and her husband James of Oxford; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one brother, Claude Campbell of Florida. He was preceded in death by a son, Daniel Campbell.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Dec. 13 at the Media Mennonite Church (866 Fifth St., Oxford), where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Friends and family may also visit Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. (86 Pine St., Oxford). 

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Media Mennonite Church, 866 Fifth St., Oxford, PA 19363. 

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