Skip to main content

Chester County Press


01/28/2014 07:38PM ● By Acl


Daniel B. Proffitt, Sr., passed on from natural causes in his home on Jan. 18.  

Born in Shauns, Tenn. (now know as Mountain City), he was the son of Fred and Gladys Simcox-Proffitt. He was married to Evelyn A. Proffitt for 54 loving years, until her passing in 2009.

A self-made man, he left school in ninth grade and headed west to his relatives in Eugene, Ore., where he worked in everything from mink farming to ax logging. After many adventures out West, he moved to Elkton, Md., and enlisted in the Army, where he proudly served in the Korean war from ’51-’53 with the Indian Head Army Armored Tank Division.  He returned from duty and worked at the Bainbridge Bus Company and as a hospital attendant at Perry Point. He worked as a crane operator at Wiley’s Shipyard in Port Deposit until the early 1980s when they closed.  After Wiley’s, he worked for Bethlehem Steel, Process Industries, many more manufacturing corporations.  With just his GED, he was hired for the work of engineers and architects, often advising those with many degrees on how to get the job done. 

He is survived by two sons, William Proffitt and his wife Jane, and Daniel B. Proffitt, Jr., and his wife Deborah, both of Kirkwood; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.  Also surviving are two sisters, Marian Osborne of Boone, N.C., and Grace Davis of Mountain City, Tenn.; and longtime best friend of the family and companion, Joyce Neal of Aberdeen, Md.

He was an avid antique classic car enthusiast and won many awards with his original 1940 Ford. He volunteered at Rough and Tumble in Kinzers, and organized car shows for many years in Nottingham.  

Always a bluegrass fan, Dan found the perfect spot to enjoy his music in New London, where he started a weekly jam session in the milking parlor of his barn. “The Milkhouse Gang” started as some friends meeting with an instrument or two, and grew until they regularly had two bands going at once.

Dan could find a connection with every person he met, and it was rare he went anywhere without running into an acquaintance.  He will be sorely missed.

 Funeral services were held Jan. 23. Online condolences may be offered at


Carmela T. Torello, 92, of West Grove, passed quietly into God’s hands on Jan 21 at Pocopson  Home  in West Chester. 

A celebration of her life will be held on Feb 20 at 10 a.m. at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (300 State Rd., West Grove). All family members and close friends are welcome.  There will be a gathering for attendees immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Assumption BVM Church, 105 W. Evergreen St., West Grove, PA 19390.  


Marion Boyd Guthrie, 94, of Kennett Square, passed away on Jan. 19 at Neighborhood Hospice.  

She was the wife of Warrington F. Guthrie, Jr., who passed away in 1998, and with whom she shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Lansdowne, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Charles Parker Boyd  and Marion Leslie Knott Boyd. A student at Holman School and a graduate of Yeadon High School, she took an early interest in watercolors. She became an accomplished watercolorist. She derived her inspiration from the land, the sea and animals.  She is known for local scenes of Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her paintings are in public and private collections nationally and abroad. She was a participating artist in the ARC Christmas Card collection of 1976. She was a member and guide at the Brandywine River Museum, and a member of the National League of American Pen Women, Center of the Creative Arts, Society of Watercolor Painters, Chester County Art Association and The Studio Group. She was also a member of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square. She worked as a bookkeeper in the family business, Guthrie Spawn Company.

She is survived by three sons, Robert Guthrie of Canton, Pa., Thomas W. Guthrie of Worton, Md., and James  A. Guthrie of Kennett Square; one sister, Jennie Eliza Smith of North Wales, Pa.; four grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and one recently arrived great-great-granddaughter. She was predeceased by her brothers, Charles Marshall Boyd II and Charles Parker Boyd Jr.; and by two sisters, Leslie Boyd and Natalie Boyd Cann Miller.

A graveside service was held Jan. 23 at the Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Contributions may be made in her memory to the Brandywine River Museum, P.O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA  19317. Online condolences may be made by visiting  


Image title

Robert F. Icenhour, 67, of New Providence, Pa., entered into rest on Jan. 18 at Hospice and Community Care in Mt. Joy, Pa. 

He was born in Johnson City, Tenn., the son of the late Homer and Florence (Ward) Icenhour. He was raised in the West Grove/Avondale area. He attended the Avon Grove School District. He was a member of the Wrightsdale Baptist Church in Peach Bottom. He and his family were known for working in the mushroom industry in the West Grove area. He later became a drywall hanger. He then changed his career and was employed as a truck driver for the Former Bliss Box Corporation in Nottingham. 

Surviving, besides his wife of 42 years, Beverly A. (Stoner) Icenhour, are three sons, Robert Paul Icenhour, the husband of Nancy of Nottingham, Kevin Scott Icenhour, companion of Erin of Kirkwood, and Russel Glenn Icenhour, husband of Ann of Quarryville. He was also the brother of the late James Icenhour, husband of Helena; Bessie Lou, wife of Bud Clark of Mt. City, Tenn.; and Brenda, wife of Edwin Burgos of Nottingham.

A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. on Feb. 8 at the Wrightsdale Baptist Church (310 Little Britain Road South, Peach Bottom, Pa.), where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11:00 a.m. Interment will be private. Beverly and her family would like to thank Donny and Chelsea Jones for their heartfelt love and friendship. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Hospice and Community Care,   685 Good Dr., Lancaster, PA 17601. Online condolences may be made at


Lois Gertrude Cahall Stover, 80, of Avondale, died on Jan. 22 at the Riddle Hospital in Media.

She was the wife of the late Earl Rommel Stover, who died in 2012, and with whom she shared 63 years of marriage. Born in Chester, Pa., she was a daughter of the late Milton James and the late Lillian (Batty) Cahall. She was a member of Assumption BVM Church in West Grove.  She loved traveling, old movies and being a mom-mom. 

Survivors include three sons, Earl W. Stover (Robin) of Upper Chichester, Pa., Mark C. Stover (Andrea) of Townsend Del., and Scott Stover (Jen) of West Grove; two daughters, Diane E. Carrero (Robert) of Wilmington, Del., and Pamela M. Jackson (David) of Oxford; one brother, Milton Cahall of Glenolden, Pa.; and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A funeral was held Jan. 27. Interment was in St. Patrick Cemetery.  Contributions in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 399 Market St., Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106. 

To share a memory with her family, visit


Mark “Frog” R. Fidanza, 86, of Avondale, died on Jan. 22 at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.  

He was the husband of Victoria Ranalli Fidanza, with whom he shared 63 years of marriage. Born in Toughkenamon, he was the son of the late Luigi and the late Quintilia (Ciarrocco) Fidanza. He served in the Army during World War II as an Italian translator. He founded Mark Fidanza Mushrooms, retiring at the age of 75. He was a member of the American Legion in Kennett Square and St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Avondale. He enjoyed working with his hands, puzzles, cards, and adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Survivors include, in addition to his wife, three sons, Mark V. Fidanza (Karen) of Avondale, Louis J. Fidanza (Patricia) of Avondale, and Michael A. Fidanza (Anjanette) of Downingtown; two sisters, Livia Bazzoli and Elizabeth Pratola, both of Avondale; 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by a daughter, Victoria A. Dickens, in 2008; and a brother, Alexander.
A funeral was held Jan. 28. Interment was in St. Patrick Cemetery in Kennett Square.  In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Victoria A. Fidanza Dickens Memorial Scholarship Fund, C/O Kennett Consolidated School District, 300E. South Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348, Attn: Business Office. 

To share a memory with his family, visit


Image title

Earl Frank Jones went to be with our Lord on Jan. 22.

He was born in the Chester County Hospital in 1949, the son of the late Earl T. and Jean (Taylor) Jones. He was a resident of Oxford, and had worked for NVF in Kennet Square as a machine operator until 1996, and then for PennDOT on the road crew, retiring from there in 2011. He served his community as a fireman during his youth, and later with the fire police of the Union Fire Company No. 1 of Oxford. He also served with the fire police of the Cochranville Fire Company. His interests included vintage cars and the Phillies. His weekends were spent taking his family to car shows and attending church.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Venita Sue Jones; his children, Andrew Frank and Deanna (Simpkins) Jones of Lancaster, Pa.,  Julie Ann and Jason T.  Brady of Oxford, and Deanna Elaine Jones and Eric Quinn of Peach Bottom, Pa.; and his five grandchildren, Blake, Garrett, Katrina, Kayleen and Isabella.

A funeral was held Jan. 27. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the Alzheimer's Association Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter, Constitution Place, Suite 1120, Philadelphia, PA 19106.


Carmina M. Masciantonio, 82, of Kennett Square, died on Jan. 24 at the Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.

She was the wife of the late Francesco S. Masciantonio, who died in 2011, and with whom she shared 59 years of marriage. Born in Civitella Messer Raimondo, Italy, she was a daughter of the late Angelo and the late Lucia Masciantonio. She grew up in Italy and helped manage the family farm.  She and her husband came to the United States in 1966 to raise their family.  She worked for Seneca/Kennett Canning Company for many years, retiring in 1979. She enjoyed cooking and gardening. 

Survivors include one son, Nicholas V. Masciantonio of Kennett Square; two nieces, Maria Moustafa (Elias) of Kennett Square and Filomena Elliott of Avondale; one nephew, Mario Masciantonio (Ann) of Avondale; and a brother-in-law, Angelo Masciantonio (Dominica) of Kennett Square. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a brother, Donato, in 2012.  

 Her Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick Catholic Church (212 Meredith St., Kennett Square).  Interment will be in St. Patrick Cemetery in Kennett Square.  To share a memory with her family, visit


Image title

Lyda S. Ruckman, of Smyrna, Del., and formerly of West Grove, passed away on Jan. 22.. She was 89.

She was born in Philadelphia to the late Mildred (Gibble) and Maurice Schloss. She was a 1942 graduate of Frankford High School and worked during the war for the RAF in Philadelphia. In 1944, Lyda met her future husband, Melvin F. Ruckman, an infantryman who was stationed in Ft. Dix, N.J. Upon his return from Europe and during his training for the invasion of Japan, they were married in May of 1945. During the early years of her marriage, she worked for Suburban Propane until her son was born in 1958. Upon her husband's death in 1981, Lyda learned to drive at the age of 56 and went back to work as a switchboard operator for the Southern Chester County Physicians Answering Service in West Grove. After retirement, she sold her home on Evergreen Street and moved into Luther House in Jennersville. Due to health issues, she moved to a nursing home in Smyrna to be near her son and family.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Wayne Schloss; and a sister-in-law, Helen Tkacz. She is survived by her only child, Jeffrey (Nicole) Ruckman; two grandchildren, Christopher (Carli) Ruckman, and Victoria Ruckman; a brother, Eugene Tkacz; and a sister-in-law, Mary Schloss.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Feb. 1 at West Grove United Methodist Church (300 N. Guernsey Rd., West Grove). Burial will be in the West Grove Friends Meeting House Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be sent to the American Cancer Society, 92 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720; or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN 38105. To send a condolence, please visit


Yolanda A. Lawless, 56, of Kennett Square, passed away on Jan. 23 at her residence.
Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of Floyd Presnell of Mountain City, Tenn., formerly of Chadds Ford, and the late Shirley Tipton Presnell. She enjoyed reading, was a big Elvis fan, and enjoyed being with her family and friends.
In addition to her father, she is survived by one son, Jerry  L. Greer, Jr., of Saltville, Va.;  two brothers, Boyd Presnell of Kennett Square, and Loyd  Presnell of Oxford; and one sister, Brenda Phillips of Chester. Her service and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the  VFW Post. No. 7328, P.O. Box 241, Saltville, VA 24370.
To leave an online condolence, visit


Erasimo “Sonny” DiProspero, 78, of Kennett Square, passed away on Jan. 26 at the Jennersville Regional Hospital.  

He was  the husband of Grace McCormick DiProspero, with whom he shared 55 years of marriage. Born in Toughkenamon, he was the son of the late Luigi DiProspero, Sr., and Rose Fecondo DiProspero. He was a  mushroom grower for more than 20 years. After his retirement from growing,  he worked as a utility man at the NVF Company in Kennett Square, retiring in 1997 after 13 years of service. He served his country in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956, stationed in Japan as a member of the 507th Anti-Aircraft Battery. He was a devout  member of St. Patrick’s Church in Kennett Square. He enjoyed golfing, solving  Sudoku puzzles, watching  the West Chester University, Kennett and Unionville football teams, and was an avid Eagles fan. He enjoyed spending time with his children and  grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Stephen P. DiProspero and his wife Terri of Chadds Ford, and Andrew P. DiProspero  and his wife Carla of West Chester; two daughters, Diane Brittingham and her husband Jeffrey of Avondale, and Ellen DiSanti and her  husband Francis of West Chester; one brother, Nicholas DiProspero of Mountain City, Tenn.; two sisters, Marie Marcozzi of Drexel Hill, and Doris Minniti of West Chester; nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was predeceased by one brother, Luigi DiProspero, Jr.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 29, and again from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 30, at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). His Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Patrick’s Church (212 Meredith St., Kennett Square). Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square.

In memory of Sonny, a contribution may be made to St. Patrick’s Church, 205 Lafayette Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348. Online condolences may be made by visiting