Skip to main content

Chester County Press


07/02/2014 03:55PM ● By Acl


Alfred “Al” P. Santucci,  83, of Landenberg, passed away on June 22 at his residence, surrounded by his loving family at his bedside.
Al lived his entire life in the Kennett Square area, graduating from Kennett High School in 1950. Shortly after graduation, he served his country proudly in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne Division, during the Korean War. Upon his return to civilian life, Al started a TV repair business out of his home which grew into the Al’s TV and Sales & Service shop in Hockessin Del., and he retired in 1985. In his retirement,  he enjoyed league bowling, winning trophies and patches for high scores, and playing pool and bocce with family and friends. Al enjoyed decorating his house for holidays to the pleasure of many, and meticulously caring for his lawn, as well as sharing his garden with everyone. But most of all, Al found joy in being surrounded by his family. He was a proud member of the American Legion and VFW, and considered it a privilege to serve as an Honor Guard at the services of his fellow veterans.
For those who have known and loved him, even those who only knew him briefly, he was appreciated for his kindness, his sense of humor, his warmth and his infectious smile and laugh. He was a dedicated husband, a doting father, and a loyal friend.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Evelyn Wilson Santucci; son Lawrence Santucci (Cheryl) of Florida; daughter Debra Santucci Parker (David) of Pennsylvania; grandson Danny Santucci (Amanda) of Tennessee; granddaughters Amy Parker and Hillari Parker of Pennsylvania; granddaughter Laurie Harris (Eric) of Florida; five great-grandchildren; brother Vincent Santucci of West Grove; and many nieces and nephews.

His funeral was held June 26. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Christian Life Center, 125 Saginaw Road, Lincoln University, PA 19352. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Marian Johnson E. Roark, 97, of Oxford, passed away on June 23 at Ware Presbyterian Village.

She was the wife of Fate Roark, who passed away in 1995, and with whom she shared 60 years of marriage. The daughter of the late A. Kelso and Ella Farra Johnson, she was born in Lower Oxford, and grew up in Lincoln University. She was a graduate of Oxford High School and Goldey Beacom. She was a secretary at the Avon Grove School District, retiring in 1982 after 26 years of service. Prior to that, she worked at the West Grove Knitting Mill. She was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and a member of the Business Women’s Club. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed needlework and listening to music. 

She is survived by one sister, Grace “Polly” Wolf of Powell, Wyo.; the Davis girls (who were especially close to her) Janie Hannan, Priscilla Nagle, Nancy Gerrard and Margaret Sheehan; and various nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by  two brothers, Richard Johnson and Kelso Johnson; and six  sisters, Jean Shoop, Bernice Galloway, Alberta Cochran, Elizabeth Williams, Margaret Manhard and Lulu Felecci. 

Her memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on July 12 at the Foulk & Grieco Funeral Home (200 Rose Hill Rd., West Grove). Burial will be private. 

In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to Ware Presbyterian Village, 7 East Locust Street, Oxford, PA 19363, Attn: Ellen Stoner. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Image title

Lori A. McDowell, 46, of Oxford, passed away on June 24 at her home.

She was the wife of Douglas W. McDowell, with whom she shared 25 years of marriage. Born in Jennersville, she was the daughter of Kenneth and Joanne Ayers Skelton of Rising Sun, Md. 

She was a 1985 graduate of Rising Sun High School. She was a member of the jazz, concert and marching bands as a drummer. She was chosen to play in the All County Band for three years. She was a member of the Bethany Presbyterian Church of Oxford, where she taught Sunday school. Lori enjoyed sports, the outdoors and, most of all, her family.

She is survived by her husband; parents; one son, Paul H. McDowell, at home; two daughters, Katherine M. McDowell of Newark, Del., and Kristine N. McDowell, at home; and two sisters, Sharon Nickle of Lancaster County and Catherine E. Skelton of Delaware.  She was preceded in death by a brother, Kenneth Skelton.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on June 28 at the Bethany Presbyterian Church (2483 Baltimore Pike, Oxford, PA 19363), where friends visit after 9:30 a.m. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Bethany Presbyterian Church. Online condolences may be made at


George T. Perkins, 56, of Landenberg and Nelchina, Alaska, died on June 25 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester, surrounded by family, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

George was an independent man, a carpenter by trade, and marched to the beat of his own drum. He loved to fish, hunt and hike, and lived the good life in Alaska for the past 23 years.

He leaves behind his mother, Regina A. Perkins of Landenberg; siblings Karen Perkins of Phillipston, Maine, Gwen Galligan of Kemblesville, and Neal Perkins of Landenberg; along with  nieces and nephews Manisha, Grace, David, Rajan, Chelsea, Liam and Ela. He was predeceased by his father, Gilbert T. Perkins; and little brother, David  L. Perkins. 

A viewing will be held at Faith Lutheran Church in Whitetop, Va., on July 3 at noon, with services at 1 p.m.  The burial will follow at Cabin Creek Cemetery.   

George was a big believer in our Second Amendment rights. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the National Rifle Association ( or any charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Charles H. Thomas, 62, of West Grove, passed away on  June 24 at Chester County Hospital in West Chester.

He was the husband of Dorothy M. Stapleton Thomas, with whom he shared 37 years of marriage. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Hubert and Dorothy Van Nostrand Thomas. He was employed as a stone mason for several builders. He was an avid fisherman, especially bass fishing with his sons, and enjoyed the outdoors and his dogs. He was active in Little League and recently went to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. He enjoyed cruising in his classy black Buick Grand National. 

He is survived by his wife, and was preceded in death by two sons, Jeffrey C. Thomas and Christopher R. Thomas. 

A celebration of his life was held on June 28. Interment was private. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, PA 19380. Online condolences may be made at


Elinor Jenny, 89, died of natural causes on June 21 in West Chester, with her daughter-in-law Beth and one of her beloved dogs at her side.

Elinor was born in 1924 in Philadelphia to the late James C. Butt and the late Dorothy Good Butt.

A lifelong participant of Quaker Meeting for worship, she raised her children at London Grove and Bradford meetings, but insisted they choose whether to join rather than enrolling them as birthright members. She attended Friends Select School and graduated from Shipley School. She spoke fondly of summers riding mules for the Frontier Nursing Service while providing health care in rural Appalachia. A gifted pianist, she continued her education at Bennington College, where she studied music. She enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 1949. She was one of the first women to graduate as a veterinarian in the United States.

She met her husband, Jacques Jenny, at vet school.  They married in 1949 and raised five children while working together in veterinary medicine for many years. Jacques died in 1971. In her veterinary practice, Elinor specialized in sport horse lameness as it related to movement and conformation. 

Elinor was active with USET and USEF.  She also devoted much of her time to the United States Pony Club, who honored her as a National Legend in 2004. She also wrote a long-running column in the Chronicle of the Horse.  She bred and owned several successful thoroughbred sport-horses, most notably Heyday, who won individual Gold and team Silver at the Pan American Games Team Silver at the Olympics and Team Bronze at the World Equestrian Games.

Feisty and outspoken, she was an energetic freethinker who pursued life to the fullest.  A lover of the outdoors, she was an avid foxhunter and also enjoyed fly-fishing, hiking and camping.  She also was a gifted needlepoint artist and writer.

She is survived by five children, Madeleine Babette Jenny (James Cornell); Jacques Peter Jenny (Barbara); James Clement Jenny (Sandy); Nicholas Fridolin Jenny (Beth); and Edward Brian Jenny (Kim). She has 11 grandchildren, six nieces and one nephew.

A celebration of her life will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3 at London Grove Meeting (500 W. Street Rd., Kennett Square). Burial will be private. Memorial donations to Peregrine Fund or Heifer Project would be appreciated.

To offer condolences, visit


Image title

Geoffrey Walsh Meadows of Jenners Pond in West Grove, formerly of Kennett Square, passed away on June 21.  He was 93 years old.

Born and raised in Bury, Lancashire, England, he was the son of the late Ernest Meadows and the late Edith Walsh Meadows. He was educated at St. John's Church, Bury Elementary School and Bury High School. He enriched his education at Manchester University, where he earned his bachelor and master of science degrees in chemistry. During World War II, he worked for Shell Oil Company. After the war, he returned to Manchester University, taught for a year and completed his Ph.D. in polymer chemistry.  In addition, he received a National Research Fellowship at the National Research Council of Canada.  In 1951, he joined the DuPont Company at the Experimental Station in Wilmington. He retired in 1980 after 29 years of service. Following retirement, Geoffrey continued his association with the DuPont Company Legal Department as an expert witness in ongoing litigations. He also was engaged as a chemical patent contractor for many projects.

In his younger days, Geoffrey was an avid soccer player. He was instrumental in the formation of the Delaware Valley Soccer League, playing until the age of 40. He enjoyed golf and during retirement, became a keen tennis player and gardener. He was well known for his love of adventure and intellectual curiosity. Above all, Geoffrey’s favorite passion was his family.

He was the beloved husband for 69 years of Barbara Susan Ainsworth Meadows; father of David James Meadows and his wife Sara Hannum Meadows, Jane M. Martin and Pam Hovde and her husband Mark Hovde; grandfather of John, Cheyney and Charles Meadows, Patrick, Steven and Sara Martin, Christine Vincent and Kevin Hovde; great-grandfather of Scott, Grace, Jude and Hayden Meadows, Leah and Luke Vincent; brother of the late Marjorie Meadows.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the American Cancer Society, Macular Degeneration Society, Longwood Gardens or a charity of your choice in Geoffrey Meadows' name. Services will be private. Condolences may be made at :


Catherine T. McMenamin Newman, 88, of West Grove, died peacefully on June 26 at the Jenners Pond Retirement vommunity. 

She was the wife of the late George Newman, who died in 2005, and with whom she shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Philadelphia, she was a daughter of the late William Leo and the late Mabel Daly McMenamin. She survived her brother William and sister Regina. Her two brothers, Jack and Joseph are still with us.
Catherine attended Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Philadelphia, where she was the first baptized child of the church in 1926. In recent years, she was a member of Assumption BVM Church in West Grove. She loved saying the Rosary, doing crossword puzzles, cooking and keeping up with everything going on with her family. 

Survivors include two daughters Kathleen Newman of Chester Springs, and Regina Sarno and her husband Edward of Kennett Square; sons David Newman and his wife Caroline of Northfield N.J., and George Newman and his wife Linda of Bel Air, Md.; eight grandchildren, Jessica, Lindsey, Michael, Ryan, Natalie, James, Tyler and Kate; and two great-grandchildren, Zoe and Azelie.
A visitation with friends and family will be heldfrom 9 to 10 a.m. on July 3 at Assumption BVM Church (300 State Rd., West Grove). Her mass of Christian burial will follow at 10 a.m. Interment will be held privately in St. Mary's cemetery in Cape May, N.J., immediately following. 

Contributions in her memory may be made to Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group, P.O. Box 258 Exton PA 19341. To share a memory with her family, visit


Image title

Donnie O. Ruffatt, 76, of Nottingham, passed away on June 26 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

He was the husband of Mertie L. Shaw Ruffatt, with whom he shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Paris, Ark., he was the son of the late Doan and Velma Claiborn Ruffatt. He was retired from the DuPont Company as the superintendent of DuPont Country Club, now known as Deerfield Country Club, in Newark, Del. He attended Nottingham Missionary Baptist Church. He enjoyed fishing, especially trout fishing, and hunting. He could fix anything and always helped his family, friends and strangers.

He is survived by his wife; two sons, Ronnie L. Ruffatt and his wife Darlene of Nottingham, and Christopher O’Neal Ruffatt and his fiancé AbbySue Cannon of Phoenixville; two brothers, Gerald Tripp of Arkansas, and Andrew Ruffatt of Bethany, Del.; and one sister, Sybil Shrock of Arkansas.
Funeral services were held June 30. Interment was in Nottingham Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at


Charles D. Lester, 75, of Lincoln University, passed away on June 28 at his home.

He was the husband of Laura E. Carter Lester, with whom he shared 47 years of marriage. Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late Lathie W. and Isa E. Lester. He was a lifetime resident of Lincoln University. He was retired from Hoober, Inc., in Middletown, Del., as an agriculture equipment salesman. He was a member of the New London Presbyterian Church and Forest Lawn Camp in Union County. He enjoyed golf, traveling, gardening, mowing his lawn, restoring his 1932 Ford, and especially spending time with his family and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife; three daughters, Elizabeth E. Sharp and her husband Thomas M., and Kristina M. Molnar and her husband David M., all of Lincoln University, and Charlene D. Petersen and her husband Michael L. of Butler, Md.; one son, Chad M. Lester and his wife Jennifer L. of Lincoln University; and six grandchildren, Kai, Zachary, Raleigh, Jacob, Kameron and Olivia. He was preceded in death by three brothers, Harold Lester, Forrest Lester and Howard Lester; and three sisters, Doris Nichol, Joan St. John and Nancy Lester.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on July 2 at New London Presbyterian Church (1986 Newark Rd., New London), where friends may call from 9 to 11 a.m. Interment will be in the adjoining church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to NLPC/CLC, 125 Saginaw Rd., New London Township, PA 19352.

Online condolences may be made at


Patricia A. Wood, 63, of West Grove, died on June 22 at her home, surrounded by her family.  

Born in Princeton, W.Va., she was a daughter of the late Edsel and the late Thelma Martin Tabor. She was a CNA, working for Crosslands Community in Pennsbury Township for more than 20 years. She truly loved her job and the people she cared for. She loved her flower gardens and was a diehard Eagles fan. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, James and Jordan. Most of all, she was a caring and kindhearted person who was loved by all who knew her.   

Survivors include one daughter, Kimberly Mahaffey and her husband James of Landenberg;  four brothers, Dwight, Larry, Brent and Alvin; five sisters, Dori, Shelby, Debbie, Brenda and Diane; two grandchildren, James and Jordan; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a son, Tony Wood, in 2001; a sister, Judy; and a brother, Brent. 

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on July 6 at Redman Hall (State Highway 472 and Brick Road, Oxford).  A service celebrating her life will follow at 7 p.m. Interment will be held privately. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Grandchildren of Patricia Wood Scholarship Fund (address to be listed on To share a memory with her family, visit