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Chester County Press


10/22/2014 08:15PM ● By Lev


John Cotton Wood, 97, a resident of the Kendal Community in Kennett Square, died on Oct. 9.

Born in New York City, he grew up in areas around Boston and San Francisco and summered in Europe. He attended the Ojai Valley School in southern California, St. Mark's School in Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard College in 1938, and served for four years in the Army, rising to the rank of Captain, during World War II.  He attended white-tie dances at FDR’s White House, meeting the President and dancing with Eleanor Roosevelt, and then listening to Gershwin himself play “Rhapsody in Blue.”  At age 18, John met Dr. Frank Buchman, founder of Moral Re-Armament, a network of people of many nationalities and backgrounds, committed to building trust and constructive relationships within and between nations.  For 25 years, together with his friends in MRA and his wife, Denise Hyde Wood, whom he married in 1967, he practiced conflict resolution and reconciliation in post-war Germany and France, Zaire, Finland, India, the Philippines, Morocco and on the docks of Brazil.    

When John and Denise moved to Pasadena, he became the director of development for The Braille Institute in Los Angeles, with training centers for visually impaired people in southern California.  In his volunteer hours, he created a community skills center, training people -- particularly recent immigrants – in job skills. John was also named chairman of a school for African-American and Latino children in Pasadena; he was appointed senior warden of Pasadena’s All Saints Episcopal Church, and the city chose him to be chairman of Pasadena’s centennial celebrations, giving John and Denise “the keys to the city.”

In 1990, John and Denise moved to Kennett Square. Commissioned by their church, The Episcopal Church of the Advent, and joined by their colleague Marshall Newton, they created an after-school program, After-the-Bell, for Kennett’s middle school students, approximately 600 of whom have signed up for each of the three sessions that have been offered every school year since 1998, at no cost to their families or to the school district.

John is survived by two nieces, Elizabeth Masten Hammill of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, and Marion Canfield Wood of Mill Neck, N.Y.; a nephew, John Masten of New York City; five great-nephews, Anthony and John Hammill, William Ahmed, Benjamin and Andrew Masten; and a great-great nephew, Joshua Hammill. On the Hyde side, he is survived by a niece, Cynthia Hyde Kinnealey; and two nephews, Nathanial Hyde and Dwight Hyde.

The family would like to thank the staff of Kendal and the Home Instead aides.

A funeral will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Advent (201 Crestline Drive, Kennett Square) on Nov. 1 at 10:30 a.m.  Interment will be in Union Hill Cemetery.  A luncheon in the parish hall will follow the graveside ceremony.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Kennett After School Association Founders Fund, which benefits the After-the-Bell Program. Checks may be made out to KASA-Founders Fund, PO Box 1068, Kennett Square, PA 19348, or visit To view an online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit



Mark Sidney Walters, 51, of Nottingham, passed away on Oct. 12 at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Hospice.

Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late Robert and Jacqueline McNew Walters. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

He is survived by his two daughters, Crystal Stevens and Christina Walters, both of Oxford; two grandchildren, Kayleigh Stevens and Gabrielle Stevens; and four brothers, Lee Walters of Elizabethtown, Donnie Walters of Oxford, Estace Walters of Oxford, and Eric Walters of Hockessin, Del. He was preceded in death by a brother, David A. Walters.

Funeral services were held Oct. 16. Interment, with full military honors, was in Oxford Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at


John Garver Middleton passed away on Oct. 10.

He was born in 1950 to Joseph Nelson Middleton III and Evelyn Tapie Middleton of Landenberg. He was a graduate of Tower Hill School, and later of the University of Maryland.  He was most famous for his Scrabble abilities as well as his love, and often underestimated knowledge, of world history.

He is survived by his mother, Evelyn T. Middleton; niece, Emily Middleton Kmecz; nephew, Eric Middleton; sister-in-law, Holly Middleton; as well as cousins and friends. He was predeceased by his brother, Joseph “Jay” Nelson Middleton IV; and his father.

A memorial service was held Oct. 18. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of John to Willow Tree Hospice, 616 E. Cypress Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348; or Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church, 101 Old Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE  19807. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Thomas Leslie Mayo, Jr., 50, of Phoenixville, passed away on Oct. 13 at his residence. 

He was born in 1963 in West Chester, to Maxine Driver Mayo and Thomas Leslie Mayo, Sr. He attended and graduated from Kennett High School in 1981. He served in the United States Air Force.  He was a laborer who held several different positions, working at Sonic and as a salesman at Sears in North Wilkesboro, N.C. In his early years, he was a Sunday school member at the New Garden Memorial UAME Church in Kennett Square, and in the last two to three years attended services at New Garden Memorial and the St James UAME Church in Darlington, Md. He was a longtime resident of Kennett Square before moving to Monroe, N.C., and later to North Wilkesboro, N.C. He was a quick wit fun-loving guy who loved his family and friends more than anything.

Besides his parents, he leaves to cherish his memory three sons, Nakia, Elijah, Zachary; and one daughter, Kiaya, all of North Wilkesboro, N.C.; one sister, Terri Denise Mayo McClain; two nieces, Joelle Ciara McClain, and Erica Leigh McClain; one brother-in-law, Eric F. McClain, all of Kennett Square; several uncles, aunts, cousins, and a number of dear friends.

A service was held Oct. 20. Interment was in the Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Visit


Eugene “Gene” C. Yoder,  89, passed away on Oct. 14 in Vero Beach, Fla.

He was the husband of Nancy J. Jackson Yoder, who passed away in 2007, and with whom he shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Oley, Pa, he was the son of the late Elizabeth (Berry) and Walter Yoder of West Chester. He was a 1942 graduate of West Chester High School and attended University of North Carolina. Gene and Nancy resided for many years in the Longwood Gardens area. In his later years, he lived in Vero Beach, Fla. During World War II, he served his country in the U.S. Air Force. He was the owner of Penn-Tech Inc. in West Chester for many years.  He traveled the world extensively, working in places as large as Tokyo, to as small as an atoll island in the Pacific; from frigid locations such as Greenland to the sweltering heat of Panama. With the exception of two states, his travels took him to each state in the U.S. His hobbies included oil painting, gardening, and playing softball. He was an avid Phillies fan.

He is survived by his five children, Susan Mitchell, Linda Simons, Nancy Imhoff, Karen Yoder and Clark Yoder; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He had 12 brothers and sisters. He was preceded in death by siblings Paul Yoder, Ruth Lang, Barbara Malin and Janet Vindetti. In addition to his children, Gene is survived by siblings Clarence Yoder, Edna Mae Nelson, Donald Yoder, Richard  Yoder, Elaine Leary, Jane Morgan, Diane Maccello, and Robert Yoder.

A funeral was held Oct. 20. Burial was in Longwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10001; or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at Online condolences may be made by visiting


Warren A. Price, 72, of Lewes, Del., passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Oct. 14.

He was born in Wilmington, N.C., the son of Warren Kimball Price and Katie Teresa Cox-Price. He was the eldest of eight siblings. His father was a merchant seaman and spent many months away from home. Warren often served a supportive role in caring for his family. After several moves along the East Coast due to Kimball's work, the Price family finally settled in Viola, Del., in a large farmhouse. To make ends meet, at the age of 17, Warren began selling motorcycle parts from the backyard of the Viola home. His entrepreneurial skills developed and he started his own company, selling motorcycles, in 1961. He was later awarded a Honda motorcycle franchise and Diamond Motor Sports was born. In 1973, he became one of the first franchised Honda automobile dealers in the country and later built a new facility, naming it Price Honda. Several other car dealerships were procured over the coming years. He leaves a legacy of numerous automotive dealerships throughout Delaware and Maryland. Price's auto group includes Newark ToyotaWorld; Price Toyota near New Castle; Price Honda, Price Acura and Diamond Motor Sports, all near Camden; and Price Buick GMC in Salisbury.
Warren, like his father, had an innate love for the sea and the itch for travel. He enjoyed spending time boating and fishing, especially in the islands of the Bahamas and off Ocean City, Md., with his wife, family and friends. He passed along these passions to his two daughters and son, who have sailed the seas with him and have made a great many catches. Re-telling the ocean adventures he experienced gave Warren great joy.

Warren served as a community leader and a mentor to many. Despite his strong, ambitious spirit, many will remember his nature as down to earth, calm, knowledgeable, and loving. His life lessons and gentle nature touched hearts. His legacy will live on through his family, friends and dedicated employees.

Warren is survived by his loving wife of over 40 years, Linda J. Price; along with his eldest son, Todd Fisher; two daughters, Dr. Harper Price and Sasha Price-Walsh; and his siblings, Richard Price, Ellen Heinbach, Dan Price, Linda Shipman, Mike Price, Tom Price and Betsy Lawrence.


Vernon H. Beebe, 80, of Kennett Square, passed away on Oct. 15 at his residence.

He was the husband of Patricia Conwell Beebe, with whom he shared 59 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late Charles Beeby and Marjorie Pollard, and stepson of the late Wilda Beeby and Samuel Pollard. He was a leader (supervisor) at Wyeth Laboratories in West Chester, retiring in 1995 after 42 years of service. After his retirement, he worked at the Giant in Kennett Square for 17 years. He was a 1952 graduate of Unionville High School and he studied agriculture at Penn State. He served his country as a member of the U.S. Army. He was a member of  the Italian American Club, and the W.A.R. He enjoyed visiting wineries, Farmall tractors, and traveling with his wife and Jim and Diane Yunker.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Vernon H. Beebe, Jr., and his partner Jeffrey Steber of Kennett Square, and William Beebe of Tuscon, Ariz.; one daughter, Bernadette Boyle and her husband Mark of West Grove; three sisters, Peggy Bard of Indiana, and Sandra Domiguez, Suzette Carver and Suzanne Filippi, all of California; one stepbrother, Bobby Pollard; his grandson, Ethan Boyle; his "granddog" Brutus; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by one brother, Charles Beeby; and one sister, Penny Carr.

Services and burial were private. The family would like to express their thanks to the numerous caregivers who aided in Vernon’s life. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to Neighborhood Hospice, 795 E. Marshall Street, Suite 204, West Chester, PA 19380. Online condolences may be made by visiting



Robert A. Barratt, 86, of Chadds Ford, passed away on Oct. 16 at his residence.

He was the husband of Mary  Louise Hiorth Barratt, who passed away in 2006, and  with whom he shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Chester, Pa., he was the son of the late Arnold and Isabel Mary Pyett Barratt. He was a foreman at the  BP Refinery in Marcus Hook, Pa., for many years. He served his county as a member of the U.S. Navy on board  the USS Providence. He enjoyed reading, target shooting, bowling,  stained glass and woodworking. He was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chester, Pa.

He is survived by one son, Robert Scott Barratt and his wife Theresa of Atlantic Heights, N.J.;  two daughters, Cynthia Elizabeth Koeneman and her husband Don of Glenside, Pa., and Catherine Jean Marteinsson and her husband Vic of West Chester, Pa.; and one grandson, Todd Koeneman.

A visitation with family and friends will be held Oct. 22 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). His funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Georgia Ann Pierce, 75, of Landenberg, passed away on Oct. 18.

She was the wife of R.J. Pierce, who passed away in 2000, and with whom she shared 45 years of marriage. Born in Bluefield, W.Va., she was the daughter of the late Grady and Gypsy Tuggle Gent. She was a homemaker, enjoyed cooking, and being with her grandchildren. She was a member of the Kennett Square Missionary Baptist Church.

She is survived by one son, Norman C. Pierce; three daughters, Delores A. Mattson, Mary A. Osborne and Sandra D. Carpenter; one brother, Clyde Gent; three sisters, Evelyn Miller, Bonnie Clawson, and Barbara Caldwell; 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by one son, Terry L. Pierce.

A visitation with friendsand family will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). Her funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. Burial will be in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Online condolences may be made by visiting