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Chester County Press

Obituaries for week of Dec. 15

12/16/2014 03:35PM ● By J. Chambless


Michael John Coldiron, 54, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 5 at Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove.

Born in Coatesville, he was the son of Lucille Carpenter Coldiron of Oxford and the late John F. Coldiron. He was a NASCAR enthusiast. His favorite driver was the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

He is survived by his mother; one son, Michael T. Coldiron of Port Deposit, Md.; one grandson, Jordan Elville; one brother, Richard Coldiron of Oxford; and one sister, Jan Weaver of Nottingham.

Services and interment were private. Online condolences may be made at


James Richard "Dick" Sims, Sr., 83, of Oxford, entered eternal life on Dec. 10 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

He was the husband of the late Donna Rosalie Simmons Sims. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late James Paul and Florence Emily Bullock Sims. He lived in Oxford his entire life. He graduated from Oxford Area High School in the class of 1949. He was employed with the Borough of Oxford as the water treatment plant operator. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Oxford and was active in the Boy Scouts of America in Oxford during the 1960s and 1970s.
He is survived by his first son, James R. Sims II and his wife Audrey Tanguy Sims of Rising Sun, Md.; two grandchildren, Alicia Danielle Sims, and David Isaac Sims; and one brother, William "Ben" Sims of Salem, Ore. He was preceded in death by his youngest son, Stephen Daniel Sims; as well as his sisters, Dorothy Carter, and Florence Charlton of Oxford.
A funeral was held Dec. 13. Interment with full military honors was held in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the First Baptist Church of Oxford (552 Market St, Oxford, PA 19363) to be used for missions and outreach. Online condolences may be made at


Willard R. Stem, Jr., 60, of Lincoln University, died suddenly on Dec. 9 in Lincoln University.

He was the husband of Carol DeFidelto Stem, with whom he shared 35 years of marriage. He was born in Easton, Pa., and graduated from East Stroudsburg University, where he was an Athletic Hall of Fame inductee. He was a financial coach and founder and owner of Senior Secure Advisory Group in Chadds Ford. He was co-founder of Avon Grove Wildcats youth football program. He was an avid golfer, ready for a round of golf at a moment's notice. He had a servant’s heart, was coach and mentor to many, and will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

In addition to his wife, Carol, he is survived by four sons, Kyle and his wife Katie of West Chester, and Drew, Keith and Derek of Lincoln University; two brothers, Lee Stem of Ontario, Canada, and Kevin Stem of Titusville, Pa.; and one sister, Linda Eck of Titusville. He was predeceased by a brother, Keith.

A funeral was held on Dec. 15. Interment was in New London Presbyterian Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to New York City Leadership Center’s Market Place Initiative, an effort to bring the love of Christ to business professionals in NYC and beyond. Send to P.O. Box 9157, Long Island City, NY 11103. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Judith A. Marshall, 64, of Avondale, died on Dec. 8 at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

She was the wife of Henry N. Marshall, Jr., with whom she shared 20 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, she was a daughter of the late Ernest Brison and Mary Clayburn of Exton. She lived with her aunt, Vivian Brison, for many years. She was a 1969 graduate of Avon Grove High School. She was a corrections officer, working for Chester County Prison for over 24 years, retiring in 2012. She loved playing bingo at the Kennett Area Senior Center. She loved to cook, and was known for her macaroni and spaghetti.  She was an avid collector of owl figurines. 

Survivors include, in addition to her husband and mother, one daughter, April Miller of Philadelphia; two stepchildren, Atiya Lynn Marshall of Philadelphia, and Dwayne N. Marshall of Avondale; three sisters, Karen  Cobb, Mary "Chubby" Pinkney, and Nancy Williams; five brothers, Ernest Brison, Jr., Robert Thompson, Steven Bowman, Brian Brison and Terry Bowman; and seven grandchildren, Brian, Quadir, Liam, Andrea, Destiny, Adrian and Carlos. She was predeceased by one sister, Michelle Brison.

A funeral was held Dec. 15. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Kennett Area Senior Center, 427 S. Walnut St., Kennett Square, PA 19348. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Louise M. Crawford, 84, of West Grove, passed away on Dec. 13 at her residence. 

She was the wife of John T. Crawford, who passed away in 1985, and with whom she shared 31 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of the late Lewis and Elizabeth Manley Melrath. She was an information referral secretary at the Kennett Area Senior Center in Kennett Square for 22 years, retiring in 2007. She was a member of the Kennett Area Senior Center and a lifetime member of the West Grove Fire Company, where she was also active in the Ladies Auxiliary. She enjoyed feeding and watching Birds, hosting Dutchmaid parties, playing hearts on her computer, and New Year's Eve get-togethers with family and friends.

She is survived by one daughter, Jill E. Wunder and her husband Brian of Newark, Del.; one brother, Lewis T. Melrath of Florida; and two grandsons, Michael and Greg Winchester.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 17, and again from 10 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 18, at the Foulk & Grieco Funeral Home (200 Rose Hill Rd., West Grove). Her Funeral service will follow  at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the West Grove Fire Company, P.O. Box 201, West Grove, PA 19390; or to the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Betsy Thompson Turner, 87, died on Dec. 11 at her home in Cartmel.

She was predeceased by her husband, George C. Turner, in 1999. They were married for almost 50 years. Except for a few years in her early married life, Betsy was a resident of the Kennett Square area. She was the daughter of Theodore R. and Marion Pyle Thompson. She attended George School and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. Betsy and George were married at her parents’ home, Woodside Farm, in 1949. Betsy was a homemaker, gardener and mother of four. She was a very tolerant mother who did not object to the occasional snake, turtle or newt in the house, even those that escaped. She endured her children’s escapades, some of which required medical help or a visit to the hardware store for cleaning solvents. With such a "busy" home life it is no wonder she and George took refuge in travel, France being a favorite destination. Betsy played tennis with family and many friends whom she treated like family.

She is survived by her children, George C. Turner, Jr. (Pam), William J. Turner (Katherine), Phoebe R. Turner (Robert), and Robert T. Turner (Lorraine). She has five grandchildren: Joshua T. Turner (Angel), Benjamin W. Turner, Celia T. Turner (Nicole), Ellen T. Turner (Janelle) and Julia T. Turner; as well as two great-grandchildren, Caleb and Wyatt Turner, and a little boy due in February. She is also survived by Yvonne Goodwin, a dear member of the family. She loved her special dog, Max, very much.

A memorial meeting for worship in memory of Betsy’s life will be held noon on Dec. 20 at Kennett Friends Meeting (125 W. Sickle St., Kennett Square). Interment will be held privately. Contributions in her memory may be made to Planned Parenthood of Chester County, or Greenpeace. To share a memory with her family, visit