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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of July 25

07/26/2016 08:42AM ● By J. Chambless


Bernice "Bert" Coyne Boon, 91, formerly of St. Michaels, Md., and Ocean Grove, N.J., passed away on July 13 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

She was the widow of Jacob Boon Jr., who passed away in 2004, and with whom she shared 58 years of marriage. Originally from Caldwell, NJ., she graduated from Caldwell High School and attended LaSalle College in Newton, Mass., where she received her degree in merchandising and was immediately hired as a buyer and model at Hanes. Most notably she was the manager of the Culinary Art Store in Wilton, Conn.,where she also taught gourmet cooking classes. Cooking was her passion and after her tenure at the Culinary Arts Store, she continued to teach cooking. She loved her grandchildren, and hosted them for the entire summer at the Jersey Shore in Ocean Grove for over ten years. She was very proud of the fact that five generations of her family had vacationed and/or lived in Ocean Grove, N.J. As a young woman, she volunteered with Planned Parenthood. Bernice was a longtime member of the Ocean Grove Ladies' Auxiliary and a volunteer with Meals on Wheels in Ocean Grove N.J. She also volunteered at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., and was a member of the P.E.O. philanthropic organization, as well as a docent at the Episcopal Christ Church in St. Michaels. "Bert" was known to her friends and family as a warm, generous and gracious woman who always had a twinkle in her eye and loved to cook and entertain.

She is survived by her son, Alexander, and her daughter-in-law, Kristy; three grandchildren, Andrea, Rebecca and Dr. Toria McHarg and Toria's husband, Ian McHarg; two great-grandchildren, Avalyn and Lennox McHarg; and other family members and many dear friends.

A memorial service will be held in Ocean Grove, N.J., in the Tabernacle at 11 a.m. on Sept. 24. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, PO Box 248, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756; or to the Dementia Society of America, PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Edwin J. (“Hap”) Hoffman, Jr., 73, of Landenberg, passed away on July 12 at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

He was the husband of Joan Pasqua Hoffman, with whom he shared 52 years of marriage. He was born in 1943 in Pottsville, Pa., to the late Edwin J. Hoffman, Sr., and Doris White Hoffman. He was a 1961 graduate of Pottsville High School. He was employed at Hewlett Packard for 34 years, until 2001. He then became a Bailiff at the Chester County Courthouse. Hap loved his family. He enjoyed spending time with them. His three granddaughters held a special place in his heart. Hap also loved participating in and watching sports. He especially enjoyed watching football and was an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan. He coached high school girl’s basketball and softball for the Kennett School District. One of his biggest accomplishments was leading the girl’s basketball team to three district championships. He also brought flag football to the Kennett area in the 1970s.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Ed Hoffman and his wife Debbie of Maytown, Pa., and Scott Hoffman of Kennett, Square; three granddaughters, Taylor, Mollie, and Lauren of Maytown; a sister, Ruth Devlin of Pottsville; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Gertrude Hoffman; and by a grandson, Matthew. In keeping with Hap’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Mary Dolores Palita, 87, of Oxford, died on July 14 at her home.

Born in Chester, Pa., Mary graduated from Eddystone High School in 1947. Before marriage, she worked at Millers Flanders and AT&T as a telephone operator. She married her high school sweetheart, Tony, and lived and raised a family in Brookhaven before moving to Oxford in 1989. She was a member of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Oxford. Mary greatly enjoyed time spent with her family, reading, puzzles, crocheting, and the many trips she and her husband took after his retirement.
She was the daughter of the late Benjamin Hefton and Helen Dougherty Hefton. Mary is survived by her husband of 66 years, Anthony Palita; and their children, Anne Marie (John) Smith, Francis (Kathleen) Palita, Michael Palita, Anthony Palita, Vincent Palita, James (Jensine) Palita, Annette Palita, Lorraine Palita; sisters Catherine Agnes Barnett, Marie Evans, Theresa Booth; 15 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A mass of Christian burial was celebrated July 19 at Sacred Heart Church in Oxford. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718. Online condolences may be made at


Steve J. Melmeck, 85, of Landenberg, passed away on July 10 after a brief illness.

Raised in the Philadelphia area, Steve graduated from Upper Darby High School, then went on to earn his BA and MA in education at Penn State University. He was a Korean War Army veteran. Steve's career included teaching at Abington and Downingtown high schools and working as a respected editor of collegiate textbooks at McGraw-Hill Publishing Compan. His unique teaching style and dedication to preparing young people for life’s challenges endeared him to many students who have written him over the years to express their gratitude.

Steve was predeceased by his parents, Steve and Ann (Kopcinski) Melmeck; and his brother, Garrick Melmeck. He will be dearly missed by his wife of 61 years, Mary "Lou" Melmeck; his daughter Lisa (Frank) Vosburgh Owen of Landenberg; granddaughter Megan (Addison) Vosburgh Scott; and grandson Erik Vosburgh.

A life celebration will be held later this autumn and announced separately. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at


Leon Thorne Slauch, 92, passed away on July 17 at the Ware Presbyterian Village Health Center.

He was born in Lincoln University to the late R. Walter and Mary Barteau Slauch. He was the husband of Jacqueline Farra Slauch, with whom he shared 66 years of marriage. He graduated from Oxford High School in 1942. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Army Air Corps. He was a lifelong member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church, elected an elder in 1949, was active in the Oxford Area Civic Association, and was also a Board Member of the Neighborhood Services Center. He was a partner in the water well drilling firm of R. Walter Slauch and Sons, a charter member of the National Ground Water Association, and was the first well driller in Pennsylvania to be certified by that organization, and the 18th in the United States. He was an organizer and charter member of the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association. He was very active in that organization, serving as president, chairman of the program committee, and after retiring from the drilling business, was the first well driller to serve as the executive secretary, a position he held for ten years.

He is survived by his wife, Jackie; four sons, Peter and his wife Connie, John and his wife Sandra, R. Walter II and his wife Pamela, and James and his wife Sandra. He has six grandsons; four granddaughters; five great-granddaughters; and six great-grandsons. He is also survived by sisters Minnie Pusey, Ruby Brown, Irma Lawrence, and Nancy Berley. He was preceded in death by one sister, Francis Andrews; and two brothers, James and Richard.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Oxford Presbyterian Church (6 Pine St., Oxford, PA 19363), where friends and family may visit from 12:30 to 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the church, or Oxford Area Neighborhood Services Center, 35 N. Third St., Oxford, PA 19363. Online condolences may be made at


Muffy Manfredi Corrado, 94, of Kennett Square, died peacefully on July 18 at Jenner's Pond Retirement Community in West Grove.

She was the wife of the late Joseph S. Corrado, who died in 2001, and with whom she shared 60 years of marriage. Born in Hershey, she was a daughter of the late John and the late Hanna (Perotti) Manfredi.

Survivors include two sons, Joseph J. Corrado (Bonnie) and Frank L. Corrado (Evie), both of Kennett Square; one daughter, Victoria C. Peirson (Ron) of Kennett Square; four grandchildren, Joseph, Adrienne, Jaime and Chris; and nine great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by two brothers and three sisters.

A funeral was held July 22. Interment was in St. Patrick Cemetery in Kennett Square. Contributions in her memory may be made to Willowtree Hospice, 616 East Cypress Street Kennett Square, PA 19348. To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Italia “Edith” Ciarrocchi, 90, of Avondale, went home to be with her Lord on July 19 at Linden Hall in Kennett Square.

She was the wife of Henry Ciarrocchi, Sr., with whom she shared 65 years of marriage. Born in Atri, Abruzzo, Italy, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Angela Carulli D’Amico. She was a homemaker who enjoyed sharing her faith along with her skill at baking, and her tireless support of others. Edith was a member of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, Church in Avondale, where she served as an Eucharist minister, a lector, a churchkeeper and a member of the prayer group.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sons, Henry “Rick” Ciarrocchi, Jr. and his partner Margaret Barbine of Avondale, and Robert Ciarrocchi and his wife Suzanne of Alexandria, Va.; one daughter, Carol Griffith and her husband Michael of Gilbert, Ariz.; one sister, Yolanda Fidanza of Avondale; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by two brothers, Anthony D’Amico and Alfred D’Amico; one sister, Giovina Filaggi; and an infant sister, Yolanda D’Amico.

A funeral was held July 23. Burial was in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. In memory of Edith, a contribution may be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 185 Salem Church Road, Newark, DE 19713. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Roland H. Wetzel, 93, died peacefully at home on July 20, after a slow decline following surgery.

He was born in 1923 in Hartford, Wis., to William Wetzel and Bertha (Uber) Wetzel. He grew up in Hartford and moved to Milwaukee, where he graduated from Shorewood High School, and met his wife of 71 years, Muriel E. Auler. After two years attending the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, he enlisted in the Navy V-12 program, which allowed him to complete his B.S. at U. Wisconsin, Madison. Upon graduating, he went to Midshipmen’s School at Columbia University and was commissioned Ensign.

The Navy sent him to various specialized training schools then assigned him to the newly constructed heavy cruiser USS Oregon City. He married Muriel in 1945 and she accompanied him to various state-side locations until he went aboard ship. He was honorably discharged in June 1946 and returned to U. Wisconsin and earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering under the GI Bill. After graduating in August 1951, he took employment at DuPont Company in Wilmington, where he remained until retirement.

He is the holder of several U.S. patents. His work involved product and process development on white and colored pigments, high purity titanium, zirconium, and niobium metals, semi-conductor silicon, mineral processing, and environmental concerns related to these. He retired in June 1978.

He was an active member of Avondale Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder. He was an election judge and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, DeMolay, Masons, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and four professional and social fraternities (Theta Chi, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and Phi Lambda Upsilon).

Since retiring, he had pursued interests in family, home, church, travel, gardening, fishing, and woodworking. He lived in Landenberg from 1958 until 2004, when he and Muriel moved to Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

He is survived by his wife Muriel, 93; son Peter, 67; and five grandchildren, Adrian, Riki, Janel, Brandon and Ellen. His younger son, James, preceded him in death in February, 2015.

A visitation with friends and family will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. July 27 at the Foulk & Grieco Funeral Home (200 Rose Hill Rd., West Grove). Interment will be in New London Presbyterian Cemetery.

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held 11 a.m. July 30 at Avondale Presbyterian Church (420 Pennsylvania Ave., Route 41, Avondale). In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Roland may be sent to the Building Fund, Avondale Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 446, Avondale, PA 19311.

To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Josephine Marlene Griest, 87, formerly of Oxford, arrived in heaven on July 20.

She resided at the Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community. Born in West Jefferson, N.C., she was a daughter of Arthur and Cardova (Darnell) Bare. She was married for 65 years to Harvey J. Griest, who preceded his wife in death in 2012.

Josephine served for 30 years as the pianist at her church, The Truth and Life Center in Northeast, Md. She and her late husband loved to travel and had visited 47 states and 12 countries, among them the USSR, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, The People’s Republic of China, and Israel.

Josephine is survived by four daughters: Lois, wife of Gary Clanton of West Grove; Sandra, wife of Stephen Brownell of California; Donna McCummings of Avondale, and Pamela, wife of Bard Purcell of Oxford; as well as seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Her beloved grandson, Alan Clanton, preceded her in death in March 2016.

A funeral was held July 26.


James Douglas Brown, 70, passed away on July 18.

Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late James Wolf and Ethel Mae Brown. James was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served during the Vietnam War. He enjoyed fishing, and played basketball, soccer and ran track in high school.

He is survived by four sisters, Lucy Mae Milburn of Peach Bottom, Rev. Frances B. Lee of Oxford, Wanda Boyden-Slater of Las Vegas, and Rhonda M. Brown of Wilmington, Del.; one brother, David S. Brown of Coatesville; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services will be private. Online condolences may be made at


James J. Dennis, 71, of West Grove, passed away on July 18 at his home.

Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Norman and Margaret Supplee Dennis. He was a retired salesman. James was a devout member of Christ Church at the Grove, Avondale. He loved music, writing and singing.

He is survived by his sons John P. Dennis (Susanne) and Richard Dennis; daughter Debra Basquill (Daniel); granddaughters Kimberly, Kristen, Sofie and Lily; brother Norman Dennis; and sister Judy Breslin.

Funeral services were held July 22. Interment was in Oxford Cemetery. Donations in his memory may be made to Christ Church at the Grove, 133 Sheehan Rd., Avondale, PA 19311. Online condolences may be made at


Ronald Krassenstein, 75, of Peach Bottom, passed away on July 23 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, surrounded by his family.

He was born in Philadelphia to the late Morris and Dorothy Krassenstein of Ventnor, N.J. He was a member of Nottingham Presbyterian Church. He volunteered at Jennersville Regional Hospital and Robert Fulton Fire Company. He was the dairy manager and retired from the University of Pennsylvania, New Bolton Center, where he worked for 33 years. After retirement, he fulfilled his dream of having his own farm. He enjoyed history, reading, tending to his flowers, caring for his herd and walking with his dog, Jack.

Ron is survived by his loving wife, Minnie (Price) Krassenstein, with whom he shared 43 years of marriage; their children, Matthew and his wife Christina Krassenstein of Peach Bottom, Joseph and his wife Christina Hoell of Gardiner, N.Y., and Dorothy and her husband Timothy Peterson of West Grove; seven grandchildren, Matthew, Daniel, Victoria, Kelly, Dylan, Sara and Jacob; and special friends, the Roney family.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 29, at Nottingham Presbyterian Church (497 W. Christine Rd., Nottingham), where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Farm Aid, 501 Cambridge St., Third Floor, Cambridge, MA 02141 or at Online condolences may be made at


Daniel John Borneman, 47, of Chesapeake City, Md., passed away on July 24 at the Bethesda Hospital East, Boynton Beach, Fla.

He was the husband of Amy Baird Borneman. Born in Darby, Pa., he was the son of Joseph Borneman of Deltona, Fla., and the late Eileen Borham Borneman. He was a police officer on the Chester Police Department for 20 years, retiring in 2014. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, William Penn Lodge 19, Chester, Pa. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, reading, and was a big Flyers fan. He especially enjoyed trips to the beach with his daughter.

He is survived by his daughter, Justine Borneman of Cecilton, Md.; one sister, Jennifer Carr (Pat) of Oxford; one brother, Mark Borneman (Gillian) of Deltona, Fla.; three nieces; and three nephews.

A visitation with friends and family will be held from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. Aug. 1 at the Assumption BVM Church (300 State Rd., West Grove). His funeral mass will follow at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in St. Malachi Cemetery in Cochranville. In memory of Danny, a contribution may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Online condolences may be made by visiting


Betty Wiley, 92, of Kennett Square, passed away peacefully at Crosslands on  July 25. 

Born in Malvern, she was the daughter of the late Honor and Anna Swanenburg. She and her late husband, Harvey (Pete) Wiley, shared 50 years of marriage. They worked together at their business, Wiley Motors, in West Chester for many years before retiring to Florida. The love of their grandchildren brought them home to Pennsylvania in the mid-1970s. Betty was the devoted mother of the late Joseph Wiley (Linda Hetherington) of West Chester, and Shirley Wood (Ben) of Chadds Ford; loving grandmother of Michael Wiley (Nicole  Mayer), Lynsey Wood Jeffries (David), and Jeffrey Wiley Wood; and proud great-grandmother of Madeline Wiley and Pete Jeffries. Betty is survived by her sister, Jane Tinder; and predeceased by her brother, Charles Swanenburg.

Burial will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Kendal Crosslands Communities (note "KC Employee Appreciation Fund" in the check memo). Mailing address:P.O. Box 100 Kennett Square, PA 19348. Online condolences may be made by visiting