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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Jan. 23

01/24/2017 12:59PM ● By J. Chambless


Richard B. Hawkins, MD, 75, of Fitchburg, Mass., passed away on Dec. 29 in Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster, Mass.

Richard was born in Woodbury, N.J., in 1941, a son of the late William and Miriam Hawkins. He graduated from Kennett High School in Pennsylvania and went on to Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., where he graduated with honors in social relations. In 1969, Richard received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his surgical internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Richard trained in orthopaedic surgery in Boston at various hospitals for three years. Until his retirement, he worked in private practice in general orthopaedics. In 1981, Richard received a certificate of appreciation from CARE-MEDICO at the Dahka National Orthopaedic Hospital in Dahka, Bangladesh, where he spent a month volunteering. He was a member of the North Medford Running Club and the Optimum Performance Cycling Group. He loved running and he loved riding his bicycle. On any given day from April through November, he could be seen riding his bike up and down Mount Wachusett. After his retirement from medicine, he worked for the Wachusett Brewing Company. Hawk was also an avid pilot; he was a flight surgeon in the Air Force. The Pan Mass Challenge was a passion of his, he rode for the past five years in memory of his brother John, and Kathie’s brother Steve Cioffi.

Richard is survived by his beloved and best friend, Kathie Cioffi; sons, Graham Hawkins of Boston, and Spencer Hawkins and wife Stephanie of Berkley, Calif.; and grandsons, Oliver and Axel of Berkley, Calif. He is also survived by Kathie’s three sons, Billy, Michael, and Timmy DiLillo.

He was predeceased by his brother, John Hawkins.

In memory of Dr. Richard B. Hawkins, Perioperative Services Department will be accepting donations for the purchase of a granite bench. The engraved bench will be placed on the Leominster Campus in memory of his outstanding service and generosity to the UMass Memorial-Health Alliance Hospital and the community. A Health Alliance Scholarship will also be set up in his memory. Contact Deb LaPointe at Health Alliance for more information, or to make a donation, at 1-978-466-2214 or ATTN: Deb LaPointe, 60 Hospital Rd., Leominster, MA 01453.


Carl F. Jester, 50, of Landenberg passed away on Jan. 12 at Heartland Hospice in Wilmington, Del.

He was the husband of Kimberly Rosenbaum Jester, with whom he shared 22 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, he was the son of Mary Leathers Jester Delaurentis of Oxford and the late William H. Jester, Sr. Carl was employed with Technivate Inc., Landenberg, as a heavy equipment operator for 18 years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. Carl was a loving father, brother, husband and son.

He is survived by his wife; mother; one son, Zachary C. Jester of Landenberg; one daughter, Samantha R. Jester of Landenberg; one brother, William H. Jester, Jr., of Newark, Del.; two sisters, Georgia A. Brunt of Jacksonville, N.C., and Brenda L. Jester of Palm Coast, Fla.; stepbrother, Michael Greer of West Grove; and father and mother-in-law, Robert McDonaugh and Linda Rosenbaum of Landenberg.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Mary E. Jester; and brother, John D. Jester.

Funeral services were held Jan. 21. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. Online condolences may be made at


Laura D. Melrath, 81, of Oxford, passed away on Jan. 12 at home.

She was the wife of the late Earl Melrath. Born in West Jefferson, N.C., she was the daughter of the late Thomas Daniel and Frances Lou Ellen Church Brooks. Laura was formerly employed with Greenleaf Enterprises in Oxford. She was a former member of Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 2666 Axillary, and Mason Dixon Post No. 194 American Legion, Rising Sun, Md.

She is survived by four daughters, Patrisha K. Phillips (Franky Cortez) of Oxford, Karen Pugh (Donald) of Oxford, Faith Rivera (Angel) of Oxford, and Charity Phillips of West Chester; ten grandchildren, Franky Phillips, Marissa Phillips, Rosana Phillips, Clint Pugh, Anthony Rivera, Amy Phillips, James Pugh, Jeremy Rivera, Jonathon Phillips and John Pugh; ten great-grandchildren; one brother, Wade Brooks of Fleetwood, N.C.; and one sister, Ethel Barker of Christiana, Pa. She was preceded in death by her former husband, Joseph James Phillips; and daughter, Hope Phillips.

Funeral services were held Jan. 18. Interment was in Homeville Cemetery in Cochranville. Online condolences may be made at


Dolores Jean Miller, 52, of West Grove, passed away on Jan. 15 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

She was the wife of the William Miller, with whom she shared 11 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of Doris Chestnut Heath of West Grove and the late Cecil Heath. Dolores enjoyed reading mystery novels, and paintings and decorations of wolves. She especially loved her grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband; mother; two sons, Kevin Thompson of Oxford and Allan Thompson of Houston, Texas; one daughter, Ashley Thomson (Kyle) of Allentown; one sister, Ruthann Miller of Delaware; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Jan. 20. Interment was private. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 15120, Chicago, IL 60693. Online condolences may be made at


Raymond Anson Richey, 78, of Nottingham, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on January 10.

He was born in 1938 to Walker and Goldie Richey in West Chester. Ray is survived by his wife of 57 years, Hanna Jane; daughter Tammy (Bill) McGraw; son Gary (Kris) Richey; sisters Janet (Bob) Stanley, Kathy Cole, and Dot Richey; five loving grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews and extended family.

Ray was a loving father, husband, grandfather and friend to all. He was patriotic and proud to serve his country as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. Army. He was a car enthusiast, and enjoyed attending car shows with his son and grandson. He worked for 30-plus years at Herr Foods as a salesman and security officer. He enjoyed watching Phillies baseball games, traveling, and going out to dinner with his family.

Visitation and funeral services for Ray will be private. He will be laid to rest at the Oxford Cemetery in Oxford. Memorial donations may be made to Neighborhood Hospice, 400 East Marshall Street, West Chester, PA 19380.


Theresa “Babe” Hobbs has passed peacefully at the age of 92 at the Pocopson Home.

She was the wife of the late Bernard X. Hobbs, Sr., who passed away in 1988, and with whom she shared 46 years of marriage. Born in New Castle, Del., she was the daughter of the late Alfred and Sarah Schuhardt. Growing up in Old New Castle, Babe was very social and loved to attend dances and parties with her sister. She graduated from St. Peter's School and later achieved her bachelor's degree through Goldey Beacom. She enjoyed a variety of work experiences, beginning with serving refreshments to the passengers on the New Castle Pennsville Ferry as a teenager, a 40-year career at DuPont, and then Macy's. Theresa enjoyed a variety of activities with her family, including boating along the Delaware and Maryland waterways, weekends at her Indian River Inlet summer home, and short-range touring with a Harley Davidson Motorcycle Club.

She is survived by her devoted granddaughter, Ginger Hobbs Gallo, and husband Dominick Gallo; great-grandchildren Sarah E Gallo, Andrew X. Gallo; and daughter in-law Candy Wample Hobbs.

Theresa was predeceased by her beloved son, Bernard X. Hobbs, Jr.; and one sister, Agnes “Doll” Jones.

A graveside service was held Jan. 23 at Gracelawn Memorial Park in New Castle. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the New Castle Senior Center, 400 South Street, New Castle, DE 19720.

Online condolences may be made by visiting


Joan Elizabeth (Whitmore) Madigan, 80, of West Grove, passed away on Jan. 18 after bravely fighting a seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Joan was born in 1936 in Brookhaven, Pa. She was one of seven children born to Truman A. and Dollyne C. (Kanode) Whitmore. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Revelle and Richard; and sisters, June Picciano and Mary Jane Schork. Joan was survived by her loving husband of 37 years, Leo (Lee) E. Madigan; son Kevin M. Bell (Teresa) of San Antonio, Texas; granddaughter Jordan; brothers Bob Whitmore of Aston and Truman (Bernice) Whitmore of Garnet Valley; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Joan was a 1954 graduate of Media High School. She was a longtime member of Beta Sigma Phi International. In 1968, she began a 32-year career as an executive assistant in the corporate offices of Wawa, Inc. She will always be remembered for her beautiful blue eyes and her grace, intelligence and kindness. She loved to entertain family and friends and never missed an opportunity to spoil her only granddaughter, Jordan. She treasured spending many a day enjoying the shore with her husband at her little slice of heaven in Avalon, N.J.

Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial service on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m. at Ruffenach Funeral Home (4900 Township Line Rd., Drexel Hill), where a visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be at Media Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Willow Tree Hospice, 616 East Cypress Street, Kennett Square, PA 19342. Online condolences may be offered at


Kenneth J. Huddleston, 52, of Landenberg, died on Jan. 18 at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester.

He was the husband of Sandra Bibbs Huddleston, with whom he shared 17 years of marriage. Born in Tiffin, Ohio, he was a son of Jerry and Karen Kerr Huddleston, both of Tiffin, Ohio. He served our country in the Navy for four years. He was an operations manager at the DuPont Company for over 24 years. He loved working on cars, woodworking, drag racing, photography, traveling, and attending rock concerts. He loved his two dogs and one bird, but most of all, he adored his family.

Survivors include, in addition to his wife and parents, his mother-in-law, Ruby Bibbs of Newark, Del.; one son, Casey Huddleston, at home; one brother, Michael Huddleston of Findlay Ohio; one sister, Trisha Huddleston of Findlay, Ohio; and several nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home, Inc. (250 W. State St., Kennett Square). A service celebrating his life will follow at 2:30 p.m. Interment will be held privately. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Chester County SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, PA 19380. To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, visit


Robert N. Yerkes, Jr., 71, of Oxford, passed away on Jan. 20 at Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford.

He was the son the late Robert N., Sr., and Ethyl “Patsy” Reeves Yerkes. Bob was a graduate of Perkiomen The University of Mississippi, and a member of the Oxford Presbyterian Church. He loved to talk politics, watch Ole Miss Rebels football, and bet the horses. He will be missed by all those he loved.

He is survived by his brother-in-law, Palmer R. Watkins, formerly of Catonsville, Md.; nephew, John P. Watkins of Richmond, Va.; niece, Deborah W. Blair of Ellicott City, Md.; and cousins, Bruce and Lee Yerkes, both of Maryland.

A graveside service was held Jan. 24 at the Oxford Cemetery. Visit


Georgianna Hannum Stapleton passed away on Jan. 17.

Born in Chestnut Hill, Pa., to George H. Duross and Helen Curtiss, Georgianna (Georgie) Duross attended The Raven Hill School, The Springside School, and The University of Pennsylvania (B.A.).

Georgie was married to The Honorable Walter K. Stapleton, a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. They were married for 25 years and lived at Foalsfield, their farm in Unionville. Previously, she was married to John B. (Jock) Hannum, Jr., who was a decorated Marine Corps officer in the Vietnam War. Georgie and Jock raised four children, Christianna P. Hannum, John B. Hannum III, Curtiss P.S. Hannum, and George D. Hannum.

Georgie was first employed with the Historical American Buildings Survey in Washington, D.C. as an architectural historian. In 1976, she founded Country Properties, a real estate firm committed to open space preservation. Her passion for open space was compelling, and she was an early, and persuasive, champion of placing conservation easements on landowners’ properties. Georgie was chosen, by a leading conservation group, to oversee the disbursement of the King Ranch property, which resulted in the permanent preservation of over 5,000 acres in southern Chester County.

Georgie loved the land, but above all she loved her children, her grandchildren and her friends. Famous for her parties, dinners, and informal gatherings around the kitchen table, Georgie brought people together, from family members to Supreme Court Justices to local artisans. Foalsfield has always been filled with children swimming and fishing in the pond, Gator rides through the fields, the laughter and teasing of friends and family, and the joy of being in Georgie’s company.

Georgie was also brave; diagnosed with cancer in 2007, her spirit never diminished. She continued to work, travel, be an avid reader, and draw people together. Georgie served as a board member of the Chester County Hospital, The Primitive Hall Foundation, The Chester County Planning Commission, Planned Parenthood of Chester County, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra and The United Way of Chester County. She was also a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and a Fresh Air Fund Host Family.

She is survived by her husband; her four children and their father; her eight grandchildren; her sister; and her niece and nephews. A memorial service will be held on Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. at Church of the

Loving Shepherd in West Chester. A reception will follow at The Wilmington Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Chester County Fund for Women and Girls (


Gale Anne Moser, 70, of Kennett Square, passed away on Jan. 21 at Chester County Hospital in West Chester

She is survived by Kem C. Moser, with whom she shared 45 years of marriage. She dedicated her life to caring for the people around her, and fought to bring out the best in the family and communities she was a part of.

Gale was born in Methuen, Mass., to the late Ronald and Anne (Eastwood) Sarner. She attended Skidmore College, where she graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in biology. As a research biologist, Gale worked for many organizations, including Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, both in Philadelphia, and at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square.

Gale was active in her children’s PTO, where she was a founding member of both the Kennett High School Ice Hockey Team and the Kennett After Prom program. She was involved with the Fairville Friends preschool and the Kennett Run, both in their early beginnings, and was a member of the Kennett Historical Society. Her real passion was her family and friends. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt whose boundless love and unwavering support served as an example and inspiration for her family. Strong, intelligent, impassioned, compassionate, loyal, silly, fiercely kind, insightful, magical, bold, and a true believer in everyone she loved; all who knew and loved her are better for it.

Gale is further survived by her sons, Ryan J. Moser (Rae Talerico) of Jersey City, N.J., and Seth A. Moser of Manhattan, N.Y.; her daughter, Rachel M. Carroll (Anthony, Jr.) of Downingtown; her brother, James Sarner (Deborah) of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; her sisters, Karin McNair (Timothy) of Erie, Pa., and Anne Quinn (Raymond) of Utica, N.Y.; her four grandchildren, Aiden Carroll, Gabriel Carroll, Chloe Carroll and Theo Moser; her sisters-in-law, Rochelle Freedman of Allentown, and Cathy Sarner of Hartford, N.Y.; Barbara Berkman, with whom she shared 55 years of friendship; and Shaina Robbins, her close friend and caretaker. She was predeceased by her brother, Ronald; and brother-in-law, Brian.

A visitation with family and friends will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Jan. 28 at Hartefeld National Golf Club (1 Hartefeld Dr., Avondale). A ceremony celebrating her life will follow at 4 p.m. Contributions in her memory may be made to CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing) for its ONE ROOF/Keeping Families Together initiative, which benefits children and youth. Details on how to make a donation may be found at To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, visit


Robert H. Flinn, Sr., 64, of Oxford, passed away on Jan. 22 at Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove. Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. Visit