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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of Feb. 17

02/18/2020 04:06PM ● By Steven Hoffman


Jon J. Vanderburg passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 8 at the age of 76.  He was the beloved husband of Lois A. Divine Vanderburg, with whom he shared 51 years of marriage.

Born in Kingston, Pa. in 1943, he was the son of the late Francis and Alberta (Austin) Vanderburg.  In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter Jill Russell (Ron); a sister, Gail Frew (Bill); two grandchildren, Kourtney and Hunter Russell and an adoring border collie Lily who kept watch over him while he was ill.

Spending most of his younger life in West Pittston, Pa., Jon attended Luzerne Elementary School and West Pittston High School before leaving for Millersville University, where he met Lois on the second day after she arrived.  She was a freshman and he was a senior.  They dated for five years before marrying on Aug. 10, 1968 in West Chester.  In November of the following year, their daughter Jill was born.  She was, and continues to be, a blessing to all.

After graduating from Millersville University with a degree in education, Jon secured a job teaching fifth grade science and math at Unionville Elementary School in the Unionville - Chadds Ford School District. When the Unionville Middle School (now Charles F. Patton Middle School) opened, he became the first guidance counselor.  He had been working to acquire his master’s degree in counseling from Millersville University.

Some years later, when Lois began teaching at the Middle School, Jon became one of Unionville High School’s counselors, and worked there until his retirement in 1997.

He thoroughly enjoyed his years as a teacher and also the feeling that he could guide the students he was assigned to and met with as a counselor. He was content with the profession he had chosen for his life’s work.

Jon enjoyed playing tennis, even into his senior years, and was an excellent player. While teaching, he coached both the boys and the girls tennis teams.

He was also quite an outdoorsman.  He loved to hunt and fish and belonged to the Buckhorn Hunting Lodge in Forkston Township, Pa., where his father was one of the original title holders.  His son-in-law has recently joined and they have enjoyed spending time there together.

Jon was an excellent woodcarver, carving both large and small ducks, shore birds, and swans.   He never wanted to sell his carvings. He just enjoyed giving them to friends. Jon and his wife collected decoys and attended many Decoy Shows.

Over the years, the family has adopted and were given many cats and dogs. All were dearly loved, especially those given to them by Jon’s sister and brother-in-law, who bred and raised prize-winning Maine Coon Cats.  But Jon’s best buddy was his beloved black lab Libby who went everywhere with him—hunting, fishing, and to Baily’s Farm.  She was a real companion.




Lois and Jon loved Hatteras Village, NC and spent many years visiting Hatteras Island with their friends and later with their family who all grew to love it just as much.  It felt like home to them.

The family would like to extend its sincere thanks to the Longwood Fire Company and to the physicians who were so kind to them in the Emergency Room at the Chester County Hospital.

Services were held on Feb. 15 at the Longwood Funeral Home & Cremation of Matthew Genereux. Burial was private.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, P.O. Box 417005 Boston, MA 02241-7005 or the American Lung Association National Direct Response Headquarters, 1200 Hosford Street Suite 101 Hudson, WI 54016-9316.


Bertha Petroll Bowman, formerly of Kennett Square, passed away Feb. 12. She was 97.

Born in Wilmington, Del., she was the daughter of the late Fritz E. Petroll and the late Anna Bradin Ogle Petroll.

Bertha was the beloved wife of the late Bradford Wilson Bowman, Sr., who passed away in 2018; mother of Bradford W. Bowman, Jr. (and his wife Linda) and Andrew Bowman (and his wife Sandy); grandmother of Brittany Bowman, Sonya Bowman, Lauren Bowman and Tyler Bowman; sister of Fritz "Pete" Petroll, Jr. (and his wife Pat) and Walter O. Petroll (and his wife Barbara). 

In addition to her parents, Bertha was predeceased by siblings, William Frederick Petroll, Ann P. Crowe-Gonser, Elsie Petroll Johnson and Margaret "Peggy" Belt.

A funeral service was held on Feb. 17 at the Longwood Funeral Home & Cremation of Matthew Genereux. Burial was in Longwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Longwood Fire Company, 1001 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA 19348.


Bernice Rachel Twyman, 83, of New Castle, Del., formerly of Oxford, passed on Feb. 10 at New Castle Health and Rehabilitation Center, New Castle, Del.
She was the wife of the late John L. Twyman.
Born in Georgetown, Md. on May 2, 1936, she was the daughter of the late Eunice and Bernice Brown Rochester.
Rachel was employed with J.B. Swayne Mushroom Cannery in Kennett Square in the late 1960s and in the 1970s she was employed as a bartender for Dallas Bar in Oxford.
She enjoyed dancing, parties, cooking and especially enjoyed Sunday dinners with family.
She is survived by two sons, John L. Twyman, Jr of Reading, Pa. and Calvin Twyman (Lisa) of Lancaster, Pa.; four daughters, Rose Twyman (Mack Maxwell) of New Castle, Del., Carolyn Twyman of West Chester, Pa., Rebecca Miller (Maurice) of Kirkwood, Pa. and Tonia Twyman (Shawn Comfort) of Reading, Pa.; one step-son, Vance Thorpe of Wilmington, Del.; twenty-four grandchildren; thirty-three great-grandchildren; two brothers, Thomas Rochester of Oxford and Robert Rochester of New Castle, Del.; one sister, Ruth Rochester of Kennett Square; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by one son, Bud Allen Twyman, Sr.; four sisters, Eunice McClain, Olivia Twyman, Annie Rochester and Margaret Rochester and two brothers, John Rochester and Ernest Rochester.
A Home Going Service will be held 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 24 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St. in Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 9 to 11 a.m.
Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at


Violet Rose Miller, 81, of Port Deposit, Md. passed away on Feb. 14 at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre De Grace, Md.

She was the wife of the late Walter H. Miller.

Born in Oxford, she was the daughter of the late Howard Earl and Doris Fuller Krauss.

Violet was a seamstress and enjoyed bingo, motorcycles and crafts.

She is survived by one son, Robert H. Miller (Bobbi) of Port Deposit, Md; two daughters, Cathy Miriam Wolf-Ring (Craig) of Bakersfield, CA and Diane Rose McIntosh (Jeffrey) of Colora, Md; Twelve grandchildren; twenty-four great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; two brothers, Frank Krauss and Howard Krauss, Jr. both of Nottingham; and four sisters, Daisy Woodard of Oxford, Doris Reece of NC, Frances Foor of  PA and Gladys Perry of VA.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 18 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., in Oxford.

Interment will be in Rosebank Cemetery in Rising Sun, Md.

In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., in Oxford.

Arrangements by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at