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Chester County Press

Obituaries for week of April 13

04/14/2020 06:21PM ● By Steven Hoffman


Philip Hale Johnson, 82, of Elkton, Md., died of natural causes at Union Hospital on April 7. Phil was born on Jan. 16, 1938, in Chester County, Pa., to Warren and Jane Johnson. While growing up, he and his brothers, Doug and David, helped their parents on the family turkey farm near Nottingham.

Phil owned a herd of Angus cattle by the time he was 12 years old and was active in the Calvert Boys 4-H Club, where he enjoyed livestock showing and woodworking. After graduating from Penn State University with a degree in agricultural education, Phil taught vocational ag for two years and then decided to be a farmer full-time, an occupation he continued for the rest of his life.

Phil attended school in Calvert, Md., until the tenth grade, when he transferred to Rising Sun High School. Soon after arriving there, a lively redhead caught Phil’s eye. He asked Ruth Ann Ewing to a school dance, and then fell asleep leaning against the wall of the gym (he had been baling hay all day). Even though Ruth Ann had vowed she would never marry a farmer, she and Phil were married on Sept. 10, 1960 and raised three children, Molly, Betsy, and Ross, on their farm north of Elkton. 

Phil raised pigs on Walnut Springs Farm for 30 years and strawberries for 43 years. The pick-your-own strawberry venture started in 1976 as a way to diversify the farm’s income. Phil added raspberries a few years later. He was considered a leading expert on black raspberry and strawberry production, giving industry presentations and helping many other farmers establish and improve their crops.

Phil was a founding member of the Cecil County Farm Museum and worked tirelessly on that project for the past 20 years. He was an antique tool and farm equipment collector and had a passion for agricultural history. He was an avid local history buff of the Oxford and Cecil County area. He loved reading, listening to audio books, and attending auctions. He was a skilled woodworker and furniture maker and built tables, corner cupboards, and many pieces of furniture for family.

He was a life-long member of Moore’s Chapel United Methodist Church and served on many committees. He was an active member of the Gideons International. His Christian faith was the most important part of his life, and he loved nothing more than listening to the church choir, directed by Ruth Ann, on Sunday mornings.

Phil is survived by his high-school sweetheart and wife of almost 60 years, Ruth Ann, his children Molly Brumbley of Oxford, Betsy (Bob) Freese of Indianola, IA, and Ross (Lana) Johnson of Elkton, Md., his grandchildren Nowlan (Daniella) Freese, Warren Freese, Caroline Freese, Nicole Brumbley, Meghan (Josh) Condon, Sarah Brumbley, Danielle Brumbley and Tika Siburt, great-granddaughter Ines Freese, brother Doug (Jane) Johnson, nine nieces, and many cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother David.

A celebration of life for Phil Johnson will be held in a few months after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. The family is looking forward to seeing everyone at that time and hearing your stories about Phil. He was quite a character and will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Phil’s memory may be made payable to the Cecil County Farm Museum or Moore’s Chapel United Methodist Church and sent in care of R.T. Foard Funeral Home, PO Box 248, Rising Sun, MD 21911. To send online condolences, please visit


Gilbert M. Davis,  74, of Oxford, passed away peacefully on  April 6.

He is survived by his loving wife Patricia, two children, Nicholas and Victoria, two grandchildren, Jerry and Nicholas Shawn, two brothers, Tommy and Larry his sister, Sally and several great grand nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

His service and burial will be held at a later date.

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


Joan Davis Tynen died peacefully on April 7 at the Little Sisters of the Poor home in Newark, Del. She was 87

She lived a wonderful life with a zest for life and making every moment count. She loved to laugh and could watch Lucille Ball and Doris Day for hours. She enjoyed cooking healthy meals and knitting. Joan developed a caring, personal relationship with everyone she knew, and would regularly keep in touch with friends. She was entrepreneurial, and loved sharing her passion for health.

Family was her priority, and she attended nearly every celebration, whether it was a birthday, baptism, confirmation, family party or sporting event.

She is survived by her four daughters, Dorothy Knauss (and her husband Steven Knauss), Patricia  Vanover (and her husband  Eugene Vanover), Monica Stepek (and her husband Scott Stepek), and Susan Leardi (and her husband Robert Leardi). She is also survived by sixteen grandchildren, Christopher (and his wife Kaitlin), Michael, William, Geoffrey, Kevin, Monica, Mary, Patrick, Thomas, Susan, Eileen, Maura, Allie, Patty and Bill, as well as two great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Jack.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Joseph Tynen, with whom she shared 44 years of marriage.

Joan lived Jesus each and every day of her life, and has passed that faith on to all who have touched her life.

A memorial Mass will be held at a later date at St Patrick’s Church in Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Loving Little Sisters of the Poor ( would be appreciated.

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

Arrangements are being handled by the Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.


Frank Leroy Krauss of Nottingham, passed away on April 10 after a battle with cancer. He was 69.

Frank was born on May 25, 1951 to Howard Earl and Doris Miriam Fuller Krauss of Nottingham.

He is survived by his daughters, Misty Krauss, Lisa Krauss (husband Darryl Perez), Celeste Hill (husband Sam Hill); his grandchildren, Adrianna Styer (husband Jessie Styer), Katerina Santiago, Sabrina Santiago, Ethan Wilson, Darryl Perez II, Casadi, Madison, Nicholas, and Sam; and a great-grandchild, Zhavia Ruth Styer. He is also survived by siblings, Francis Foor, Doris Reese, Daisy Woodward, Gladys Perry, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and by siblings, Howard, Harold, John, Jesse, Esther DiGati, and Violet Miller.

He spent his life working on and around cars. He loved scrapping metal and fixing stuff. He spent much of his time searching out sweet treats with Misty and good deals with Lisa. He loved to laugh and loved his eagle hat.


SLUG: Obituaries April 15


Obit- Gilbert Davis