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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of October 12

10/13/2020 02:29PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Vincenzi Martelli
Vincenzi “James” Martelli, a resident of Kennett  Square, passed away on Oct. 1 at the Chester County Hospital. He was 93.
He was the husband of the late Erma (Farmer) Martelli.  
Born on July 27, 1927 in Kennett Square, he was the son of the late Luca and Josephine (Galante) Martelli.
James attended St. Patrick’s School and later graduated from the Kennett High School.  Following high school, he served in the Merchant Marines.  
He then entered into the family mushroom business, Luca Martelli and Sons, which he owned and operated along with his father and brothers.  
James was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Kennett Square and also belonged to the Italian American Club and Sons of Italy in Kennett Square. In his free time, James enjoyed hunting and fishing.
James is survived by his children, Luke Martelli (and wife Mary Alice), Patricia M. Kilpatrick (and her late husband Randy), and Donna M. Jenkins (and her husband Dave); his grandchildren, Victoria Martelli, Christine Powers (and her husband Kevin), Shawn Kilpatrick (and his wife Rebekah), and Alex Jenkins (and his wife Melissa); his great-grandchildren, Lucas, Milo, Colin, Riley, Zach, Trey, Lily, and Emmett.  
He is also survived by his close friend Christine Barczak.  
In addition to his wife and parents, James is preceded in death by his siblings, Gilda, Anthony, Rose, Louise, and Daniel.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all services will be private.  
Interment will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square. Please visit the online memorial by going to

Donna R. Smith
Donna R. Smith, a resident of Nottingham, passed away on Sept. 30 at Jennersville Regional Hospital in West Grove. She was 58.
She was the wife of Steven V. Smith, with whom she shared 42 years of marriage.
Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of the late Laverne and Darlene Trivitt Barlow. 
Donna was employed with Pocopson Home and Kendal Crosslands as a certified nursing assistant.
She enjoyed crocheting and making blankets for her children. Donna was a devoted mother and loved her children.
She is survived by her husband; three daughters, Amanda Smith of Nottingham, Maranda Johnson (Richard) of Oxford and Jessica Armstrong (Jayme) of Lewistown; one son, Steven V. Smith, Jr (Alyssa Marino) of Oxford; 7 grandchildren, Michael, Mason, Jackson, Gavin, Ricky, Evan and AJ; two great-granddaughters, Avianna and Alaya; two brothers, Dwayne Barlow of West Grove and Keith Barlow of Mt. City, TN; and three sisters, Freida Moore of Cochranville, Tammy Snyder of Landenberg and Robin Roberts of Butler, TN.
Services are private.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at

Hazel Craig Gander
Hazel Craig Gander passed away on Oct. 5 at Jenners Pond Assisted Living in Jennersville. She was 99.
Hazel Craig was born in Brockton, Mass. on May 24, 1921 to Edgar and Olive Craig of North Easton, where she then grew up.
Hazel was an excellent student, and learned the piano well enough to get a job playing at a ballet school as a high school student. She graduated as valedictorian from Oliver Ames High School in 1938.  
Growing up she and her family spent their summers in Harwichport on Cape Cod and she always loved the seashore.  
After high school, Hazel entered Wellesley College where she majored in English Literature and participated on the crew team, the college choir, and the drama society.  
While at Wellesley she met Fred Gander, a student at MIT. Upon their graduations in 1942, Hazel and Fred, then an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, were married in the Unity Church in North Easton. Soon afterward, Fred was assigned to the Naval Air Station in San Diego, and Hazel moved across the country.  She worked at the Navy Base until the birth of her first son, Frederick, Jr. (Rick) in 1943.  When Fred Sr. was sent to Hawaii, Hazel and Rick returned to North Easton for the duration of Fred’s naval service.
After the war, Fred returned to MIT for graduate school and the family lived in Belmont, MA near MIT.  After earning his masters degree, Fred took a job with the DuPont Company and the family moved to Kearny, N.J., where their second son, Craig was born in 1948.  
When Fred was transferred to Wilmington, Del., the family moved to the Wilmington area where their third son, Carl, was born in 1951.  After three years there the Gander family moved to the Buffalo, N.Y. area, and then, in 1962, they moved back to Kennett Square where they lived for many years until Fred retired from DuPont.  
While living in the Kennett area Hazel was active in tutoring adults in English (ESL).  She also worked as a tour guide at Longwood Gardens, utilizing her longtime interest in and knowledge of horticulture.
Hazel was a wonderful loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother and all her surviving family miss her deeply.
Hazel was predeceased by her brothers Ed and Bill, and sister Evelyn, and her late husband Fred Gander. 
She is survived by her three sons and their spouses, Rick and Candy of Newton, MA, Craig and Fran of Denver, CO, and Carl and Gail of Raphine, VA, and by 9 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Her service and burial will be held privately.
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.

George Harris, age 73, of Parkesburg, Pa., passed away on Oct. 7 at his residence.  
He was the husband of Rita J. Laws Harris who passed away in 2004, and with whom he shared 33 years of marriage.
Born in Wilmington, Del., he was the son of the late Lawrence W. Harris and the late Margaret Davis Harris.
George was a pathologist technician at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square for 24 years, retiring in 2014.
He enjoyed riding horses and  going to Nebraska and doing cattle drives, and being with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren.
He had a passion for horses. He got his first horse when he was 13 and had horses all of his life. Next to his family, horses were his life.
He is survived by  one son, Shawn Harris of Cochranville, Pa.; one daughter, Shannon Osborne of Parkesburg, Pa.; one brother, Thomas W. Harris of Atlanta, GA and three granddaughters, Brianna Lynn Osborne, Brooke Elizabeth Osborne and Kelsey Marie Osborne.
You are invited to visit with his family and friends from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 West State Street in Kennett Square.  
His Memorial service will follow at 1 p.m. 
Burial will be private.
In lieu  of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,  100 N. 20th Street, Suite 405, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, please visit

Ricky A. Sierra
Ricky A. Sierra passed away on Sept. 28 at Jennersville Hospital in West Grove. He was 65.
He was the husband of Cindy McGeehan Sierra.
Born in Oxford, he was the son of the late Jamie and Helen Walker Sierra, and was raised by Betty Coleman.
Ricky was employed with Chester County Prison as a correction officer for 11 years and was formerly employed with Avon Fuel in Avondale for 32 years.
He was an avid softball player and enjoyed golfing, bowling, annual mountain hunting trips to Potter County and was a car show enthusiast.
He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Shannon Roop (Steven) of West Grove and Tracy Thomas (William) of Middletown, Del.; one son, Chris Honeycutt (Nicole) of Townsend, Del.; five grandchildren, Landon Roop, Will Thomas, Meghan Thomas, Jackson Honeycutt and Colton Honeycutt; seven siblings, Dorothy Negron of Avondale, Betty Lou Hersh of Quarryville, Rusty Hersh of Buena, NJ, Joseph Sierra (Kelly) of Oxford, Anita Sierra of Oxford, Joyce Krauss (Leeroy) of Nottingham, Diana Sierra of Smyrna, Amanda Jones of New Providence, Alberto (Poppy) Coleman of NJ; and stepmother, Francis Way. He was also survived by many nieces and nephews. 
He was preceded in death by nine siblings, Albert, Carol, Sylvia, James, Gerald “Snap”, Harry, David, Kevin and Jimmy Dean.
Funeral services were held on Oct. 6 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of Landon Roop at Citadel Credit Union.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at

Margaret Catherine Keels
Margaret Catherine Keels, an 85-year-old resident of Kennett Square, passed away on Oct. 4 at Jennersville Hospital. 
Margaret was the wife of Aaron S. Keels, with whom she shared 36 years of love and happiness.
Born in Philadelphia in 1935, Margaret was the daughter of the late John McCrohan and the late Margaret Bannon McCrohan.
Margaret was a caring person who was easy to love. She had a huge heart and was very charitable, often donating to organizations such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. 
Margaret was passionate about traveling and enjoyed any time she spent by the ocean. She loved animals, flowers and had a great eye for home décor. Most importantly, Margaret deeply loved her family. She was a wonderful wife, fantastic mother and adoring “Grammy” to her grandkids and great grandkids.
In addition to her husband, Aaron, Margaret is survived by her daughters, Ann Marie Brown, Deborah Gaeto and Eileen Johnson; her son, Clive Johnson; 8 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews. 
She was predeceased by her siblings, John McCrohan, Jr., Loretta O’Rourke and Gerald McCrohan.
Services were held on Oct. 10 at Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.
Interment will take place at a later date at Washington Crossing National Cemetery.
Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.

Ella Jean Ross
Ella Jean Ross, a resident of Kennett Square, passed away on Oct. 8 at Chester County Hospital. She was 80.
Born 1940 in Mouth of Wilson, VA, Ella was the daughter of the late Eugene Haldaway and the late Flora (Holloway) Haldaway.
For over 43 years, Ella enjoyed her time working at Landhope Farms.
Ella was a hard worker who deeply loved her family. She was a longtime member of First Baptist Church in Kennett Square and was involved with many church activities. Ella was a quiet woman and though she may not have had much to say, she certainly always had a smile on her face.
Ella is survived by her son, Michael Ross; her stepson, Robert Ross, Jr.; her daughters, Rebecca Yakscoe, Robin Hawkes, Carol Waltz, Susan Moore and Joan Shupe; her stepdaughter, Peggy Darnell; her brother, Bruce Haldaway; several grandchildren and many great grandchildren. 
Ella was predeceased by her husband, Robert Edward Ross, Sr.; her step-daughter, Joanne Wilson; her brother, Roy Haldaway; and her sister, Ann Radcliffe.

You are invited to visit with Ella’s family on Friday, Oct. 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 W. State Street in Kennett Square. 
Services will begin at 3 p.m. and, due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, will be by invitation only. 
Interment will be private.
Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.

Frederick Harper Taylor, Jr. 
Frederick (Rick) Harper Taylor, Jr., of Lincoln University, Pa., passed away on Sept. 19 at Christiana Hospital. He was 69.
Rick was born June 29, 1951 in West Chester, Pa. to the late Frederick (Sr.) and Constance Taylor. 
He was the oldest of four children, Cathy, Cindy and David. 
Rick attended Temple University and was a graduate of Unionville High School and Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Del.
Earlier this year, Rick retired from Taylor’s Service Center in Chadds Ford, Pa., after more than 50 years. He first worked at the car repair shop with his father and then owned and operated the business with his brother. 
As much as Rick enjoyed the business and his customers, his first loves were his wife, Elizabeth, and his five children, Frederick Taylor III (Laura), Leah Somers (Todd), Sarah Hillen (Curtis), William Taylor (Dawn) and Christine Vanella (Nick), and eight grandchildren. 
He and Beth were married 46 years. He lived his life for his family and was loved by all who knew him. 
A private Celebration of Life service will be held, and he will be buried at Brandywine Baptist Church cemetery, beside his mother and father. Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home of Kennett Square. 
Memorial donations can be made to the West Grove Fire Company EMS, PO Box 201, West Grove, PA 19390, or the American Cancer Society.