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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of November 24

11/24/2020 11:50AM ● By Steven Hoffman
William Thomas McClure
William Thomas McClure, Jr., 78, passed away on Nov. 13 at the Hospice & Community Care Mount Joy facility.  Tom was the son of the late William Thomas, Sr. and Louise Kauffman McClure.  
Born and raised in Oxford, he graduated from Oxford Area High School in 1960. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965.
He lived in Michigan and worked at the Ford Motor Plant in the truck division. After moving back to Oxford, he was custodian for 25 years in the Oxford School District. Music was his life and he played keyboard in the Tammany Hall Band for 20 years.
Tom is survived by a son, William Thomas McClure, III a daughter, Candice Diane Ford (Larry), three granddaughters: Madalyn McClure, Cloe McClure, Cierra Miller, daughter-in-law, Jen McClure, a sister, Diane McClure Murry and many loving nieces and nephews.  
He was preceded in death by his longtime companion, Pat Elicier.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a later date.
If so desired, memorial donations in Tom’s name may be made to Hospice & Community Care, 685 Good Drive, Lancaster, PA  17604-4125.
Please visit Tom’s memorial page at

Wells A. “Buddy” Stidoms, Jr.
Wells A. “Buddy” Stidoms, Jr. died peacefully while surrounded by his family in his home in Oxford on Oct. 23. He was 73.
Wells was born on July 29, 1947 to Norma and Wells Stidoms, Sr. 
He was a member of the Oxford Fraternal Order of Eagles Club. 
He worked for Tipton Trucking in Oxford for more than 10 years. After retiring, he loved relaxing with his friends and family as they were the most important things in life to him. He could make anyone laugh and smile with his one-line jokes that never made any sense. He was greatly loved by all who came to know him and will be dearly missed by all.
Wells is survived by his daughters, Stacie Stidoms, Leanna McGonigal (Brian McGonigal), and Norma Janine Stidoms; one brother, Roy Stidoms, Sr.; five grandchildren, Wade, Shaun, Avah, Thomas and Robert, all of Oxford.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Norma and Wells Stidoms, Sr. Of Elkton, Md.; two sisters, Rose and Wanda; one brother, Jess Stidoms; and his loving spouse, Geri Patterson.
There will not be a funeral at this time.
In lieu of flowers, please consider the National Autism Association, 1 Park Avenue, Suite 1 Portsmouth, RI 02871 or the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, 1700 K Street NW Suite 660 Washington, DR 20006 in honor of Wells Stidoms.
Online condolences may be made at

Connielly Blevins

Connielly Blevins, a resident of Nottingham, passed away on Nov. 5 at Twin Pines Health Care Center in West Grove. He was 83.
He was the husband of Janice Ehrhart Blevins.
Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late William Gather and Mandy May Powers Blevins.
Connielly enjoyed his family and especially enjoyed fishing in the Octoraro Lake, Turkey Point and Susquehanna River. 
He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Dawn Phipps of Oxford and Amanda Blevins of Elkton, Md.; four grandsons, Michael Phipps, Jr., William Phipps, Kaleb Blevins, CJ Shaw; and one granddaughter, Tatiana Courts.
He was preceded in death by his five brothers and one sister. Connielly was the last survivor of his siblings.
Services and interment will be private.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at

Howard Gordon Tennent
On Nov. 5, Howard Gordon Tennent passed away peacefully at his home in Kennett Square at the age of 104 years and eight months. 
Howard is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Jean Tennent; his 4 children, Kirk, Barbara, David, and Douglas and their spouses; his 6 grandchildren, David Barkan, Joel Barkan, David Tennent, Jr., Babs Smith, Max Kutsch, and Liz Tennent and their spouses; and one great-grandchild, Avery Barkan. 
Howard was born on Feb. 29, 1916 to Henry Kirkpatrick “Kirk” Tennent and Mabel Taylor Clarke. 
A Leap Day baby, Howard only celebrated 26 real birthdays throughout his rich, long life. 
He was born in Quebec City, Canada, and the family (including Howard’s brother, Clark Peck “Buddy” Tennent), moved to Leroy, NY when Howard was eight.  The family also lived for a short time in Terra Haute, IN. 
Howard received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Ph.D in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. 
Howard and Jean were married on Nov. 26, 1949. 
In 1951, they welcomed their first child, Kirk, and purchased their house on Chandler Mill Road in Kennett Square, where Howard lived with Jean until his passing. 
Howard was a gifted storyteller and through his final days had an uncanny memory of his experiences spanning more than 10 decades. As a teenager, his father introduced him to Amelia Earhart in an airplane hangar, and as a young man, he watched Babe Ruth and Stan Musial play baseball. In Leroy, he listened to then-Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt give a speech at his hometown’s baseball field (and later lamented that FDR’s vehicles had roughed up the infield, causing bad hops at Howard’s second base position). 
Howard enjoyed a long and storied career as a research chemist at Hercules, Inc., where he was the senior research associate at the Hercules Research Center, and at Hyperion Catalysis International, Inc., with whom he continued to consult up until his death. 
Howard was a pioneer in the field of nanotechnology and holds multiple patents. Earlier in his career, Howard invented a new way to synthesize carboxymethylcellulose, making it practical for use as a binding agent with food and pharmaceutical applications. Howard’s team also enabled the mass-production of polypropylene, a widely used, recyclable plastic. Howard was revered and respected by his colleagues for his unique combination of analytical skills, innovative thinking, persistence, and professionalism.
For decades, Howard and Jean were very involved in the Kennett Square Quaker Meeting. Howard was a longtime advocate for social justice issues and a proponent of Quaker tenets such as tolerance and non-violent conflict resolution. The couple was active during the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, when Howard was also a member of the Kennett Consolidated School Board. 
Howard and Jean helped arrange for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to speak at Unionville High School on May 2, 1967. Dr. King’s speech that night was celebrated for helping the town’s diverse citizens come together and begin to address their differences. In the 1960s, Howard was also very involved with the Red Clay Valley Association (now known as the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance), which is dedicated to preserving the history, open lands, and water quality of the Red Clay Creek. 
One of Howard’s last important actions occurred earlier this fall, when he proudly submitted his mail-in ballot for the general election. Before submitting, he reviewed his signature as it appeared in the voter registration record and then practiced—using his hand recently damaged by melanoma—to ensure his ballot signature matched the official record.
As he aged, Howard enjoyed a quiet and peaceful life at home with Jean, spending most of his time in his living room chair, looking out through sunny floor-to-ceiling windows at nearby birds in trees and on well-stocked feeders, and beyond to the brook winding through their property. He remained a voracious reader of news, non-fiction, and scientific journals into his last years. And he closely followed the ups and (mostly) downs of the Philadelphia professional sports teams, most passionately his beloved Eagles. At age 101, he celebrated his Eagles’ long-awaited Super Bowl victory with his family.
A memorial service  will be held on Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. Those wishing to attend should contact David Tennent at [email protected] for information on joining this virtual event. 
The family suggests that anyone wishing to honor Howard’s life make a donation to the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance.
To view Howard’s full obituary and share a message with his family, please visit
Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home of Kennett Square. 

Carlos Zavala
Carlos Zavala, 68, of Oxford, passed away on Nov. 18 at Season’s Hospice in Newark, Del.
He was the husband of Maria Elaina Lopez Zavala, with whom he shared 46 years of marriage.
Born in Guanajuato, Mexico he was the son of Guadalupe Garcia of Mexico and the late Salvadore Zavala.
Carlos was a member of Saint Rocco Catholic Church in Avondale.
He owned his own small family mushroom farm in Chester County for 23 years. Farming was his passion.
Carlos enjoyed playing poker.
He was the best father and grandfather and will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife; mother; one son, Javier Zavala of Mexico; two daughters, Laura Zavala and Magaly Zavala Villa both of Oxford; and five grandchildren, Maria, Lilly Julian, Layla and Roman.
He was preceded in death by a son, Carlos Zavala, Jr.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Nov. 21 at Saint Rocco Catholic Church in Avondale.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Rocco Catholic Church.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at

Terri Louise Jones
Terri L. Jones went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 19. She was 71.
She is survived by her son, Christopher Jones, daughter, Kimberly McCaw, five grandchildren, father, Robert Adams III and many extended family members.  
Terri opened an in home daycare called “The Nursery Nook” for a few years. She was a teacher at Bethany pre-school for school years, followed by employment as children’s librarian at Cecil County Public Library. Some may remember her as “Scary Miss Terri” at Halloween, for her puppetry and ventriloquism, or for driving the bookmobile as children’s outreach librarian until her retirement in 2010.
She also ran an online business doing many children’s parties which included being Mr. and Mrs. Santa for the holidays.
Terri was a graduate of Oxford Area High School (class of 1967) and Lincoln University (class of 1971). 
Terri, who was a member of Janes United Methodist Church in Rising Sun, Md., accepted Christ as her Savior as a child.  She was reunited with her husband, Larry, on his birthday. As Terri would say, “It was God’s amazing plan.”
The public viewing will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27 at Oxford United Methodist Church at 18 Addison St., in Oxford, and again from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28. A private service, which guests can attend by invitation only, will be held at 2 p.m.
Covid restrictions will be in place during these services so attends should wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at

William A. Morton, Jr., M.D.
William A. Morton, Jr., M.D., died peacefully of a stroke in Oxford. He died at the age of 100.
He was born on Sept. 27, 1920 in Bellaire, OH. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and was inducted into the U.S. Army, joining the U.S. Army Medical Corps where he was trained as a medical doctor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He was deployed to Germany in the spring of 1945 for the last months of World War II. 
Honorably discharged with the rank of captain, he returned to Pennsylvania to build a family with his new wife, Anne T. Caffrey. He spent a decade working in advanced urological medicine at the Cleveland Clinic and the Guthrie Clinic as well as Hahnemann University Hospital.
In 1957, he moved his young family to West Chester, Pa. with goal of bringing the best in urological care to a small-town hospital. Chester County Hospital became the hub of his medical practice for the next thirty years, and despite the rural location, he applied cutting-edge care to his thousands of patients, even inventing and innovating surgical approaches that became urological standards. He was a tireless supporter of Chester County Hospital, contributing over $250,000 to the hospital’s charities during his professional career.
A life-long nature lover, he would spend hours hiking, bird-watching, and studying animals. He visited many national parks, with a particular love of Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons and Virgin Islands National Park. 
With his wife Anne, he enjoyed collecting art from local artists like Barclay Rubicam, N.C. Wyeth, and wildlife artist Douglas Allen.
After retiring from medical practice in 1990, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He never sought the spotlight or congratulations for his medical service to the community and was surprised when, after writing a short article for a medical journal in 1991, he became mildly famous as the author of “Scrotum Self-repair.” His only comment on notoriety was, “You can’t be a urologist unless you have a sense of humor.”
 When his wife Anne passed away in 2006, he spent the next years mostly in California, seeking sunshine. 
He is survived by his children, William III, Virginia, and Walter, as well as the grandchildren, Nicole and Mimi. 
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. 
Online condolences may be made at