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Chester County Press

Obituaries for February 8

02/08/2021 04:32PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Benny Pizzini

Benny Pizzini, a resident  of Wilmington, Del. and formerly of Landenberg, passed away on Jan. 21 at his residence. He was 84.

He was the husband of Mudite Legzdina Pizzini, with whom he shared 20 years of marriage.

Born in Landenberg, he was the son of the late Stefano Pizzini and the late Guditta Pizzini.

Benny was a mushroom grower in the family business, S. Pizzini and Sons of Landenberg.

He was a member of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church in Avondale.

Benny enjoyed bowling, watching football, cowboy movies and being with his family and friends. In earlier years, he enjoyed playing soccer and basketball.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by one daughter, Teresa Pizzini (and her husband Steve Lafferty) of Hockessin, Del.; one son, Ben-Joseph Pizzini (and his wife Susan) of Landenberg, PA; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Carol Mahoney Pizzini, who passed away in 1997, and with whom he shared 39 years of marriage, and two brothers, Lucio Pizzini and Stephen Pizzini.

A funeral mass was held on Jan. 26 at the Sorrowful Mother Church. Burial was in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church, PO Box 709, Avondale, PA 19311.

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

Marilyn Anne Shepherd

Marilyn Anne Shepherd, 73, of Quarryville, Pa., went home to be with the Lord on Jan. 23 at Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community.

She was the wife of the late James B. Shepherd, Sr.

Born in Philadelphia on Dec. 15, 1947, she was the daughter of the late Thomas and Roberta (Cliff) Passerini.

Marilyn graduated from Springfield Township High School in 1965, and went on to attend Philadelphia College of the Bible majoring in elementary education. Marilyn retired in 2015 as the secretary to the assistant superintendent for the Solanco School District.

As a child, Marilyn accepted Jesus as her Savior while attending Vacation Bible School (VBS).  This led her to faithfully serve as a VBS staff member in churches throughout her lifetime.  She was an accomplished pianist and organist, and enjoyed accompanying soloists, choirs, and church services.  

Marilyn also enjoyed singing in choirs, attending local theater productions, registering baked good entries at the Solanco Fair, watching the Philadelphia Phillies, cruising to the Bahamas, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with friends and family.

Marilyn is survived by her daughter, Rachel Capicotto, and three sons, Benjamin, Stephen, and David Petty, along with their spouses.  

Marilyn is the grandmother of six grandchildren, Ernest Peterson Jr.; Jonathan, Emily, and Allison Petty; Aaron and Naomi Petty. She is also survived by her two sisters, Roberta Douglas and Jeanette Montgomery, along with their families.

Services were held at the Oxford Cemetery on Jan. 30, followed by a memorial service and meal at Mt. Vernon Christian Church in Kirkwood, Pa.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Andrews Bridge Christian Fellowship VBS Fund, 1873 Georgetown Rd., Christiana, PA 17509.

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

Howard Scott Chapman  

Howard Scott Chapman, 56, of Bel Air, Md., formerly of Cecil County, passed away on Jan. 23 at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

Born in Elkton, Md., he was the son of the late Leon Arthur and Alvina Gertrude Kiser.

Scott enjoyed playing games on his tablet, collecting pens, model cars and trucks, wrestling memorabilia and music. 

He is survived by his four grandchildren, Marcus Testerman, Peyton Blowers, Clarence Timothy Meadows and Brandon Matthews Meadows; one great-granddaughter, Janayah Noelle Testerman; and two sisters, Ann Sawyers and Barbara Lyonsberry.

He was preceded in death by one son, Brandon O’Farrell and one sister, Nancy Hubert. 

Services will be private.

Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.

Online condolences may be made at

Rella Murr Bates

Rella Murr Bates passed away peacefully during her sleep on Jan. 26 at the age of 94.

Rella was born a Tennessee farm girl with brothers David and Curtis, and sisters Connie and Alene. An ethic of hard work,  persistence and grit were instilled in her from these early years of helping out her parents, David and Beulah, on the farm.

Recruited out of high school, she began her employment at the now historic, Oak Ridge Power Plant where, unbeknownst to her, she was an integral part of the Manhattan Project to help build “the bomb.”

During her time there, a young Alan Bates had arrived to also work on The Project in a different capacity, working at Union Carbide, while also completing his masters degree from MIT. That's where destiny stepped in, when they met and began dating.

On one fateful day in the winter, a few months after they began to date, Rella had a bad fall on the ice on the way to see a local football game and had a bad cut on her head. Rushed to the emergency room, and after getting stitches, Alan then realized that he wanted to take care of her for the rest of her life. He proposed then and there. 

Married in 1951, their first child, Stephanie, came along two years later, followed by their son, Douglas. 

Rella and Alan shared 69 years of wedded bliss.

After Alan was hired at Atlas Chemical, they moved to Wilmington, Del., which is where they raised their family. They later moved to Hockessin, Del. and, finally to Jenner's Pond Retirement Community in West Grove in 1999.   

Rella had an avid interest in gardening, growing not only decorative plants, but an extensive vegetable garden, cooking (no one could compare with Rella’s down-home, from-the-heart cooking), and sewing (making a lot of her and her daughter’s clothes), and took great pride in decorating the house for the holidays, and gatherings with family and friends. Christmas was her favorite time of the year for that.

Her other passions were dance, bowling, yoga, and tai chi. She and Alan also loved ballroom dancing.

When they moved to Jenners Pond, she began doing volunteer work at Jennersville Hospital, and helped create, with her husband, a beautiful nature walking trail there for all to enjoy, which is her legacy to this day. 

One of her greatest joys was seeing and hearing the gifts of music that her two children gave her, as they both are professional entertainers. 

Besides her two children being her pride and joy, she was very close to and loved spending time with her grandchildren, Cambia and Cody, and her little great-granddaughter, who bears her name, little Rella. 

All these elements of a beautiful life, well and fully lived, don’t begin to paint the picture of the essence of who Rella was. She lit up the lives of all who knew her with her zest for life, her beautiful smile and infectious laugh, her all-embracing spirit, and most of all, her very large heart. Heaven is now a far richer place with her there. 

Due to Covid-19 concerns, for now, there will be no remembrance services.  An announcement will be shared should that change.  

If you wish to make a gift in her name, the family is very grateful to Willow Tree Hospice for their care of Rella.  Also, Salvation Army is one of her favorite charities, as is the Macular Degeneration Society.

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

Peter Lucas

Peter Lucas passed away peacefully at his home in West Grove on Jan. 29. He was 86.

Born in 1934 in Schenectady, NY, Peter was the son of the late Joseph Lucas, and the late Anna (nee Szott) Lucas.

Peter worked as an aerospace engineer for over 30 years at Thiokol in Elkton, Md.  He worked on cruise missiles and on numerous other projects, chiefly for the U.S. Navy.  His engineering design work was eventually adapted into today’s automobile airbags.

In addition to his long and successful career in the aerospace industry, Peter also co-ran a successful business with two partners, rehabbed run-down homes, then rented them and eventually sold them to the renters, enabling numerous families to achieve home ownership.

Peter was married to his loving wife, Rose, for over 55 years.  

After retiring, they enjoyed travel and their second home in Dewey Beach, Del. Peter and Rose were recognized by the Town of Dewey Beach as Volunteers of the Year for their efforts to help the small town thrive.

A proud graduate of Villanova University, Peter was a lifelong fan of Frank Sinatra, and also enjoyed sailing, exercise, the Eagles and Flyers, and his Wildcats, regardless of the sport. He celebrated life and had a tremendous sense of humor right up through his last day.

Peter is survived by his daughter, Nancy and her husband Jim; his son, John and his wife Gillian; his grandsons, John and Lucas Needles, and Steven Moore; his granddaughters, Alisha Lucas and Meghan Schubert; his granddaughter-in-law, Kendra Needles; his brother, William Lucas and his wife Kathleen; his sister Anne Pulaski; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Peter was predeceased by his brother, Joseph Lucas, Jr.

Peter’s viewing will be private because of the pandemic, as will Mass of the Christian Burial.

If you wish to make a gift in his name, the family is very grateful to the American Cancer Society.  Also, he regularly made donations to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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

Arrangements are being handled by the Foulk Funeral Home in West Grove.


Lucy Lattanzio DiUbaldo

Lucy Lattanzio DiUbaldo, age 81, of Avondale, passed away on Feb. 2 at the Jennersville Hospital.

Born in West Chester, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Robert V. Lattanzio, Sr. and the late Mary D’Annunzio Lattanzio.

Lucy was a homemaker and was a member of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church.

She enjoyed cooking, hosting parties for her family and friends, doing puzzle books, and shopping at yard sales. She also enjoyed the knick knacks that she bought, watching TV and going to McDonalds, and she was a member of a coffee club with her friends. She especially enjoyed being with her family and friends.

Lucy is survived by three daughters, Donna Swift of Landenberg, Lisa Scheibe (Edward) of Newark, Del. and Diane Szewczyk (John) of West Grove; one brother, John Lattanzio of Avondale; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by one sister, Jean Zunino and two brothers, Robert V. Lattanzio, Jr and William Lattanzio.

Services and burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Avondale Ambulance Association, 23 Firehouse Way, Avondale, PA 19311.

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.


 Bishop John Hamilton

Bishop John Hamilton went home to be with the Lord on Jan. 31. He passed away at his home in Oxford while surrounded by his loving wife, Helen Hamilton. He was 95.

Bishop Hamilton was born Oct. 11, 1925 in Clifton, NC, the son of Zollie Hamilton and had one sibling.

At the age of 16, he moved to Oxford from West Jefferson, NC and worked on Mrs. Garrett’s farm on Chrome Road until 1953. He later held various positions in the mushroom business and was promoted to a truck driver.

Bishop Hamilton was ordained as a minister and became an Elder of Reed’s AMUP Methodist Church in Northeast, Md. He also served as a deacon and as an associate pastor in a church in Philadelphia for two years, but returned to Oxford to continue his ministry where he started Faith Tabernacle Church in 1982. 

In 1979, he preached his trial sermon at the Allen AME Church in Oxford that focused on St. John 14: 1-6.

On Feb. 5, 1982, he completed his adult basic education classes at Avon Grove School District and was listed as one of the top students in the class.

He was the pastor and founder of Faith Tabernacle Church in Oxford. The Church originally started in his home with Wednesday night Bible study, and later the original members decided to search for a building because the Lord was moving mightily in expanding the congregation. He came in contact with Mr. David, a person that was part of the Oxford Grange Hall, and he allowed him to rent the hall on Sundays for services. 

Soon the building was for sale. Bishop talked to the committee to purchase the building and God moved and it has been and will continue to be a blessing to all who enter the doors of Faith Tabernacle Church. His legacy will continue.

He performed marriages at the Oxford Manor Nursing Home for the benefit of the residents. 

In addition to his ministry duties and continuing educational requirements, he was a seven-year employee of the Anderson Organic Compost Company in Oxford, where he operated a front-end loader. 

He is survived by his wife; two sons, John Hamilton, Jr of Newark, Del. and Victor Hamilton (Valerie) of Rising Sun, Md.; three daughters, Elizabeth Dorsey of Lincoln University, Pa., Marjorie Wilson of Republic, MO and Valerie Perez (Charlie) of Oxford; three step-children, Dawn Pipkin, Bobby Pipkin, Jr. (Janet) and Tricia Hubbard (Jesse); twelve grandchildren, Debbie Torres, Clarissa Dorsey, Donald Dorsey, Jr., Anthony Hamilton, Marcus Hamilton, John Michael Hamilton, Denise Hamilton, Candace Hamilton, Adriana Hamilton, Harry M. Turner, Jr., LuAnn Thompson and Pamela Thompson; and a host of great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Zollie Hamilton, his first wife, Mary Hamilton and son, Harry M. Turner.

He will be greatly missed by his devoted wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, church family and friends.

Home Going service will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Faith Tabernacle Church, 185 Barnsley Rd., Oxford where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m.

Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery.

Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.

Online condolences may be made at

Stuart Gross

Stuart Gross, a beloved husband and father, went home to be with the Lord on Jan. 30 after a 14-year battle with mantle cell lymphoma.

Stu was born in Bath, ME, raised in Wiscasset, ME, and graduated from Wiscasset High School.  He enlisted in the Coast Guard after a year at Washington State Teachers College.  He always said the only good thing that came from his time in college was meeting the love of his life, Jeannette.  

They had a wonderful 52 years of adventures together, Stu's Coast Guard career taking them from New Hampshire to Alaska to North Carolina, and finally to Delaware.  In their retirement, Stu and Jeannette moved back to Maine and had 18 years among family and friends. This past summer, Stu and Jeannette moved to Landenberg.

Stu loved traveling and was always looking forward to their next big vacation. As a member of the New Castle Irish Society, he enjoyed set and ceili dancing, going as far as Ireland for dancing. He also loved eating out and trying new restaurants. Following in his father’s footsteps, he became a 33rd degree Mason. 

In his retirement, he developed a love of gardening, especially growing potatoes. He was an avid collector, and enjoyed researching and seeking out rare coins, banks and pocket watches.  

Stu is survived by his wife, Jeannette (Lepage), daughters Suellen Glover and Jennifer Miller (David Aksim), and three grandchildren, Brandon Glover, Ella Glover, and Zoe Aksim.  He is also survived by a brother and five sisters, Ralph Gross II, Helen Amazene, Rita Melville, Jean West, Jane Albert and Donna Lester.

A family service will be held in the near future. When conditions permit, there will be a public celebration of Stuart’s life. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. They can be found at or contributions can be mailed to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, 1005 North Glebe Road, Suite 220, Arlington, VA 22201.

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

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


Helen V. Jingeleski

Helen V. Jingeleski, age 90 of Kennett Square, passed away peacefully while surrounded by her family on Feb. 4 at Chester County Pocopson Home in West Chester. She was the loving wife for 70 years of John J. Jingeleski.  

Born on Nov. 17, 1930 in Mount Carmel, Pa., she was the daughter of the late August and Blanche (Tamanini) Bridy.

She was a graduate of Mount Carmel High School in the class of 1948. Married in 1951, Helen dedicated much of her life to raising her five children. Her presence as a school volunteer and at her children’s activities are cherished memories.  

Helen worked for K & A Press and the Wilmington News Journal, and later was part owner and manager of J & H Hardware store in Kennett Square. She was a longtime member of St. Patrick’s Church and was an active volunteer with the Ladies of St. Patrick. She was also a Secular Carmelite Nun.  

In her free time, she enjoyed ceramics, all types of arts and crafts, gardening, reading, and music—particularly The Moody Blues. 

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Susan Jingeleski Horton (and husband Steven) of Pickerington, OH, Carol Jingeleski of Mount Carmel, Pa., John S. Jingeleski (and wife Mary Beth) of Claymont, Del., and Annette Dennis (and husband Brian) of Claymont, Del.  

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren include Christopher Horton and wife Heather and their 3 children, Julie Allison and husband Daniel and their 2 children, David Jingeleski and wife Brittany, Nora Hoesterey and husband Robert, Monica Miller and her 1 child, Brian Dennis, and Angelica Dennis.  

She is also survived by her sister Maria T. Bridy of Mount Carmel, Pa.  In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her son, Peter Jingeleski and by her brother August Bridy.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, 212 Meredith St., Kennett Square, PA 19348.  I

nterment will follow at St. Patrick Cemetery in Kennett Square.  

Contributions may be made in Helen Jingeleski’s name to the Ladies of St. Patrick at the above address.  

Arrangements are being handled by the Kuzo Funeral Home and Helen Jingeleski’s online memorial can be viewed by going to