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Chester County Press

Obituaries for March 1

02/28/2021 09:12PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Gwendolyn M. Sumner

Gwendolyn M. Sumner, of Nottingham, passed away Feb. 20 at Chester County Hospital in West Chester. She was 73.

She was the wife of Barry O. Sumner.

Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late Joseph Daniel and Eleanor McIntosh Prusinski.

Gwen was retired from General Motors and Oxford Transportation. 

She had a passion for family, photography, scrapbooking, puzzles, feeding the birds, plants and her flower beds. Gwen really loved animals especially her dog who was her best friend, Coco. She loved her music, especially Alabama. The love she showed for her family and anyone who came across her was amazing, and when she loved she loved hard. Gwen always wanted to see and believe the best of everyone and she never held a grudge. Gwen was always there for her children—Jack for his weekly Thursday night calls and Carole for her 100 phone calls a day. 

Gwen loved fixing up the home that she created with her loving husband, Barry. They enjoyed their retirement together with their dog, Coco. Gwen was proud of the home they created together—she finally had her dream. Gwen especially loved being a grandmother and a great-grandmother. She spent a lot of time dedicating her love to her great-grandchildren, crafting, drawing, baking and learning about nature and animals together.

She is survived by her husband; daughter, Carole Coffman (and her partner Stan Feaster); one son, Jack Coffman (Renee); two stepsons, Brian Sumner (Jen) and Andrew Sumner (Nicole); eight grandchildren, Kaeyla R. Binck (Daniel), Karleigh Krystyne Coffman, Brandon Coffman (Cheyenne), Drew Sumner (Lexi) and David Sumner (Rosalind); three great-grandchildren, Bransen, Sienna and Ryver Binck; two sisters, Annette D’Emidio and Lisa Royack; two brothers, Kenneth Prusinski (Lisa Gerome) and Francis Prusinski, many nieces and nephews and extended family.

Services are private.

In lieu of flowers, the family has created a GoFundMe page which can be found at:

Gwen also was an extreme advocate for St. Judes Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. This was something she believed in and always prayed for a cure for cancer and for no children to ever be sick again.

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


Robert A. Massey, age 86, of West Grove, passed away at Twin Pines Health Care Center on Feb. 22 . He was the husband of Louise Greer Massey, with whom he shared 65 years of marriage.

Born in Embreeville, Pa., he was the son of the late John C. Massey, Sr. and the late Helen Smith Massey.

Bob was a truck driver and last worked at Chester County Beverage in Kennett Square.

He attended the Kennett Square Missionary Baptist Church.

Bob was the West Grove Lions Club citizen of the year in 2005.

Bob was a life member and longtime fire police officer of the Avondale Fire Company. He started his fire service in 1952 as a member of the West Grove Fire Company and later joined the Avondale Fire Company in 1977. Through the years Bob and his wife Louise have received many awards, including the Fire Police of the Year from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Fire Police of the Year from Chester County, the Top 10 Responder Award and many others. Bob was a familiar sight to see at every fire call, regardless of the time of day. He will be missed by his many friends in the fire service and by his family.

He was a member of the Pennsylvania Fire Police Association and a member and past Commissioner of the Chester County Fire Police Association.

In addition to his wife Louise, he is survived by one daughter Diane M. Cole and her husband Steve, Sr. of Toughkenamon, Pa.; one grandson, Steve Cole, Jr. and his wife Nichole of Toughkenamon, Pa and two great-grandchildren, Brandon Cole and Brittnee Cole.

He was predeceased by one brother, John C. Massey, Jr. and two sisters, Kathryn Matson and Beatrice Messimer.

Bob’s family would like to thank the entire staff at Twin Pines Health Care Center and Willow Tree Hospice for the excellent care given to him.

The funeral service was held on March 1 at the Foulk Funeral Home in West Grove. 

Burial will be in Oxford Cemetery.              

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

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

John A. Arrell

John A. Arrell, or “Jack” as he was affectionately known, passed away peacefully while surrounded by loved ones at his home in New London, Pa. on Feb. 20. He was 87.

He was predeceased by his wife, Sara Ann Montgomery Arrell, with whom he shared 57 years of marriage. 

Born 1933 in Upper Darby, Pa., Jack was the son of the late Samuel H. Arrell and the late Francis E. Taylor Arrell. 

Jack was a 1951 graduate of Haverford High School. After graduation from high school, Jack proudly served his country as an active duty member of the U.S. Army from May 1953 to 1955. Jack worked at Bell Atlantic Telephone Company for 36 years until he retired on a Friday in 1991. During his career, he worked as a lineman and in several other positions, retiring as Manager of all Vehicles and Buildings in the Eastern Region. Jack immediately started his second career the following Monday, working with the mushroom association for the Needham Companies with his son, Steven. 

Jack quickly became a permanent employee, stepping in and addressing issues with the DEP, neighbors, and the township, allowing the owners to focus on the day-to-day operations of the business. Jack officially became general manager of the Needham Companies in 2002. 

Jack has been involved with numerous organizations, served many years in leadership positions, and passionately served his local community in many capacities. 

He was elected and served two terms on the Avon Grove School Board, handling the role of president for his last 5 years. Jack then served 18 years on the New London Township Board of Supervisors as vice chairman and chairman. Additionally, Jack served 15 years as the New London Township roadmaster. 

Jack has served the residents of Chester County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a member of the Chester County Association of Township Officials for 6 years as vice president, followed by president, and was a member of the Southeastern Association of Township Officials. Jack has also served as the director on the Chester County Conservation District Board of Directors and was a member of the Chester County Emergency Drought Board.  Jack was a board member for 7 years on Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau and on the Chester County Conservation District Board from July 25, 1997 through June 20, 2019. During that time, Jack served as board chairman from 2001 to 2004 and vice chairman from 2007 to 2018. Jack also served on the Chester County Agriculture Development Council from 2009 to 2015. 

Throughout his career, Jack has received numerous awards and citations. In 1998, Jack received an award for his participation in the Dirt and Gravel Road Task Force for the Conservation District. Jack was a proud member of the New London Masonic Lodge for 66 years and attended the Christian Life Center in New London, Pa.

Jack’s greatest achievements were his family. He found great joy in spending time with his bride, including taking her shopping, going out to eat, and throwing holiday parties at the farm. Jack’s pride and joy were his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His fondest memories were taking his children and grandchildren to Walt Disney World multiple times and on various other vacations with the last trip being to Honolulu, Hawaii. Jack enjoyed raising beef cattle and sheep as well as crops on his family farm. Jack enjoyed the outdoors and loved to go hunting and fishing. He always looked forward to the annual rockfish fishing trip and crabbing with his sons, son-in-law, grandsons, and nephews. 

Jack is survived by two sons, John A. Arrell, Jr. and his wife, Patrice of New London, Pa. and Robert B. Arrell and his wife, Kimberly of New London, Pa.; one daughter, Amy E. Coppock and her husband, Lawrence of New London, Pa; twelve grandchildren, John III, Ashley (William), Justin, Katie, Sean, Brandi, Taylor, Courtney, Ryan, Autumn and Taylor S.; as well as ten great grandchildren, Layla, Sawyer, Talon, Victoria, Riley, Skylar, Maci, Baylee, Brynn, and Bryce. 

Jack was predeceased by one son, Steven Arrell; and two brothers, Samuel Arrell and Robert Arrell.

Services are private due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks contributions be made to Chester County Hospital Foundation, Abramson Cancer Center, 701 East Marshall Street, West Chester, PA 19380 or online at or to the Pennsylvania Conservation District online at

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

Arrangements are being handled by Foulk Funeral Home of West Grove.


Margherita Chiabrera Lovisa

Margherita Chiabrera Lovisa passed away while at home on Feb. 19. She was 101.

Her life story began when she was born on Jan. 31, 1920 in Sanpierdarena (Genoa), Italy,  to Guglielmo and Maria Giuseppina Chiabrera. For the first few years of her life, she was wet-nursed and raised by the wonderful Doglio family of Ponti (Piemonte), who had seven children of their own. When she returned to the Chiabrera family, in their hometown of Rivalta Bormida (Piemonte), she grew up with her six brothers and sisters.
She considered herself very lucky to have two families in her life who loved her.  She remained close to her siblings and the Doglio children throughout her life, always corresponding and visiting during her trips back to Italy.
After graduating from school, she worked in Genoa and in France. She especially enjoyed working for the glamorous Beaumonts of the Villa Eilenroc, Cap D’Antibes, who were neighbors to the Duke of Windsor. Unfortunately, with the Nazis invading France, she was advised that it was no longer safe on the French Riviera and so she returned to her native Italy.
Margherita embarked on another life journey when she married Luigi Lovisa in June of 1948.  She returned  with him to the U.S. through Ellis Island, settling in Kennett Square where they owned their own mushroom farm.  She dedicated herself to caring for her husband,,raising two daughters, and helping with her grandsons.  She was a great Italian cook and her pasta with pesto and meat raviolis were the best. 

Margherita and her husband celebrated 54 years of marriage before he passed in 2002.
A reserved, quiet person, she believed in a life of moderation.  The key to a happy life, she said, is to live in the moment, not thinking of the past, and not worrying about the future.
She will be forever missed by her loving daughters, Wilma Illgas  and Irene Lovisa-Pucci, and by her cherished grandsons, Michael and Joseph Illgas.  She was pre-deceased by her siblings, Biagio, Caterina (Francescon), Pietro, Ester (Testa), Manlio and Giselda (Pesce)

Her funeral mass was held on Feb. 27 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Kennett Square, and was followed by burial at St. Patrick’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005.

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

Patricia A. Dungey

Patricia A. Dungey, age 79, of Avondale,  passed away at her residence on Feb. 20 with the Bayada Hospice loving care team of Shawn, Anna and Kaleigh. 

She was the wife of Ronald A. Dungey, with whom she shared 55 years of marriage.

Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late Thomas P. Gallagher and the late Anna Gavin Gallagher.

She was a nurse’s aide at Camilla Hall at Immaculata University in Malvern, Pa., retiring in 2004, after 14 years of loving service.

She was a member of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church in Avondale and the Kennett Area Senior Center.

She enjoyed making greeting cards and being with her son and grandchildren and her friends at the Kennett Area Senior Center.

In addition to her husband Ronald A. Dungey, she is survived by her son, Ronald A. Dungey, Jr. and his wife Nicole and three grandchildren, Madaline Dungey, Julianna Dungey and Connor Dungey.

A Memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market Street, Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

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

Rev. Dr. Richard Joseph Kirk, Sr.

The Rev. Dr. Richard Joseph (“Dick”) Kirk, Sr. passed away on Feb. 21. He was an 89-year-old   

resident of Kennett Square.

He is reunited in spirit with the two great loves of his life; the late Joyce Kirk, with whom he shared 33 years of marriage and the late Jan Kirk, with whom he shared 26 years of marriage.  He was born on Aug. 30, 1931 in Trenton, NJ to the late Richard Alexander Kirk and Jane (Golden) Kirk. 

Dick graduated from Princeton University in 1953 with a bachelor of science degree with honors. He went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree from General Theological Seminary, a Master of Sacred Theology from Temple University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Eden Theological Seminary.

He served as an Episcopal priest in parishes in New Jersey, New York, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. He was the Rector at The Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square for 17 years until his retirement in 1996.  After retirement, he continued to work as a Parish Supply Priest for Advent and other churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He also continued to be active in Organizational Development and Parish Consulting through The Alban Institute. Through the years, he was involved in the United Way in Kennett Square and served on the Kendal Communities board. He passionately continued teaching and taking classes at the Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware.

Dick was an athlete and sports fan, rowed crew for Princeton, was an avid swimmer and lifeguard, and played tennis regularly to the age of 84. He had season tickets to watch Princeton football every year, bringing his children and grandchildren with him.

Dick leaves a legacy of a life well lived.  He raised his children to be independent, following their own paths. Through his ministry, he touched the lives of countless others as teacher, counselor, and mentor. Richard was a man of a deeply abiding faith in God yet also a man of science. For him, the two were never in conflict. He approached his own mortality with confidence in a better life to follow.

Dick is survived by his two sons, Richard Joseph Kirk, Jr. (Susanna) of Newark Del. and Michael David Kirk (Elaine) of Kennett Square; his two daughters, Mary Elizabeth Kirk and Anne Catherine Kirk both of Coatesville; two stepsons, Michael Mogavero (Val) of Thornton, Pa. and Dee Mogavero of Philadelphia; ten grandchildren, Sherri (Bryan), Fred, Arion, Justin (Rachel), Briana (Chris), Matthew (Naty), Sarah, Lex, Lauren, and Brandon; four great grandchildren Jake, Tori, Alex and Max; and his brother Karl Langlotz Kirk (Jeannine) of Elyria OH.

The family asks that you hold them gently in your hearts for in the warm thoughts and prayers of friends and family they will find solace and peace.  

A memorial service celebrating Rev. Kirk’s life at the Episcopal Church of the Advent will be scheduled for late summer. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Richard’s funeral service at the Episcopal Church of the Advent will be private. He will be laid to rest next to his wife Joyce at Union Hill Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to: The Episcopal Church of the Advent, (in memo list "Capital Fund") 401 N. Union St. Kennett Square, PA 19348.  

Arrangements are by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc.(484-734-8100).  

To view Richard’s online obituary, please visit

William Robert Hocker

William Robert Hocker, age 68 of Avondale, passed away on Feb. 23 at his home.  

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Laura Stonemetz Hocker.  

Born on Nov. 26, 1952 in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Robert William and Mary Jane (Campbell) Hocker.

He was a graduate of Ridley High School in Folsom, Pa. in the class of 1970.  He continued his education and earned a bachelor’s degree at West Chester University.  He loved his family and his grandchildren were the light of his life.  He dedicated his life to a career in law enforcement, working as a federal special agent until he retired in 2009.  

He was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester. In his free time, he enjoyed gardening, golfing, and telling stories of summers at the Jersey Shore.

In addition to his wife, William is survived by his children, Lauren Missirlian (Albert), Christopher William Hocker (Lindsay), and Julie Elizabeth Hocker; grandchildren, Luke, Claire, Henry, and Brooke; and siblings Dennis Hocker (Lynn), Susan Hartel (Edward), Nancy Plank and Amy Giulian (Karl), sister-in-law Judy, and many nieces and nephews. 

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brother David Hocker and his brother-in-law George Plank.

All services will be private.  Contributions may be made in William Hocker’s name to the DEA Survivor Benefits Fund, or 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 659; Washington, DC 20006.  

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

John W. Walker

John W. Walker passed away on Feb. 15.

John was born in Wilmington, Del. on March 31, 1936 to William Walker and Anna Small.

John lived in Oxford for the past 30 years and previously lived in the Newark, Del. area where he worked at Chrysler for many years and then retired in 1985. Before Chrysler, he was in the U.S. Navy, was a veteran of the Korean War, and travelled the world.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Lois Walker. He leaves behind his children, Valerie Ward, Charles Walker, Connie Wood, Jerry Gillespie, Jim Gillespie, and Jannell Perkins, as well as 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and two sisters.

John will be remembered for his outgoing, humorous disposition. He was quick with funny quips and laughter. He was always willing to help others.

Funeral services will be private and held at a future date.

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

John King Strode

John "Jack" King Strode, a resident of Kalispell, MT passed away peacefully on Dec. 11, 2020, at the age of 79. He will be missed by his family and the many friends whose lives he touched.

Jack grew up in Avondale, the son of the late Tom and Louise Strode and a member of the Avondale Presbyterian Church. 

In his youth, Jack was involved in the Boy Scouts of America where his dedication earned him the honored Eagle Scout award. Starting with Little League baseball as a young boy, Jack's love of sports continued throughout his lifetime. A stellar athlete, he played baseball, soccer and basketball at Avon Grove High School and went on to play Division I athletics at West Chester University, where he was a member of the national championship soccer team. Jack was inducted into the West Chester University Athletic Hall of Fame. 

After graduating college with a degree in education, Jack's athleticism carried on to his professional life. He played semi-professional baseball in Wilmington, Del., then taught physical education and coached athletic teams at Oxford Area High School in Oxford. Challenging and inspiring young athletes was Jack's dream job.

Jack was multi-talented and honed his carpentry and woodcarving hobbies as well. Gifted with a sharp eye for design, he had an ability to create something beautiful from something ordinary. He even built his first home, which his family fondly dubbed “the house that Jack built.” He also won awards for his bird carvings, well-known for their beauty and precision to detail.

Jack's passion for meeting people sparked a career change as a car salesman in Wilmington. Later, his love of nature and wildlife called him westward to the mountains of Montana. He marveled daily at his view of Flathead Lake and the mountains of Glacier National Park. His final days were spent connecting with loved ones and expressing gratitude for the natural beauty surrounding him. Jack's spirit rests in peace within that beauty.

Jack Strode is survived by his four children, Mark Strode (and wife Lisa) of California, Amyla Lavric of North Carolina, Scott Strode (and wife Kaitlin) of Colorado, and Emily Ng (and husband James) of New York; as well as seven grandchildren; his sister, Judy Strode Young (and husband Tommy) of Pennsylvania; brother Tom Strode (and wife Peggy) of Pennsylvania; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness ( in support of those with mental health needs — a cause meaningful to Jack and his family.