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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of August 16

08/14/2021 05:36PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Richard Brian Jones

Richard Brian Jones, known as “Dickie,” died peacefully on Aug. 8 after succumbing to complications from multiple strokes he suffered in early June. He was 63. He lived in Oxford.

Rich was born on Jan. 20,1958 in Ridley Park, Pa. to Constance and Richard Jones of Essington, Pa.

He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Amy Louise Jones (Mercer), and his sons, Dustin and Dakota.  They enjoyed living in the country in Oxford since 2000. He is also survived by his sister, Diane Jones of Essington, Pa. Diane looked up to her big brother, and she had a soft spot in Rich’s heart. 

Rich was a lifetime member of the Essington Fire House in Essington, Pa. He was proud of his time served and enjoyed lifelong friendships from his years as a firefighter. He cherished being close with his father who gave 40-plus years to the fire company. Father and son also enjoyed memberships together in the local bowling league, and they also enjoyed boating and fishing. Rich had a strong commitment to his career, loved his work and co-workers and just celebrated his 35th anniversary of employment at SouthCo, Inc. in Concordville, Pa.  

Of all of Rich’s achievements, the most treasured was the love he had for his family.  He was a devoted husband and father and made them all a priority in his life. He could not have been any more proud of his boys, Dustin and Dakota. The boys enjoyed spending quality time with their father at an early age, as he loved teaching them how to fish and surf the waves in the ocean at the Cape Henlopen beaches. 

Regular family vacations and having dinner as a family were important to Rich. To say he enjoyed watching his boys excel in lacrosse and football is an understatement. All along, Rich raised the boys to look out for their mom, to respect and love family and to be good friends to others. This was Rich. He was a family man above all, but he also was known as a loyal friend to many.  Rich’s backyard bonfires and passion for grilling the perfect barbecue often brought family and friends together. The Jones Ranch was often the familiar gathering place, where holidays were beautifully and comfortably hosted.  “Rich and Amy, the perfect team,” they would say.  Rich was a beloved man of the Oxford community and will be greatly missed.  His smile, great sense of humor and love of people will always be remembered.  

Memorial Services will be private, due to COVID-19.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Rich’s honor, to Season’s Hospice & Palliative Care, 220 Continental Drive, Suite 407, Newark, DE. 19713 or to an Educational Fund being established for his two sons. Checks for that fund can be made payable to Amy Jones.

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

Online condolences may be made at

Betty Jane Potter

Betty Jane (Furches) Potter, 82, of West Grove, peacefully passed away at home while surrounded by her family on Aug. 7.

Betty married Junior Worth Potter, with whom she shared 65 years of marriage.

Born in Mountain City, TN, she was the daughter of the late Albert and Annie Irene May Furches.

She was employed with NVF in Kennett Square for 22 years.

Betty enjoyed gardening, flea markets and blue grass music.

She leaves behind a son, Wayne Potter of Cochranville; one granddaughter, Brandi Lee Potter; three sisters, Lucille Jennings, Janice Humphry and Willia Jennings all of Mountain City, TN; and four brothers, Albert Furches and Dayton Furches, both of NC, and Timothy Furches and James Furches, both of Mountain City, TN.

She was preceded in death by one son, Sunny Potter and three brothers, Jerry Furches, Kenneth Furches and Daniel Furches.

Funeral services were held at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.

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

Kenneth “Gregg” Mayhart

Kenneth “Gregg” Mayhart, 92, of Wilmington, Del., passed away on Aug. 4 at Foulk Manor North retirement community in Wilmington, Del.  

He was the husband of the late Janet Faull Mayhart, with whom he shared 57 years of marriage. Born in Wilmington, Del., he was the son of the late James Mayhart, Sr. and Marie Carr Mayhart.

Gregg graduated from Alexis I. DuPont High School in 1947.  He served our country in the Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1956. He was a member of St. Joseph on the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church for many years.  He was the auto sales manager for local dealerships and enjoyed spending his time boating, reading, and being with his son and grandchildren.  

He will be most remembered for his wit and engaging personality.

He is survived by his son, Scott G. Mayhart, Esq. of Kennett Square, his grandchildren Garrett Mayhart and Meredith Mayhart, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial luncheon celebrating Gregg’s life will be held at a later date.

Interment will be held privately at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.  

Arrangements are being handled by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. (1800-FUNERAL). 

To view his online obituary, visit

Mary Wyatt N. Riley

Mary Wyatt N. Riley, 55 of Elkton, Md., died on Aug. 9 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

She was born in Jennersville on July 28, 1966 and attended Avon Grove School and North East High School.

Mary worked at Dansko and UPS in West Chester, Pa.

She is survived by her two sons, John S. Novotny, Jr. and Mikel W. Novotny, both of Elkton, Md.; her parents, Clara (Mearns) Wyatt of Elkton, Md. and the late Jones Carl Wyatt; three grandchildren; and three sisters: Jo Ann Hullum, Jena Cavanagh and Janette Wyatt.

The funeral service was held on Aug. 14 at Crouch Funeral Home, P.A., 127 South Main Street, North East, Md.

Interment will follow in North East Methodist Cemetery in North East, Md.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Singerly Fire Company, EMS Services, in care of the funeral home.

For condolences, please visit

Elizabeth Ruth Draper

On Saturday, July 31, Elizabeth Ruth Draper transitioned peacefully while surrounded and supported by her family, following a brief but courageous battle with colon and liver cancer. 

She was born Elizabeth Ruth Barnett in Lancaster, Pa. on May 19, 1956 to parents Genevia and Leo Barnett. 

Elizabeth (or as she was affectionately known to family and friends, Butchie) graduated from Oxford Area High School in 1974. In high school, Elizabeth excelled as an all-around athlete and fierce competitor in varsity basketball and tennis. After high school, Elizabeth continued to compete in various community leagues in volleyball and softball. Elizabeth was a key member of the championship-winning Coastal Cardinals. 

Always up for any challenge, Elizabeth worked as a skilled machinist at ATACS Antenna Corporation and was a cable installer for Comcast. But it was her work with the intellectually disabled community that revealed her true talent in working with others. Her strict hand and nurturing demeanor made her a standout at Impact Systems, where she served as the supervisor of three community living sites. For 21 years, Elizabeth supervised a sheltered workshop at HandiCrafters in Thorndale, Pa., where she often ran the workshop as well as catered the food for the cafeteria. 

In 1999, Elizabeth married Thomas Draper and moved to Lincoln University, Pa. Together, they raised Jennifer Lynn, born in 1983, and Brian Thomas, born in 1991. Nathaniel Jr. (NJ) and Xavier, her grandsons were true and eternal sources of joy. Elizabeth remained a devoted wife and loving mother and grandmother all the days of her life. 

Elizabeth was a faithful member and worker at Trinity African Union Methodist Protestant Church in Zion, Md., where she was the co-chair and secretary of  the Trustee Board; assistant pastor steward; president of the steward and stewardess board; president of the usher board; assistant clerk/secretary; member of the senior choir; superintendent and teacher of the Sunday School; president of the Reverend Jeanne D. Brown Scholarship Fund Committee; assistant director of the junior choir; a member of The Ray Gospel Singers; and chief cook for many delicious Sunday dinners, chicken and fish dinners, prayer breakfasts, and for special occasions.  At the Conference Level of the African Union Methodist Protestant Church and Connection, she was a church delegate representing Trinity AUMP Church and a faithful member and Secretary of the Sunday School Association.

Elizabeth is survived by her husband, Thomas Draper; daughter, Jennifer Quattlebaum (Nathaniel) and son, Brian Barnett; two grandsons, Nathaniel Jr., and Xavier; siblings Philena, Velma, Stephanie, Marcellus, and Marina (William); Godchildren, Aisha and Xavier, and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews, family, friends, and co-workers. 

She was preceded in death by her mother, Genevia Barnett, and father, Leo Barnett, and her brother, Stewart Barnett, and sisters, Beverly Jackson and Wanda Lawson. 

Elizabeth was an avid Phillies baseball and Eagles football fan. She was an outstanding cook, and the family can’t imagine a gathering without someone fighting over her famous chocolate cake, pies, and rice pudding. Always a jokester, Elizabeth will be remembered for her mischievous wit and easy smile. She was a consummate and accomplished professional, had an incomparable style and a commanding presence. Elizabeth was a living testimony to the power of faith and obedience to God. Her strength and perseverance during her illness were inspirational. Butchie, Aunt Butchie Mom Mom, was the favorite aunt, best friend, jokester, and caregiver. She was loved and will missed.

A Home Going Service was held on Aug. 7 at the Trinity Church AUMP Church.

Interment will be in the adjoining cemetery.

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

James Edward Akehurst, Sr.

James Edward Akehurst, Sr., a resident of West Chester passed away at his home on Aug. 10. He was 94.

For many years, James worked at and managed a dry cleaning business. 

Since the 1960s, James was an avid ham radio operator and took great interest in this passion. He earned his license, was an expert in morse code, and used the call sign W3ZKY, or ZEKE. James proudly led a group of retirees for over 30 years on the airwaves. 

James was an intelligent jack-of-all-trades who possessed many talents. He was technologically savvy and used his computer skills to create digital pieces of artwork. James also enjoyed fly-fishing on the Brandywine and listening to jazz, big band and country music. 

James loved his family and appreciated spending time with them. Whether they went out to eat at a restaurant or gathered at a family member’s house for a birthday party, James enjoyed celebrating with his family and treasured the special moments they shared together. 

James was the type of person who made everyone feel welcome. His easy-going personality tended to put people at ease and make others feel comfortable. He was friendly, loving, generous and kind. James will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. 

James is survived by two sons, James E. Akehurst, Jr. (Angela Knight) and John P. Akehurst; two daughters, Linda L. Riley (William) and Della M. Akehurst; as well as his granddaughter, Amanda Rae Akehurst. 

James was preceded in death by his wife, Esther May Akehurst and his sister, Mavis Callaghan. 

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at Longwood Cemetery, 945 E Baltimore Pike in Kennett Square. 

To acknowledge James’ love of animals, donations in his name may be made to Faithful Friends Animal Society, 12 Germay Dr, Wilmington, DE 19804. 

To view James’ online obituary and share a message with his family, please visit

Jane Entriken Conner

Jane Entriken Conner, of Avondale, passed away on Aug. 10 at  Wellspan York Hospital in York, Pa. She was 92.

She was the wife of the late James A. Conner, Sr. 

Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of the late Dr. John Norman and Grace Matson Brinton Entriken.

Jane was a graduate of Kennett High School and attended the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA.

She was employed at Fred Engle Middle School in West Grove for 29 years and at Sanford School in Hockessin, Del. in numerous roles for over 11 years. She also worked part-time as a proofreader with the Kennett Paper

Jane was an educator in the purest sense. She instilled a love of music, history, and the natural world in her children, taking them to countless cultural events and to experience and appreciate the wonders of nature at places like Hawk Mountain, the Eastern Shore, and the Atlantic beaches of New Jersey and Delaware. Although she was not a classroom instructor, at Sanford School, Jane became a trusted confidant to numerous boarding and day students navigating the challenges of adolescence in the turbulent years of the late 1960s. In later years, Jane loved to visit Beaufort, SC, where her mother and two of her sisters resided.  

In the 1960s Jane volunteered as a geneaology researcher for the Brinton Family Assoc. in Dilworthtown, Pa. She was a member of the church choir at Kennett Presbyterian Church for several years. She also volunteered for the Red Cross as a Gray Lady and she and her husband, Jim were Red Cross Disaster Action Team members.

Jane and her husband, Jim enjoyed summers in Fenwick Island, Del. for 30 years with friends from the Avon Grove area. Jane's children and grandchildren were often in attendance at the beach, and treasure many happy memories of those summer days.

She is survived by her four children, Betsy Jane Conner, David Conner (Candy), Andy Conner (Kate) and Sallie Rush (Dave); four grandchildren, Clark, Drew, Grace and Jac; two sisters, Graceanne Sellitto of Dallas, Pa. and Barbara Entriken of Beaufort, SC; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Jane had a third sister, Joan, who passed in 2016.

A private graveside service will be held in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pa. When times are safer, the family plans to hold a celebration of life for Jane and her husband Jim.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Avon Grove Lions Club, 600 N. Baker Station Rd., West Grove, PA 19390 or Canine Partners for Life, 334 Faggs Manor Rd., Cochranville, PA 19330.

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