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Chester County Press

Obituaries for he week of December 13

12/12/2021 10:58PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Rosa Maria Vasquez Avendano, of Kennett Square, passed away on Dec. 5 at the Christiana Hospital. She was 46.
Born in Tlapizalco,  Zumpahuacan, Mexico, she was the daughter of Evangelina Avendano Suarez of Mexico and the late Benjamin Crisoforo Vasquez Guadarrama.
Rosa was a waitress at El Rinconcito in Kennett Square.
She enjoyed helping others and being with her family and friends.
She always said, “Los Tiempos De Dios Son Perfecto.”
Rosa is survived by one daughter, Genesis Jovana Juarez Vasquez of Kennett Square;  six brothers, German Vasquez Avendano of Kennett Square, Esteban Vazquez Avendano of Mommouth, IL, Miguel Angel Vasquez Avendano, Angel  Vasquez Avndano, Martin Vazquez Avendano, and Salvador Vasquez Avendano, all of Mexico.
You are invited to visit with her family and friends from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, Dec. 15, at St. Rocco’s Catholic Church, 333 Sunny Dell Road in Avondale. Her Funeral Mass will follow at 6:30. Burial will be in Mexico.
To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, please visit
Arrangements are being handled by the Foulk Funeral Home of West Grove.

Courtland Cooper Hannum
Courtland Cooper Hannum, 76, of Jefferson, Md., passed away on Dec. 4 at Inova Loudoun Hospital. 
He was the husband of Sharon Hannum, who passed away in 2019, and with whom he shared 54 years of marriage. 
Born in Chester County, he was the son of the late Beatrice and Courtland (Sr) Hannum. He spent his 40-plus year career as a home builder and realtor. He began in the real estate business with his father, later expanding the business from realty to include home building. He later went to work for North American Housing Corporation, prompting his move to Jefferson, Md. The final phase of his career was as co-owner of Distinguished Homes.
Court was an avid racing and car enthusiast, participating in events ranging from hill climbs to Formula Vee racing. Most recently, he was the pit crew chief for his sons as they raced Formula Vee. He was an active member of the Sports Car Club of America, where he was well respected, having been involved in Formula Vee racing since the inception of the class in the mid-1960s. Court was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and spent his life helping anybody who needed help. 
He is survived by one brother, Douglas Hannum; three children, Doug Hannum, William Hannum (and wife Susan) and Stephanie Watkins (and husband Todd); and six grandchildren, Courtney Oddo (and husband Ryan), Noah Watkins, Hannah Watkins, Amy Hannum, Samuel Watkins (and wife Elly), and Adam Watkins. 
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Hospice of Frederick County, MD at
Interment will take place on Dec. 20 at 11a.m. at West Grove Friends Meeting, 153 E Harmony Road, West Grove, PA. 
A Celebration of Life will follow. 
Condolences to the family and more information may be found at

Don Pharaoh
Don is loved by an ocean of people whose struggles and sunshine mattered to him. He touched and was touched by the lives of friends, family and chance acquaintances alike. Don had a special and infectious high-on-life persona. He never hesitated, always pursued his wants and needs and dreams, and experienced the universe with throttle wide open, enjoying life thoroughly.  He appreciated all the moments that mattered and moved past the other stuff. Don said whatever was on his mind and was genuine and real. His special brand of humor ranged from dark, witty sarcasm to sweet and silly hold his hand on his chest with tears in his captivating aqua eyes laughter. He exuded charisma, warmth and a style that was all his own.
Don enjoyed performing at live venues (drummed with amazing musicians and resumed gigging last year); riding motorcycles (especially through the ADK and anywhere else the road beckoned him); cool big trucks and photos of old iron; vans (he had quite a few in his lifetime and even took it a step further wearing his favorite black-and-white checkered Vans when he wasn't in a pair of "dad's boots"); boating (Yes, this list is amazing and he planned to get another one soon); good food and beverages discovered on trips or prepared at home; and adventures (he made a trip to the grocery store an event!). His energy and spirit are magical and will endure.
Don trucked in the early years. In 2006 he landed his favorite job (gig) working and eventually managing local music store McNeil Music of Ithaca. His later careers included service writing for big truck and motorcycle dealerships and finally working as a loader and operator in Moravia and then Auburn, NY. He was really good at everything he tried and had integrity and a strong work ethic. He exited on a timeline that defies explanation or understanding and passed away shortly after starting his workday on Wednesday, Dec. 1, just two weeks away from his 54th birthday.
Throughout his life, Don was a student and mentor. Being a dad gave him the most joy and purpose and through Alexa, he became a well-rounded human. Please hold her close in your hearts for him. It does not make sense or feel real and probably isn't meant to. Don was sort of like a mythical creature. He has been my special person, lover, friend, and a pain... longer than the 29 years of marriage. We met at marching band practice at Avon Grove High School in the late summer of 1982. Our Opus Magnum, who he is infinitely proud of, Alexa Pharaoh, was born in 1996. 
His dad, Robert E. Pharaoh of Cochranville, Pa. is mourning the loss of his second son and middle child. 
Don is survived by mother, Barbara Pharaoh, and sister Sandy and her two girls. He was predeceased by his older brother, Ronald, who was only 17 when he passed away.
Don held a stoic or practical view of death and believed when the parts stopped working it was just done. He will be cremated, but a funeral and viewing is not being planned. 
A VA motorcycle memorial will be coordinated when weather is conducive and we will take him for a last ride. A celebration of Don's life is more fitting and will take place once Alexa's and my world resumes rotation. Your love and support during these incredibly difficult days is carrying us through. I have had those of you who have lost your loved ones in my thoughts and truly know that there are no words, but the funny stories and fond memories help.
Cheers my hunk of burning love, Don Pharaoh, I wanted more time to get where we were going but will shift gears and treasure where we've been and promise I  will make sure Pookie is okay. Margarita and Harley and Sheeba miss you, too.

Linda Lee Peirson
Linda Lee Peirson, the beloved wife of Paul V. Peirson, Jr. for over 40 years, passed away peacefully on Dec. 8. 
She was born on March 9, 1948 to Charles Robert Freeman and Ida Rawlins Freeman. Linda was born in Wilmington, Del. She graduated from McKean High School in 1967.
Linda worked for the Williams Family Auto Mall in Elkton, Md. for over fifteen years.  She was also a caregiver for children with special needs, and the elderly. She was a faithful member of the West Grove United Methodist Church where she volunteered her time.
Linda was a loving and caring person who was interested in many things. She loved to read, sew, watch detective movies, collect lighthouses and angels, enjoy the beach, travel, and take care of her treasured pets, Alfie and Binx.  
She is survived by her father, sisters, Wendy Wymer, Leona Keener, and Patricia Burchum. Left to mourn her loss is her brother-in-law, Dean McWilliams, sister-in-law, Paula Wentz, best friend, Kristina Patterson, the Jones Family of West Grove, her church family, and her loving Williams, Foote, and Peirson cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Pete and Elinor McWilliams of Oxford, her uncle and aunt in law, David and Peggy Williams of Elkton, Md., her brother, Charles Freeman, and her mother.
A celebration of Linda’s life will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at the United Methodist Church in West Grove. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. followed by the funeral at 11 a.m.   All are welcome. She will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband, Paul. In the Unionville Cemetery in Unionville.
Arrangements are being handled by the Foulk Funeral Home in West Grove.
Please visit Mrs. Peirson’s online memorial by going to

June Maxine Roland
June Maxine Roland, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 8 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. She was 74.
Born in West Grove, she was the daughter of the late John Henry and Mary Louise Reyburn Roland.
Maxine loved spending time with her family, going on Facebook and playing soduko puzzles.
She is survived by three children, Mark Alan Mellinger, Sr. (Melanie Ann) of Peach Bottom, Tonja Wallace (Bill) of Oxford and Chastity Hardmon (Luis) of Drumore; four grandchildren, Billy, Kortney, Talynn and Brennan; ten great-grandchildren; and four siblings, Jerry Roland, Jeff Roland and Yvonne Hershey and Judy Jobe.
She was preceded in death by her companion, Gary Jay Mellinger, a grandson, Mark Alan Mellinger, Jr. and two brothers, John Roland and Robert Roland.
Services are private.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at

Dolores Costanzo Cooper
Dolores Costanzo Cooper, known as "Mama Dee,” died on Dec. 4 at Chester County Hospital. She was a 90-year-old resident of West Grove.
She was the wife of the late Vance M. Cooper, who died in 2011, and with whom she shared 59 years of marriage.  
Born in West Grove, she was a daughter of the late Joseph and Ethel Walker Costanzo.  
Dolores is survived by three sons, David C. Cooper of Kennett Square, Jeffrey N. Cooper (Paula) of Dover, Del. and Jon Christopher Cooper (Kristen Binz-Perrone) of Hockessin, Del.; one daughter, Candace L. Cooper of Lewes, Del.; six grandchildren, Erin, John, Kevin, Kimberly, Ryan and Jacob and three great-grandchildren, Nolen Mae Barrow, John Hillferty and Jason Hillferty. 
It may sound cliché, but to know Dee Cooper was to love Dee Cooper. Her energy was magnetic and light-filled, creating a lasting impression on anyone she met. Even articulating just how special she was is difficult because her personality and presence was so dynamic. Loud, fun, crazy, and someone who did things her own way, always – all wrapped into a highly accessorized, colorful bundle of beauty and joy. Who else is a flower girl at the age of 85? Did she ever mention to you that she won “best legs” as a high school superlative? It’s a fact. But perhaps her greatest gift was her ability to create true, meaningful connections with so many in her life.
Dee loved to know people and their stories; she could make you feel heard and seen like no one else. She was kind, generous and always made you feel special. And if you were lucky enough, she would shower you with her yard sale treasures. Time never slowed her down, always young at heart with charm and comedic timing that never dulled.
Dee grew up as an only child that always dreamed of becoming an actress. Even though she never made it to the silver screen, she made a home on the small stage in her youth and kept a flair for the dramatic throughout life. Her favorite place to be was her home at the shore on Benny’s Landing Rd., spending summers that always went too quickly with a never-ending guest list of friends and family. In its heyday, the walls were covered from floor-to-ceiling with anything and everything that made an impression on her: knickknacks, photos, quotes – you name it. And they all had a story. She treasured experiences and people, and never forgot a thing.
There may never be another human quite like Dee Cooper, but to have had her as part of your life is truly a blessing. She will be greatly missed, but dearly remembered by so many.
Services were held on Dec. 11. Interment will be held privately.  
Contributions in her memory may be made to Goodwill (online) at  
Arrangements are being handled by Matthew J. Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, (484-734-8100). 
Condolences may be shared at