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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of April 4

04/03/2022 07:04PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Eileen McGrath Brennan
Eileen McGrath Brennan, of Glen Mills, passed away on March 14. She was 94.
She was the wife of James Edward Brennan, who passed away in 2003. They were married for over 50 years.
Born in Danbury, CT, Eileen was the daughter of the late Edward McGrath and Alberta Shannon McGrath of Pawling, NY. While growing up in Pawling, she worked at her father’s diner and also volunteered at the local USO during World War II. She graduated from The College of Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale, NY where she made lifelong friends and had regular adventures taking the train into New York City on the weekends. While at “The Mount,” she proudly marched in the annual New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade. An avid reader, Eileen started her career working at Pocket Books publishing company in New York City.
After marrying, Eileen and Jim – a DuPont chemist at the time – began their life in Jeffersonville, Indiana. They later moved to Parlin, NJ, Rochester, NY, Towanda, Pa., Harrisburg, and finally to Kennett Square in 1978, where she lived until moving to Maris Grove in Glen Mills in 2015. Throughout her many moves, she always focused first on getting her family settled and taught them all to “unpack the boxes and hang the pictures right away.”
A strong believer in education and keeping her mind engaged, Eileen was a member of The Academy of Lifelong Learning in Wilmington, Del., where she took several courses each semester including French, Italian, wine tasting, world culture and current events. She enjoyed playing bridge with friends throughout her life.
She loved travel—whether it was to return to Pawling to visit her family for summer breaks and holidays, annual family vacations in Stone Harbor, NJ, or for vacations with Jim and her children to the Coloradan and Canadian Rockies, Naples, FL, Ireland, Hawaii, Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg. Some of her best memories were from trips she helped organize with her Academy friends to France and Italy.
She was fiercely committed to her family to the very end and passed along her confidence and spirit to her children and grandchildren. Eileen is survived by her sons, James Brennan and his wife Laurie of Castle Rock, Col.; David Brennan and his wife Lori of Ellicott City, Md.; and daughters Barbara Tuner and her husband Gary of Kennett Square and Dana Vas Nunes and her husband Gregory of Scottsdale, AZ; one sister, Fayne Daniels and her husband Ross of Pawling, NY; 10 grandchildren spread throughout the country: Daniel and Caitlin Brennan; Kyle, Elise, Christopher and Shannon Turner; and Casey, Jimmy and Micky Brennan; Michael Vas Nunes; and 5 great grandchildren: Keira, Annie, Lucas, Nicole and Charlotte.
There will be a family service in Pawling, NY and Stone Harbor, NJ later this year.
To honor Eileen’s commitment to education, the family suggests a contribution be made to the Alberta McGrath Scholarship Fund, which was created at Pawling High School in honor of Eileen’s mother who shared her passion for education. You may send payments to: Alberta McGrath Scholarship Fund, c/o Daniels, Porco, & Lusardi LLP, 1 Memorial Avenue, Pawling, NY 12564.
To view her online tribute and to share a memory with Eileen’s family, please visit
Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.

Margaret Y. Mackiewicz
The indomitable and generous spirit of Margaret Yeager Mackiewicz was welcomed to its heavenly home on March 10. She was 94.
She lived a life of courage and powerful example, which was rooted in her childhood experience of survival and frugality during the difficult years of the Great Depression. She was the rock amongst her siblings (William Jr., Marie, Thomas and Barbara) and, in many respects, was a second mother to them. 
Margaret was ahead of her time, serving as the financial anchor of her house of six, at a time when women had not yet been welcomed into the workforce. Through years of self-sacrifice, she and her late husband, Lawrence F. Mackiewicz, Sr., built a modest but stable home that gave her children, Ellen, Gail, Marianne and Lawrence Jr., opportunities she had never had as the mid-century, female Valedictorian of John Bartram High School in Philadelphia.
In addition to her never-quit attitude, Margaret demonstrated an inclination to service, nursing her mother-in-law through years of illness, without complaint. She also cared for her husband through a terminal bout with lung cancer, always providing an example to loved ones of quiet dignity. 
During her well-deserved years of retirement from Scott Paper Company, Margaret was the irreplaceable social center of her family. She was a brilliant cook, with the resourcefulness to make fantastic meals from the most meager leftovers, and her incredible “Grandmom omelet” will cast a warmly remembered, long shadow in the breakfast kitchen for many years to come. 
Margaret was the type of grandmother who left home and traveled out-of-state for months each year to care for her grandchildren while her children worked. She was the type of person who would shell every tedious blue crab after a long day crabbing at the beach, and she would still be the first one up to cook everyone breakfast. 
Margaret had a spirit of adventure, spending the years after her husband’s passing traveling all over the United States and Europe, always proudly finding the best possible deal. 
Margaret was always active in her community, serving as a committee woman for the City of Philadelphia, a member of the Red Hats, YMCA and various art groups. She enjoyed spending time outdoors whether at the beach collecting shells, camping in national parks or just tending to her own flower and vegetable gardens. 
After a life well-lived, the pillar of a growing family has passed and will be dearly missed by all who were blessed by her touch in their lives.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on March 30 at Sacred Heart Church 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

James Michael Levendis
James Michael Levendis, of Kennett Square, passed away at home on March 20. He was 77.
Jim is survived by his wife, Carol Speakman, with whom he shared nearly 35 years of marriage.
Born in Lebanon, Pa., Jim was the son of the late Constantinos and Helen Levendis.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from West Chester University and his master’s degree from Temple University.
Jim was a professional trumpet and flugelhorn player, arranger, vocalist, teacher and mentor. He was an instrumental music teacher in Rose Tree Media School District from 1968 to 2002. He was loved and fondly remembered by his students.
Many remember and enjoyed the music of the “Jim Levendis Orchestra” at weddings, galas, benefits and dances.
Jim had been working on a recording of his arrangements for big band for the last six months. The music was recorded on Jan. 4 and is now in the final stages of production to be released posthumously.
In retirement, Jim renewed his passion for bowling. He has 23 perfect 300 games and six 800 series to his credit. He was most proud of winning, at the age of 74, the Amateur Qualifying Tournament on July 20, 2019. This win earned him entry in the PBA Gene Carter Pro Shop Classic that August.
In addition to his wife, Carol, he is survived by his sons, Greg Levendis (Kama) and Darryl Levendis (Alexis); his daughter, Stefanie Levendis; two grandsons, Mick and Ashley; and two granddaughters, Grace and Sophia.
Jim was predeceased by two brothers, George and Andy.
Services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, Jim’s family requests donations be made to the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, 321 Norristown Road – Suite 260 – Ambler, PA 19002.
Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home of Kennett Square.

John Richard Williams
John “Jack” R. Williams, 86, of Lincoln University passed away on Dec. 10 with his family by his side, following surgical complications in a hospital.  
He is the beloved husband of Dixie F. (Fairchild) Williams, with whom he shared 63 years of marriage.  
Jack was born in Middle Granville, NY, the son of the late Richard and Edith Williams. He graduated from Chester High School in 1953 and was employed by Sun Olin Refinery in Marcus Hook and then with Chubb Insurance Company as a licensed Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspector.  He also served as a township supervisor in West Brandywine Township, and later on the Zoning Hearing Board with New London Township.  Following his retirement he kept busy with a part-time family business, WRC, and tending to fences and mowing on his 10-acre gentleman's farm.  But he always found time to help out when anyone he knew could use a hand.
Jack was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958 and trained at Ft. Dix, N.J. before an assignment to the demilitarized zone in Germany.  Upon his return, he transferred and served in the Naval Reserves at Willow Grove Air Station until he was honorably discharged.  He joined the Masonic Lodge and developed many lifelong friendships with his brothers in Concordville, New London and Oxford.  He was past Master at New London, received his 50-year pin and continued supporting the lodge until the time of his death.
In addition to his wife Dixie, he is survived by his son Daniel, daughter-in-law Jean and their daughters Kelsey and Olivia.  Jack is also survived by his sisters Elda Harris, Norma Verdenski, Linda Gibson as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Jack enjoyed throwing darts, a good game of horseshoes and hunting with his bird dogs in his earlier years.  Most recently he liked to travel and even visited distant family in Wales, and enjoyed planes, trains, horseback and boat trips around different parts of Alaska, where many great memories were made. There was also an infamous family trip around the Grand Canyon, and Jack led everyone in several western songs.  He also ventured west several times to Arizona, some of those trips in an RV before realizing just how "fun" a cross country drive of 2,300 miles can be.
Services were held on April 2 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at

Lena Oliveri D’Antonio
Lena Oliveri D’Antonio passed away peacefully in her home on March 15. She was 88. 
Born on January 18, 1934 and raised in the Doe Run area of Unionville, she was the daughter of the late Antonio and Madalena Olivieri.
She attended Unionville High School. She then supported the operations at D’Antonio Mushrooms for over 65 years, but her most cherished role was that of wife, mother, and grandmother. A true matriarch, she was fierce, no nonsense and full of energy. She had a style and grace that couldn’t be taught and kept her house, like her clothes, in impeccable condition.
Her marriage to her late husband, Emidio, was the kind of love story most people only read about. They shared 60 years of adventures together. She hosted spaghetti dinner for her family every single Sunday and secretly loved that her house was always filled with people. Even though she often announced she was “done cooking for the day,” there was always another meal to be made or another pot of coffee to be brewed when one of her sons walked in the door.
She loved doing puzzles, shopping, playing the slot machines, and spending time with her sisters. Lena will be dearly missed by all.
Lena is survived by her three sons and their wives, Anthony and Melanie D’Antonio, Steve and Sheila D’Antonio and David and Kathleen D’Antonio; four grandchildren, Stephanie D’Antonio Boughner (Josh), Michelle D’Antonio Jurich (Dewey), Michael D’Antonio, Olivia D’Antonio; seven great grandchildren; her sisters, Nancy Petrucci and Josephine Wroten; her sister-in-law, Maryann Benko; and many nieces and nephews. 
She was preceded in death by her husband, Emidio D’Antonio; sisters, Anna Mastrippolito and Splendora Oliveri; and a brother, Louis Oliveri.
Services were held on March 22 at St. Gabriel’s of the Sorrowful Mother Church in Avondale, and the private graveside services took place at St. Patrick Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to Penn Hospice Development Office, 3535 Market Street, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104 or online at
Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.

John Lee Thomas
John Lee Thomas, 64, of Landenberg, passed away on March 19 at home. 
Born in Fairbanks, AK he was the son of Virginia Doss Thomas of Oxford and the late John S. Thomas. 
John was employed with Kaolin Mushroom in Kennett Square as a research and design manager.
He donated generously to many organizations especially to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
He is survived by one son, John R. Thomas (Samantha) of Elkton, Md.; one daughter, Desiree M. Thomas (Tim Richardson) of Elkton, Md.; twelve grandchildren; and four sisters, Sharon Hawkins of Kirkwood, Debra Marshall of Oxford, Cheryl Thomas of Kirkwood and Lisa Thomas of Oxford.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Jessica Lynn Thomas. 
Funeral services were on March 29 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, Smile Train at, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Office of Development, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607, Wounded Warriors Project at or Feed the Children at
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at

Barbara Ann Phillips
Barbara Ann Phillips, 75, of Landenberg, entered into rest on March 29 at home.
She was the wife of Albert G. Phillips, with whom she shared 58 years of marriage.  
Born on April 14, 1944 in Miller’s Creek North Wilkesboro, NC, she was the daughter of the late James M. and Ivnel Nichols Snyder. 
She is survived by her loving husband; two sons, Christopher G. Phillips and Steven Phillips (Tracey) all of Landenberg; and four sisters, Shirley Bibber (Rick), Carolyn Hensley (Herbert), Linda Ranallli and Susan Spain (Barry).  
She was preceded in death by one sister, Darlene Wyatt.
Funeral services were held on April 4 at State Line Baptist Church in Rising Sun, Md.
Interment will be in the adjoining cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Forgotten Cats, Inc., 4023 Kennett Pike, Suite 422, Greenville, DE 19807.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at

John R. Williams
John R. Williams, a resident of West Grove who formerly lived in Somers Point, NJ, passed away on March 28 at Jenner’s Pond in West Grove. He was 89.
He was the son of the late Daniel and Millie (Falcone) Williams; and brother of the late Thomas D. Williams; loving father of Suzanne Barnard (Richard) and Barbara Fasick (Douglas); and devoted grandfather of Zachary and Olivia Barnard and DJ and William Fasick.
He grew up in Roseto a small Pennsylvania community between Stroudsburg and Easton.  After graduating from high school there, he received a football scholarship to the University of Delaware, where he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1955.
He then went into business for himself, specializing in home maintenance, especially fabric cleaning and maintenance, in Somers Point, NJ. He also was involved in sales, and was affiliated for a time with Market America, a product brokerage company headquartered in Chicago.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on April 2 at Sacred Heart Church in Oxford.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions to the University of Delaware. Please forward donations to, Gifts Processing, 83 E. Main St, 3rd Floor, Newark, DE 19716. Make checks payable to 'University of Delaware' and include on the memo line "in memory of John R. Williams.” Gifts can also be made on the University of Delaware's secure website, ( Donations will be directed to the Men’s Football fund at the University of Delaware.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. Oxford, PA. Online condolences may be made at

Joan Walsh
Joan Walsh (nee Kinsella) of West Grove peacefully passed away on March 23 at Jenner's Pond Retirement Community. She was 92.
She was the beloved wife of Thomas A. Walsh, with whom she shared 64 years of marriage.  Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late Michael and Winifred Kinsella and the sister of the late Michael D. Kinsella.  
Joan and Tom lived in Glenolden, Pa. for over 56 years before moving to Chester County to be near their family.  Joan was an active member of St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Norwood, Pa. and more recently, at Assumption BVM Catholic Church in West Grove.  
In addition to her husband, Joan is survived by three daughters, Deborah (Carmen) Giannantonio of Kennett Square, Donna (Barry) Francisco of Sea Isle City, NJ, and Susan (John) Winiarski of West Grove.  She is also survived by six grandchildren, Greg, Julianna, Andrew, Chrissy, Jimmy and Megan. 
Joan will be remembered by all who knew her as a loving and caring wife, mother, and grandmother who always enjoyed spending time with her family.  She will also be remembered as a devoted friend and for her kindness, sense of humor and positive outlook on life.  Joan loved to travel, play bridge, spend time at the shore, volunteer within the community, and enjoy a good happy hour at sunset with family and friends.
At the family’s request, services and interment will be held privately.  In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions in her memory to Jenner’s Pond Endowment Fund, 2000 Greenbrier Road, West Grove, PA 19390. 
Funeral arrangements are by Matthew J. Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory of Kennett Square. Condolences may be shared at

Jane Marie Kelly
Jane Marie Kelly, of Mendenhall, Pa., passed away on March 27. She was 96.

She was the loving wife of the late Francis E. Kelly, Sr., with whom she shared 52 years of marriage.
Born in Philadelphia, Jane was the daughter of the late Albert and Bridget McLaverty.
Jane attended Our Lady of Angels College on a scholarship and graduated with honors with a degree in English. She was inducted into the “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”
Jane retired from the Human Resources Department of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware as a department manager.
Before moving to Media, Pa. later in life, Jane was a member of St. Patrick Church in Kennett Square.
Jane loved opera and classical music and was an avid reader.
She was the loving mother of three sons and one daughter, Francis E. Kelly, Jr. and wife, Holly, of Ottsville, Pa., Albert R. Kelly, Sr. and wife, Marjorie, of Wilmington, Del., Owen J. Kelly and wife, Sloane, of West Chester, Pa. and Deirdre J. Doyle and husband, Joseph E. Doyle III of Chadds Ford. Jane was also an incredible grandmother and loved spending time with her many grandchildren and great grandchildren. 
She was predeceased by two sisters, Catherine McKnight and Lucy Rothfuss; as well as two brothers, Albert McLaverty and Bernard McLaverty, M.D.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on April 1 at St. Patrick Church in Kennett Square.
Interment will be held at Calvary Cemetery in Conshohocken, Pa.
Contributions in Jane’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1818 Market St, Suite 2820, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or to the Special Olympics, ATTN: Gifts, 1133 19th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20036‐3604.
Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.

Blanche Phipps
Blanche Phipps, 95, of West Grove, passed away at Jenners Pond Retirement Community on March 30. Born in West Jefferson, NC, she was the daughter of the late Emmitt Hopper and Pearl (Gambill) Hopper. She was the beloved wife of the late Barney Roscoe Phipps, who passed in 1973. 
Blanche attended Piny Creek Elementary in West  Jefferson, NC, and went on to serve at Strodes Sausage and Scrapple, Kraft School Bus Company, and Plumbmaster Inc., where she then retired to care for her grandchildren. 
Blanche had an unconditional amount of love for her family,  and also enjoyed blessing them with her delicious southern cooking. Blanche looked forward to going to church on Sundays and there she was everyone’s “Mom-Mom.” She was an active member of New London Baptist Church. 
She is survived by her daughter; Jennie Hoover (and her husband Lee) of Jennersville, two siblings, Laura Jenkins of West Grove and Mary Hash (and husband Walter) of Coatesville, five grandchildren, Patty Bryan (and husband Jimmy) of West Grove, Linda Deeney (and husband Dave) of Landenberg, Sherry Wardell (wife of the late Tommy Wardell), Mike Phipps (and wife Dawn) of Maryland, and Brian Phipps (and wife Kara) of West Grove. Additionally, she is survived by eight great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. 
She is preceded in death by two sons, Claude and James Phipps and by one sibling, Wayne Hopper. 
Funeral services were held on April 4 from New London Baptist Church.
Interment will directly follow at Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square. 
The family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude for the excellent care Blanche received from the Preston staff at Jenners Pond Nursing Facility. 
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to New London Baptist Church, 226 Pennock Bridge Road, West Grove, PA 19390 in honor of Blanche’s years of membership. 
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Wilde Funeral Home of Parkesburg. Online condolences can be posted at

Dorothy Jean Abel Roop
Dorothy Jean Abel Roop, 80, of West Grove, passed away on March 30 at her residence.  
She was the wife for 56 years of the late Dewey F. Roop, Jr., who passed away in 2017.  Born on July 4, 1941 in West Chester, she was the daughter of the late Palmer and Jessie (Gamble) Abel.
Dorothy was a longtime member of the Kennett Square Missionary Baptist Church. She was a lifelong homemaker raising her children as well as helping with her husband’s trucking business as a bookkeeper. She loved reading, traveling, crocheting and visiting their beach home in Rehoboth Beach, Del..  She was an amazing baker making wedding cakes and her own Easter candy each year.  Most of all, she loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her children, Rockie Roop, Debbie Jenkins, Robert Bedford (Kim), Rick Roop (Janice), Sandra Brown, Jane Rizzuto, Bud Roop and Karen Roop (Bob), her grandchildren: Anthony, Heather, Kim, Gary, Stasi, Nick, Brandon, Daniel, Jimmy, Jeffrey, Matthew, Johnny, Josh, Randy, Meg, Jessie and Gram.  She is also survived by her brothers, John and Eddie and will be missed by her uncle Paul Gamble with whom she lived with.  In addition to her husband and parents, she is preceded in death by her sons-in-law, Gary and John and her sisters, Peggy and Joyce.
Friends will be received on Wednesday, April 6 from 9  to 11 a.m. at the Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 W. State St., Kennett Square, where services will begin at 11 a.m.  Pastor Robert Vannoy will officiate.  Interment will follow in Longwood Cemetery in Kennett Square. Please visit Mrs. Roop’s online memorial by going to