Obituaries for the week of August 2908/29/2022 11:06PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Michael E. Eller
Michael E. Eller passed away at home in Wilmington Del. on Aug. 19, 2022. He was 68.
Michael was born in Wilmington on March 1, 1954 to his loving parents Carl “Bud” Eller and Eleanor (Farmer) Eller. He lived all of his young life in Oxford and graduated from Oxford Area High School in 1972.
Michael was a precocious boy. While he enjoyed many regular little boy activities such as Boy Scouts and being a cub scout leader, he also was in many ways an adult in a boy’s body. He started and ran a neighborhood newspaper, The Barnsley News. Printing the paper on his own printing press, he found himself in trouble with mom on more than one occasion for hand delivering local gossip to every front porch in the neighborhood. In many ways Michael had more jobs during his childhood than most people have their entire lives. He sold Fuller Brush (becoming area manager while still in high school) and TV Guides door to door. He operated his own neighborhood library, with actual library cards, out of his bedroom. He ran for three years a Ronald McDonald’s Carnival to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and operated Eller’s Market selling groceries, deli items, gasoline and other general store items.
The fourth year of the carnival was changed to a fundraiser for a little girl from Oxford. Michael went all out with large carnival rides and games that rivaled the local fireman’s Carnival. The proceeds helped purchase an at-home dialysis machine for the little girl.
Michael received awards for his fundraising efforts from the Oxford Rotary Club (Outstanding Boy - Oxford Area), PA Medical Society’s Benjamin Rush Award (only the third youth recipient of the award in the society’s 120-year history). Michael did this before he even began high school.
As an adult, Michael continued to explore different jobs. He worked for Sunny Slope Dairy, Herr’s Potato Chips, Delaware Candy & Tobacco Co. He drove a school bus and eventually began driving bus for Delaware’s transit company, DART. Michael loved driving bus and interacting with the riders every day. Despite his love of driving bus, he was too self-motivated to stay in one position for long. Michael moved up the ladder at DART until he eventually became the Chief of Schedule Development. Michael was tasked with planning every bus route and stop in Delaware, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If there was a major event happening in Delaware Michael would move the many pieces of DART like a chess master. In 2007, he oversaw the visit of President George W. Bush. He was also very proud to work with then U.S. Senator Joseph Biden to address Homeland Security issues. Surprising his sister Teresa when, during a visit to Dart, Joe Biden walked up and began speaking to Michael and addressing him as “Mike” as if they were old friends. Michael retired from DART in 2015 after 30-plus years of service.
In addition to his many jobs, Michael continued to be an entrepreneur. He began preparing taxes in his home for friends and family around 1990. Realizing that there was a need for this service, he started Michael Eller Income Tax Service in 1995. Michael owned and operated the tax office for 20 years, first on Union Street in Wilmington before eventually moving to a larger location on Maryland Ave. Michael Eller Tax Service continues to operate today under the ownership of Michael’s close friend and former office manager, Jorge Bravo.
Beyond his many professional accomplishments Michael will best be remembered for the many friendships he built. Michael was a kind man. He was never quick to judge, preferred trust over doubt, and would help anyone in need. If you ask any of his friends, they will tell you that Michael always gave without expectation. As his tax business grew many of his friends and family came to work with him and many others came to work for him and became a friend. His friends in Delaware were his family and when he became sick and needed help, they rallied around him.
Michael is survived by his sisters, Teresa Ogino (Mike) of Oxford and Phyllis Barlow (Tim) of Cochranville; six nieces and nephews, Brian Simmons (Niccki), David Ogino (Stephanie), Angela Barlow, Krystal Stouffer (Brad), Steven Barlow (Audrey), and Wesley Ogino.
In addition to family Michael is survived by his close friends, Jorge Bravo, Marilyn Ortiz, and Mary Roop.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Frank McCoury; and one nephew, Mark Simmons.
The family would like to give a very special thank you to Michael’s caretakers Oriana and Xavier. Oriana and Xavier provided Michael with great care for 7 years and treated him as their own family.
There were many friends who helped with Michael’s care—too many to list here, but the family did not want to recognize Rodney Banks for all his help.
Funeral services were held on Aug. 24.
Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery.
Douglas Martin Schmidt
Doug Schmidt has passed away. He was born in Pittsburgh in March of 1951 to Raymond Martin Schmidt and Mary Gertrude Schmidt.
His family moved to Buffalo, NY when Doug was just 6 weeks old. He enjoyed many things in Buffalo, such as Crystal Beach Park, Schwabl’s, and Ted’s Hot Dogs. He attended St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo and graduated in 1969. He was a proud alumni of Canisius College, where he graduated in 1973 with a bachelor of science degree in economics.
During college, Doug met his wife Christine. After college they married with hope of residing in Mount Washington, Pa. With that hope, Doug took the Pennsylvania state exam for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry where he held multiple roles over the course of his career. While Doug and Christine did not make it to Mount Washington, Pa., they found their home in Chester County. This is where they raised their two children and enjoyed everything the Philadelphia area could offer.
His final role before retirement was in the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry as the assistant regional director of the Central Region. He was always dedicated to helping people find employment in their time of need.
Doug enjoyed traveling with Christine, his wife of 48 years, and they visited Scotland, England, Germany, and many cities around the U.S. When not traveling, he loved to watch the Steelers, Star Trek, cooking shows, and home improvement shows on TV. He took great pride in his home, both inside and out. He loved to decorate with many trees at Christmas time and enjoyed several home improvement and decorating projects over the years with Christine. He also enjoyed spending time with family on his back patio, making everyone laugh with his quick wit and hearty laugh.
Doug leaves behind Christine (Ratka) Schmidt, along with his son Matthew Schmidt (Darcy), daughter Gretchen Reasner (William), grandchildren Mae and Benjamin Reasner, brother Eric Schmidt (Emily), and sister Holly Lash (Roger Coney). He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his sister, Vivian Schmidt.
Services will be private.
Arrangements being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., in Oxford.
Samuel Cordova Castillo
Samuel Cordova Castillo, 29, of Oxford, passed away on Aug. 23, 2022 while at home.
Sammy left his family too soon, but God had other plans for him.
He leaves his mom, Raquel Castillo Rangel, his youngest sister Alina Lemus Castillo, his brother Nicolas Lemus Castillo and his dad Lino Lemus Leon and an extended family of many cousins, aunts, and uncles on both sides of his family. Sammy also had his living grandparents Isabel Rangel and Reynaldo Castillo and Francisco Lemus and Margarita Leon.
Sammy will be remembered as a happy kid and happy young man who was always dancing and singing. His favorite singer was Chalino Sanchez and he also enjoyed listening to Boleros and dancing to Salsa, Cumbia and Banda music. He enjoyed being with his pet snakes “Lucifer” and “Harley Quinn” as well as the cats around his parents’ house.
He loved his little sister and brother dearly and loved driving his mom crazy and although didn’t always listen to his dad's advice, he listened respectfully anyway.
Everyone will remember him always dressed up, with a hat or fedora, a beer in hand, being the life of the party and singing karaoke to his heart's content.
He has left many broken hearts, but he finally rests in peace.
He will be remembered by his family and friends always.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Aug. 29 at Saint Rocco Church in Avondale.
A graveside service took place on Aug. 30 at Oxford Cemetery.
Arrangements being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., in Oxford.