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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of September 12

09/13/2022 12:24PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Billy Gordon Hunnell

Billy Gordon Hunnell, age 58, of West Grove, passed away on Aug. 31, 2022 at the Union Hospital in Elkton, Md. 

He and his wife Jennifer Kent Hunnell just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on May 24, 2022.

Born in Lancaster, Pa., he was the son of Minnie Jennings Hunnell of New Providence, Pa. and the late Robert William Hunnell.

Billy had worked at Edgecraft Corp for over 10 years and also at Adecco Corp.

He attended the Solanco Bible Church in Quarryville, Pa.

Billy enjoyed watching the Pittsburgh Steelers and he collected Steelers memorabilia. He  enjoyed the yearly trips  Ocean City, Md., watching old TV shows and spending time with his family and friends. He loved his fur babies, Lucky, Ally, Peaches and Darby May.

In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by one brother, Danver Hunnell and his wife  Tammy of Rising Sun, Md. and their children, Valerie, Kristy, Heather and Kathrin. He is survived also by three sisters, Maggie Sprout (and her husband Ernie and their children, James, Joseph and Mary of Rising Sun, Md.); Clara “Chris” Wiley  of Holtwood, Pa. (and her children, Jason and Jeremy); brother-in-law Jap Swift, husband of the late Frances Swift of New Providence, Pa. and their children, Emily and Brian; one sister-in-law Colleen Hunnell, wife of the late Timothy Hunnell of Nottingham, and their children, Tim Jr., Tristian and William; numerous cousins and numerous nieces and nephews and two special family friends, Erin Blounts and Jennifer Linkey.

Billy’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the nurses at Union Hospital and also his infusion nurses, Megan and Melissa for the special care given.

You are invited to attend Billy’s Memorial service at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, Sept. 17, 2022 at the Solanco Bible Church, 166 Oak Bottom Road, Quarryville, Pa.  

His burial will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Brandywine Valley SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, PA 19380.

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

Claude Anthony Madonna

Claude Anthony Madonna, of Kennett Square, affectionately known by all as “Uncle Claude,” passed away peacefully on Sept. 3, 2022, at the age of 100. 

He was born in Kennett Square on Oct. 14, 1921, the son of Donato Madonna and Maria Michaelene Caprara of Lama dei Peligni, Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy. He is predeceased by his beloved siblings Emma DiFrancesco, Nicholas, Rose DiRosa, Phillip (“Fritz”), Francis (“Frank”), Mary Concetta (“Jit”), Daniel P. Madonna, and two infant siblings. 

He is survived by loving nieces and nephews too numerous to mention, extending across four generations to his great, great, great nieces, and nephews. 

He graduated from Kennett High School in 1939 and served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946 (World War II, 35th Machine Records Unit, France). He went on to study acting and voice in New York City, then traveled all over the country with the Children’s Theater. He returned to New York City and worked as a recruiter for System Development Corporation (SDC) in the Empire State Building until 1962. He then transferred to Arlington, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, where he had a long career with SDC human resources (Cambridge and Bedford offices) until his retirement in 1984. His work supported major institutions in the field of computer programming, including MIT Instrumentation Lab (now Draper). He made many lifelong friends while living in Arlington, including his dear friend, Jane Goode (deceased). He enjoyed summers at the Delaware beaches with family, and in Maine, with Jane and other dear friends. He moved back to Kennett Square in 2016, at the age of 95, to live out the rest of his years closer to his family. He walked almost every day, always greeting those lucky enough to cross his path. He was an unbelievable storyteller, a great cook, an active member of St. Patrick Parish (where he was educated as a child), and a wonderful uncle, never missing a niece’s or nephew’s birthday or major milestone. 

Uncle Claude was truly larger than life. He loved to learn about everything and everyone around him, and he would engage in conversation for hours if he could. He also loved to laugh. He had a wonderful sense of humor, an amazing memory, a beautiful voice, a love of food, the arts and a good martini. He was generous in every way. He blessed us with his contagious smile, endless warm hugs and was an instant friend to every creature he met. He is dearly missed already. May he rest in peace. 

Claude’s Mass of Christian Burial took place on Sept. 9 at St. Patrick Catholic Church.

Interment will be in St. Patrick Cemetery.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations are made to St. Patrick Church in Kennett Square.

Arrangements are being handled by Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. (484-734-8100).  To view his online tribute and to share a memory with his family, please visit

Aline Ruch Frank

Aline Ruch Frank passed away peacefully in her home on Sept. 3, while surrounded by her family and neighbors, who were drinking wine and telling stories. She would have loved the whole scene. 

Born in Baltimore in 1956 to James Ruch and Frances Collins Ruch, she lived in many places before moving to Kennett Square in 1996. She is survived by her siblings, Frannie, Pat, Katie, Mary, Sue, Jim, and John, as well as their spouses and children; her children,  Henry (Kayla), Sam (Brooks), Abigail, and Hannah; and her grandchildren,  Alice, Leonard, Ira, and Daphne.

Aline was incomparable. She is impossible to describe, but here are a few things her children loved about her. She was a technical designer in the fashion industry by trade—a pattern maker—and loved textiles, design, and engineering. She had a timeless style and seemingly endless talents. She earned her bachelor’s degree in medieval Spanish literature from the University of Pennsylvania while raising four kids. She threw herself wholeheartedly into any community that she was a part of—St. Ignatius Parish, St. Pat’s, the Kennett School District, her neighborhood, and countless more. She did a million things at once and was everywhere in Kennett. She held many jobs. She was president of the Mary D. Lang PTO and served on the Kennett School Board. She fixed everyone’s prom and wedding dresses, wrote curricula, translated between English and Spanish, threw community welcome parties, went to all the sports games and musicals and graduations. She was always athletic, but her favorite exercise was “checking in on her peeps,” i.e. walking around town on a Friday night knowing she would run into friends anywhere she went. 

She was kind, open-minded, curious, mischievous, selfless, and brave. She was incredibly smart but never pretentious. She was funny, without being loud, and without putting other people down. She was not sentimental, but she loved people deeply and unconditionally. She would always say “do what you can do” and “what do normal people do?” She loved catching critters in her garden to entertain her grandchildren. She cared about public education. She was honest, unfailingly forgiving, and had no sense of entitlement. There are a lot of people who want to be just like Aline. She will be indescribably missed.

There will be a wake on Thursday, Sept. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at her home (111 East Sickle Street in Kennett Square) and a Funeral Mass at St. Patrick Church, 212 Meredith Street in Kennett Square.  All are welcome. The service will also be available online here:

Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Route 82, in Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Aline's name and memory to the Kennett Library Capital Campaign (

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

Arrangements are being handled by the Kuzo Funeral Home in Kennett Square.

Verna D. Beard

Verna D. Beard, a resident of Nottingham for 48 years, passed away on Sept. 3, 2022 at her home.  She was 83.

She was the wife of the late Lawrence B. Beard, with whom she shared 53 years of marriage.

Born in Houtzdale, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Alberta Phillips. 

She is survived by two sons, Terrance L. Leair of York and William R. LeFevre of Mingoville; one daughter, Lauren D. Beard of Nottingham; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and one brother, Bill Leair of Ohio.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Ronald Phillips and her sister, Donna Sharpless.

Services are private.

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

Janice “Louise” Moran

Janice “Louise” Moran, 82, of Lincoln University, passed away with her family by her side on Sept. 5. 

Louise was the wife of Albert Moran, with whom she shared 65 years of marriage.

Born in Coatesville, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Leroy McCullough and Sophia Crowl.  She was a lifelong resident of the Oxford area.  Louise was a faithful member of the Nottingham “Greenstone” Presbyterian Church where she held many positions over the years, including Sunday School teacher, choir member, Deacon and Session Member.

Louise worked by her husband’s side in the family mushroom business for many years before later working at Herr Foods. She retired from Herr Foods.  

Louise loved being surrounded by her family, especially at the yearly Christmas gathering where everyone was together.

In addition to her husband, Louise will be dearly missed by her five children, Sharon (Ken) Hershey of Nine Points, Steve (Brenda) Moran of Nottingham, Robin (Paul) Rovnak of East Petersburg, Ken Moran of Wakefield and Karen (Bernie) Hostetter of Lincoln University.  She is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Louise will also be lovingly missed by her sister Jean McCauley of Oxford.

The family would like to give heartfelt thanks to the compassionate nurses and aides from Willow Tree Hospice, who cared for Louise at home in her final days.

Funeral services and burial will be private and at the convenience of family.  

Memorial contributions may be made to the Nottingham Presbyterian Church or Willow Tree Hospice.

Marlene Marie McDonough

Marlene Marie McDonough, of Kennett Square, died on Sept. 8, 2022. She was 86.

She was known as “Mom Mom” to everyone, and “Mom Mom Mom” to the great-grandchildren.

She was married to Norbert “Norby” McDonough, her childhood sweetheart and best friend for 62 years. Rarely did you see one without the other.  

Born and raised in Kennett Square, Marlene was the daughter of Daniel P. Madonna II and Ella (Dwyer) Madonna. She grew up surrounded by a large family that enjoyed regular Sunday dinners, weeknight visits on the porch, and in the last few years, watching “Jeopardy” with her Uncle Claude.

A lifelong resident of Kennett Square, Marlene considered the Delaware coast to be a second home. Over the years, Marlene and Norby spent their summers at the beach. After several summers in Rehoboth Beach, Norby and Marlene found their summer oasis in Dewey Beach on New Orleans Street. Were you to walk past the house, often you would find them sitting in the front yard enjoying the sights or enjoying a Happy Hour at one of their favorite spots.  

From the time they were toddlers, her grandchildren were fortunate enough to spend their summers with “Mom Mom” at the Beach, being spoiled and creating lasting memories each summer as they grew up.

Marlene was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Parish, and one of the original Ladies of St. Patrick’s, where she made lifelong friends. She volunteered at the St. Patrick’s school when her children were growing up, and for several years she could be found doing the flowers on the altar and Sunday morning donuts after masses. She especially loved decorating the altar for Christmas and many times her children and grandchildren to help her.

Marlene is survived by her daughter, Karen (Gary Ceman) of Rehoboth Beach, Del. and their children Christopher McMahon (Krissy), Jack McMahon, and Ally Lingo (Ken); Eileen (Tom Taylor) of Newark, Del. and their daughters, Ally and Molly; Noreen Lasorsa of Wilmington, Del. and her son, Payton, and great-grandchildren Jaxson, Saylor and Crew Thomas. Marlene is also survived by her sisters-in law Janice Madonna of Kennett Square, and Betty McDonough of Winter Haven, Florida, several nieces and nephews, cousins and many special friends.

In addition to her husband and parents, Marlene is predeceased by her younger brothers Daniel P. Madonna III and Edward J. Madonna.

The family would like to extend thanks to the wonderful ladies who took care of Marlene during the last two years, with special thanks and gratitude to Joyce, Vanessa and Deanna who treated her as they would their own mother. They not only helped her with daily living needs, but they also made sure her hair was done and her nails were polished. Additionally, the family would like to thank the nurses of Bayada Home Care Services, Bayada Hospice of Chester County, and Dr. Maryann Ost.

You are invited to visit with Marlene’s family and friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Kuzo Funeral Home, 250 W. State Street in Kennett Square. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 212 Meredith Street in Kennett Square. 

Interment will immediately follow at St. Patrick Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Ladies of St. Patrick’s or to Saint Patrick Church, 205 Lafayette Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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

Arrangements are being handled by Kuzo Funeral Home of Kennett Square.