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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of December 12

12/13/2022 12:03PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Brett Jonathan Witte

Brett Jonathan Witte, of Lincoln University, Pa., passed away on Dec. 3, 2022. He was 40.

Born in Washington, DC, he was the son of Carl Witte and Joyce (Smith) Witte.

He graduated from Avon Grove High School. He was an extraordinarily talented artist. He was also a skilled tattoo artist, and proud of his business, Rogue Toad Tattoos. He became an Eagle Scout when he was 17 and his love of the outdoors pervaded every aspect of his life. He was a compassionate person. Most of all, he loved his daughters.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his daughters, Melanie and Evelyn; his sisters, Michelle Lewis (Edward) and Kristin Kassner (Andrew); and his brothers, Carl J. Witte and Bryan Witte (Annie).

A Celebration of Life service took place on Dec. 9 at the Christian Life Center in Lincoln University, Pa.

Interment will be held privately. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Brett’s memory may be made to a GoFundMe for his daughters:

Arrangements are being handled by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. (484-734-8100).  

To view Brett’s online obituary, please visit

Edward J. Fahey

Edward J. Fahey, a resident of Jenner’s Pond Community in West Grove, passed away at Christiana Hospital in Del. on Dec. 3. He was 94.

He was the husband of Susan M. Brewster Fahey and the late Elizabeth Mullen Fahey, who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his parents, Robert E. and Kathryn Keating Fahey, and a sister, Josephine Fahey.  

He is survived by four children, Susan Calio (Jay), Patricia Donmoyer (Larry), Robert Fahey (Carolyn Wilhelm), and Jane Orner (John); 10 grandchildren, Michael Calio (Lindsay), Mark Calio, Brian Calio (Julia), Sean Donmoyer (Kait), Nathan Donmoyer (Ami), Erin Danley (Sheldon), Lauren Barolin (Austin), Matthew Fahey, Andrew Orner, and Brendan Orner (Natalie), as well as 11 great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by Susan’s four children and seven granddaughters, all of whom loved him dearly.

Ed was raised on his family's farm in Kennett Township and attended St. Patrick Elementary School and Kennett High School, followed by the University of Delaware where he earned a degree in engineering and later an MBA. He served as an Army artillery officer and then had a 40-year career with All American Engineering Company in Delaware, where he rose to president in 1971 and was also responsible for subsidiaries in Ireland and England. Ed was proud of the company's roles in America's military and space programs and in exporting flight safety equipment to 35 foreign countries.

Ed was a member of St. Patrick parish and the Kennett Coffee Klatch, and a former member of the Kennett Country Club where he and Betty enjoyed playing tennis. He served on zoning, school, symphony, United Way, and library boards, plus a term as Mayor of Kennett Square Borough. He enjoyed travel, water coloring, singing, sudoku, and delivering programs at Jenner’s Pond, and he was a faithful fan of the Phillies, Eagles, and Penn State football. 

He was an enthusiastic supporter of all the sports, endeavors, and activities of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and he was delighted to get to know Susan’s extended family.

His life experiences provided Ed with many stories that he recounted with great detail and humor.  He relished each relationship he developed whether it was from college, work, Kennett Square, Jenner's Pond, or his extensive family and their friends—all of them grew to love Dad /Ed /Big Ed /Edward/ Pop for the caring and truly decent man he was. A special highlight for the Fahey clan was the beach week he provided each year, where most recently 39 family members gathered to laugh and love. 

Ed’s memorial Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Kennett Square.

Interment will be held privately.  

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Ed’s memory to Community Volunteers in Medicine (, the American Cancer Society (, or the Arthritis Foundation (

Arrangements are being handled by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc.  To view Ed’s online tribute and to share a memory with his family, please visit

Harvey “Bill” William Hansen, Jr.

Harvey “Bill” William Hansen, Jr., 60, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 6, 2022.

Born in West Grove, he was the son of Edith Whiteside Hansen of Nottingham and the late Harvey William Hansen, Sr.

Bill retired from Du Pont in 2008 after 25 years of service and in 2010 became the caregiver for his parents.

He was always willing to lend a helping hand and enjoyed working on his lawn, cars and tractors.

He is survived by his mother; daughter, Kaitlin Hansen of North East, Md.; three siblings, Karl Hansen (Shehnaz) of Nottingham, sister, Mary Hansen (Curtis) of Nottingham and Frank Hansen of Los Angeles, Calif.; and four nephews, Eric Wiley, William Scott Hansen, Brandon Hansen and Mykhailo Cox.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m.

Interment will be in Rose Bank Cemetery.

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

John T. O’Connell

John Thomas “Jack” O'Connell, of Harbeson, Del., passed away peacefully on Dec. 6 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was 84.

Born in Pottsville, Pa., he was the son of the late John O'Connell and the late Gertrude (McLaughlin) O'Connell. He was the husband of the late Julia Theresa O'Connell, who died in 2017, and with whom he shared 51 years of marriage. 

Jack graduated from West Catholic High School in 1958 and earned his associates degree in accounting from Goldey-Beacom College.  

The family raised their four children in Unionville. Jack retired in 2006 after 30 years at Amtrak. Jack and Julie retired to Harbeson, Del. where they enjoyed many years. Jack came to be known as the “grill master” at all neighborhood parties, he was the go-to guy when needing something fixed, and was a great friend to many.

Jack was an avid Nascar, Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles fan.  He never missed a race or a game.  He enjoyed making “bets” with his son, John every Sunday, and going to the Dover races with his brother, Jimmy twice a year along with many other events.  He loved his family more than anything and it showed in all he did.

He is survived by two daughters, Terry O'Connell of Felton, Del. and Julie Anne Wentzel (John) of Oxford; two sons, Paul O'Connell (Tracy) of  Springfield, Pa., and John O'Connell of Pottstown, Pa.; five grandchildren, Brennan, Jack, Justin, Julia, and PJ; one great-grandson, Jace; and one great-grandson on the way, Bodie; his brother, James (Patty) and sister, Anne.  He leaves behind many nieces, nephews, cousins, and good friends.  He is predeceased by his sister, Maryellen Morrissey, along with his parents, John and Gertrude O’Connell, and his nephew, Tommy Morrissey.

A mass of Christian burial will follow at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Kennett Square.  Interment will be in St. Patrick Cemetery.  

Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society

Arrangements are being handled by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. To view his online obituary, please visit

Robert Skemer

Robert Skemer passed away at the age of 93 on Nov. 29, 2022, at Freedom Village in Coatesville.  He was the husband of the late Joanne Stern Skemer, with whom he shared 63 years of marriage.

Born in Yonkers, NY, he was the son of the late Harry Skemer and the late Sarah Rifkin Skemer.  He graduated from Pace College with a degree in accounting. He served our country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, serving state side.

He owned and operated Dale Home Furnishings in Bronx, NY for over 45 years.

He is survived by two daughters, Lisa Baldwin of Coatesville and Linda Schneider and her husband, Barry, of  Allentown, Pa.; grandchildren, Ross Terker (Amanda), Andrew Terker (Samantha), Jacqueline Vincent (Danny), Amy Adelson (Reed), JJ Geewax (Ka-el), Allison Geewax (Henry Emslie), Stephanie Geewax (Duncan Shallcross), Catherine Geewax (Ari Ross), Peter Schneider (Leslie); great-grandchildren, Brody Terker, Owen Clay Vincent, Judah Terker, James Julius Robert Emslie, Ari Terker, Ellis Adelson, Luca Geewax, Sadie Adelson, Jonah Schneider, Cameron Schneider and James Schneider.

He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.  An avid skier since the 1960s, he had numerous hobbies: he collected fine french wines, and also taught himself stained glass cutting and designing in the 1970s, creating many lampshades, wall hangings, and other items in his home workshop.  He lovingly gave many of these items to family and friends.

After retiring, he became a Big Brother, which gave him a new opportunity to share his kindness and generosity.

He was beloved.

Services and interment will be held privately.  Contributions in his memory may be made to Habitat for Humanity

Arrangements are being handled by Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc.  

To view his online obituary, please visit

Robert Maurice DeGezelle

Robert Maurice DeGezelle, of Kennett Square, passed away on Nov. 22, 2022 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. He was 76.

He was the husband of Catherine Elizabeth DeGezelle, with whom he shared 24 years of marriage.  

Born in Coatesville, he was a son of the late Maurice DeGezelle and the late Verna Hoffman DeGezelle.

He served our country in the U.S.  Army Reserves.

Robert worked for many years for the Reading Railroad. He also partnered in Unruh and Sons contracting as a home contractor for many years. He enjoyed stamp collecting and was a member of the Brandywine Valley stamp club. He was an avid reader and writer and kept journals throughout his life.  One entry was titled “Chronicles of a rambling Man.” He loved traveling and especially visiting all types of museums. 

In addition to his wife, Robert is survived by two sons, David DeGezelle (and his wife Kendra) of Reading and Christopher Unruh of Wilmington, Del; two daughters, Debra (and her husband Dallen) of Austin, Tex. and Melanie Unruh of Albuquerque, NM; four brothers and sisters, Darlene Marsh of GA, Don DeGezelle of Glen Mills, David DeGezelle of Honey Brook, and Diane Depew (and her husband David) of Gap; five grandchildren, Michael, Kaylee, Ashley, JJ, and Rory and one great-grandchild.

Services were held on Dec. 3. 

Interment will be held privately.

Contributions in his memory may be made to either the ACLU or Sierra Club.

Arrangements are being handled by Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory (484-734-8100).  

To view his online tribute and to share memories, please visit