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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of January 16

01/16/2023 02:51PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Frances Irene Mosier

Frances Irene Mosier, a resident of Landenberg, passed away peacefully at her home on Dec. 27, 2022.  She was 91.

Frances was the wife of the late James H. Mosier, Sr., with whom she shared 68 years of marriage prior to his passing in 2016.

Born in 1931 in Mountain City, Tenn., Frances was the daughter of the late Manuel Franklin Combs and the late Clora Jane Parsons.

Throughout her life, Frances worked at Chatham Acres, the Conard-Pyle Rose Company and the Atglen Toy Factory.

She was not only a talented cook, she was also an unbelievable gardener. She enjoyed country music and collecting ceramic pigs, of which she had hundreds.

Frances was a very special person who was full of unconditional love that was felt by everyone she met. Her presence could light up any room. She was outspoken, candid and you could always count on her honesty. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh. Yet, what Frances treasured above all else was her family. Frances’ whole world revolved around her grandchildren and she loved them very much. Frances will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure to know her.

Frances is survived by her son, James H. Mosier, Jr. (Ada) of Gap, Pa. and daughters, Sandy Couch (Bob) of Landenberg and Kathryn Waltman of Ronks, Pa.

She is also survived by her sisters, Emogene Swift of Mountain City, Tenn. and Josephine Davis of Gaston, SC; 10 grandchildren, James C. Mosier, David Michael Dillard, Jr. (Irina), Christina Palmer, Keith Mosier, Dyanna Taylor (John), S. Robert Couch, Jr. (Kim), Bradley A. Couch (Shanna), Samantha Couch (Andrew), Ashley Walton (Rob) and John Mosier; 20 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.

A viewing was held on Jan. 4 at Foulk Funeral Home in West Grove.  

Interment will follow at New London Presbyterian Cemetery.

Arrangements are being handled by Foulk Funeral Home of West Grove. To view her online tribute, visit

George William Eller, Jr.

George William “Bill” Eller, Jr., of Nottingham, died peacefully after a short illness on Jan. 5, 2023. He was 85.

Bill was born on July 10, 1937, in Drumore Township, Pa., the son of the late George and Genevieve Eller. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou (Brinton) Eller; four children, Donnie (and his wife, Dorothy) Barbara (and her husband, Bill Gehrlein), Tommy (and his wife Tracie), and Sandy (and her husband Ed Costello). He is also survived by 13 grandchildren, six step-grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, 11 brothers and sisters, and many nieces and nephews.  

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, John.

Bill graduated from Rising Sun High School in 1955. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard, where he served for three years. In 2001, he retired from a long career at Penn Fuel Gas and, with his beloved wife, Mary Lou, traveled extensively, ultimately visiting all 50 states. 

Bill loved his family and was especially devoted to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He inspired in his family a love of his favorite outdoor activities including traveling, fishing, camping, hiking, snowmobiling, skiing, and playing golf. He had an extensive knowledge of how to fix anything, and he enjoyed using that knowledge to help his family whenever he had the opportunity.

Bill’s life was a reflection of his faith in Jesus all the way until the end. He was a member of Auburn Regular Baptist Church. He also served as a deacon for his church and as Secretary of the Mountain Union Baptist Association.

The funeral service was held on Jan. 10 at Nottingham Missionary Baptist Church.

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

Sarah B. Wolff

Sarah B. Wolff, a resident of Kendal at Longwood in Kennett Square died on Jan. 2, 2023. She was 98.

She was born in Philadelphia on Nov. 22, 1924, to Walter J. and Christine Spofford


She graduated from Germantown Friends School before moving to Wilmington and then graduating from Vassar College.

 While raising her family she did volunteer work as a member of the Junior League of Wilmington and served on the boards of Travelers Aid and Family Service of Northern Delaware. In addition, she sang in the chorus for many productions of the Wilmington Opera Society (now OperaDelaware).

She was a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames in the State of Delaware and a former member of the Greenville Country Club. She was one of the original members of St. Albans Episcopal Church, where she sang in the choir for many years before joining the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square.

Sally was predeceased by her husband Frederick A. Wolff in 1994, sister Elizabeth Beadle Herrmann, brother Spofford J. Beadle, and great-grandchild Aryana Wolff. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Thomas B. and Audrey Wolff of Red Wing, Minn., and her daughter Catherine E. Wolff of Syracuse, NY. She is also survived by three grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

The family is grateful for the loving care provided by the staff at Kendal, especially in the last week of her life.

A memorial service was held on Jan. 20 at Kendal at Longwood in Kennett Square.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Kendal Reserve Fund, PO Box 100, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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

Johnny Dale Coldiron

Johnny Dale Coldiron, of Oxford, passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family and best friends surrounding him after a seven-year battle with prostate cancer on Jan. 5, 2023. He was 71.

He was the husband of Patti Cooke Coldiron, with whom he shared 51 years of marriage.

Born in West Jefferson, NC, he was the son of Ruth Perry Coldiron of Landenberg and the late Johnny Ray.

Johnny worked to help Amish families and the Amish community to better understand township regulations and to obtain building permits. He had many English and Amish friends. In his younger years he enjoyed coaching kids’ baseball, soccer, and basketball teams.

He was a big Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies fan as well as an avid golfer.  He especially enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife and his mother; his two siblings, Randy Coldiron and Brenda Peterson; his four children, Audra Coldiron, John P. Coldiron (Holly), Brooke Brown and Dolly Coldiron (Chris Sitter). He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held  on Jan. 11 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 Abramson Cancer Center Chester County Hospital,

440 East Marshall Street, Suite 101, West Chester, PA 19380.

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

Linda K. Kennedy

Linda K. Kennedy, of West Grove, passed away on Jan. 5, 2023 at Ware Presbyterian Village, in Oxford. She was 84.

She was the wife of the late Gerald Kennedy.

Born in Sylmar, Md., she was the daughter of the late Willard and Emily Townsend Kirk.

Linda was retired from Sears after many years of exemplary service. Prior to that she worked at Gillespies and National 5 & 10 of Oxford and would help pick mushrooms for her father-in-law. She was also employed as a clerk at both the VA Hospital in Perry Point, Md. and the U.S. Naval Station in Key West, Fla.

She was a member of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Oxford. Linda was also a member of the Red Hat Society of West Grove, the Homemakers of Oxford and the Oxford and West Grove Senior Centers. 

She was a cub scout den mother of Pack #41. Linda enjoyed spending time with her family especially her grandchildren.

She is survived by three sons, Alan L. Kennedy (Sharon) of Oxford, Scott Kennedy of North East, Md. and Greg L. Kennedy (Karam) of Landenberg; six grandchildren, Diana, Michelle, Samanda, Julia, Elise and James; 12 great-grandchildren; and one sister, Linda Weaver, of Oxford.

She was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Nichole Kennedy, daughter-in-law, Marty Kennedy and sister, Helen Shelton.

Funeral services were held  on  Jan. 11 at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Oxford.

Interment will be in Brick Friends Meeting Cemetery in Rising Sun, Md.

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

Alvaro Garcia Botello

Alvaro Garcia Botello, age 51, of Kennett Square, passed away at his residence on Jan. 8, 2023.

Born in Yuriria, GTO, Mexico, he was the son of Alfredo Garcia Perez and Maria Luisa Botello Rodriguez of Mexico.

Alvaro was a member of St. Rocco Catholic Church in Avondale.

He was employed at Giorgio Mushrooms in Toughkenamon.

Alvaro enjoyed soccer on TV, going on car rides and he especially enjoyed being with his family and friends.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by four brothers, Jose Luis Garcia (Betty) of Kennett Square, Miguel Garcia (Patricia) of Mexico, Lorenzo Garcia (Maricela) of Oxford and Alfredo Garcia (Virginia) of Mexico; three sisters, Leticia Quintino (Jose) of Kennett Square, Herlinda Garcia of Mexico and Maria Torres (Julio) of Florida, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

You are invited to visit with his family and friends from 5 to 6: 30 p.m. on Jan. 18 at St. Rocco Catholic Church, 313 Sunny Dell Road in Avondale. His funeral mass will follow at 6:30 p.m.  Burial will be in Mexico.

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

Stephen Palmer Bushnell

Stephen Palmer Bushnell, of West Grove, passed away on Jan. 4, 2023 while at home and surrounded by his loving family. He was 83.

He was the spouse of the late Pamela Clark Bushnell, with whom he shared 56 years of marriage.  

Born in Baltimore, Md., and raised in Baton Rouge, LA, he was the son of the late Harry Bushnell and the late Helen Palmer Bushnell.

Stephen graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a degree in industrial technology in 1961 and from Louisiana State University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1965. He worked in the early days of computing for the Hercules corporation, including a three-year stint in the Netherlands. He worked for several other firms as a CIO, leading technical advancements in the corporate sphere. 

He enjoyed traveling with family, fall vacations on Cape Cod, baking wonderful breads and desserts, building useful things, and speaking Dutch. 

Steve is survived by his children, Scott Bushnell of Arlington, VA; Megan Bushnell of Kennett Square; and Erin Bushnell of Philadelphia; his grandchildren, Wylie Florence-Bushnell and Mavis Florence-Bushnell of Kennett Square; his siblings, Robert Bushnell of Evergreen, CO; John Bushnell of Philadelphia; and Catherine Bushnell of Jupiter, Fla.; and his sister-in-law, Lisa Alford of Houston, TX, and brother-in-law, Roger Clark of Covington, LA.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore at  The family also invites you to hold your own personal celebration of Steve, whether it's a bike ride, a gathering with friends, or a delicious meal with wine and music.

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

To view his online obituary, please visit

Donald F. Lytle

Donald F. Lytle, age 90, of New London, passed away at the Christiana Hospital on Jan. 4, 2023.  He was the son of the late William Bradford and Ida (Younger) and brother of the late Griffith, Lillian (Guthrie), and Bernice (Keehn). He was the beloved husband of the late Margaret Emma (Reburn) and loving father of Donna Triboletti (deceased Doc), William Lytle (Maryellen), and David Lytle (Barb) and is also survived by nine grandchildren, Andy, Julie, Kaitlin, Michelle, Brad, Megan, Justin, Alyssa, and Emily, and six great-grandchildren, Luke, Jake, Emma, RJ, Lily, and Leo.  

From egg routes to the Air Force to a pumpkin business, Donald Lytle leaves a storied legacy.

If Donald Lytle was telling this story, he’d start by leaning back in his chair and offering his smile—you know the one, that type of grin that never seemed to completely disappear from his face. 

The tale would probably take some unexpected twists and turns with some obvious embellishments and eyebrow-raising details. He’d then throw in a cheeky joke with a characteristic wink at the end.

Everyone who met him, whether they knew him as Farmer Don or Mr. Lytle or Pop Pop, knew one thing for certain: That man was a storyteller.

From racing down the curving farmhouse steps as a kid to performing in senior plays at Avon Grove High School to entertaining grandchildren on his rocking chair swing, he always knew how to bring people together.

That was especially true as he invited his neighbors to Lytle’s Farm many decades ago in one of the area’s first pick-your-own produce businesses. Even today, parents and grandparents bring their kids to pick pumpkins, and some still remember how Farmer Don would routinely call out, “Tail on the bale, feet on the floor,” over a rumbling tractor ride.

At 90 years old, Donald Lytle passed away on Jan. 4. And all these stories that Lytle spent his life stringing together are only part of why this New London man’s legacy will continue to shine bright in his local community and beyond.

Not too long ago, Lytle told his grandchildren, “I was at the right time and place my whole life.”

And there was something in the way that he said it…you had to believe him.

He was at the right time and place when he joined his father delivering eggs throughout Wilmington, Del. And when his high school agriculture teacher recommended he try growing strawberries at 16 years old – a venture that later led to a lasting pick-your-own pumpkin business when a late frost threatened his strawberry crop.

Of course, he showed up at the right square dance where he’d meet his future bride Peggy, too.

It was timing and luck that brought him into the Air Force during the Korean War. He remembered a conversation with his young wife: If Eisenhower won the presidential election, he’d join the Air Force rather than the Army. That decision led the couple to Texas and – when Lytle joked that he got tired of the heat – Alaska.

Working as an Air Force carpenter at the base’s hobby shop, he learned to craft intricately designed leather purses and bags, as well as wooden coffee tables, ceramics and more. No doubt, his self-proclaimed “gift of gab,” and instant connection with people gave him a leg up there, too.

When he returned to the farm, starting his own egg routes in Newark and Wilmington, he ran into a customer who said her husband was in charge of hiring at the new Chrysler plant nearby. Did he want a job?

Again, he found himself right where he needed to be. As Lytle told it, he walked to the front of the line, told the hiring manager that the man’s wife promised him a job. Many years later, it was not just the job and the tales of hardworking union men, but the friendships and the stories they tossed back and forth that stuck with him.

The story of Donald Lytle is much more than dots on a map or dates on a calendar, though.

His family will tell you that he had a laugh that was unlike any other, big and hearty and infectious. He had a mischievous way about him that started in the small New London schoolhouse and continued into high school where his classmates named him most likely to be a school principal …because he spent so much time in that office.

He was proud that he could outwit just about anybody. Except maybe that one time in the Air Force. Knowing that the dreaded kitchen chore of cleaning pots and pans went to the last man to arrive at KP or “kitchen police” duty, Lytle devised a plan to stake out his spot in line overnight. When he fell asleep in the doorway, though, each of his buddies stepped over his sleeping body, and when he opened his eyes? You bet there was a grimy pile of pots and pans waiting to be scrubbed. 

These were the kinds of stories that he loved to tell, accompanied by lots of laughter. He often told a joke at his own expense or a lesson-learned from a lost fingertip or other farm injury.

Whether Lytle was sharing stories around the living room, at the produce auction, on the farm or even at McDonald’s, it was how he connected with people. And these moments bought him palpable joy. It also gave him a unique friendship with so many people in the community. 

Over time, he generated a sense of local celebrity, and his grandchildren puffed up with pride when they could say, “Yes, my grandfather is that Donald Lytle.” 

He probably cherished those moments with his grandchildren, and later his great grandchildren, most of all. Together with Peggy, he showed his love in a familiar grandparent way, with shared meals and T-shirts brought back from trips, and in not-so-typical ways – have you ever heard about the birthday gift involving billy goats? 

Donald and Peggy were partners on the dance floor, on the egg routes and for nearly 70 years of marriage – and Lytle stood by his wife and cared for her in the most difficult days near the end of her life. 

While Mom Mom would always call to let you know how beautiful the moon looks one night, Pop Pop would call and make sure you were (or weren’t) watching the Phillies or Eagles games, depending if he believed your viewing would bring Philadelphia good luck.

And he’d daydream about the good ole days when Google didn’t take all the fun out of guessing the answers to silly questions.

Donald Lytle was one-of-a-kind. A man with a big heart who worked hard and loved his community and his family. He told countless stories over his 90 years, and he planted the seeds for many more stories yet to be told.

A memorial service was held on Jan. 14 at the Christian Life Center.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be made to the Christian Life Center at the aforementioned address.  

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

To view his online obituary and leave a tribute for the family, please go to

Marian (Szymanski) Pitts

Marian Szymanski Pitts, a.k.a GiGi or Sissy,, peacefully passed away at Brinton Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Glen Mills, Pa. on January 7, 2023.

She was an 89-year-old resident of West Grove.

She was the wife of the late Albert S. Pitts, with whom she shared 63 years of marriage.  

Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late James and Catherine Szymanski.

Marian was the consummate homemaker, raising four children of her own and doting over thirteen grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. She was also tasked with keeping her energetic entrepreneurial husband in check.

Survivors include one daughter, Christine Broderick and her husband Daniel of Glen Mills, Pa.; three sons, James Pitts and his wife Debra of West Chester; Thomas Pitts and his wife Loretta of Rio Grande, NJ; and Kenneth Pitts and his wife Brenda of New London.

Marian is also survived by thirteen grandchildren, Michael, Matthew, Lindsay, Julie, Jennifer, Jacqueline, Tracey, Marc, Nicole, Zachary, Kyle, Annie, and Jake and 16 great-grandchildren, Lily, Ethan, Desmond, Nolan, Luna, Henry, Sagan, Evan, Lucy, Harper, Leah, Naomi, Luke, Molly, Marco, and Isabella.

A memorial service was held at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square on Jan. 16.

Interment will be held privately.   

Contributions in her memory may be made to S.I.L.O

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

To view the online obituary, please visit

David Michael Dillard, Sr. 

David Michael Dillard, Sr., a husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend to many, passed away on Dec. 24, 2022 at the age of 71. 

He was born in West Jefferson, NC and raised his family in Lincoln University. Although his name was David, he went by Mike and some of his music friends knew him by his nickname, Turkey Red.

Mike is the son of the late Betty Dillard Blevins. He had three siblings, all deceased, Mitchie Marie Deal (Pat), Ricky Blevins, and Dale Blevins. He had one nephew, deceased, Matthew Deal. He has one niece, Donna Travis.

He is survived by his wife, Judith Dillard, of Lincoln University. He has two children, Jennifer Ankney and her husband Jerry Ankney of Hermitage, Tenn., and Jeffrey Dillard of Lincoln University. He has two grandchildren, Jerry Jr. and Jamie Ankney.

Mike worked at Worthy Construction Company in Delaware for many years. He also worked for the Borough of Kennett. Most recently, he worked for Octoraro Native Plant Nursery in Kirkwood, Pa. He enjoyed being outdoors.

Mike was most known for his love of music. He took a lot of pride in his music collection. He loved all genres of music, but his favorite was bluegrass music. He played in several bluegrass bands during his lifetime, including The Wings of Bluegrass, Plain and Fancy, The Stanleytones, The Mike Dillard Band, and The Blades of Grass. He was a great songwriter. Mike inspired the love of bluegrass in both of his children and was very proud of his grandson Jerry Jr. for his love of music.

He loved his children and grandchildren, and he will be missed.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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