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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of January 23

01/23/2023 12:56AM ● By Steven Hoffman
Linda K. Saunders
Linda K. Saunders, 71, passed away on Jan. 10, 2023 with her family by her side. Linda fought a courageous two-year battle with cancer.She was born in Lancaster, Pa. and grew up in Nottingham. Linda worked for the County of Chester at the Courthouse in West Chester before starting a long career at Shared Medical Systems in Malvern, Pa. She was always the light of any gathering and her beautiful laugh was contagious. Linda was an avid reader. She loved going to the beach and spending time with her family. Linda is survived by her siblings, Nelson Saunders (Joan) of Oxford, Shirley Baker of Rising Sun, Md., Mary Delp (Cecil) of Elkton, Md., Lois Castagna of Media, Pa., Galen Saunders of Nottingham, Don Saunders (Kristine) of Sebastian, Fla., Alan Saunders (Cathy) of Little Britain, Pa.
She is also survived by nieces and nephews, Cathy Baker, Rob Rhoades, Christopher Reeder, Keith Castagna, Sarah DiFilippo and Rachel Smith, and several great-nieces and great-nephews whom she adored. Linda was preceded in death by her father and mother, Eldon and Edna (Hill) Saunders, one sister, Arlene Rhoades, brother-in-laws Robert Rhoades and Joe Castagna and her beloved fur babies Benji and Luci.Services will be private.

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

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

James Joseph Loveland 
James Joseph Loveland, a resident of Cochranville, passed away on Jan. 16, 2023 at Elkton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Elkton, Md. He was 95.
Born in Rockdale he was the son of the late Robert and Sadie Wood Loveland.
James was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in World War II.
He served in the Merchant Marines, traveling around the world.
He is survived by one son, James Gold (Kathy) of Downingtown; two grandchildren, Bernadette and Chad; three great-grandchildren, Zoe, James and Benjamin; and one brother, Al Loveland of Cochranville.
He was a beloved uncle by many his many nieces and nephews especially, Andrea, Albert, Jeanine and his great niece, Hazel May.
Services are private.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at  

Frances Abbot Laws Gilbert
Frances Abbot Laws Gilbert (Fran), age 90, of Kennett Square, died from the natural consequences of old age while at home on Jan. 10, 2023.
Fran led a very ordinary life. Loved to cook. Played bridge. Did needlework. A green-thumb gardener. Avid reader. Loved to travel. Ran a nice card shop in Kennett Square for several years during the 1990s called Papier.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, David Fanton Gilbert.  She is survived by her three children, Lesley Jessica Gilbert Natalie, David Fanton Gilbert, Jr., and Betsy Jean Gilbert Benner; three grandchildren, Andrew, Stephanie, and David; and three great-grandchildren, Joshua, Brody, and Brianna.
She always said she did four things right in her life.  She married David in 1954.  She gave birth to Lesley, David Jr., and Betsy.
Fran liked to repeat a story about Minnie Pearl, the Grand Ol’ Opry star of the 1940s.  Minnie always appeared on the stage with a huge smile and a huge “How-dee!!!”  She always wore a wonderful hat, with the price tag still dangling from its brim.  When asked what she wanted people to remember about her when she was gone, she replied, “I want people to think of me and smile.”
Fran’s final wish, in lieu of any memorial services, was simply that we all be kind to one another. 
Contributions in her memory may be made to a cause important to you.
To view her online tribute and to share a memory with family, please visit

Aldeth S. Haas
On Monday, Jan. 16, Aldeth S. Haas, a beloved mother and grandmother, passed away at the home her family has lived in since 1943. She was 98 years old. 
Born in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, she moved to Pennsylvania when in 1st grade.  She attended Mt. Olivet, a one-room school.  Aldeth graduated from New London Academy in 1941, then went on to graduate from West Chester University with a degree in education.
Aldeth started teaching at New London Academy in the fall of 1946 and taught there until 1953.  She then transferred to Unionville and taught from 1953 to 1958, and then went to Avon Grove and taught from 1961 to 1967 when she retired.  She was still in contact with some of the students she taught over 50 years ago.  
Next to her family, her church was so important to her. Her involvement in Kemblesville United Methodist Church spanned many years.
She was the family matriarch and will be missed by many. One of the most missed things will be her sense of humor and love of games and fun. She always had time for everyone who needed her.  
Surviving her are two children, John Haas of Kemblesville and Cindy Dunphy of Kimberton, and 10 Grandchildren, Jeremy Dunphy, Justin Dunphy, Ryan Dunphy, Zachary Dunphy, Briannen Cavanaugh, Gabrielle Haas, Charlotte Haas, Cheyenne Haas, Michael Kent and Montanna Haley. She is also survived by two sisters, Kay Trader of Elkton, Md., and Goldie Brackin of West Grove.
Services were held at Kemblesville United Methodist Church in Landenberg on Jan. 21.
Interment will be in Kemblesville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Kemblesville United Methodist Church.  
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.
Online condolences may be made at