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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of February 27

02/27/2023 11:23AM ● By Steven Hoffman

Harold T. Bryson, Jr.

Harold T. Bryson, Jr., a resident of Quarryville who formerly lived in Russellville, passed away on Feb. 14, 2023 at Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community. He was 97.

He was the husband of the late Margaret Shifflett Bryson, with whom he shared 64 years of marriage.

Born in Chester County, he was the son of the late Harold T., Sr. and Clara Harris Bryson.

Harold graduated from West Fallowfield High School, class of 1943.

He was a dairy farmer in Russellville for most of his life.

Harold was a member of Grace Baptist Church, Oxford.

Harold served as director and treasurer of the Chester-Delaware County Farm Bureau, director of Coatesville Child Development Center, president of the Oxford Area School Board and he served on the Upper Oxford Planning Commission.

He was a member of the Oxford Historical Association, a 75-year member of Skerrett Lodge #343, Past Master in 1956 and Russellville Grange.

Harold was a foster father to many children.

He is survived by a son, Harold T. Bryson, III (Bing) of Reno, Nev., a daughter, Susan B. Orth (Jeffrey) of Lancaster; two grandchildren, Daniel Orth (Michelle) and David Orth (Christin), four great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Isaac, Elliot and Oliver; and a sister-in-law, Erica Shifflett, and several nieces and nephews.

Sena Patricia Spiers-DiPaola

Sena Patricia Spiers-DiPaola, known as Pat to her friends, passed away peacefully on Feb. 22, 2023. 

She was an 87-year-old resident of Oxford.

She was born May 18, 1935, to Wilmer T. and Sena F. Pohley of Southampton, NY, and grew up in Hicksville, NY. 

Pat came to Broomall, Pa. with her first husband of 39 years, the late Thomas M. Spiers, and together they lovingly raised two daughters. It was here in 1965 that she became a born-again Christian and shortly after began teaching her first Bible study. She felt it was her calling, finding opportunities at every stage of her life to continue with her passion. She was active in various Christian churches, including a congregation that she and her husband, Tom, helped to found as well as the Union Presbyterian church. 

After their girls were grown, she became a math instructor at Pennsylvania Institute of Technology and completed a bachelor’s degree at Lancaster Bible College in Biblical Studies. With her second husband of 10 years, the late Frank DiPaola, Pat volunteered with Onesimus Ministries, bringing spiritual services with Christian music and Bible teachings to the incarcerated at Chester County prison. They also assisted in bringing church services to the elderly at Ware Presbyterian Village. Most recently she attended Union Presbyterian, where she continued teaching Sunday school and leading Bible study classes. Additionally, Pat lived at Westminster Place in Oxford, where she taught weekly Bible studies and the ladies had evening get-togethers for which she would provide spiritual comfort and inspiration through prayer with her resident friends.

Pat is survived by her two daughters, Marguerite A. Pellisier (and her husband Peter) of Glen Rock, Pa., and Jennifer L. Handlin (and her husband William) of North Chesterfield, VA; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 3 at Union Presbyterian Church, 5637 Street Rd., Kirkwood, PA, 17536, where friends and family may visit from 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Union Presbyterian Church.

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

Francis R. Keelins

Francis R. Keelins, a resident of West Grove, passed away at Jenner’s Pond on Feb. 22, 2023. He was 84.

He was the husband of Bernice Hartsell Keelins, who passed away on 2021, and with whom he shared 44 years of marriage.

Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Joseph Keelins and the late Pauline Sneath Keelins. He was a graduate of PS DuPont High School and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

He retired as a marketing services supervisor at The DuPont Co., after 33 years of service.

Fran and his wife were truly world travelers, having visited 54 countries and 42 states.

He is survived by his stepson, Robert Underwood (and his wife Renee) of Wilmington, Del. and three grandchildren, Sara Underwood, Matthew Underwood and Sean McMullen.

A prayer service at St.  Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother Church and a burial at All Saints Cemetery will be held privately.

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

The arrangements are being handled by the Foulk Funeral Home of West Grove.

John J. Murphy, Jr.

John (Jack) Murphy passed away peacefully after a long and difficult illness on Feb. 24, 2023. He was the proud son of immigrant parents, John J. and Nora Murphy, and loving brother to Peggy (Murphy) Loughin of West Chester. 

Jack was a man of honor and service throughout his life and he was proud of his Scotch/Irish heritage. After graduating from St Agnes's high school in West Chester, he went on to receive a degree in economics from his much-loved Villanova University. Upon graduating from Villanova, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served his country for two years in Germany.

After returning from military service as a ranking sergeant, he met and married his first wife Marianne, with whom he enjoyed 28 years of marriage before her untimely passing, and with whom he shared four children and four grandchildren.

During those years, and for all his years to come, Jack was a man of service to many organizations, including the Fame Fire Co in West Chester and the Knights of Columbus.  He also served on the boards of the West Chester Lions Club, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, and was on the membership committee of Kennett Square Golf & Country Club. He enjoyed playing golf at the "Club " with his golfing friends in the "Frogs" for many years and was Frog of the Year in 2015.  Jack was a long-standing member of the Elks Club in West Chester and served as their president for a number of years.

Jack enjoyed a long and successful career in property and casualty insurance. He was vice president of claims for Penn Mutual Insurance Company in West Chester before retiring in 2006.

Upon marrying again, Jack moved to Kennett Square and became an integral part of the Kennett community as well as his much-loved Saint Patrick's Church community. His 12-year retirement career at Brandywine Living at Longwood gave him great joy. He served as a driver and assisted those in need with his respectful kindness and compassion.

Jack's greatest love has always been his family and friends and to be there for every family affair and vacation, ball game, concert, and awards presentation as the proud pop. He was also a lifelong Eagles and Phillies fan.

He is survived by and will be terribly missed by his wife and soul mate, Ethel Ann; loving and caring children-in-love, John Anthony (Karen), Clare Crossan (John), and Jennifer D'Amico (Vince); seven grandchildren-in-love, Theresa Crossan, John Crossan, Jonathan Anthony, Maggie Anthony Strickler (Max), and Christopher, Brendan and Matthew D'Amico; his sister Peggy Loughin; many nieces, nephews, and two great-nieces. 

The family would like to thank all the angels at Brandywine Living in Kennett Square, and Core & AccentCare Hospice in Christiana Hospital in Delaware for their kind and compassionate care.

You are invited to Jack’s Memorial Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. on  Friday, March 3 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 212 Meredith St. in Kennett Square.

Visitation before the service will be from 9 to 10:45 a.m. at 401 N. Union St. (Chapel of Church of the Advent) Kennett Square.  Interment will follow the Memorial Mass in St. Patrick Cemetery, Kennett Square.  

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jack may be made to Barry Fragale Special Needs Trust, C/O Fragale Brothers Barber Shop, 105 S. Union St. Kennett Square, PA 19348, or to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

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

To view Jack’s online tribute, please visit