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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of June 5

06/06/2023 01:22AM ● By Steven Hoffman
John Bancroft Swayne III
John Bancroft Swayne III, a resident of Unionville, passed away at his home on May 16, 2023 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.
John was the beloved husband of Nancy Tindle Swayne, with whom he shared 38 years of marriage.  
Born in Wilmington, Del., John was the son of the late J.B. Swayne, Jr. and Betty (Fairbank) Swayne.
John graduated from the George School in 1958 and Penn State University in 1961. Upon graduation, John joined the U.S. Army and served as a Military Intelligence Specialist.  After serving his country, John joined his father in the family business, The J.B. Swayne Company, a mushroom business located in Kennett Square.  John was the third generation Swayne to work in the mushroom industry.  Eventually, John’s father sold his mushroom business to the Clorox Company for whom John went to work both in Kennett Square and England.  
Desiring to own his own mushroom business, John jumped at the opportunity to purchase the mushroom spawn division from Clorox when they decided to sell The J.B. Swayne Mushroom Company.  In 1981, the J.B. Swayne Spawn Company was born. John sold his company in 1999 to his biggest competitor and largest supplier of mushroom spawn in the world, for whom he worked for two years following the sale.
John and Nancy loved to travel and explore the world together, visiting many exotic locations.  Nantucket was their favorite island in the United States and they spent time there every year.
John had many interests that he was able to pursue upon his retirement. He loved to walk his dogs both for their exercise and his own.  In addition, he enjoyed a daily swim, working on his farm, and even returned to riding horses.  John was an avid supporter of his college alma mater, and he attended as many Penn State football games as his schedule permitted.
To those who knew John Swayne, they found him to be a true gentleman with a loving heart.  A man who never complained, John possessed a sense of humor, was humble and kind, and full of courage. Throughout his courageous fight with Alzheimer’s disease, John cherished the people who came to visit with him and always shook their hand and thanked them for thinking of him.
John is survived by Nancy, his wife and the love of his life; his daughter, Lauren (Pablo) and son Ash (Rebecca); as well as five grandchildren. He is also survived by his two brothers, Lew (Debra), Bob (Peggy) and his nieces and nephews.
As per John’s request, there will be no formal service. John’s ashes will be spread over the farm he loved, Stone’s Throw.  
In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market Street, Suite 250, Philadelphia, PA 19106 or the Brandywine River Valley Hospice, 1011 West Baltimore Pike, Suite 208, West Grove, PA 19390.
John will be missed by his family and friends.
To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, please visit

Edward F. Kavanagh
Edward F. Kavanagh, of Avondale, passed away on May 24, 2023 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. He was 80.
He was the spouse of Sandra (Lawrence) Kavanagh, with whom he shared 59 years of marriage. Born in West Chester, he was the son of Francis Kavanagh and Ruth (Brown) Kavanagh of West Grove.
He was "Pop Pop" to his four grandsons, and "Uncle Eddie" to his many nieces and nephews. Pop Pop was most proud of his family and cherished them every day. Ed was a proud graduate of Salesianum High School in Wilmington, Del. Ed attended King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. for two years and majored in math.
He was proud to have been from West Grove, and regularly supported the community during his lifetime. Ed served on the board of the Southern Chester County Hospital and the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce. He was a 25-year member of the West Grove-Avondale Rotary Club. He was also a member of the Salesianum Alumni Association, the Suburban Contractors Association, and the Inter-County Contractors Association. He owned his own site development and excavating company (F.P. Kavanagh & Son, Inc.) for over 37 years. 
He loved golfing at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club and later in life his greatest joy was spending time with his four grandsons and their friends. 
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Wendy Abernethy and Tina Land (Neil); and four grandchildren, Robert Abernethy, Kevin Abernethy, Colvin Land, and Wyatt Land (Emma).
All are invited to visit with the Kavanagh family and friends from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 10 at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, 8910 Gap Newport Pike, Avondale, PA 19311. Ed's funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be held privately. Contributions in his memory may be made to Salesianum School, 1801 North Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19802 or St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother
Arrangements are by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. of Kennett Square (484-734-8100). 
To view his online obituary, please visit

Gail Marlene Pedicone
Gail Marlene Pedicone, of West Grove, died on May 21, 2023 while surrounded by her family. She was 86.
She was born on Feb. 8, 1937 to the late Orville and Kathryn Conner. She was the wife of the late Victor G Pedicone, with whom she shared 50 years of marriage.
Gail is survived by two daughters, Connie V McMillan of Avondale and Mary Gail Pedicone-Bleiler (and her husband Shaun) of West Grove; one son, Victor G Pedicone Jr. (and his wife Carla) of Toughkenamon, as well as five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 
Gail worked in the family business alongside her husband growing roses at Pedicone Greenhouses.
Gail loved cooking and baking as well as taking trips to Delaware Park to play the slot machines. 
She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who affectionately and lovingly called her their Google.
The family would like to thank the medical staff at West Chester Hospital as well Penn Hospice for all their care, kindness and support.
A graveside service was held on May 31 at Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square.
To view her online tribute and to share a memory with her family, please visit

Anna E. McClain
Anna E. McClain, 84, of West Grove, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, June 3, 2023.
Born in Nottingham, she was the daughter of the late Allen and Elizabeth Brown McClain.
She was preceded in death by her son, Ronald Darnell McClain.
Services are private.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford. Online condolences may be made at