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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of June 26

06/26/2023 11:40PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Gregory Alan Johnson

Gregory Alan Johnson, of Nottingham, passed away unexpectedly on June 15, 2023. He was 56.

His family is deeply saddened by his sudden passing, and this loss leaves a huge void in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

Born Jan. 1, 1967, he was the son of Randy Johnson and Karen Woods. Greg was a graduate of Oxford Area High School, class of 1985. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College. He was employed as a water treatment supervisor at Harford County Water and Sewer in Belair, Md.

Greg was a loving father, devoted fiancé, amazing son, wonderful brother, and a caring, thoughtful friend to many. He lived his life to the fullest, was the life of the party and touched the lives of everyone who was lucky enough to know him. He had a unique sense of humor and kept everyone around him laughing. 

Greg was an avid musician, and he loved playing his guitar and singing, especially at open mic night at Wayvine. He enjoyed morning devotions, crossword puzzles, his diet Dr Pepper, talking about sports, and playing golf. His favorite evenings were spent on the porch with his fiancé Beth, along with his family, friends, and loyal canine companion Timothy Alan Johnson (Timmy). 

Most of all, he loved his daughters, Livvy and Gracie, or as he fondly referred to them “his babies.” 

Greg is survived by his father Randy Johnson and mother Karen Woods; daughters, Olivia Johnson and Grace Johnson; fiancé Beth Kilby Dolinger; brother Donald Rowe (Heidi), sister Tara Johnson Loy (Glen); nieces Mandy, Karson, Kate, and nephew Jack; dear friend and best buddy Bayard Robinson, aka Barnyard, as well as his beloved dog Timmy.

Services were held on June 24 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Angie's Stray Foundation, LLC.

Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. ( in Oxford. 

Peter John Haggerty

Peter John Haggerty was born on May 16, 1954 in Springfield, MA to Vincent T. Sr., and Dorothy (nee Masse) Haggerty. Peter died from natural causes on June 21, 2023.

Peter was a 1976 magna cum laude graduate of Western New England College with a bachelor’s degree in science, business administration and a major in finance. Immediately after graduating, Peter joined First National City Bank of New York, in New York City. Soon thereafter it went through a name change to Citibank. Peter joined the Investment Bank, where he was a trader on Wall Street and rose to the level of head Fed Funds trader for Citibank (also Citigroup). 

In 1996, Peter accepted a position as treasurer of the principal subsidiaries under Citicorp in Delaware including Citicorp Banking Corporation ("CBC"), and Citibank Overseas Investment Corporation, ("COIC"). Peter retired in November of 2014, after more than 38 years with Citicorp.


Peter was pre-deceased by his father, Vincent; mother, Dorothy; younger brother, Vincent T. Jr; and a younger sister, MaryAnne. 

Peter leaves one sibling, Timothy of Pompano Beach Fla., and two nephews, Justin of Longmeadow MA, and Patrick of Springfield MA. Peter also leaves Louise (nee Rossi) his wife; and four children, Lisa of Philadelphia, Brian of Chadds Ford, Megan from Philadelphia, and Kelly from New Orleans LA.

Services were held at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Kennett Square on June 27.

Interment will be private. Contributions in his memory may be made to Friends of White Clay Creek Preserve c/o Roland Miller, Treasurer 405 Sharpless Road, Landenberg, PA 19350.  Checks should be made payable to Pennsylvania Parks & Forest Foundation with Friends of White Clay Creek in the memo section (

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

To view his online obituary, please visit www.

Mildred A. Purcell

Mildred A. Purcell, of Oxford, passed away peacefully at Twin Pines Health Care Center on June 12, 2023. She was 91.

Born on March 20, 1932, she was the daughter of the late William and E. Pearle Bard.

Mildred graduated from Oxford Area High School in 1951 and then a Cosmetology School of Philadelphia. She married her high school sweetheart, Ralph Purcell in 1953.  They were blessed with three children.  

In her career that lasted over 50 years, she established Purcell’s Beauty Salon beginning under the Oxford Hotel, then moving to North 3rd Street, and eventually to her home on Pine Street.

Family and friends were an important part of Mildred’s life. Many weekends were spent together celebrating birthdays, holidays and each other.

Mildred was a member of Oxford United Methodist Church.

Mildred was blessed with many talents. As a young adult, she was not only able to raise a family and run a business, she remarkably made her family clothes, played the piano and tended to a garden.  Later Mildred also took up cake decorating and studied to be a certified Cannon Cake Decorator and Instructor.  Many wedding, birthday, and character cakes were baked and decorated over the years.

Ralph and Mildred spent several years enjoying the art and community of square dancing.  They were members of the clubs, Susquehanna Swingers and Circle 4. They attended many square dance conventions across the United States in matching outfits made by Mildred.

Ralph and Mildred began watching Bob Ross painting instruction on TV during his illness.  Mildred began taking classes with Bob Ross and later became a certified Bob Ross Painting Instructor.  She taught many classes in her home, at parks and craft stores. Mildred traveled to attend Bob Ross reunions and painted with other famous painters.

Mildred is survived by her brother, William Bard (Trudy), brother-in-law, William Ringler, and three children, Mildred Anne Gambill (Mike), Dawn Logan (James), and Bard Purcell (Pam). She is also survived by four grandchildren, Monica Purcell, Lisa Buck (Jonathan), Moriah Finkbiner (Ralph) and Jordan Logan (Cassandra Butler), and eight great-grandchildren, Landon, Josephine, Jarrett, Juliet, Joshua, Ralphie, Harvey and Oliver.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by Ralph, her husband of 35 years, and her three sisters, Betty Kreider, Elsie Ringler, and Mazie Simons.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Harrison House of Coatesville (four years) Twin Pines Health Care Center and Brandywine River Valley Home & Health Hospice for their loving care and compassion for Mildred over the past 10 months.

Funeral services were held on June 16 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.

Interment was in the Oxford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Twin Pines Health Care Center, 315 London Grove Road, West Grove, PA 19390.

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

W. Ralph Cheek

W. Ralph Cheek  passed peacefully while surrounded by family on June 19, 2023. 

He was born on April 17, 1929 in Bel Air, Md.

He was proceeded in death by Janet Spratt, his wife of 71 years and his son William both in 2020. He is survived by his two sons, Michael (Pam) and Scott (Ginny), as well as nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. 

Ralph grew up and worked the family dairy farm in Oxford for much of his life. Later, Ralph was involved in construction and real estate before returning to agriculture owning a John Deere dealership, and later selling seed corn and fertilizer to local farmers. He finally retired at the young age of 83. 

Ralph was very involved in the community, and was elected township supervisor for both Upper Oxford Township and Lower Oxford Township during his political career. 

He was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church of Oxford. He served as a deacon and participated in various mission trips. 

Ralphie, as he was commonly referred to, will also be known for his quick sense of humor, positive attitude, and for his excellent advice when times got tough. He was a devoted family man who cared deeply for his wife and children. As a loving Poppop, he took great pleasure in making his grandchildren laugh. 

He will also be remembered for his baseball prowess, and he was elected to the Southern Chester County Church Softball League Hall of Fame in 2001.  

Funeral services were held on June 24 at the First Baptist Church of Oxford.

Interment will be in Little Elk Friends Meeting Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lighthouse Youth Center, PO Box 38, Oxford, PA 19363 or the First Baptist Church of Oxford.

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

Calvin L. Smith

Calvin L. Smith, 60, of Cochranville, Pa., passed away on June 15, 2023 while at home.

He was the husband of Denise Groff Smith, with whom he shared 38 years of marriage.

Born in Seven Valleys, Pa., he was the son of Grace V. Gutshall Smith of Christiana, Pa. and the late John L. Smith. 

Calvin was employed with Runnymede Racing Farm in Coatesville as an assistant broodmare manager. He was a recipient of the Thorough bread Industry Employee Awards 2021 dedication to breeding award. 

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding his motorcycle, gardening and horse-racing.

He is survived by his wife, mother, two daughters, Megan Hanna (Zach) of Quarryville and Ashley Ladley (Garth) of Coatesville, four grandchildren, Chelsey Hanna, Callie Hanna, Bryson Ladley and Sierra Ladley, and three sisters, Brenda Melrath of Nottingham, Doris McMillan of Drumore and Tammy Helm of Nottingham.

A memorial service was held on June 23 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. in Oxford.

Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the New Bolton Center, 382 W Street Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

Online condolences can be made at

Charles W. Carter

Charles W. Carter, of West Grove, passed away on June 16, 2023 at Twin Pines Nursing Home in West Grove. He was 88. 

He was the spouse of the late, Ann (Mullarky) Carter. He was the son of the late Charles Carter and the late Sarah (Finnegan) Carter.  

Charles worked as a groundskeeper at Longwood Gardens for much of his life.  He enjoyed bowling and sitting in his driveway enjoying the outdoors. He served the country in the National Guard.    

Charles is survived by his daughter, Michelle Peirson, his son, Charles J. Carter, and three grandchildren, Katelynn Marie Pierson, Mea Y. Carter, and Max R. Carter. In addition to his parents and wife, he is predeceased by one daughter, Bernadette Carter and one brother, Edward Carter. 

A service was held on June 23 at First Baptist Church of Kennett Square and a graveside service and interment was held at Longwood Cemetery at 11.   

Contributions in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (

Arrangements are being handled by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. of Kennett Square (484-734-8100). To view his online obituary, please visit

Jane Woods Worth

Jane Woods Worth peacefully passed away on June 15. 

She was  born on the family farm in Unionville on May 9, 1931.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 67 years, Norman J. Worth, her parents Enoch and Alice Woods, and seven siblings. 

She is survived by daughters, Donna Carroll, of Millsboro, Del. and Kathy Leo (wife of Michael Leo) of Landenberg and grandchildren, Kacie Leo and John Paul Leo; as well as her beloved baby sister, Doris Musser (wife of Richard Musser) of Unionville. 

She graduated from Unionville High School and attended Goldey-Beacom College. She was employed by the Dupont Corporation and Kennett Consolidated School District. 

Jane was a devoted lifelong member of the Unionville Presbyterian Church. 

Jane enjoyed camping, which included trips to Canada, Mexico, and the majority of the United States.  Most of all she enjoyed being with family and friends. Her greatest joy in life was helping others. She was a grandmother to Kacie and John Paul, but to many others she was known as Grandmom Worth or Mommy Jane. 

Services were held on June 21 at Unionville Presbyterian Church and interment will be at Unionville Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Unionville Presbyterian Church. 

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

To view Jane’s online obituary, please visit