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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of November 1st

Carl J. Walton

Carl J. “Spike” Walton, of Drumore, Pa., passed away at Milton S Hershey Medical Center in Hershey on Oct. 23, 2023. He was 52.

Born in West Chester, he was the son of Carol Astheimer Patterson of Oxford and the late Issac Walton.

Spike was an avid fisherman and he enjoyed boating.

He is survived by his mother; his companion of 25 years, Angela Sheets of Drumore; one brother, Jesse Walton of Nottingham; and four sisters, Lorie Walton of Oxford, Paula Willoughby of Allentown, Bobbie Jo Clemens of Quarryville and Wanda Patterson of Oxford.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Ike “Junior” Walton. 

A Celebration of Life Service was held on Oct. 28 at his mother’s home in Oxford.

Interment will be private.

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

James David Duncan
James David Duncan, of Phoenixville, Pa. and formerly of Oxford, passed away at Phoenixville Center for Rehab Nursing on Oct. 23, 2023. He was 73.

Born in West Chester, he was the son of the late John and Margaret Vaughan Duncan.

James owned and operated Jack’s Body Shop, Oxford.

He enjoyed car racing, NASCAR and western movies. 

He is survived by one daughter, Stephanie Warner (Jerry, Jr.) of Frederick, Md. and one grandson, “Jack” Warner.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Ronald Duncan and Dennis Duncan.

Services are private.

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

Robert Marshall Hartman
Robert Marshall Hartman, 84, of Oxford, passed away on Oct. 5, 2023 at Ware Presbyterian Village.

“Your husband may be the mailman, but it took me to deliver the male!” the doctor proudly announced on Jan. 7, 1939.  And so, Bertha and Robert Lee Hartman welcomed their third child, Robert Marshall, who would join big sisters Diane and Nellie on Peach Street in Philadelphia.  “Bobby” would soon be joined by younger brother, Jack, rounding out their happy clan.

Bob was always drawn to water, and to life.  At age 14, during a camping trip, Bob dove into the water and rescued a drowning man.  He received the Boy Scout Certificate of Heroism.  

Naturally extroverted and social, Bob attended Upper Darby High School.  There, he had a wonderful time, and proudly set a record for cutting classes during his senior year.  Remarkably, he graduated, and began work as an apprentice draftsman at the Philadelphia Naval Air Engineering Facility, where he excelled and was encouraged to go to college.  While serving as a U.S. Army Reservist in the Helicopter Maintenance School, he worked his way through college and graduate school, earning his BS degree in Aerospace Engineering and Master of Engineering Science degrees. During this time, Bob earned numerous academic awards and scholarships, and was inducted into national engineering honor societies.

He worked for many years as a professional engineer, and was part of the teams which designed the Command Module of NASA’s Apollo Spacecraft, enabling U.S. astronauts to land on the moon, the U.S. Navy’s top-secret Polaris Missile Launcher, a moving-submarine-launched rocket which became the primary means of deterring nuclear war during that time, the U.S. Navy’s Steam Catapult Aircraft Launcher, made famous in “Top Gun” movies and still used worldwide to propel supersonic fighter jets off of aircraft carriers, the Umbaugh Autogyro aircraft, as well as the Sea Knight, Chinook and Sea Stallion helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps, Army and Navy.  Bob used to joke that the “Heavy Lift Helicopter” (HLH) acronym was the basis for his daughter’s initials.  

After a successful career working in the aerospace and environmental industries, Bob earned a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and brought his creativity and ingenuity to academia, becoming a college professor.  He conducted countless experiments in his beloved wind tunnel, published groundbreaking research, and designed numerous original inventions, including a novel rudder intended for the U.S. Racing Team in the America’s Cup.  In 1992, Bob ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to improve people’s daily lives by devising practical solutions to complex problems. 

But Bob’s family was his proudest accomplishment.  In 1965, he married a hometown girl from Upper Darby, Damaris Frederick, and was her devoted husband for the rest of his life.  A wonderful father, Bob spent countless hours at the band recitals and sporting events of son, Glenn, and daughter, Heather.  And when each of Bob’s four grandchildren came along—Lauren, Andrew, Justin and Rachel—he was over the moon.

Always a hero to his family, Bob lived and loved with all his heart.  He loved the warmth of summer, the sunlight glimmering across the white-capped bay, and a strong wind bringing his sailboat to life.  He loved lifting his kids “fireman style” upstairs to bed, and hearing them squeal with delight.  He loved big bands and jazz and classical music blaring from his old “hi fi.”  He loved collecting sea stories, wood carving, golf, and going out for hamburgers with his buddies.  He loved his pet dogs, and doted on them.  He loved his old, cherry-red Ford convertible.  He loved cold Chef Boyardee spaghetti, straight out of the can. He loved the Mummers’ string bands on New Year’s Day.  He loved coffee and donuts before church.  He loved the smell of a storm approaching, followed by the claps of thunder, and sitting on the porch to watch.  The little boy from Peach Street always loved Breyers peach ice cream.  And like the doctor who had delivered him, he loved puns and laughter and life. 

For his family, autumn came early in 2023, when Bob’s beautiful mind came to rest.  On Oct. 5, he was welcomed home by his personal lord and savior, Jesus Christ.  Bob’s family will sprinkle his ashes on the Chesapeake Bay when the weather warms.  

Bob is survived by wife Damaris Frederick Hartman, a son, Glenn Marshall Hartman (Linda), a daughter, Heather Lummus Steffl (Scott), his grandchildren Lauren Lummus, Andrew Lummus, Justin Hartman, and Rachel Hartman, and a sister, Diane Huff.

He was predeceased by his sister Nellie York, his brother, Jack Hartman, and parents Bertha Marple Hartman and Robert Lee Hartman.

Bob’s precious life will be celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Oxford Presbyterian Church, 6 Pine St. in Oxford. Family visitation will be at 10 a.m. and a memorial service will begin at 11 a.m., followed by refreshments. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (410-268-8816 or

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


Una F. Todd
Una F. Todd, a resident of Elkton, Md.,, passed away at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. on Oct. 26. She was 94.

She was the wife of the late Walter L. Todd and was preceded in death by her first husband, James A. Springer.

Born in Hicksville, New York, she was the daughter of the late Glenn W. and Pauline Gordon Fraver.

Una was a member of Beulah Baptist Church in Oxford and a former member of Union Presbyterian Church.

She was beneficial and a valuable part of her 1st husband’s business, Springer’s Arco in Russellville, Pa.

She was well known for her gift in sewing and made many bridesmaid dresses for family and a wedding dress for her daughter and granddaughter. She enjoyed planting flowers and had a green thumb. Her greatest legacy was her love for Jesus and her family.

She is survived by two daughters, Paula Springer Roland (Walter) of Elkton, Md. and Vicki Springer Criswell of Nottingham, one son, Joseph Springer (Susan) of Elysburg, Pa., and one stepson, Walter Todd, Jr. of Quarryville.

Also surviving are 11 grandchildren, Jessica Roland Price, Zachary Roland, Taylor Roland, Alan Criswell, Jr., Deana Ledford, Jamie Criswell, Stacy Kissinger, Sam Springer, Kathryn Springer Garner, Walter Todd, III and Donald Todd and 16 great-grandchildren, and a brother, Gordon Fraver of Oxford.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Wilmer Fraver.

Funeral services were held on Oct. 28 at Beulah Baptist Church in Oxford. Interment will be in Beulah Baptist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Beulah Baptist Church. 

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

Robert L. McConnell
God called Robert (Bob) L. McConnell, 72, of Nottingham, home on Oct. 22, 2023 to be reunited with his beloved son, Jeffrey L. McConnell and his twins Michael L. and Melinda A. McConnell. Despite always reporting that he felt “mean and miserable,” Bob could be counted on for a good laugh due to his quick wit and a caring shoulder due to his incredible generosity with his time. He lived a quiet life of humble service by helping family, friends and even strangers in need.

In his final act, Bob accomplished his lifelong goal of working until the day he died. He was born in Dubois, Pa. and moved to Oxford in 1970. 

He started working at Cameron’s in Oxford and remained a faithful employee for over 30 years, ultimately serving as the manager of Cameron’s True Value Hardware. He retired from Cameron’s to run a handyman service for 15 years, focusing on helping his friends and others in need. In his later years, he worked at Little Britain Store where he managed the hardware section and thoroughly enjoyed joking with his customers.

In addition to working, Bob loved reading books and sharing his joy of reading with friends, gardening and talking about plants to anyone who would listen, mentoring his “grandson,” James E. Taylor Jr on the importance of patience and hard work, teaching his great nephew, Aiden K. Abreu less conventional uses for conventional tools, and arguing about everything two men could argue about with his good friend, Dominic Amoriello.  He also enjoyed joking and conversing with his dear friends from a life well lived.

Bob left behind his daughter, Julie A. McConnell of Kirkwood, Pa. and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends. He is survived by two brothers, Howard and Roger. 

Bob’s parents Marjorie L. Smith and Lawrence R. McConnell as well as his brother Lawrence (Taylor) T. McConnell preceded him in death. 

A celebration of Bob’s life was held at Bethany PCA Church in Oxford.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either the Bethany Christian School located at 2483 Baltimore Pike, Oxford PA 19363 or the James E. Taylor Jr Special Needs Trust to assist with adaptive equipment as James continues his miraculous recovery. Checks for the James E. Taylor Jr. Special Needs Trust can be mailed to Edward L. Collins Funeral Home, Inc. at 86 Pine Street, Oxford, PA 19363. 

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

Christopher Steven Chandler
Christopher Steven Chandler, of Avondale, passed away on Oct. 19, 2023 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del. with his family by his side. He was 40.

He was the spouse of Laura Chandler, with whom he shared 13 years of marriage, and father to his two beloved twin daughters, Kylie and Madelyn. 

He is survived by his wife and their daughters; his parents, Michael and Dolores Chandler; his  brothers, Scott Chandler and Brian Chandler (Christina); a sister, Heather Kelly (Kevin); along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He will be tremendously missed.

Born in West Chester on April 28, 1983 to Michael S. Chandler and Dolores Regester Chandler, Chris spent his childhood surrounded by the things that he loved as an adult: playing the drums, watching and playing sports, fishing, along with spending time with friends and family.  He graduated from Kennett High School in 2002, where he was a leading member of the 2002 State Championship basketball team. 

After high school, he started his apprenticeship with Local 74/plumbers and pipe-fitters in September of 2005 and completed the five-year program in June of 2010.  Affectionately known as “Woogie” (from “Something About Mary”) to his union brothers, he worked as a journeyman pipe-fitter in Delaware since his graduation. His friends and family had numerous other nicknames, so much so that he rarely went by just “Chris.”  Some of those nicknames included “Chandler,” “The Chandler Boy,” “Chee,” “Chicken,” and “Gig,” among countless others.

More than anything, Chris loved spending time with his family and this was his favorite place to be. You could see his generosity of spirit through his cooking. For holidays, his specialties were the Thanksgiving turkey, apple pie, brie, and any coordinating appetizer. Any holiday was a reason to celebrate. He held a special place in his heart for carving pumpkins in the fall, hanging decorations for each holiday, taking the girls shopping for Christmas, Easter Egg hunts, and so much more. Just as importantly, he found ways to give back to the community. One of his most important titles was being “Coach Daddy” for the girls in T-ball. During the summers, Chris loved spending time at the beach collecting shells, building sandcastles, and teaching Kylie and Maddy the best fishing techniques. He was the most loving father, husband, son, brother, uncle, nephew, and friend.

The celebration of his life was held at Moore Joy Farm in West Grove on Oct. 28.

Contributions may be made to which has been established to cover the cost of his funeral and support the education and well-being of his daughters.

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

Steven Joseph LaDuke
Steven Joseph LaDuke, age 72, of Lincoln University, Pa., passed away on Oct. 15, 2023 while at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.  He was the spouse of Renate (Hoffmann) LaDuke, with whom he shared 43 years of marriage. Born in Detroit, Mich., he was the son of the late Robert LaDuke and Matilda (Gossens) LaDuke.  

Steven met his wife, Renate, while stationed in Germany for the U.S. Army. He worked as a carpenter for most of his life and retired from Cheyney University as a carpenter and foreman for the college.  He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.  

Steven was a man who enjoyed working with his hands and who always kept busy. Building things was both his hobby and his income. If he wasn’t at his day job, he was often doing side jobs for others or engaged with projects around the home he shared with Renate in Lincoln University.     

Steven will be most remembered for his good deeds and he was always helping others when and where he could with his generosity of time and capital, and most importantly, his kind heart and thoughtful, caring advice.  He will also be remembered for his love of history and his deep, reflective, spiritual awareness.  

Steven will most be missed for his dad jokes, lively political commentary, and playing his favorite music throughout the house. 

In addition to his wife, Steven is survived by his children, Leif LaDuke of West Chester, Jessica LaDuke (Luis Cabrera) of Media, Pa., and Tanja LaDuke of Lincoln University, and his grandchildren, Michael, Ismael, Alayna, Tanaya and Rafael.

Also surviving are his siblings, Dennis LaDuke, Janet Mooney, Suzanne Salus, and Robert LaDuke, his brothers-in-law, Rainer Hoffmann and Detlef Hoffmann, both of Germany, and his beloved dog, Bella, a basset hound-beagle mix that he and Renate adopted from Greenmore Farm during the pandemic. 

In addition to his parents, Steven was predeceased by one brother, Michael LaDuke.   

Services are private.  Contributions in his memory may be made to Greenmore Farm Animal Rescue, Clonmell Upland Road, West Grove, PA 19390 or at

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