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Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of January 10th

Joseph P. Chamberlain
Joseph P. Chamberlain, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 27, 2023 at LGH Hospital. He was 73.

He was born on Oct. 17, 1950 in West Grove, the son of late father, Joesph G. Chamberlain and late mother, Gladys Mary Kane. 

Joe attended Oxford Area High School. He was retired from NVF of Yorklyn, Del. He enjoyed hunting and was a member of the Oxford Union Fire Company for over 30 years. Joe had a great sense of humor and was willing to help anyone. 

He loved his family and was a dedicated husband. He was known as Pop Pop by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They brought him so much joy. He will be missed by so many and the world was a better place with him in it. 

Surviving are his children, Sherri (Steve) Compton, Jody (Andrea) Chamberlain, James (Kim) Mahaffey, Paul (Alana) Chamberlain, David (Allison) DiPaola, Michele (Mike) Chamberlain, Christine (Tony) and Joe.

He is also survived by 18 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and four sisters, Grace (Rich) Montgomery, Gloria (Art) Butler, Gladys Chamberlain, and Glinda (Terry) Patrick. 

In addition to his parents, Joe was predeceased by his loving wife of 30 years, Judy Chamberlain, his brother, James Chamberlain, and his sister, Georgie Chamberlain. 

A celebration of life will be planned in the spring and notice will be posted on social media. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Diabetes Foundation by visiting

Arrangements are being handled by Cremation Society of Pennsylvania, Inc. 

Alexandra Louise Steele
Alexandra Louise Steele, 65, of West Chester, died on Dec. 26, 2023 after injuries sustained in a house fire on Patton Alley.

Born in Philadelphia on Aug. 24, 1958, she was predeceased by her parents, Louise and Donald Steele and stepsister, Elizabeth. 

Educated as a child at Springside School in Philadelphia, she later attended the Gunston School in Maryland and Richmond College in the United Kingdom. 

Alex, as she was known to her friends and family, was a lifelong lover of horses and was a relentless fan of her incredibly athletic children, who played many different sports but all excelled on the ice rink at the Chester County Skating Club. Alex was known to handle the score clock during games with both finesse and calm, despite the raucous cheers and noise inherent to ice hockey contests. She was also famous for her homemade chili, which was sold to many fans at the snack bar at the rink where Alex spent countless hours watching her children perform. She loved all of her children with a fierce love.  She participated in numerous activities while her children were at Upland Country Day School and in more recent years, she volunteered at the West Chester Senior Center, where she was welcomed and loved by all. She was forever curious and a lifelong learner. 

Alex is survived by her stepbrother, Donald Steele, her children, Ashley Steele, Trevor Norton, Collin Norton, Ana Spinella, Aidan Norton, Marion Norton-Merriott and Matthias Steele-Hemphill, and four grandchildren.

A graveside service was held on Jan. 6, 2024 at Oxford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers or donations, the family suggests contributions to the West Chester Senior Center, 530 East Union Street, West Chester, PA 19382.

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


Larry D. Lemons, Sr.
Larry D. Lemons, Sr., a lifelong resident of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 27, 2023 while at home. He was 78.

He was the husband of Jewel Hawks Lemons, with whom he shared 58 years of marriage.

Born in Coatesville, Pa., he was the son of the late Wiley F. and Pearl Jones Lemons.

Larry was employed as a mushroom grower on his family farm for many years. He retired from Kendal-Crosslands in Kennett Square and for 30 years he was employed with the Oxford Area School District as a bus driver.

He loved to vacation along the coast of Maine and in Smoky Mountain, Tenn. He enjoyed spending time with his family and watching the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia Eagles.

He is survived by his wife, one son, Larry D. Lemons, Jr. (Robin), one daughter, Tina M. Shires, three grandchildren, Nichole L. Replogle, Justin Z. Lemons and Aleshia C. Shires, and one great-granddaughter, Rowan N. Adams. Also surviving is one sister, Nancy L. Martin. He was awaiting the arrival of a great-grandson, Wiley M. Lemons, who is due in January.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Margaret Vaughn and an infant brother, Gary Lemons.

Services will be held at a later date.

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

Brian Christopher Martonik
Brian Christopher Martonik, a resident of Oxford, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 43 on Jan. 1, 2024.

He was born in Pittsburgh on Oct. 13, 1980 to Elizabeth (Betsy) and Lawrence (Larry) Martonik, Brian’s life was one marked by a deep connection to his family and friends.

After earning his master’s degree from Penn State University, Brian’s journey led him to New Jersey where he met his wife of 14 years, Kristin. Their marriage of 14 years was blessed with three beautiful children, Bromley, Brielle and Bryce.

Nature held a special space in Brian’s heart, and he maintained a lifelong passion for camping, frequently sharing these experiences with family, friends and his dog Sandy. An avid supporter of Penn State football, Brian’s enthusiasm for the game brought joy to those around him.  His love for all things automotive coupled with his hands-on approach to life, led to his pursuit of great deals on Craiglist and the establishment of his own venture, MATTT Preservation Auto Restoration. Professionally he dedicated his time and expertise to W.L. Gore and Associates, bringing value in engineering and manufacturing leadership roles. 

Brian was a beloved person, and his sudden departure leaves a void that will be deeply felt by family and friends alike. 

He is survived by his grieving parents, wife and children. He is also mourned by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Chris and Robin Butler, as well as his brother Mark (Rona) Martonik and sister-in law Lisa (Troy) Hedberg. Numerous loving cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends will further cherish his memory.  

A celebration of life service was held on Jan. 6 at the Edward L. Collins Funeral home in Oxford. 

A memorial in Brian’s hometown of Murrysville, Pa. will occur at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made in support of the Martonik children’s education at The Tome School in North East, Md. Your generosity will contribute to their future academic pursuits. 

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

Elizabeth E. “Betty” Kane
Elizabeth E. “Betty” Kane, 96, of Oxford, passed away on Dec. 29, 2023 while at home.

Betty was born Jan. 25, 1927 in Bethlehem, Pa. to Helen Brader Burcaw and C. Earl Burcaw. 

She graduated from Liberty High School in 1944.

She married Ernest J. Baringer in 1945. He passed away in 1984. They had two children, Ernest J. Baringer III and Celinda S. Baringer. She married Fred E. Kane in 1992, and he passed in 2004. She was preceded in death by her great grandson, T.J. Weismiller.

Betty had five grandchildren, Tracey Weismiller, Ernest J. Baringer IV, Brenna M. Sewart, Michael L. Baringer and Regina E. Baringer and eight great-grandchildren. 

Betty was the first female president of Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce and was a past member of Oxford Business Women Club and Contemporary Club. She was a member of Ocklokonee Council Pocahontas. She was also a 50-year member of the Eastern Star.

She was employed by Scott Company for 40 years as an office manager.

Funeral services were held on Jan. 4, 2024 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home in Oxford.

Interment will be in Oxford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Brandywine River Valley Hospice at 125 Bell Tower Lane, Suite 1B, Oxford, PA 19363.

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

Online condolences may be made at

In Loving Memory of Connie Degara (Smith) Frezzo
On the evening of Dec. 24, 2023, Connie Degara Frezzo, 90, passed away peacefully at her home in Elkton, Md. with her loving husband Joe Frezzo and  their family by her side.

Connie was born in September of 1933, in Wilmington, Del. She was a woman of extraordinary accomplishments, possessing a love for flying that led her to obtain her pilot's license early on. Her professional journey included a fulfilling career at the DuPont Company, where her dedication left a lasting impact. Connie's spirit and warmth endeared her to colleagues and friends alike. She will be remembered fondly.

In her first marriage to Glenn Smith, Connie found joy in raising two wonderful children, Diane Smith and Robert Smith, who brought immeasurable light into her life. The arrival of grandchildren further enriched her world, becoming a source of endless joy and laughter. She was affectionally known as Ma’amie by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Connie's enduring love story continued with her second husband, Joe Frezzo, with whom she shared 41 years of marriage. Alongside Joe, Connie had loving connections within an extended family that includes her sister Diane McClure, her children Diane and Robert, their children Heather, Stephanie, and Dana and her great-grandson, Parker, and great-granddaughter, Rowan.   Connie's embrace also extended to her nieces, Patricia, Connie, and Katherine, along with their families, and her stepdaughters Patricia, Susan, and Joanne and their children. Her role as a loving mother, stepmother, grandmother, and great-grandmother was central to her identity, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew her.

A founding member of Christ Church at the Grove in Landenberg, Connie's faith played a significant role in her life. Her dedication to her family and church community was unwavering, providing a foundation of strength and love that will endure in the hearts of those she leaves behind.

Connie's interests included, crosswords, God, church activities, family, puzzles, sports (the Philadelphia Eagles), ballet and history. She approached life with a sense of humor, expressing her dislike for cooking and her preference for the simplicity of a microwave and dishwasher. As a gracious hostess and caring friend, she created spaces filled with warmth and laughter.

Beyond her family and personal pursuits, Connie dedicated her time to volunteer work, supporting numerous charities close to her heart. Her compassion and commitment made a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, leaving an inspiring legacy of kindness and generosity.

In celebrating Connie's life, she will be remembered as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend. May her memory continue to shine brightly in the hearts of those she knew, reminding them of the love, laughter, and kindness she shared with all who were fortunate enough to know her.

A Christian Life Celebration Service will be held  at 11a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13 at Christ Church at the Grove at 1772 New London Road in Landenberg. Friends are invited to call upon the family beginning at 10 a.m.  A luncheon will follow the service. 

In lieu of flowers, family member are asking donations to be made to Christ Church at the Grove with attention to the hospitality team. 

For online condolences, please visit

Barry Craig Sydenstricker
Barry Craig Sydenstricker, age 67, of Landenberg, passed away on Dec. 27, 2023 at his son’s home in Oxford. 

He was the husband of the late Brenda (Foulk) Sydenstricker. 

Born in West Chester, Pa., he was the son of the late Russell Sydenstricker Jr. and the late Katharine (Dilley) Sydenstricker.  

Barry worked a variety of jobs over the course of his life.  For 20 years, he was a produce manager for Acme Markets in several stores.  Following that, he became a certified HVAC technician.  In later years, Barry delivered propane for both Taylor Oil and Shagrin Gas Company.   

 All those who knew Barry knew he loved to talk and tell stories.  He was a history buff who loved learning and talking about U.S. history.   As a music lover, he attended many concerts over the years with family and friends.  As a youngster, he was a passionate artist and he continued to draw in his later years. Above all, Barry was a jack-of-all-trades and could fix and/or build just about anything. 

 A family man, Barry was a beloved patriarch whose warmth and kindness created a haven of love. He will be missed for his kindness, love, hugs, stories, wisdom, and lessons he shared. He will be remembered for his big smile, his jokes and sense of humor, his delicious cooking, his fun-loving personality, and his love for music. 

Barry is survived by four children, Joy Sydenstricker (Mike),Brett Sydenstricker (Danielle), Andrea Sydenstricker, and Barry Sydenstricker (Brighid), eight grandchildren, Savannah, Tristan, Genevieve, Treyton, Chaice, Brody, Ryan, and Avery, and three siblings, Debra Difilippo (Eugene), Greg Sydenstricker, and Chuck Sydenstricker.  

In addition to his parents and his wife, he was predeceased by his siblings, Russell Sydenstricker III, Sheila Sydenstricker, Danny Sydenstricker, Ricky Sydenstricker; and one granddaughter, Aria Sydenstricker.   

 You are invited to visit with Barry’s family and friends from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 12 at The Barn of Nottingham at 101 Pond’s Edge Drive in Nottingham for a celebration of his life. Interment will be held privately.  

Arrangements are by Matthew Grieco of Grieco Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. (484-734-8100) of Kennett Square. To view Barry’s online tribute and to share a memory with his family, please visit

Michael David Pierce
Michael David Pierce, 70, of Cochranville, passed away while at home on Jan. 3, 2024.

He was the husband of the late Beverly Smith Pierce. 

Born in West Grove, he was the son of the late P. David and A. Jean Gill Pierce. He graduated from Octorara Area High School in 1971. 

Michael was employed with NVF in Yorklyn, Del. for over 30 years along with his father and brothers. He was a member of the VFW in Hockessin, Del. 

Michael enjoyed going out on the boat fishing, watching westerns and attending sporting events. He was an avid fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles. He loved spending time with his grandsons, was an occasional jokester and had a passion for collecting coins. 

He is survived by four daughters, Christy Pelletier of St. Petersburg, Fla., Melissa Pierce (Ryan) of Parrish, Fla., Amanda Pierce (Michael) of Downingtown and Cassandra Pierce (Darian) of Downingtown, six grandsons, Riley, Damien Michael, Nicholas, Dominic, Oliver and Jason, six siblings, Linda, Velma, Dennis, Thomas, Nancy and Charles. He was preceded in death by his two sisters, Theresa and Barbara. 

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. at 86 Pine St. in Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 1 to 2 p.m.

A celebration of Michael’s life reception will be held after the memorial service at Faith Bible Chapel at 140 Bernard Avenue, Cochranville, PA 19330. At this time, friends and family will also be celebrating Beverly Smith Pierce’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to

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