Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Obituaries for the week of March 13th

Renee Marilyn Huggard
Renee Marilyn Huggard passed away on Feb. 26 while surrounded by her husband and children at Lankenau Hospital.

Renee was born in Bronx, N.Y. on Sept. 12, 1967.

After spending a few years in the city, the family moved to Putnam County (Kent) N.Y. Renee was the youngest of three children and the youngest of the seven stepchildren. 

Her mom, Renata, emigrated from Germany in the 1960s and established a family here in the U.S. Renee was always the playful, spunky, creative and kindhearted child that made everyone's day brighter.

Renee spent her life always giving and trying her best to make you smile when your day looked gloomy. Her favorite place was always where there was a beach. Hawaii was her favorite place with Redondo Beach, Calif. a close second. What she enjoyed the most about these places was watching the dolphins surf the waves and orcas breaching next to the boat. Because of these loves, Renee painted and drew and sketched these “loves” in her art. This talent also showed through in her love of teaching the next generation the joy of expression.

Renee is survived by her husband Ed, a son Jack, a daughter Julianna, her brother Bob, a niece Michellle, her nephews, Teddie, Bobbie, and Markie and grand-niece Madeline.  

Thankfully she always had by her side her best friend Maureen 'O" (Aunt Mo) for a hug, a phone call or a visit.

Renee is now in a better place with her mom, Ed’s mom, her nephew Ryan and her faithful, whiney, cuddly dog Lucy. 

She will always be remembered by those who knew and loved her as an inspiration to all. 

A memorial service was held on March 4 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral 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  

Sharon L. Burdett
Sharon L. Burdett, of West Grove, passed away on March 5, 2024 while at home. She was 62.

She was the wife of Richard W. Burdett, with whom she shared 44 years of marriage.

Born in West Chester, she was the daughter of the late William and Joanne Highfield Brown.

Sharon was employed with Dick Burdett Automotive in West Grove and was previously employed with Kendal-Crosslands, Kennett Square Borough and Avon Grove School District.

She enjoyed painting, cross-stitching and spending time with family and friends.

She is survived by her husband, one son, Richard W. Burdett, Jr. of Cochranville, one brother, William Brown, Jr. of West Grove, and one sister, Donna Roark of Lancaster.

She was preceded in death by one son, Joseph Michael Burdett. 

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 14 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m.

Friends and family may also visit on Wednesday, March 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Interment will be in Union Hill Cemetery in Kennett Square.

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

Alan Graham Bates
Alan Graham Bates passed away peacefully at this home on March 7, 2024.  He was just 10 days short of his 96th birthday. He was born on March 17, 1928, an only child to Dorothy and Edward Bates in Newton, Massachusetts.

His formative years were there in Newton. He attended Boston College where he majored in chemical engineering and was active in the college band, playing clarinet.

He subsequently served in the Army Air Force where his clarinet skills allowed him to play in the AAF band.  Upon leaving the service, he used the GI Bill to fund his masters degree at M.I.T in 1951.

Part of procuring his masters degree involved further studies at the now-famous Oak Ridge Nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he not only unknowingly worked on the Manhattan Project, but would come to meet his future wife, then Rella Pauline Murr. She was one of the most historic women of Atomic City.

Their courtship was brief, as they both knew they had found their soulmate, and were married three months later on June 9, 1951.They had two children, Stephanie Lynn and Douglas Graham.

They moved to Wilmington, Del. where he worked for Atlas Chemical as an agricultural engineer, which then became ICI America. He held the position of vice president until an early retirement. Headhunters then hired Alan as president of a biotech start-up company in Canada. He would commute home on the weekends.

They built a new house in Hockessin, Del. in 1966, where they enjoyed gardening, including growing fresh fruit and vegetables. He chopped wood for the fireplace and enjoyed making homemade ice cream in the summer. He built the “world’s largest” tire swing, enjoyed the family’s annual trip to find that perfect Christmas tree to chop down, and even used his engineering skills to design and build a treehouse that moved with the wind in the trees for his son, Douglas. He made a mean peanut brittle at Christmas time. He was also known for his yummy cheese fondue which became a Christmas Eve tradition.

Alan and the family was always active in their home church, Limestone Presbyterian. As charter members, he served as an elder in the church. He and his daughter sang in the choir and, as a family, were rooted in faith.

He always encouraged music-making in the house, and his children not only enjoyed playing the piano and singing, but have subsequently made their careers in music.

In addition to continuing to make his own music, which was a lifelong passion, Alan was also a lifelong hobbyist and collector. After first collecting coins, he went on to collect antique wooden carpentry planes, and then found his niche collecting antique harmonicas. He built one of the largest collections in the world. His generous nature led him to eventually donate his entire collection to the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, where it still exists today as the “Alan Bates Collection.”

 Upon moving to Jenners Pond Retirement Community in West Grove, he spent years, with the help of his wife, Rella, clearing new walking trails, and planting trees and flowers to create a series of beautiful nature walks. They labeled the various trees and plants for all to enjoy. He would chair the landscape committee.

Alan and Rella were avid travelers and loved their yearly trips to Sedona where they would invite the entire family for a week of hiking and taking in the red rock scenery.

He is predeceased by his loving wife, Rella, who passed away three years ago.

He is survived by his son and daughter and two grandchildren, Cambia and Cody, and Cambia’s daughter (his great-granddaughter) who is named after Rella.

A man of utmost generosity, Alan leaves behind a rare legacy of kindness and integrity that touched many lives.

Services and burial will be held privately.

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

Arrangements are being handled by the Foulk Funeral Home in West Grove.

Catherine M. Shoop
Catherine M. Shoop, 85, of Oxford, passed away while at home on March 10, 2024.

She was the wife of the late Clyde E. Shoop, Sr., with whom she shared 64 years of marriage.

Born in West Grove, she was the daughter of the late Michael and Tessa Makovski Podmenick.

She was a member of Oxford United Methodist Church.

Catherine was a seamstress and she enjoyed crocheting and knitting. She was a good cook and enjoyed her flower beds and bird watching. 

She is survived by one son, Allen Shoop of Oxford, two daughters, Iris Megill of New Holland and Barbara Roark of Landenberg, ten grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, several great-great grandchildren, and four sisters, Alice Curran of VA, Madeline Upton of Maryland, Leah Cannon of Delaware and Yvonne Rodriguez of Pennsylvania. 

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Theresa Muller, a son, Clyde E. Shoop, Jr., and a grandson, Keith Smith, II.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday March 22, 2024 at the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford, where friends and family may visit from 10 to 11 a.m.

Interment will be in Fremont Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Union Fire Co., No. 1, 315 Market St., Oxford, PA 19363.

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

Online condolences may be made at