Robert James Valdesere,
in trotting association
Robert James Valdesere, 74, of Felton passed away Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005, in his home, surrounded by family and friends, after a long illness.
Mr. Valdesere was born in Willow Grove, son of the late Robert J. and Pearl Hudson Valdesere.
He served in the National Guard in the 1950s.
Over the years, he had been employed with George & Lynch as a foreman, with the town of Harrington as a police officer in the 1960s and with E.I. DuPont in Wilmington.
His greatest passion was for racing horses. He also loved to hunt and fish.
Mr. Valdesere was a member of the U.S. Trotting Association.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Joseph Robert Valdesere; and a brother, Arthur Valdesere.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Lettie Mae Williamson Valdesere; four daughters and four sons-in-law, Linda E. and Charles Steiner of Millsboro, Peggy A. and George Tice of Felton, Robin L. and Roger Greene of Millsboro and Terry L. and Frank Long of Hartly; two sisters, Margaret Praire of Camden and Mary Crisco of Viola; 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Services were held in the chapel of Berry-Short Funeral Home, Felton, with burial will be in St. Johnstown cemetery, Greenwood.
Contributions are suggested to Helen Graham Cancer Society, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19713.
Robert Greene Dolan,
Robert Greene Dolan, 73, of Bethany Beach, died Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005, at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md. He was born on Feb. 26,1932 in New Haven, Conn. He was the son of the late John Dolan and Elizabeth (Green) Dolan.
He was an administrative assistant to the former Democratic Congressman and Senator of Washington State, Warren G. Magnuson. He then went to work for the General Service Administration where he worked until he retired in l994. Mr. Dolan was an active member in the South East Democratic Club.
He was appointed by Gov. Minner to the position of Deputy Alderman of Bethany Beach. Mr. Dolan was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
He is survived by his wife Darlene A. (Hodgson) Dolan and one brother Richard Dolan of Hamden, Conn. and a host of nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 30, at St. Ann Catholic Church, Bethany Beach. Interment will be at Delaware Veterans’ Memorial cemetery.
Ricky Lee Taylor,
Ricky Lee Taylor, 58, of Milford, died Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2005, while attending a VFW Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mr. Taylor was born in Shenandoah Valley, Va., on May 20, 1947. He worked as an electrician for many years.
He was a Vietnam veteran, serving in the U.S. Army, where he was a gunner on a helicopter and later became a crew chief. He received a Bronze Star with V Device, a Distinguished Flying Cross with 27 air medals, a Purple Heart and a Vietnam Service Medal. He was inducted into the Delaware Veterans Hall of Heroes Association on Feb. 19, 2000. He was VFW Commander of Post 6843 for 10 years. He was a member of the Military Order of the Cootie, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America; AM Vets, Post 2, Harrington American Legion, Post 7, Chowderhead Committee and Masonic Lodge 9.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Sue Risser Taylor of Milford; four stepchildren, Chrissy, Buddy, Jill and Jana; seven step-grandchildren; and two brothers, Gene Taylor and Edmund Taylor.
Services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 1, at Berry-Short Funeral Home, 119 N. W. Front Street, Milford, where friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesday. Interment will be at Delaware Veterans Memorial cemetery, Millsboro.
Contributions are suggested to the Department of VFW, c/o Jesse Kitson, 167 Carnation Drive, Magnolia DE 19962.
Verna Maxwell, 99, of Lewes and formerly of Newark, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday Aug. 23, at her daughter’s home.
Born in Newark, DE to the late Annie and William Bland, Verna attended local schools except for a year spent at Northfield Seminary in Massachusetts. She worked as a court stenographer for the law firm of Reese Hitchens. Verna loved the Lord, her family and her home. She was a lifelong member of Newark United Methodist Church in Newark and spent 30 years teaching Sunday School there, assisting with the acolytes, as well as being a member of the Prayer Group for 42 years. In addition to her great love of the Lord, she enjoyed traveling with her late husband, having made several cross-country road trips. She was a wonderful cook and homemaker and especially delighted in spending time with her two great granddaughters.
Verna was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Paul and her son-in-law, John.
She is survived by her daughter. Carolyn Garwood of Lewes; a granddaughter, Anne E. Spoor and her husband Scott; and two great granddaughters Samantha E. Spoor and Abby T. Spoor, all of Newark. She is also survived by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Betty and Joseph Maxwell, as well as a host of nieces and nephews. Gladys Shaw and the WOTO’s were an ever constant source of friendship, love and strength. The family wishes to convey their heartfelt gratitude to those nieces and nephews of Lewes for their support, faithfulness and presence during this difficult time.
A celebration of her life was held at Newark United Methodist Church, Newark, with burial private.
Charitable contributions in Verna’s memory may be made to Delaware Hospice or Newark United Methodist Church c/o R.T. Foard & Jones Funeral Home, 122 West Main St., Newark, DE 19711.
Richard Henry Lee Laird
retired bank VP
Richard Henry Lee Laird, 76, devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend of Wilmington, Rehoboth Beach and Delray Beach, Fla. died suddenly Monday, Oct. 24, 2005.
He attended Tower Hill School and Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1952. Immediately following graduation, he joined Wilmington Trust and retired from the Trust Department in 1992 as senior vice president.
Throughout his life, he selflessly shared his time and energy as a dedicated board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware, the Children’s Beach House, and the Delaware Curative Workshop. He was a member of the Wilmington Club, Vicmead Hunt Club, Rehoboth Beach Country Club, and both the Gulfstream Bath and Tennis Club and St. Andrews Club in Gulfstream, Fla. He was also a member of the Aurora Gun Club and past chairman of the Delaware Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
A direct descendent of Richard Henry Lee, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence, he was a life-long member of the Society of Lees of Virginia and past governor of the Society of Colonial Wars.
His wonderful sense of humor, kindness and genuine interest in others helped foster life long friendships to both young and old alike. He was a loyal alumnus of the University of Virginia and enjoyed golf, travel, baseball and the outdoors.
His family includes his beloved wife of 50 years, Marnie; two sons; and three grandchildren: Richard and his wife Lucinda and their daughter, Felicity, of Chadds Ford, Pa.; Peter and his wife, Patti, and their children, Mary Virginia and Andrew of Coconut Grove, Fla.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29, at Christ Church Christiana Hundred, Buck Road, Wilmington. A chapel and graveside service will be held Sunday, Oct. 30, at St. Georges Chapel, Harbeson, at 2 p.m.
Contributions may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware, 669 S. Union St., Wilmington, DE 19805 or Children’s Beach House, 100 W. 10th St., Suite 411, Wilmington, DE 19801.
Arrangements by Chandler Funeral Homes.
Ruth E. Townsend,
IR cafeteria worker
Ruth E. Townsend, 93, of Georgetown, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005.
Mrs. Townsend was born Dec. 11, 1911, in Frankford, the daughter of the late Raymond and Bernice Bunting.
She had been employed by the state of Delaware, Indian River School District, as a cafeteria worker for 15 years.
Mrs. Townsend was a member of St. George’s United Methodist Church in Clarksville; she was also a member of Frankford chapter 12, Order of the Eastern Star.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William L. Townsend, in May 1952.
She is survived by her son, William C. Townsend, with whom she lived; her daughter, Alice K. Baker and her husband Mahlon of Bridgeville; two grandchildren, Steven D. Tyre and his wife Denise of Dagsboro and Krystal McCoy and her husband Keith of Bridgeville; two great-grandchildren, Dakota S. Tyre and Trevor S. Timmons; three brothers, Frank Bunting of Dagsboro, Alvin Bunting of Bridgeton, N.J. and Raymond Bunting of Georgetown; three sisters, Christene Layton of Dagsboro, Alice Cosden of Camden and Hilda LeCates of Georgetown; and her caretaker, Mary Jean Bunting, whom she loved and trusted dearly.
Services were held at St. George’s United Methodist Church, Clarksville, with burial in the adjoining church cemetery.
Contributions are suggested to St. George’s United Methodist Church, New Parsonage Fund, c/o Lana Bowden, Route 2, Box F, Clarksville DE 19970.
Arrangements by Melson Funeral Services, Frankford.
Henry F. Hill,
Henry F. Hill, 90, of Lewes, died at Lewes Convalescent Center on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005.
Mr. Hill owned and operated “Hilly’s” Package Store and Catering Service for many years and he later became a judge in the Sussex County Magistrates Court System until his retirement.
“Hilly” was a former chief of police for the city of Rehoboth Beach in his younger years. He loved horses and enjoyed training them after his retirement. He was a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes, where he served on the Vestry.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Carol L. Bader.
Mr. Hill is survived by is wife of 66 years, Marian Hill, and a great granddaughter, Page Elizabeth Athey. He is survived by a son, Dr. William T. Hill and his fiancée, Caroline; a daughter, Sharon H. Melson and her husband, Doug; a granddaughter, Jennifer M. Athey; three grandsons, Michael and Frank Hill and Vollie D. Melson.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 28 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes with burial in St. Peter’s Episcopal cemetery, Pilottown Road, Lewes.
Contributions are suggested to a charity of choice.
World War II veteran
Josephine Poole Passwaters, 86, of Seaford and formerly of Bridgeville, peacefully passed away on Monday, Oct. 24, 2005, at the Methodist Manor House Heath Center.
Jo was born Aug. 14, 1919 in Dover, to the late Clinton S. and Elizabeth J. Poole, formerly of Federalsburg, Md.
She was a graduate of Beacom College. Then, she patriotically served as a WAVE with the U.S. Navy during World War II. She was a member of Union United Methodist Church in Bridgeville, the Methodist Women, Bridgeville Lioness Club, Women in Military Service, the Red Hat Society, and a former volunteer for the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. She was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, a well as being an accomplished seamstress and gardener.
In addition to her parents, Jo was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 49 years, Ray E. Passwaters, and her brothers, Henry and Frederick Poole.
She is survived by her children, Sherry Holmes and her husband Marty of Bridgeville; Eileen Wall and her husband Larry of Naples, Fla.; and Deborah Dewsbury and her husband, Michael of Charlotte, N.C.; four grandchildren, Jennifer Bradley, Heather Holmes, Alex Dewsbury and Amy Dolbow; and three great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28, in the Union United Methodist Church, Market & Laws Street, Bridgeville.
Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Hardesty Chapel, Bridgeville.
Contributions are suggested to Union United Methodist Church, 2 North Laws Streets, Bridgeville, DE 19933 or to the Bridgeville Lioness Club, 304 Laws Street, Bridgeville, DE 19933.
Myrl Frances Webb,
Myrl Frances (McNicol) Webb, 96, of Lewes, died Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005 at the Methodist Manor House, Seaford.
She was born on June 12, 1909 in Ontario, Canada daughter of the late Colin McNicol and Louise Brown McNicol.
She had been employed as a florist her entire life, working with her husband J. Willis Webb as owners of the McNicol Florist Shop in Lewes. The Webbs sold the business in the 1960s. After retirement Mrs. Webb, along with her husband, traveled extensively all over the United States and Canada in their Airstream Mobile Home. She was a 1931 graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in home economics.
In addition to her parents and her husband, Mrs. Webb was preceded in death by two sons, Jesse Colin Webb and Donald McNicol Webb.
She is survived by her granddaughters, Amy (Webb) West and her husband Joe of Milton, and Abby Rowland Webb of Rehoboth Beach.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28, 2005 at Henlopen Memorial Park, Route 1 near Milton; Rev. Max Wolf will be officiating.
Arrangements by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, Lewes.
Contributions are suggested to St. Georges Episcopal Church, 18 Olive Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.
Joseph E. Huber,
Joseph E. Huber, 71, of Lewes, passed away Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005 at his home.
He was the beloved husband of Ruth C. (Meise) Huber; devoted father of Jeffrey J. Huber and wife Diane K.; brothers, Otto and Paul; sister Alva Roop.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 29 at Conley’s Methodist Church, 22150 Robinsonville Road, Lewes. Interment will follow in the adjoining church cemetery.
Arrangements by Melson Funeral Services of Long Neck.
social catering director
Linda “Lynn” Hensley-Serpa, 52, of Milton and formerly of Washington, D.C. and Naples, Fla., died Monday, Oct. 24, 2005, in Milton, surrounded by her loving family.
Mrs. Hensley-Serpa was born in Baltimore, daughter of Freda M. Prothe of Laurel and the late John William Hensley.
After attending Towson State University for a year, she moved to Washington and got her first job working in the catering and hospitality department at La Fountaine Bleu. She worked for more than 30 years for some of the finest establishments in Washington and Florida and most recently for the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington as the director of social catering. She loved what she did, and found the most joy when organizing benefits for charitable organizations, like her favorite, Best Buddies, a nonprofit charity that is dedicated to helping disabled children.
Her nieces and nephews were the light of her life. She enjoyed spending time with them so much, that she moved to Delaware to be close to them. She loved the beach and found it comforting to be close to the ocean.
Mrs. Hensley-Serpa was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Seaford.
She is survived by her mother and stepfather, Freda M. and Norman Prothe of Laurel; four brothers, John William Hensley Jr. and Lonnie Dale Hensley, both of Seaford, and Richard D. Davis and Daniel Davis, both of Milton; a sister, Colleen Dean of Greenwood; an aunt, Naomi Willis of Tifton, Ga.; her good friend and former husband, Vincent Serpa, of Naples, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews, whom she considered her grandchildren.
Services were held in Christ Lutheran Church, Shipley Street, Seaford. A graveside committal services was held in Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Annapolis, Md.
Memorial contributions may be made to Best Buddies, 401 Ninth St. N.W., Suite 750, Washington, D.C. 20004. Arrangements by Short Funeral Home, Laurel.