Madeline Jarka, 69, of Bethany Beach, and formerly of Bellerose Village, Long Island, N.Y., passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family on Friday, Sept. 21, 2007.
Madeline was a 1995 graduate of Empire State College. Madeline retired in 1998 from the New York State Hospital of Mental Health after 12 years of service. She and her husband then moved to the Bethany Beach area and became very active in many civic groups and organizations.
She was a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, prefect of St. Ann’s Sodality, a member of the Red Hats, Best of the West and a number of quilting groups. Madeline was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, the Blood Bank, the Bethany Beach Library and at St. Ann’s Bazaar. She is survived by her loving husband of 42 years Peter Jarka; five children, Jeffrey Jarka and his wife Theresa of Western Springs, Ill., Timothy Jarka and his wife Sheila of Canton, Conn., Jennifer Dekker and her husband David of Weston, Conn., Kenneth Jarka and his wife Avanel of New London, Conn. and Eugene Jarka and his wife Stacy of Charlotte, N.C.; a sister, Marilyn D’Amato of Viera, Fla. and 12 grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday Sept. 25 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions in Madeline’s name to Delaware Hospice, 20167 Office Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947 or Tunnell Cancer Center, 18941 John J. Williams Highway, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.
Beatrice Bessellieu, 95, of Georgetown, departed this life Monday, Sept. 17, 2007, in Georgetown.
Beatrice was born in Davisboro, Ga., on June 4, 1911, daughter of Julius and Hannah Mae Fleming.
She was educated in the public schools, Sandersville Industrial School and later Morris Brown College in Atlanta.
After Beatrice’s father became ill, the family moved to Philadelphia, where they joined Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church. She became a vital force in all aspects of the church. She was an usher, secretary of the Sunday school, officer in the Allen Christian Endeavor League, and used her rich contralto voice to sing in the choir.
She married the Rev. Henry Thurston Bessellieu, who later became presiding elder of the Milford district, on Oct. 17, 1934. They had 47 years of matrimony before he passed on Jan. 3, 1981.
Beatrice and Henry came to the Delaware Conference in 1937, where Beatrice began her missionary journey at Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Church, Laurel.
When her husband was moved in 1939 to Bethel A.M.E. Church, Smyrna, she became president of the local society.
She served as the secretary of the Delaware Conference Branch, and was the first chairperson of promotion and missionary education. She served as first vice president with Dorothy Allen, and again with Joyce T. Brown. She served as chairperson of the constitution and by-laws committee for the conference. She also served as conference branch president from 1972-81.
Beatrice worked diligently on the First Episcopal District, serving on many committees.
She was a member of every Quadrennial Convention of the WMS since 1943. She had the distinct honor of being one of three people who represented Delaware at the Merger Convention in 1943 in Louisville, Ky. She was granted life membership in 1963, thus making her the first life member from the State of Delaware Conference Branch.
Beatrice was a member in good and regular standing of Macedonia A.M.E Church, Seaford, where she served as a steward, member of the Lucretia Nutter WMS, president of the Lay Organization, Sunday school worker and whatever else needed to be done. She worked tirelessly with the ministers” wives, serving as a pioneer organizer.
She was affiliated with the National Council of Negro Women, World Federation of Methodist Women, NAACP, Church Women United - where she served in many capacities, and Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
Beatrice worked with the Bureau of Aging as an ombudsman for patients at the Lewes Convalescent Home. Gov. Thomas R. Carper cited her for her many hours of volunteer work. Her motto was to serve in no particular place, but wherever there was a need until the Master called.
She is survived by her stepdaughter, Katherine Ross and her husband Zebulun J. Ross Sr.; her grandchildren, the Hon. Katharine Ross of Wilmington, Dr. Gwendolyn Ross of Hawaii, Zebulun J. Ross Jr. of Maryland, the Rev. Karen Andrews of Mexico, Thomas Bessellieu of Dover, and Connie Felton of Lincoln; a nephew, James Davis of Philadelphia; her dear and special friends, the Rev. and Mrs. Ervin Williams; and her great-grandchildren, great-nieces and great-nephews.
A viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Macedonia A.M.E. Church, North and Clarence streets, Seaford. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the church, where friends may also call two hours prior to the service.
Interment will be in the Eden cemetery, Darby, Pa.
Arrangements are being handled by Bennie Smith Funeral Home, Dover.
Samuel D. Keenan,
Samuel D. Keenan, 56, of Millsboro died suddenly Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007, at his home.
Mr. Keenan was part owner of Sam’s Furniture for 11 years.
He served in the U.S. Army for two-and-a-half years. He spent 10 months in Vietnam, and was awarded the Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device/M16 Rifle Badge.
Mr. Keenan was preceded in death by his mother, Irene J. Keenan.
He is survived by two sons, Samuel Keenan and Tyler Keenan; his father, Samuel M. Keenan; two brothers, Joseph Keenan and James Keenan; five sisters, Mary Lawson, Barbara Elliott, Irene Keenan, Joan Keenan and Victoria Sanfeliz; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services were held in the chapel of Short Funeral Services, Georgetown, with interment in Delaware Veterans Memorial cemetery, Millsboro.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7422, P.O. Box 606, Millsboro, DE 19966.
Hazel M. Salmons Downes,
Hazel M. Salmons Downes, 81, of Federalsburg, Md., passed away Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford.
Hazel was born near Eldorado on Dec. 27, 1925, daughter of the late Phillip C. and Carrie Bramble Speorl. She was a certified nurse assistant, and worked at the Methodist Manor House, Seaford, and also had done private duty sitting.
Hazel enjoyed doing crafts, knitting and working in her garden.
She also enjoyed spending time with her family, which included Sunday family dinners.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, Norman Charles Salmons in 1965, and John “Jack” Downes in 2000.
Hazel is survived by six daughters, Sandra Swafford of Lewes, Gloria Osterman and her husband John of Federalsburg, Brenda Tribbett and her husband Harry, Beverly Jean Richards and Barbara Layton and her husband George, all of Bridgeville and Bonnie Travers of Federalsburg; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; a brother, Carl Speorl and his wife Edna of Newark and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held at Framptom Funeral Home, Federalsburg, with interment private at Hill Crest cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Bonnie Hilghman Cancer Fund, c/o Mid-Shore Community Foundation, 102 E. Dover St., Easton, MD 21601.
Daisy V. Buchter,
retired tavern owner
Daisy V. Buchter, 79, of Millsboro, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007 at Christiana Care Hospital in Newark.
She was the daughter of the late Hoke and Edna Keaton Jarvis.
Daisy was a retired tavern owner.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William Buchter and son, William D. Blimline.
She is survived by two sons, Randell L. Blimline and his wife Mary Jane of Charlotte, N.C., Gene A. Blimline and his wife Judi, of Reading, Pa.; a stepson, Ted Buchter of Knoxville, Tenn.; two stepdaughters, Barbara “Bonnie” Haas of Reading, Pa., and Patty Mason of Arlington, Texas; a daughter-in-law, Margaret Blimline of Hazel, Ky.; her grandchildren, Genson A. Blimline, Jana A. Blimline, Randell L. Blimline II, Christen Whitley, Shelly Kiser, Tracy Blimline, Amber Blimline-Martinez; and her great-grandchildren, Alston Blimline, Autumn Kiser, Corbin Kiser, Julian Martinez, Catherine Maggie Whitley, Andrew Blimline.
A funeral service was held at the chapel of Melson Funeral Services, Millsboro.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the charity of choice.
Mary M. Kopera,
Mary M. Kopera, 78, of Lewes, and formerly of Hyattsville, Md., died Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007.
Beloved wife of Urban “Butch” Kopera; mother of Robert “Bob” Kopera (Marna) of Bethesda, Md., she is also survived by two grandchildren, Megan Kopera of College Park, Md. and Patrick Kopera of Bethesda, Md.
Services and interment were held in Hastings, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Delaware Hospice, Alzheimer’s Association or the CHEER Senior Center of Lewes.
William K. Kenton Jr.,
William K. Kenton Jr., 59, died at his home Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007, after a long struggle with stroke-related injuries.
Bill was born in Milford on June 9, 1948, along with his twin sister, Joanne Shirey, children of William K. Sr. and Jean Calhoun Kenton.
He graduated from Milford High School in 1966 and the University of Virginia in 1971.
Bill spent his entire career in sales and management with his friend and employer, Thomas H. Draper, president of Draper Communications Inc. Mr. Draper recruited Bill after college to manage the WTHD radio station in Milford. Bill and Tom expanded the small local radio station into WAFL Country, a successful FM broadcast station based in Delaware.
In 1980 Draper Communications Inc. purchased WBOC-TV in Salisbury, where Bill served as general manager and vice president, retiring as president in 2002. Bill helped guide WBOC through the revolution in broadcasting spawned by digital communications and the era of computers. Today the station is fully digital and features high definition TV for its viewers.
Bill was an avid supporter of lacrosse as an interscholastic sport in Salisbury and Delmarva, organizing several local leagues in the 1990s to introduce the sport to local residents.
A waterfowl hunter since early youth, he was a member of Tall Pine and Bombay hunt clubs in Delaware, as well as a board member for local Ducks Unlimited chapters.
Bill was a charter member of the Wicomico Rotary Club in Salisbury.
Most recently, Bill served as public relations director for the Milford Museum, where he was organizing a fund-raising campaign to expand the museum to a full-time schedule.
He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Phyllis V. Kenton; a daughter, Tiffany Buchanan of Arlington, Va.; two sons, William K. Kenton III of Arlington, Va., and Glenn Ellis Kenton, a senior at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.; a grandson, Kenton Buchanan, 2, living in Arlington, Va.; two brothers, Glenn C. Kenton, Esq., of Wilmington, and David W. Kenton of Milford; and a twin sister, Joanne Shirey of Seaford.
Services were held Saturday, Sept. 22. Interment will be private.
Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Peninsula Regional Medical Foundation Stroke Center, 100 E. Carroll St., Salisbury, MD 21801.
Funeral arrangements will be handled by Short Funeral Home of Delmar.
Marian Ellis Carr,
nursery school teacher
Marian Anne Ellis Carr, 78, of Dover, died Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007, in Westminster Village Health Care Center.
Mrs. Carr was born March 31, 1929, in Wilmington, to William H. and Maude Lowe Ellis.
After high school, she attended Wesley College, Dover.
She was married to John Carr, who preceded her in death.
Mrs. Carr was a homemaker and worked at Farmer’s Bank and as a nursery school teacher.
She was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, Dover.
In addition to her husband and her parents, Mrs. Carr was preceded in death by her brother, Richard Ellis.
Mrs. Carr is survived by two sons, Jeffrey W. Carr of the Woodlands, Texas, and Michael D. Carr of Rehoboth Beach; and a daughter, Lisa A. Carr of Magnolia.
Funeral services will be private.
Interment will be in Delaware Veterans Memorial cemetery, Bear.
Arrangements by Torbert Funeral Chapel, Dover.
Golden Lee Gibbs,
Golden Lee Gibbs, 66, of Harbeson, departed this life Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007, at Beebe Medical Center, Lewes. He was 66.
Born in Lake Landing, N.C., on Feb. 17, 1941, he was the son of the late Melton and Sophia Gibbs.
Mr. Gibbs came to live in Delaware in 1946 and remained until his demise.
Goldie, as he was fondly known, attended public school in Concord, Drawbridge and Richard Allen, Georgetown.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Carol Lee Gibbs and Annie Evans.
He is survived by one son, Eunsice Oliver of Mount Joy; one sister, Hattie Durogene of Ellendale; two brothers, William Gibbs and Johnny Gibbs, both of Georgetown; one grandchild, Kenya Oliver; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held at the Church of God, Georgetown, with burial in Old Hickory cemetery, Slaughter Neck.
Arrangements by Bennie Smith Funeral Home.
John R. Megee Jr.,
John R. “John John” Megee Jr., 56, of Milton, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007, in his home.
He was a self-employed electrician who had worked in the area for many years and had also worked for NCR and Draper Canning Co.
John John graduated from Milton High School. He enjoyed fishing and NASCAR. He was a veteran of the Air Force Reserves and member of American Legion Post 28 in Millsboro.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Sharon Lee Megee, in 1952.
John John is survived by his parents, John Sr. and Elizabeth “Betty” Hill Megee of Milton; and a host of extended family members and friends.
A funeral service will be at 1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23, in the chapel of Short Funeral Services, 416 Federal St., Milton where friend may call from 7 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22. Burial will be in Odd Fellows cemetery, Milton.
Flowers are accepted or contributions in John John’s memory can be made to Delaware Hospice, 20167 Office Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947 or the Milton Fire Dept., 116 Front St., Milton, DE 19968.