Betty Marie Birch,
former Teacher of the Year
Betty Marie Foster Larrimore Bergstrom Birch passed peacefully into the loving arms of Christ her Savior Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005, at home, surrounded by her family.
Betty lived in Delaware all her life. She was a member of North Baptist Church, where she met her first husband, Charles, and they were both friends with her current husband, Arthur. Betty was a mother and homemaker who taught Sunday school. She was known for her talent in making Bible stories accessible for young children through flannel graphs. After the sudden death of Charles, people who knew of her ability to teach approached her and suggested she become a teacher.
She began teaching children with special needs in the early 1960s while working to complete her bachelor’s degree in special education. She graduated from the University of Delaware cum laude, and later became one of the first special education teachers to be recognized as Special Education Teacher of the Year in Delaware. She was an active member of the educational society, Delta Kappa Gamma and had been a member of both Immanuel Baptist and Grace Baptist Church.
She met Arnold Bergstrom and they shared 10 years of love and marriage. During this time, Arnold helped Betty on her many field trips to the Lewes Beach House, and with her famous cultural dinners at the Meadowood School. She retired after 25 years of teaching when Arthur became ill suddenly, and she provided him with 24-hour care at home until his death in 1982.
Years later, Betty reunited with her childhood friend, Arthur Birch, and they married in June 1987. They moved from Pike Creek to Lewes and became active members of the First Baptist Church of Lewes. Arthur and Betty shared a love that was obvious to everyone who knew them. Their relationship exemplified the bounty of the love of Christ and the power of faith. Before Betty’s illness, they traveled and enjoyed the fellowship of the Christian community to which they belong. Betty suffered from meningiomas of the brain, but she and Arthur continued their active involvement within the worldwide Christian network. Arthur never left Betty’s side during the 11 years of her deliberating illness, and for this her children will always be appreciative. Love and peace filled her final moments and she departed this earth with grace.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Charles H.G. Larrimore, her second husband, Arnold W. Bergstrom, her daughter, Edna Joy Larrimore Semech; and her sister, Doris Foster Carpenter.
She is survived by her husband, Arthur W. Birch Jr.; her brother, Dr. Claude Foster Jr., her daughters, Deborah Larrimore Scott, Dr. Charla Beth Larrimore Baugh and Hollie Beth Hastings; grandchildren, Charles Larrimore Powers, Jacqueline Renee Corbin, Chenoa Trout-Baugh Haines, John Gordon Baugh VI, Ariel Elyse Baugh, Jonathan Phillip Nacchio and Jeremy William Nacchio; four great-grandchildren, Jillienne and Lauren Powers and Braden and Brynja Haines; five stepchildren; 17 step grandchildren; and eight step great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, at First Baptist Church, 1001 Kings Highway, Lewes.
Contributions are suggested to the First Baptist Church, Lewes or Delaware Hospice, 600 N. DuPont Highway, Georgetown DE 19947.
Raymond T. Mullin Sr.,
Raymond Thomas Mullin Sr., 57, of Milton, died Friday, Jan. 21, 2005, at home.
Mr. Mullin spent the majority of his pre-service years in Bensalem, Bucks County, Pa. He was a U.S. Marine veteran of the Vietnam War in which he fought bravely. He received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Rifle Marksman Badge. He was very proud of his military service. Upon returning home he lived in North Wildwood, N.J., and then northern California, before settling in Milton. He especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and had been looking forward to spending time with two more that are on the way.
Mr. Mullin was a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He frequently donated to various charities across the country and locally to the Home of the Brave and the Juvenile Diabetes Association.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia Menta Mullin; his former wife, Helena D. Kraus; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Raymond Thomas Mullin Jr. of Langhorne, Pa. and Ronald A. Jr. and Jaclynn Woertz of Lincoln; three daughters and sons-in-law, Amanda and Kyle Deppenschmidt of Langhorne, Alisa M. and Michael Gaccione of Little Falls, N.J. and Lisa M. and Kevin Woertz of North Wildwood, N.J.; a sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Joe Leitmeyer of Palmyra, N.J.; and eight grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at a later date in Pennsylvania. Contributions are suggested to the Raymond t. Mullin Sr. Fund at Wilmington Trust Bank, 107 Front St., Milton DE 19968. Arrangements by Short Funeral Services, Milton.
Julia K. Arri,
women’s rights advocate
Julia K. Arri, 86, of Seaford, passed away Friday, Jan. 21, 2005, at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford.
She was born on Long Island, N..Y., the daughter of the late Lewis and Eleanor Franklin Haist. She lived most of her young life in New York until moving to California. She moved to the Methodist Manor House in Seaford in 1995 from Rancho Cuca Monga, Ca.
Mrs. Arri was the owner of her own firm specializing in accounting, financial planning and taxation, retiring several years ago.
During her career, she was involved with the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc., where she served in many capacities, including president. She had also served as treasurer of the International Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. She was a strong believer in women helping women and women helping themselves.
In 1977, Mrs. Arri was selected a Progress Bulletin Woman Achiever and in 1959 and 1970 was named Woman of the Year by the Pomona Ca. BPW Club. She was instrumental in developing programs, leadership courses and vocational guidance for teenage girls. While in Pomona she was also honored in 1980 by receiving the Women Helping Women Award, given by the Desert Coast Region Soroptimist International of Americas Inc.
She was selected by the Chapel of Four Chaplains in Philadelphia as the only American to receive the 1979 Distinguished Service Award. At that time Julia was only the third woman to receive the award since its inception in 1951.
Mrs. Arri was an avid reader and enjoyed traveling. She had been to many destinations world-wide and especially enjoyed cruises. Several years ago she enjoyed a two-month cruise that started in Alaska and toured the South Pacific. Another memorable destination was an eight-day African safari. It was estimated that she had traveled to more than 70 countries.
Mrs. Arri is survived by her dear friend of more than 45 years and traveling companion, Dr. Elizabeth F. Phillips of Seaford; and a sister, Eleanor Ackerman of Lameta, Ca.
A celebration of Mrs. Arri’s life will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 7, in Methodist Manor House Fellowship Hall, 1001 Middleford Rd., Seaford. Arrangements by Short Funeral Services, Milton.
Contributions in her memory can be made to the library at Methodist Manor House.
Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Justice
Eleanor W. “Ellie” Justice, 84, of Ocean View, passed away peacefully Monday, Jan. 24, 2005.
Ellie was born March 23, 1920 in East Greenwich, R. I., to Ernest and Alice Wade. While growing up, her passions ranged from horseback riding to archery, sailing on Greenwich Bay, and art. She graduated from Lockwood High School in Warwick, R. I. From there her painting skills and creative talents led her to attend the R.I. School of Design for two years with the dream of becoming a graphic artist.
Upon leaving the school, she went to New York City where she studied another passion of hers, child psychology, at Saint Mary’s Episcopal Hospital for children. However, after one year her schooling was interrupted due to medical reasons and she returned to Rhode Island.
At the outbreak of WWII, she worked for a company making camouflage netting and electrical components for the U.S. Army. Shortly thereafter she accepted a secretarial position with the US Navy at Quonset Point, R.I. working for the radio/radar division supervisor and the commander of that division. It was at this time that she met a sailor from Delaware by the name of Norman Justice, fell in love, and married on Aug. 12, 1945.
After Norman’s discharge from the service in 1945, they relocated to Delaware for two years where number one son, Barry, was born in 1947. Good jobs were not plentiful then, so they moved back to Rhode Island where she found a job as an office manager for a pediatrician, and Norman went back to Quonset Point as a civilian teaching electronics. In 1958, number two son, Noel, was born and two years later, daughter Jackie was born.
In 1965, Ellie took on a teaching position at Brad Crest Day School to teach arts and crafts to the 80 children enrolled there. She found this very rewarding but joked that “this is where she got her first gray hair”.
After the death of her parents, Ellie, Norman, and family moved back to Delaware to build their new home in 1979. It is at this time that they became members of Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church. Ellie was very active in the Dorcas Circle of the church teaching crafts for their bazaars for nine years. In addition, she became a member of the Lord Baltimore Women’s Club and was a charter member of the Lord Baltimore Lioness Club. She had a passion for becoming an integral part of the community in which she lived.
Although she suffered from severe arthritis for over 35 years, she tried to participate whenever possible in her favorite activities. She was loved by many for her kind spirit and gentle ways, a loving soul who is clearly going to be missed by her friends and family. Since moving to Delaware 25 years ago, Ellie had many new friends and truly felt comfortable with her surroundings. Finding Mariner’s Bethel Untied Methodist Church provided her not only with a place to practice her faith, but provided for both Ellie and Norman a community of wonderful people in which to enjoy their retirement years. The choir at Mariner’s Bethel was a truly inspirational part of her church life and she looked forward to their musical offerings whenever she could.
Besides Norman, her husband of 59 years, she is survived by her son, Barry and his wife Carol; son, Noel; daughter, Jacqueline and her husband David McCormick; grandchildren, Nicole, Wesley, Dylan, and Sara; great grandchildren, Matthew, Kayley, Allison, and Eric.
Family and friends are invited to A Celebration of her Life to be held at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church, 81 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View, Saturday Jan. 29, with visitation between 10:30 - 11:30 a.m., and interment in the adjoining church cemetery.
Flowers are gratefully accepted and/or donations in her name to Mariner’s Bethel U.M. Church, PO Box 40, Ocean View, DE. 19970.
Arrangements by Melson Funeral Services of Ocean View.01/25/05
Marie Fellers Short,
Marie Fellers Short, 84, of Wilmington, died Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005 in ManorCare, Wilmington.
Mrs. Short was a secretary for Plumbers Local 26, retiring in 1984 after 20 years of service. She was a member of St. Helena’s Church and the Church’s Blessed Virgin Mary Sodality, Young at Heart and the Parish Social Ministry.
She was preceded in death by her grandson, Joshua M. Short.
She is survived by her son, Terrence K. Short of New Castle; her daughters, Jean Battaglia, Bernadette Gallagher and her husband James M., Susan M. Leonard and her husband James J., Mary Ann Kane and her husband James P. Jr., all of Wilmington; her brothers, James J. Fallers, W. Francis Fallers and his wife, Delores, all of Wilmington; her grandchildren, Christine Meyer and her husband James, Jennifer Sidwell and her husband William, Michael Kane, Matthew Kane, Justin Kane, James Leonard III, Christopher Leonard, Heather Short and Elizabeth M. Short; her great-grandchildren, Patrick, Bradley and Joseph Meyer, Kyle and Luke Sidwell, Caitlin and Hailey Short; many nieces and nephews; and her brother-in-law, James W. Short and his wife Caroline of Rehoboth Beach.
The family would like to extend its thanks to ManorCare, Delaware Hospice and Griswold Special for their kindness, compassion and support.
Services were held at St. Helena’s Catholic Church, Wilmington, with burial in Cathedral cemetery, Wilmington.
Contributions are suggested to Delaware Hospice Inc., 3515 Silverside Road, Clayton Building, Suite 100, Wilmington DE 19810.
Ellen W. Gohn,
retired from Steiner
Ellen W. Gohn, 85, of Westminster Village, Dover, died Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005.
Mrs. Gohn was born March 28, 1919, in Milford, the daughter of the late Charles and Bertha Pearson.
She was a graduate of Milford High School.
She worked at Steiner & Co. Inc. for 20 years. She also worked for the State of Pennsylvania Health Center for 25 years, after marrying her late husband, Leroy W. Gohn and moving to York, Pa.
Mrs. Gohn was a life member of the White Rose chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, where she served as past president. She was also a member of the Eastern Star and a former member of Calvary United Methodist Church in York.
She is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Ronald W. and Anne M. Wix of Clermont, Fla.; a sister, Frances Garey of Milford; a granddaughter, Lori E. Mederios-Riley; a great-granddaughter, Sara E. Mederios; a great-grandson, Brendan Riley of Assonet, Mass.; a niece, June P. Sapp of Milford; four nephews, Charles Rix Garey of Beaumont, Texas, Bruce A. Garey of Rehoboth Beach. William L. Pearson of Camden and Ronald Simonin of Virginia.
Services and burial were private.
Contributions are suggested to Delaware Hospice or Westminster Village.
Charles B. Bennett Sr.,
retired from Chrysler
Charles Burton Bennett Sr., 77, of Slaughter Neck, and formerly of Newark, died Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005 In Bayhealth Medical Center at Milford Memorial Hospital.
Born and raised in Slaughter Neck, he was the son of the late Henry C. and Mary S. (Phillips) Bennett.
Mr. Bennett was a graduate of Goldey Beacom and was a U.S. Navy veteran of W. W. II. Mr. Bennett worked for Chrysler Corporation as a manager in the Newark assembly plant for 30 years before retiring in 1982. He was a member of the Church of the Nazarene, Milford and former member of the Shawnee Country Club in Milford. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed working on his farm.
Mr. Bennett was preceded in death by his wife, Janice M. Bennett, in 1979; and a sister, Phyllis Hill in 1981.
He is survived by two sons, Steve D. Bennett and his wife Kim of Milford and Charles B. Bennett Jr. and his wife Tammi, of Jupiter, Fla.; a daughter Cherie L. LaGrone and her husband Stephen, of Texas; two sisters Barbara B. Walls of Milford and Anne B. Spicer, of Ellendale; eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Services were at the Lofland Funeral Home, Milford, with burial will be in Slaughter Neck cemetery, Milford.
Contributions are suggested to the Church of the Nazarene, 11 N. W. Salevan Place, Milford, DE 19963.01/21/05
Norman G. Powell,
Norman G. Powell, 80, of Seaford, died Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2005, at Methodist Manor House in Seaford.
Mr. Powell graduated from Northeast High School, Philadelphia; he graduated from Pierce Business College, Philadelphia; he also attended the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University and the University of Alabama. He also played semi-pro football for the Philadelphia Yellow Jackets.
Mr. Powell was employed at Cannon Foods as corporate secretary and personnel manager until he retired in 1988 in the position of vice president in charge of administration. He also served as the assistant treasurer and as a director of the corporation.
Mr. Powell was a 32nd Degree Mason of the Delaware Consistory and he was a member of Hiram Lodge 21 in Seaford. He served in the U.S. Army with the 127th Parachute Engineer Battalion of the 11th Airborne Division; he received an honorable discharge in 1946.
Mr. Powell was appointed by Gov. Elbert N. Carvel to the Governor's Commission for the Employment of the Handicapped in 1961. He was a charter member of the "Golden Opportunity Center" which is now the Kent-Sussex Industries. He served as a board member from 1962 to 1979, as president from 1968 to 1979, and as personnel chairman from 1962 to 1979; and as director emeritus since 1979. In 1979, he received a distinguished service award for his work with the handicapped.
In 1978, Mr. Powell was appointed by Gov. Pierre S. duPont to the Delaware Criminal Justice Planning Commission where he served as chairman of the Committee on Law Enforcement. He served as liaison to local law enforcement agencies and he also served on the Delaware Council on Public Standards and Goals. Mr. Powell was a past member of the Advisory Committee of Migrant Housing of the Department of Natural Resources and Public Health. He founded Delaware Crime Stoppers and served as its president. Upon his retirement, he became president emeritus. Mr. Powell also started CAP (Catch A Pusher) that was used in the school system. He also announced Bridgeville and later Woodbridge football games for 20 years.
Mr. Powell was a member of Union United Methodist Church in Bridgeville and held every chairmanship a layman could hold, including chairman of the Council of Ministries, Sunday School supervisor, lay leader and director of the Administrative Board and Finance Committee. He was president of Bridgeville Town Commission, 1972 to 1976. He was appointed by Gov. Tom Carper to the Probation and Parole Commission. He was past president of Bridgeville Public Library Association; past member of the Economic Development Committee for Sussex County and the Sussex County Committee of One Hundred. Norman was a member of Bridgeville Lions Club since 1958 where he served in every position once and the position of secretary twice; he was president in 1964-1965. He was district governor for Lions Clubs, 1989-1990.
Mr. Powell received the following awards during his lifetime: Delaware Lion of the Year Award in 1987; Melvin Jones Fellowship awarded by Lions International, 1991; International Horizon Award for Drug Awareness for program Lion Quest; Recipient of Sight Seeker Award of Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, 1989-1990; Official Lion Trainer of International Association of Lions Clubs; he was presented with the Ralp Helen Fellowship Award for Humanitarian Service by Delaware Lions Sight & Hearing Conservation Foundation, 1997; and Lions Club Drug Awareness Chairman’s Award, 1986 & 1987.
Mr. Powell was preceded in death by his wife Helen V. (Haslett) Powell. He is survived by his two daughters, Ruth V. Campbell of Milford, and Barbara Broyles and her husband Pat of Zebulon, N.C., and his grandson Kyle Betts and his wife Lisa of Milford.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, Jan. 23, 2 p.m., at the Union United Methodist Church, Laws and Market streets, Bridgeville. Friends may call Saturday, Jan. 22, 6-8 p.m., at Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Hardesty Chapel, 202 Laws Street, Bridgeville where Masonic Service will be at 7 p.m. Interment will be at Bridgeville cemetery.
The family suggests contributions to Union United Methodist Church, Laws & Market Streets, Bridgeville, DE 19933 or the Bridgeville Public Library Building Fund, 210 Market Street, Bridgeville, DE 19933.
Alice L. Dorman,
Mrs. Alice L. Dorman, 94, of rural Lewes, died in her home Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005, following a long illness.
She was the daughter of the late James L. and Mary E. Beauchamp of Willards, Md., and the widow of William C. Dorman, who died in1998.
She is survived by two daughters, Mary Lou Dickson and Barbara Dorman, both of Lewes; a son, Donald Dorman of Bel Air, Md.; two grandsons, Charles W. Riley and Mark A. Riley, both of Lewes; one granddaughter, Joanna Smith of Forest Hill, Md.; a great-grandson, Chase A. Riley of Lewes; two great-granddaughters, Melissa Smith of Denver, Colo., and Heather Smith of Forest Hill.
Besides being a homemaker, Mrs. Dorman was active in her church and community. She had also been employed by several local stores, including Best’s Store on Route 1 in Lewes.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the chapel of Melson Funeral Services on Long Neck Road in Millsboro, where visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Interment will be in Bethel Methodist cemetery
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Conley’s United Methodist Church or Rehoboth Presbyterian Church of Midway Memorial Fund, or charity of choice.01/18/05
Mary J. Graves,
Mary J. Graves of Bethel died Jan. 16, 2005. She celebrated her 95th birthday Jan. 11. She was born in Richmond, Va., and came to Delaware in 1938, when her husband, Henry Kennedy Graves III, was transferred to the DuPont Nylon plant in Seaford. Mr. Graves died in 1986.
Mrs. Graves is survived by four children: Susan G. Fentzloff, Henry Kennedy Graves IV, Yancey G. Hillogas and T. Henley Graves. She had six grandchildren: Whitney Graves, Yancey Graves, Cary Fentzloff, Megan Fentzloff, Tyler Graves and Hunter Graves. She was devoted to her family, and her family was devoted to her.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19, at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 600 South Central Ave., Laurel. Interment will be at 9 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 20, at Cedar Grove cemetery
in Williamsburg, Va. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent for the children of the world, in care of the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund, P.O. Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101-5043. Donations may also be phoned in at 800-334-7626, Ext. 5129.
Arrangements by Short Funeral Home in Laurel.