John J. Balas,
John J. Balas, 37, of Georgetown, died Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005, at home.
Mr. Balas was born in Mt. Clemons, Mich. He was employed by the state of Delaware as a prison guard at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, holding the rank of corporal. He served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years and then in the Army National Guard for three years.
He was a 32nd Degree Master Mason Scottish Rite of Free Masonry of the Valley of Salisbury; a member of Jefferson Lodge A.F.&A.M. #15 in Lewes and the U.S. Go Kart Club.
He was a loving son, husband and father. He enjoyed hunting, coaching Little League baseball and riding and racing go karts with his children, competitive skeet shooting with his son, Jonathan, and enjoyed his animals and pets.
He is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Simion and Grace Balas; his maternal grandparents, Peter and Anita Pirvu; his father-in-law, Kendall Foskey.
He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Cindy L. Foskey Balas; his parents, Ann and John S. Balas of Georgetown; a son, Jonathan Kendall Balas, at home; a daughter, Lauren Allie Balas, at home; his mother-in-law and her husband, Janice Owens and Bill of Georgetown; a brother, Adrian Balas of Lewes; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jeff Foskey and Tina of Millsboro; a nephew, Tyler A. Balas of Seaford; uncles Earl Balas and wife Marty and Paul Pirvu, all of Michigan; cousins Mike Balas, Brian Balas, Flora Munaco and Paul Pirvu Jr., all of Michigan; and best friends, Lee Mears of Georgetown and Dennis Murray of Millsboro.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 25, in the chapel of Short Funeral Services, 609 E. Market St., Georgetown, where friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24. Burial will be in Union cemetery, Georgetown.
Contributions are suggested to a trust fund in care of Wilmington Trust Co., Millsboro DE for the children of John J. Balas.
Mary Ellen Burdick,
Mary Ellen Burdick, 72, of Lewes, died Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005, at the home of her son.
She was born in Youngstown, Oh., the daughter of the late William and Sarah Kinslow Gillie. She was a retired waitress.
She is survived by two sons, Robert and William Kee; a daughter, Cheryl Mongold; three stepsons, Harold, Charles and William Burdick; two brothers, David and Jack Gillie; 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at noon, Sunday, Feb. 27, at Dagsboro Redmen’s Memorial cemetery. Arrangements by Melson Funeral Services, Millsboro.
Charlotte L. Ferger,
Charlotte Lorraine Ferger, 76, of Millsboro, died Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005, at the Harbor Hospital Center, Baltimore, Md.
She was born in Baltimore, the daughter of the late Charles and Mary Hamilton Fonk.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth W. Ferger, and daughter, Sandra Thomas.
She is survived by two sons, Kenneth Jr. and Thomas; and two daughters, Nancy Lee Sewell and Sheila Dorsey.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23, at Delaware Veterans Memorial cemetery
South, Millsboro. Arrangements by Melson Funeral Services of Millsboro.
Donald Lee Reesey,
steel co. retiree
Donald Lee “Bud” Reesey, 70, of Greenwood, formerly of Dundalk, Md., passed away Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005, at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Salisbury, Md.
Mr. Reesey was born in Baltimore, Md. son of the late Kenneth Virgil and Irene Emily Reesey. He had served in the U.S. Air Force for 15 years and had worked for Bethlehem Steel Co. for 27 years retiring in 1997.
He is survived by his children, Richard E. Reesey and daughter Linda D. Kurtz; daughter-in-law Malinda and son-in-law Jeff; five grandchildren, Jessica, Kathleen, Rick, Rebecca and Nichole; and two great-grandchildren, James and Foard (Trey); brothers Paul and wife, Betty Reesey, of Baltimore and Dean and wife, Ruth Reesey, of Florida; two sisters, Aline Litchison and Karen Staley, both of Greenwood; many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by brothers Larry, Kenny and Dick Reesey all formerly of Baltimore.
Services burial will be private.
Contributions are suggested to the American Diabetes Association, Delaware/Eastern Shore Office, 100 West 10th Street, Suite 1002, Wilmington, DE 19801
Arrangements by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Hardesty Chapel, Bridgeville, DE.
Ernest J. Ratz,
retired engineer, artist
Ernest J. Ratz, 82, of Lewes and formerly of Media, Pa., died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005, in Beebe Medical Center, Lewes.
Mr. Ratz was born in Philadelphia, the son of the late Julius and Wilhelmina Polnisch Ratz.
He was a graduate of Penn State College of Engineering and was an engineer with Boeing Aircraft Corp. in Eddystone, Pa. for 35 years. Upon retirement, he became a watercolor artist.
He was a member of the Cape Artists in Lewes.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Gladys Detwiler Ratz; three sons and two daughters-in-law, Karl Ernest and Kathleen Ratz of Margate, N.J., Paul Howard and Santina Ratz of Williamsburg, Pa. and Mark Stephen Ratz and his fiancée, Heidi, both of Niceville, Fla.; a niece, Linda McHale of Holland, Pa.; two great-nephews, Michael and Brian of Holland; three grandchildren, Eugene and Ann Marie Ratz and David Kilian; and a great-grandchild, Benjamin Kilian.
Services will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, State Street, Millsboro, with burial private.
Contributions are suggested to the American Heart Association, 600 N. DuPont Highway, Georgetown DE 19947. Arrangements by Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro.
Marguerite L. Murphy,
retired store clerk
Marguerite (DiGicinto) L. Murphy, 85, of Fairfax, Va., passed away peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005.
Mrs. Murphy worked for John Wannamaker for 35 years, retiring in 1985.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward E. Murphy, in 1981.
She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Joseph A. and Mary Murphy of Newark, and Edward E. and Georgette Murphy of New Jersey; six grandchildren, Stephanie Murphy Buysee of Paoli, Pa., Timothy Murphy of Southampton, N.J., Peter Murphy of Conshohocken, Pa., Kathleen Murphy Hou of Brunswick, Md., Wendy Murphy Swift of Hockessin and J. Christopher Murphy of Newark; two great-grandchildren, Christopher Buysee and Anna Hou; a niece, Joan Corballis and her husband Ben of Wilmington; and a nephew, John LeCates and his wife Anna of Rehoboth Beach.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at noon, Tuesday, Feb. 22, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 9th Street and DuPont Road, Wilmington, with visitation from 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Mealey Funeral Home, 703 N. Broom Street, Wilmington. Burial will be in Cathedral cemetery, Wilmington.
Contributions are suggested to St. Anthony of Padua Church, 901 N. DuPont Road, Wilmington DE 19805.
Charles Wesley Calhoun,
Charles Wesley Calhoun, 86, of Frankford, died Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005, at Beebe Medical Center, Lewes.
Mr. Calhoun was born on Aug. 12, 1918 in Frankford to the late Charles S. and Blanche T. Rickards Calhoun.
He was a self-employed poultry farmer for many years, retiring in 1980. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving in World War II and was a member of Hickory Hill United Methodist Church near Millsboro.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Hilda Mumford Calhoun; and two nephews, Stephen Mumford of Millsboro and Albert C. Derickson of Lewes.
Graveside services will be at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 22, at the Millsboro cemetery, State Street, Millsboro.
Contributions are suggested to the Hickory Hill United Methodist Church, c/o Roy Rogers, 28209 Walt Carmean Lane, Millsboro DE 19966.
Arrangements by Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro.
Harold C. “Buck” Austin,
Harold Carlisle “Buck” Austin, 80, of Dover, died Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005, of lung disease in Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital, Dover.
Mr. Austin was born Aug. 24, 1924, in Philadelphia, son of the late George C. Sr. and Mary Ella Shockley Austin.
He graduated from Glen Nor High School in Glenolden, Pa. and attended Pennsylvania Military Institute. He was a decorated U.S. Navy and Marine Corps World War II veteran, serving in the South Pacific Theater. Recently, he participated in the reunion of 50-year World War II veterans, honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Camden.
He was employed as a civilian aircraft mechanic in the 1950s by the Dover Air Force Base and was a skilled carpenter. He later became a Realtor and retired from Emerson and Co. Realty several years ago.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Sarah C. “Kitty” Willis Austin, on March 31, 1999.
He is survived by his friend and companion, Ruth Steele of Dover; a son, Glenn, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; a daughter, Janet L. Cappello of Allentown, Pa.; three grandsons, Gary Cappello of Erie, Pa., Mark Cappello, currently training with the U.S. Navy in South Carolina, and James Cappello of Washington, D.C.; an aunt, Dorothy Truitt of Rehoboth Beach; a brother-in-law, William Willis of Dover; a niece, Patricia Hayes of Dover; and a nephew, Jack Harper of Portland, Ore.
Services were held at Torbert Funeral Home, Dover, with burial private.
Contributions are suggested to the American Lung Association of Delaware, 1021 Gilpin Ave., Suite 202, Wilmington DE 19806; the American Cancer Society, 92 Read’s Way, Suite 205, New Castle DE 19720; or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, c/o Memorial/Honor Program, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 300, Memphis, TN 38148.
John W. ‘Wes’ Wehmiller,
John Wesley “Wes” Wehmiller, 33, bassist, composer, photographer, athlete, died in his sleep Sunday, January 30, 2005, following a valiant fight with cancer.
Born Sept. 12, 1971 in New York City, Wes and his brother Abe grew up outside of Philadelphia. Wes was born hearing music. He began creating music of his own at a very early age and, by age seven, had begun to study classical piano. At age 13, Wes taught himself to play the bass. He went on to earn numerous honors during high school, including being named to All State Jazz Band, where he received the Delaware Music Educators’ “Award of Distinction.”
In 1989, “Downbeat Magazine” named Mr. Wehmiller to the MusicFest USA All Stars. Prior to his high school senior year, Wes attended “Berklee in Santa Fe,” a workshop where he earned a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston.
While at Berklee, Wes was mentored by bassist/professor Danny Morris, who became a close colleague and friend. He returned to Berklee many times to teach master classes in Morris’ History of Bass. In 1993, Wes moved to the west coast where, as part of a vibrant Los Angeles community of Berklee alumni, he collaborated with Colin Keenan, Shawn Pierce, Bryan Beller, Griff Peters, Joe Travers, Tom Langford, Dweezil Zappa, Yogi Lonich, Dorian Hartsong, Ali Handal, and many, many others. From 1997 through 2001, Wes toured worldwide with the multi-platinum selling pop band Duran Duran, and appeared on many TV shows with them as well, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Today Show, VH-1’s Storytellers and Hard Rock Live. Since that time, Wes has performed with Missing Persons and several other L.A. based bands, and his work appears on numerous recordings produced in the L.A. area and in Vancouver. He gained endorsement deals with SWR bass amplification systems and La Bella Strings. In Dec. 2004, Wes realized a lifetime dream gig, playing with ex-Frank Zappa guitarist and avant-garde solo artist Mike Keneally in San Diego.
Wes was an extraordinary photographer, working in both the studio setting and in the natural world. His photography appears on the album covers and notes of several of his musician colleagues.
His recent work can be seen at http://wez.smugmug.com.
Passionate about athletics, Wes was a serious hockey player whose insights and talents in hockey were nourished by his many Canadian friends from Berklee as well as by his friendships with several NHL players. More recently, he began cycling as a way to maintain his strength during the past year, and he quickly found he was able to climb the toughest slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains with the most experienced riders in the area. He had been invited to join a sponsored racing team for the upcoming season.
Wes was named for John Wesley Powell, a visionary scientist and anthropologist who explored and documented the American West in the late 1800s. Among Powell’s many skills was his knowledge of the languages and cultures of the Native Americans of the West.
At a Tribute Concert held by Wes’ extended musician family Feb. 4 in Los Angeles, it was very clear that Wes, like his namesake, had truly learned the languages of the many worlds in which he journeyed.
Cyclists, hockey players, musicians, photographers, family and friends all spoke in words and through music of his genius, humor, passion, vision, humility and love of life.
Wes is survived by his parents, John and Paula Wehmiller of Lewes; his brother, Abram Lawrence Wehmiller of Seattle; his grandmother, Margaret Morgan Lawrence of Pomona, N.Y.; and family members Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Irving Hamer, Martin and Tolani Lawrence-Lightfoot of Boston; Charles Lawrence, Mari Matsuda, Kimi and Paul Matsuda-Lawrence of Washington, D.C., Eleanor Fernald of Seattle; Maia Lawrence of San Francisco; and Eric, Suzanne, Dominic and Ericca Brown of New Orleans.
A memorial service for Wes Wehmiller will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, March 6, in the Lang Music Building at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.
Memorial gifts may be made to The Wes Wehmiller Memorial Scholarship Fund, Office of Institutional Advancement, Berklee College of Music, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. 02215.
Betty Bennett Poulterer,
yacht club member
Betty Bennett Poulterer, 89, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005, in Naples, Fla.
A 33-year resident of Naples, she was born in Cape May, N.J. She attended Goucher College, where she joined Kappa Alpha Theta, and graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in French. Prior to moving to Naples, she and her husband lived in Wilmington for many years.
She loved her family, and was particularly devoted to her children and grandchildren. A homemaker, she was also a docent at Winterthur Museum, did substitute teaching periodically in Wilmington area schools, and enjoyed volunteer work at Moorings Park in Florida tutoring Haitian students in English as a second language.
She was a member of the Moorings Presbyterian Church, and sang in the Moorings Park chorus. She traveled broadly taking many cruises and trips to Europe, the Far East, Scandinavia, Hawaii, South America, and the Caribbean. She, and her husband, Bill Poulterer, spent many summers in Lewes at their beach house, sailing and golfing. They were members of the Lewes Yacht club, Rehoboth Beach Country Club, and Moorings Country Club. She also enjoyed shell collecting and painting. She was the daughter of the late Captain and Mrs. Walter L. Bennett Sr.
Survivors include her children, William T. Poulterer III and his wife, Jane F. Poulterer, of Lewes; R. Jeffrey Poulterer and his wife, Dene Sherman, of Exmore, Va.; Phoebe P. Hall and her husband, Franklin P. Hall, of Richmond, Va.; grandchildren Stacy P. Thompson and her husband, Rick, and children Elizabeth, Will and Alex, of Richmond; Andrew Poulterer of Richmond; Matt Evans and his wife, Theresa, of Lewes; Kimberly H. Johnson and her husband, Dan, and children, Savannah and Lillian of Richmond; and Franklin P. Hall Jr. of Washington, D.C.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Lewes. Delaware arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, Lewes.
The family suggests a donation to the Moorings Presbyterian Church, 791 Harbour Drive, Naples, FL 34103, or the National Parkinson Foundation, Inc., Mary Ann Sprinkle, Director of Development, 1501 NW 9th Avenue, Bob Hope Road, Miami, FL 33136-1494 or donate on-line at www.parkinson.org.