Obituaries for the week of May 1 | Chester County Press (2024)

Obituaries for the week of May 1 | Chester County Press (1)

Obituaries for the week of May 1 | Chester County Press (2)

Joseph L. Leombrone
Joseph L. Leombrone, 78, of Oxford, passed away at his home on April 21, 2024.

He was the husband of the late Louise M. Rosati Leombrone.

Born in Washington, D.C., he was one of six children of the late Joseph P. and Catherine Topar Leombrone.

He is survived by one son, Joseph A. Leombrone, one daughter, Robin I. Leombrone, one grandson, Gavin J. Alber; and three siblings, Isabelle Leombrone, Marlene Austin and Camille Saltzgueber.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Katrina L. Leombrone; brother, Alex Leombrone; and sister, Phyllis Bruno.

He grew up in Philadelphia and attended St. Thomas More High School.

Throughout his life, Joseph cherished his family. He had a great personality and was known for always telling a joke. He was very generous and liked helping others, and was a great man.

Joseph was a loyal worker who had a great work ethic. One of his biggest passions was his train collection, and he also loved going to yard sales, flea markets, and collecting antiques. He also loved singing, karaoke, and fixing things. He enjoyed many vacations in the Poconos with his family.

He was loved by many, made an impact on a lot of people, and he will be dearly missed.

Funeral services and interment are private.

Donations may be made to Olivet United Methodist Church in Galena, Md. or the Willowdale Chapel in Jennersville, Pa.

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

Online condolences may be made at

Obituaries for the week of May 1 | Chester County Press (3)

Brenda Kay Krauss
Brenda Kay Krauss, of Oxford, passed away peacefully on April 22, 2024 at Jenners Pond Retirement Community, West Grove. She was 70.

She was the beloved wife of Richard G. Krauss. Their 50th anniversary was celebrated in October of 2023.

Born in Baltimore, Md., she was the youngest daughter of the late Marshall and Golden Gladys Cody Johnston. She was a noble caretaker and devoted daughter to both.

Brenda, affectionately known as “Mimi,” enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her three grandsons, Mason Miles Butler, 23, Kline Russel Butler, 20, and Tyler Logan Delgott, 20. Her hobbies included entertaining family and friends. Many summer weekends were spent hosting crab feasts with Richard (a.k.a. Captain Dick).

She is survived by her husband, two daughters, Christina Butler (Allen Russell) of Atglen and Melanie M. Krauss of Coatesville, her grandsons, her best friend and sister, Carol Cilurso of West Grove, a brother, Clarence Johnston of Media, and a dog, Rhia.

Her selflessness and smile will be missed by all who knew her.

A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.

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

Obituaries for the week of May 1 | Chester County Press (4)

Jerry D. Smith
Jerry D. Smith, 83, formally of St. Albans, went home to be with the Lord on April 22, 2024.

He was a graduate of St. Albans High School, served honorably in the United States Army, and was a loving son, brother, father and grandfather.

He loved dancing, hunting, working on cars and spending time with family and was a doting grandfather to his grandsons. Upon his return to civilian life, Jerry worked and retired from ACF in Huntington.

He is preceded by his parents, Basil and Ruby Smith of Huntington, his siblings, Jack Smith and Rose Caldwell of Huntington, and a grandson Chase Prisk of Charleston.

He is survived by his daughter, Michelle (Don) King of Charleston, Stacie (Andrew) Prisk of Winston Salem, NC, grandson Kansas King, Jonathon (Kerri) Prisk, Zachary Prisk, Connor Prisk, great-grandson Calvin Prisk and his sister Sue Carter and a host of nieces and nephews.

Jerry will be interred with the military honors due to him at the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Dunbar, WV, at a later date.

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

Obituaries for the week of May 1 | Chester County Press (5)

Howard K. Wood Jr.
Howard K. Wood Jr., known to all as “Woody,” passed away April 16, 2024. Woody was 76 and lived with his wife Brenda in The Villages, Florida.

He was born on Feb. 9, 1948 to Howard Sr. and Margaret Wood. He was 12 years younger than his only sister Charlotte.

Growing up in rural Elkton, Md., he was known then as “HK” in order to differentiate himself from his dad. He enhanced his appreciation for the outdoors through activities like hunting, fishing, and gardening, as his father taught him these activities and more. It was in this simple environment where he gained the capabilities and appreciation for being a do-it-yourselfer.

He first encountered Brenda Garvin in middle school and quickly became the one and only love of her life. They shared experiences in choirs and musical productions, and they grew closer. They ended up attending West Chester University in Pennsylvania as music majors and Woody gained his lifelong accompanist, as well as someone to edit (OK, write) his papers for him. She managed to push him all the way through his master’s degree.

For over 30 years, Woody spent the majority of his career teaching and overseeing the choral and musical theater programs of Unionville High School, where he was a beloved educator who went the extra mile for his students. His warmth and passion helped instill a love of music in so many of his students that many went on to pursue careers in the arts. Early in his career, he also participated as a performer in local theatrical musicals in the tri-state area surrounding southern Chester County. He remained active in the community and choral ensembles of Calvary Lutheran Church in West Chester, frequently performing at weddings and funerals. Many summers, Woody, Brenda, and the three kids would present special music at several area churches in that area.

Woody and Brenda made a home for their three children in Kennett Square. All through his career, Woody kept projects going in the garage, even building a second-story deck off the back of the house one summer. He was the dutiful laborer, bringing Brenda’s design visions to bear, whether in the creation of a custom stained mantelpiece for their next home or an herb garden. The family remained in that area all the way into the early part of his retirement from teaching. Shortly after leaving teaching, Woody stayed busy working part-time at Longwood Gardens, capitalizing on his love of gardening.

Woody was also a cancer survivor. Upon reflection, in the summer of 2011, with the kids graduated from college and off starting their own families, Woody and Brenda relocated to central Florida. In the expansive, active community of The Villages, they were able to kindle new friendships, find a deeply sustaining new church community in Hope Lutheran Church, and reengage with hobbies and passions. Woody came full circle back to performing in Villages’ theatrical casts, appearing in such shows as “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and “Forever Plaid.” He also joined several choirs, including The Village Voices, Brothers in Song, and the Villages Pops Chorus. As a fun-loving artist and contributor, he left an indelible mark on scores of fellow actors, singers, instrumentalists, and directors over the decades.

In early 2014, Woody and Brenda took on temporary leadership of the music ministries at Hope Lutheran after a vacancy. Their willingness to step in kept the ensembles going through September of that year, until the point when their oldest son, Ken, relocated to take on the position permanently. Woody continued to offer guidance, leadership, his strong Tenor, occasional ornery rehearsal disruptions, an ear, and a work ethic toward excellence.

Woody is survived by Brenda, his wife of over 53 years, and their three children, Ken, Ben, and Phoenix. He also has 8 grandchildren, Howie and Zada (children of Ken and Carrie); Skylar, Eve, Andersen, and Diana (children of Ben and Kwi Lee); and Lois and Wren (children of Phoenix). He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard Sr. and Margaret, and his sister Charlotte.

A celebration of his life will be held at Hope Lutheran Church, 250 Avenida Los Angelos, The Villages, FL. 32162 (at the corner of Morse Blvd. and 466). It takes place on Monday, May 6 at 10 a.m. Those wishing to send flowers are asked to do so through Beyers Funeral Home in advance of the service by calling Beyers at (352) 753-4444. Memorial donations can also go toward the music department at Hope (352) 750-2321. A fellowship banquet for all in attendance will take place immediately after the services.

Obituaries for the week of May 1 | Chester County Press (6)

Judith N. Larzelere
Judith N. Larzelere, recently of Westchester, NY and Greenwich, CT, and a longtime resident of Springfield, Pa., died on April 23, 2024. She was 79.

Judith was daughter of Richard and Dorothea, sister of Richard, loving wife of Robert, beloved mother of David, sister-in-law to Jane (Al), dear Grandma to Reggie and Bea, aunt to Brad and Scott (Jen, Martha, Gavin, Jake).

She was a teacher for over twenty years in the Haverford School District, loved by students near and far, and after she retired she continued to teach as a volunteer tutor in Chester.

She was a ray of light in the world, a source of untiring generosity, generous with her money, her time, and her abundant spirit.

A memorial service is being planned for early June. For details of that service and for a longer obituary please visit

If you would like to make a gift in lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Judith's name to the Chester Children's Chorus at

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Obituaries for the week of May 1 | Chester County Press (2024)
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