Obituaries

Donald W. Bonsall, 91

Donald W. Bonsall, 91, passed away peacefully in his home on Jan. 24, 2020. He was born Aug. 22, 1928, in Baltimore, Md., son of William A. Bonsall and Elizabeth Bonsall.

He graduated from Catonsville High School, served honorably in the U.S. Navy and worked at Westinghouse Electric Corporation for many years until his retirement. His greatest joy was fishing and crabbing.

Bonsall was preceded in death by his wife, Frances L. (Rice) Bonsall, and his son Michael W. Bonsall. He is survived by his son Donald F. Bonsall and his wife, Terri; grandchildren, Peter W. Bonsall and Brittany F. Bonsall; and great-grandchild, Cheyanne Riggers.

Services and burial were to be private. Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.

 

Melvin G. Brittingham, 81

Melvin G. Brittingham, 81, of Millsboro, Del., passed away on Jan. 29, 2020, in the care of Beebe Healthcare in Lewes, Del. He was born May 3, 1938, in Millsboro, to the late Melvin G. Brittingham Sr. and Molly B. Jefferson Brittingham.

He was a long-time friend of Melvin Joseph and was employed by Melvin Joseph Construction Company as a site foreman for 52 years. Brittingham was instrumental in the building of Dover Downs racetrack and hauled the first load for that project. He was a quiet, hard-working man. He loved and cared for a bull named Grant. He also collected hammers.

Brittingham is survived by his long-time companion of 32 years, Dora Van Zile; a son, Melvin Brittingham III; his brother, Jesse Brittingham and his wife, Susie; his sisters, Darline Brittingham and Carol Lee Absher; four grandchildren; his extended family members; and many, many friends, including a long friendship with Joe Ann Adams.

A viewing was to be held Feb. 4, 2020, with funeral service on Feb. 5, officiated by the Rev. Leza Smack and the Rev. Robert Hudson, at Watson Funeral Home in Millsboro, Del. Interment was to be held privately, at Carey’s Cemetery. Condolences may be sent online at www.watsonfh.com

 

Paul Howard Collins, 72

Paul Howard Collins, 72, of Georgetown, Del., passed away on Jan. 28, 2020, at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md. He was born in Hillsboro, Texas, to the late Howard W. Collins and Myrtle R. McConnathy Collins.

He was a farmer and worked for Workman Inc., for many years. Collins loved farming and always had a vegetable garden. He enjoyed dining out, especially at Cracker Barrel and Smith’s Café, where his favorite meal was chicken-and-dumplings. Collins was a hard worker and loved helping others. He loved the outdoors and he also loved his cats and his “grandgoats.”

Collins loved his family dearly and will be greatly missed.

In addition to his parents, Collins was also preceded in death by a daughter, Lori Ann Collins. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Joyce Ann Mitchell Collins of Georgetown; two daughters, Michelle Lynn Collins and her companion, Thomas Jackson, of Laurel, Del., and Melissa Ann Collins and her companion, Dorian Williams, of Millsboro, Del.; a son, Jay Allen Collins; two brothers, Roger Francis Collins and his wife, Brenda, and Preston Lee Collins and his wife, Sue, all of Georgetown; three grandchildren, Damontae Lee Williams, Hailey Mackenzie Collins and Mariah Ariannah Wise; and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

A funeral service was scheduled for Feb. 4, 2020, at Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro, Del., officiated by the Rev. Allen Miller, with burial at Woodlawn Cemetery. Condolences may be sent online at www.watsonfh.com.

 

Vincent DiNicola, 90

Vincent DiNicola, 90, of Frankford, Del., passed away peacefully at home on Jan 26, 2020. He was born Jan 7, 1930, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Vincenzo DiNicola and Francesca (Mandato) DiNicola.

He grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Staten Island, N.Y., in 1991. He was married for 58 years and preceded in death by his wife, Eva. He was a veteran of the Korean War.

DiNicola is survived by his daughter Susan DiNicola; his son Robert DiNicola and his wife, Ramona; granddaughters, Sandra Ehrhardt and her husband, Randy, Laura Rinaldi and her husband, Paul, and Diana DiNicola; and great-granddaughter Angelina Rinaldi.

Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.

 

Deborah ‘Debbie’ Flanagan

Deborah “Debbie” Flanagan of Selbyville, Del., passed away on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. She was a beloved wife, and loving mother and grandmother.

Flanagan was preceded in death by her father, Denzil Gibson; mother, Beverly Gibson Cramer; and brother, William “Billy” Gibson. She is survived by her husband, Fred Flanagan; sons, Derek and Ryan; grandchildren Blaire and Brody; her brothers, Fred, Tommy and Johnny Gibson; and a host of other relatives and friends.

A celebration of Flanagan’s life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.

 

Turner Lee Gardner, 59

Turner Lee Gardner, 59, of Millsboro, Del., passed away on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. He was born in Annapolis, Md., on Nov. 20, 1960, to Wilmer Lee Gardner and Florence Marie Rollins Gardner, who survive him.

He worked in the underground cable-TV business since 1985. He started in Maryland, working for Southland Underground and Jones Intercable. In the early 1990s, Gardner moved to Delaware and started his own company, Bayside Underground. At that time, he began teaching both his sons the trade. In 2007, Gardner began working again with both sons at First State Underground.

He was a fully-dedicated and diehard Washington Redskins fan. He also loved all kinds of sports, from watching them on TV to surf-fishing on the beach. He was a member of the Moose Lodge of Annapolis and the American Legion. Gardner was a ball of energy, outgoing, loving, intelligent and very hardworking, and he passed these attributes on to his children. He wore his heart on his sleeve and loved his family dearly.

In addition to his parents, Gardner is survived by two sons, William Lee Gardner and his wife, Kristina, of Frankford, Del., and Brian Edward Gardner and his wife, Autumn, of Dagsboro, Del.; his daughter, Ashlee Marie Gardner and her significant other, William Roberts III, of Crownsville, Md.; a sister, Sandra M. Calo and her husband, Michael, of Odenton, Md.; seven grandchildren, Kaylee, Kameron, Jordan, Jocelyn and Journi Gardner, Trinity Roberts and William Roberts V; and extended family and friends in Delaware and Maryland.

A funeral was held Feb. 2, 2020, at Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro, Del., with interment at the Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery. Condolences may be sent online at www.watsonfh.com.

 

Elizabeth Ann Hall, 81

Elizabeth Ann Hall, 81, of Millsboro, Del., passed away on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. She was born in Millsboro to the late Norvel John Atkins and Edith M. Moore Atkins.

Hall was a 1956 graduate of John M. Clayton High School. She retired from work for the State of Delaware, having worked at the Stockley Center as an administrative assistant. She was a lifelong member of the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary.

Hall enjoyed flowers, crochet and collecting dolls. Her kindness, compassion, devotion and good heart will surely be missed by all who knew her.

In addition to her parents, Hall was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Louise Mitchell. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Leon W. Hall of Millsboro; a son, Glenn A. Hall of Millsboro; a sister, Alice M. Roe and her husband, Donald, also of Millsboro; a brother, Robert N. Atkins and his wife, Dianna, also of Millsboro; a granddaughter, Leanne Elizabeth Hall of Tampa, Fla.; beloved nieces Mary Carol Hudson, Lisa Haas, Holly Pfleger, Lori Parker, Shelly Swafford, Lisa Stoeckel and Janell Megee; two nephews, John Turley and Paul Turley; and her great-nieces, great-nephews, extended family members and friends.

A funeral service was held Jan. 31, 2020, at Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro, Del. A graveside committal was held on Feb. 1 at Millsboro Cemetery. Flowers were welcome, as are memorial donations to Delaware Hospice; 100 Patriots Way; Milford, DE 19963. Condolences may be sent online at www.watsonfh.com.

 

William B. ‘Billy-Shorts’ Hoffer, 85

William B. “Billy-Shorts” Hoffer, 85, of Selbyville, Del., passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in his home, with family by his side. He was born Oct. 29, 1934, to the late William M. Hoffer and Elizabeth “Boots” (Birckhead) Hoffer of Washington, D.C.

Hoffer attended the St. Albans School and was an active member of the Washington Cathedral. In 1957, Hoffer graduated from Gettysburg College, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He then began a career with the Defense Mapping Agency.

He was actively involved in the Georgetown Big Brothers Organization and was a member of the Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge. Upon retiring from the government in 1989, he often said he would never put on another suit or long pants again. He was steadfast to those words, earning him the nickname “Billy-Shorts.”

Hoffer moved to Selbyville in 2001, enjoying his retirement and becoming socially active in the community. He had a presence that was tough not to find entertaining, from his sense of humor to his seasonal outfits, as well as his endless assortment of hats, magnifying his zest for life. He fostered lifelong friendships and was actively involved in both his children’s and grandchildren’s lives. He will be greatly missed.

Hoffer was preceded in death by his son-in-law, C.M. Peavler Jr., and his beloved Louise Custer. He is survived by his son, Bill Hoffer II and his wife, Robin (Raines) Hoffer of Hughesville, Md.; his daughter, Rhea Hoffer Peavler of Martinsburg, W.Va.; and five grandchildren, Megan Hoffer, Robert Peavler Lara Peavler, William Hoffer and Madison Hoffer.

The family extended heartfelt appreciation to his caregiver, Rhoda Beers. She showed tireless compassion and care in the home.

A viewing and funeral service were to be held Feb. 5, 2020, at Bishop-Hastings Funeral Home in Selbyville, Del., with the Rev. Marjorie Egger officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations should be made to Delaware Hospice; 100 Patriots Way; Milford, DE 19963; (302) 856-7717. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.bishophastingsfh.com.

 

John Pierce O’Meara, 96

John Pierce O’Meara, 96, passed away on Jan. 15, 2020. He was born April 25, 1923, to Percy O’Meara and Estella Loder, born and raised in Lansing, Mich.

O’Meara played and studied oboe in high school and at Michigan State University. Drafted and sent by the U.S. Army to Auburn University for advanced technical training, he married Joyce Wakefield in May 1944 before being sent with the 106th Division into combat in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium, just as the Battle of the Bulge began. Captured along with the entire division, O’Meara was a prisoner of war outside Dresden, Germany, from late December 1944 until the end of the European war in May 1945.

Under the G.I. Bill and an Atomic Energy Commission scholarship, O’Meara studied physics at MIT from 1947 to 1950, while caring for a newborn son and wife, who had been stricken with polio, supporting his family as a fulltime professional oboist in concert, musical theater and various other venues, and subbing with the Boston Pops Symphony. O’Meara left MIT just shy of earning his doctorate in order to pursue a full-time professional musical career playing oboe with the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra.

 He later gave up his fulltime musical career and became a research physicist in food technology, working for Southwest Research in San Antonio, Texas, and Continental Can, Cryodry and Sunbeam in Chicago, Ill., where his children were raised. He remarried in 1965 and moved to San Francisco for 20 years before moving to New Jersey to work for Campbell Soup. O’Meara retired from Campbell and moved to Millville, Del., where he lived with his loving companion of more than 30 years, Alice Maitlan.

His relationship with Alice was the foundation of a deep contentment that allowed him to enjoy his retirement years with purpose and fulfillment. Their relationship provided proof that happiness and accomplishment could occur later in life. Eventually, as she battled illness, O’Meara became a loving and dedicated caregiver to her in her last years.

In retirement, O’Meara pursued a very active amateur music career, playing oboe and English horn in symphony, orchestra, band and ensemble groups in the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia area until the age of 85. A 38-year friend of Bill W., O’Meara set an example to his family and countless others as a man deeply committed to recovery.

He was known and respected for his intellect, manners, seriousness, charm, musical ability, sensitivity and passion for learning. O’Meara maintained a life-long stamp collection and deep love of classical music, both of which filled and occupied his life until his very last days.

His last three years required a major move from his home in Delaware to a new home in Florida. O’Meara willingly and cheerfully met the challenge and did so with the graciousness that marked his life. His youngest son, Tom, became O’Meara’s constant companion, fellow concertgoer and caregiver, allowing O’Meara to enjoy his last years in comfort and good cheer.

O’Meara was both a student and instructor at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Lewes, Del. For a creative-writing assignment, when asked to describe himself in six words, the 92-year-old wrote “Mother Extrovert, Father Introvert, John Both.” Tasked with describing his life in eight words, he wrote “Loved Science, Loved Music, Couldn’t Decide, Did Both.”

O’Meara was preceded in death by his sisters, Margaret Buxton, Joyce Grammes, Joyce Wakefield and Alice Maitlan; and a son, Peter John O’Meara. He is survived by his daughters, Faith Rosenquist and Susan Berger; two sons, Michael and Thomas O’Meara; six grandchildren; and four great-granddaughters.

He will have the honor of being buried at Arlington National Cemetery later this year.

 

James Joseph ‘Jimmy’ Parrott, 68

James Joseph “Jimmy” Parrott, 68, passed away of natural causes at his home in Frankford, Del., on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. He was born Feb. 14, 1951, in Washington, D.C., to the late Virginia Ryan Parrott and Charles Joseph Parrott.

Parrott lived his early years in the Maryland suburbs outside of Washington. He was a graduate of Charles W. Woodward High School and attended Montgomery College, both in Rockville, Md.

In the early 1970s, Parrott relocated to the Eastern Shore to work alongside his older brother, George Parrott, in the restaurant and hospitality business. In 1974, Parrott worked closely with his brother when George opened the original Garden Restaurant in north Ocean City, Md. He then spent 15 years as the executive chef at the Shark’s Cove restaurant in Fenwick Island, Del.

For the last 10 years, Parrott had been kitchen manager of Sedona restaurant in Bethany Beach, Del, owned by his sister-in-law Marian Parrott. He was a creative and innovative chef, loved discussing politics, was an avid reader, was an aficionado of PBS drama shows and loved cats.

Parrott is survived by his sisters and brother, Patricia Parrott Frensilli, Elaine Parrott Kraich and her husband, Norbert, Susie Parrott Marshall and her husband Pete, Joan Parrott Reynolds and George Parrott and his wife, Marian; his nieces, Kaitlyn and Kelsey Parrott, as well as 10 other nieces and nephews; and 19 grandnieces and grandnephews, whom he loved dearly.

A celebration of Parrott’s life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sedona restaurant in Bethany Beach, Del.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a local cat rescue or welfare agency.

 

Delores J. Walls, 66

Delores J. Walls, 66, of Dagsboro, Del., passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, surrounded by her loving family and friends at the Delaware Hospice Center. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., to the late Oscar Roy Pringle and Edith Mae Jones Pringle.

Walls owned and operated her own interior decorating business for many years and in later years worked at Denny Electric. She enjoyed boating and motorcycles, and was almost a “professional shopper.” Walls was a very loving, giving and beautiful person. She was a dedicated, hard worker. She loved her kitties, Gabe and Cleo. Walls lived a very active lifestyle, and in owning her own Harley, she loved to go fast.

Walls is survived by her husband of 48 years, Edwin T. Walls of Dagsboro; a son, Scott Walls of York, Pa.; a sister, Joanna Davis of Millsboro, Del.; two grandchildren, Chance and Carly Walls; a special niece, Meghan Dougherty; several other nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends; and a special friend, Denise Elliott.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., with visitation starting at 10 a.m., on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at Watson Funeral Home, 211 S. Washington Street, Millsboro, Del. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested memorial donations to ALS Clinic at PRMC; 100 E. Carroll St.; Salisbury, MD 21801, or to Delaware Hospice; 100 Patriots Way; Milford, DE 19963. Condolences may be sent online at www.watsonfh.com.

 

Elva Workman, 71

Elva Workman, 71, of Frankford, Del., passed away on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Md. He was born in West Virginia on Jan. 14, 1949, son of the late Lloyd Workman and Nettie (Williamson) Workman.

Workman had worked as a maintenance man for Shore Management in Ocean City, Md., with more than 20 years of service, before retiring in 2009.

He loved spending time outdoors, farming, gardening, spending time on the water, fishing and boating. He also loved time spent with his family.

In addition to his parents, Workman was preceded in death by his wife, Jane Ella Workman, and a son, Roland Workman. He is survived by three children, Angel Townsend and her husband, David, Nina Smith and her husband, Jeremy, and Scott Workman and his wife, Lauran; six grandchildren, Zachary Towns, Trey Towns, Hannah Townsend, Noah Townsend, Wesley Workman and Wendy Workman; and several brothers and sisters.

Services and burial were to be private. Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.