KREPS — Stephen C. Kreps, 52. To hear people speak about him, Steve was a legend. From his teenage years until now, he was the guy everyone knew – in high school, on the soccer and football fields, on the street, to the neighborhood – everyone knew his name. He couldn’t even go on vacation without running into current and former students – NYC, Gettysburg, Williamsburg, Disney World, Myrtle Beach and more. New students assigned to his homeroom never knew whether to believe the stories that he ate a child or threw a table across the room. But the kids who had him as a teacher walked away loving his class and him. He made his classes fun, but it was nearly impossible to get away with anything in his class.
Known as the Tasmanian Devil in his youth, he had broken every rule and knew all the tricks. He was always in his classroom early, blaring his music for the day to set the tone. You knew it was a good day if Frank Sinatra or Abba was playing; everyone was on edge if Metallica was on. At Walter Hill School he was twice Teacher of the Year and the glue that held them together. Once a year he sang karaoke to entertain his co-workers. His renditions of Let it Go and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough were awful but his unbridled joy, complete with dance moves, made it unforgettable.
And he took his sports seriously. Steve participated in five fantasy football leagues, back before the internet, mailing his selections the Monday before game day. You could hear him screaming at the T.V. from two floors away when his Broncos played. If the game went badly, he could string expletives like a poet. When his older son moved to Boston, he got to experience Fenway, a lifelong dream. He picked the right game: Mookie Betts smashed a walk off grand slam over the green monster. Steve wanted to be a good golfer but never quite mastered it. His biggest celebration occurred when his ball hit the green! Lovingly referred to as a Yankee Redneck by his Southern nephew, he rowdily cheered for Dale Earnhardt and Junior, and attended many NASCAR races at Dover Downs, Pocono and even Charlotte.
The Kreps’ residence was the house where all the kids hung out; their dinner table usually had a few additional mouths. Even when his sons left for college their friends still came over to watch the game with Mr. Kreps. You could count the number of his kids’ games missed on one hand: he was always the loudest and most supportive parent on the sideline. He coached soccer one season for his son’s team and ran flag football and basketball after school at Walter Hill. Come Halloween the hunt for the Kreps’ house was on: students who found him got a free homework pass; and teased if he didn’t like your costume.
At age 5 he’d meet a girl named Melissa. They played with a Noah’s Ark set under the tree in her front yard. And all through elementary school they could usually be found together. Melissa moved away for high school but the day she returned, there was Steve. Six months later they were dating; four and a half years later they were married. The secret to their almost 30 years of marriage was compromise; he compromised by usually letting Melissa get her way.
They were blessed by sons, Jared and Tyler. Steve was a devoted family man. A true son, brother, and uncle, not just an in-law, to Melissa’s family: Phyllis. Ted, Tom, Robin, Patti, Tom, Kim, Brian, and all his nieces and nephews on both sides. He is survived by his parents, Melvin and Maryellen, brother Larry (Lisa) and sister Cindy (Kevin) Leach. He was pre-deceased by his brother, Kevin (Lori).
The Stephen C. Kreps Scholarship Fund is being created; more information will follow as soon as possible. Donations will be appreciated.
BUTLER — Aaron V. Butler, age 81 years, died March 27 at Inspira Hospital in Vineland. Born in Swedesboro, he lived all of his life in Mullica Hill and was the owner/ operator of AVB Trucking. He was a farmer and a mechanic. Aaron loved auto racing especially Cherokee No. 7. He enjoyed spending time in Lancaster and Cape May and attended all of his grandchildren’s sporting events.
Predeceased by his grandson Aaron Butler. Survived by his wife of 60 years, Susan (nee Winston); children, Karen (James) Robinson, Richard (Robin), and Ronald (Rita) Butler, and grandsons; Ronald Jr. (Katie), Adam, and Mathew. Also survived by great- grandchildren, Ronald III and Patrick, and his sister Dorothy Sconyers.
Those desiring may make contributions to the Arthritis Foundation, NJ Chapter, 555 Route 1 South, Suite 220, Iselin, NJ 08830 (www.arthritis.org), or American Diabetes Association, 575 Route 28, Building 2, No. 2107, Raritan, NJ 08869 (www.diabetes.org). Memories may be shared at www.kelleyfhpitman.com.
SYMONS — Jean E. Symons, (nee Davis) 93, known to many as “Betty,” passed peacefully at her home in Mullica Hill on March 28. Born in Glassboro, she was a 1943 graduate of Glassboro High School, but the town didn’t hold her for long. After graduating from Hahnemann Hospital School of Nursing, she enlisted in the Navy, where she began her career as an operating room nurse and rose through the ranks as a teacher and administrator. She served in the US Navy Nurse Corps for 26 years and retired as a commander in 1974. She was a member of the US Navy Nurse Corps Association for over 50 years.
After a distinguished Naval career, she became a consultant on surgical procedures and products for 3M, again touring the world. She was a national president of the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN – now the Association of periOperative Nurses) in 1978. She always had an interest in global affairs and became executive director of the San Diego World Affairs Council in 1981. In 1995, she was inducted into the Glassboro High School Hall of Fame.
She was also a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Mullica Hill. Throughout her life, she enjoyed tennis, golf, reading, gardening, playing piano, quilting, and sailing. At the age of 73, she married Alan G. (Gart) Symons; they had 13 wonderful years together before he died in 2013. She lived in Pensacola, Florida; San Diego, California, and Elberta, Alabama, before returning to her South Jersey roots in 2014.
The youngest of seven children, she is survived by nephews Kenneth Wigglesworth (Lois), Jim Wigglesworth (Barb), and Tom Davis (Jane); nieces Elizabeth Salmon (Jim), Susan Goble (Harry), and Linda Martin (Denny), along with many great-nieces and great-nephews. She was predeceased by her six siblings and great friend and niece Etta Jane Heiser and niece Patricia Musumeci. She is also survived by stepson Steven Symons (Donna) and stepdaughter Leigh Edwards (Mark), two step-granddaughters, and a step-great-grandson.
The family requests donations be made to your favorite charity in her memory.
LOCKE — Verna P. Locke, 97. Verna had a lifelong love of creating beauty. Her quilts were art: all made by hand. Her porcelain dolls were hand painted and, of course, she made all their clothes: a doll for every girl in the family. One was a likeness of Red Skelton, of which she made two: one she kept, one she sent to him: Red responded with a letter of thanks. But where she created the most beauty was as a hairdresser, both in her own home and later with Eloise Shop in Woodstown. In her younger years she harmonized with her sisters, Jane Kimble and the late Doris Klotz. They sang for their own enjoyment, but they were also the entertainment at the Woolwich Grange.
It was there she’d catch the attention of a handsome guy: the late Albert Sharp. The nation was entering WWII: They’d marry, and he’d ship off with the Navy, but she’d follow him everywhere from Oklahoma to Lakehurst NJ. After the war they’d settle in Swedesboro.
Theirs was a 25-year marriage blessed with laughter and innumerable cars, especially their 31 Model A Ford named Vicky. She and the late Albert were charter members of the South Jersey Regional Car Club.
Years later, through friends, she’d meet her second husband, the late Norman Locke. Apparently one 25-year marriage blessed by laughter and cars wasn’t enough: Verna did it twice. She is survived by her daughters, Donna Eichmann and Marilyn Sharp; 6 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild.
CARSON — Alice Carson, 71. She was a Swedesboro girl through and through and the ten percent that does 90 percent of the work. When there was a need, Alice was there to fill it: everything from Meals on Wheels to the Trinity Church Bazaar. She was the MacGyver of the craft world: she could turn some cardboard and a few discarded items into a birdhouse. And Alice used her crafts to bring light to dark places making hundreds of bracelets for fellow M.D. Anderson Cancer patients and hundreds of head bands for the homeless. Of course, while at the cancer center she was half patient and half cheerleader, doing Chicks in Chairs Yoga, Belly Dancing and spoiling everyone with her chocolate dipped Oreos.
Things worth doing are worth doing right and that included everything from folding towels to buying chicken broth. She was a mom for the ages; family trumped everything. The quintessential room mother active in all her kid’s pursuits. Alice was strict but she knew how to raise quality children: If you asked Ed, “How Come?” 9 times he’d bend and give you your way. With Alice, not so much. No was no. And she best not catch you saying you were bored. She chose her words carefully, but seldom needed more than the “Alice look.” But she was really meant to be a grandmom; if she didn’t buy one outfit for the grands it was only because she bought 10.
Earlier years found her behind the counter at Bank of America: always the favorite teller with the patrons. She’d meet a guy named Ed at the Glassboro Bowling Lanes; he bowled for the Turnpike Toll Takers, she with the Turnpike maintenance crew. She’d gracefully and bravely enter a 49-year marriage with a guy with 9 sisters; a marriage blessed by two children: Edward L (Suzanne) and Elizabeth L. Shaffer; and grandchildren, Sarah, Maggie, Mason, Nathaniel and Caroline. She was the sister of William O. Barber Jr., the late Edward H. Barber, Sr., Rose L. Brickner and Louisa Ponder; the daughter of Blanche M. Garrison and William O. Barber Sr. and is survived by many in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Interment in Lake Park Cemetery, Swedesboro. Donations to Pink Roses and Teal Magnolias (foundation.cooperhealth.org) or Trinity Preservation Foundation, P.O. Box 51, Swedesboro 08085 will be appreciated. The family wishes to spend special thanks to Dr. Mehta and his staff.
BOULTINGHOUSE — Ida M. Boultinghouse, 80, of Bridgeport passed away peacefully on April 13.
Dear sister of Frank Boultinghouse. Loving aunt of Karen Beri and Alan Boultinghouse (Linda). Ida was born in Penns Grove, NJ to Isaac “Earl” and Rose Boultinghouse and later graduated from Paulsboro High School. Prior to retirement, Ida worked for VWR Scientific for over 25 years.
Ida enjoyed Senior Citizen trips as well as casino bus trips and going to dinner with the Red Hat Ladies. She was an avid Eagles fan and enjoyed watching game shows and had a love of animals. Ida had many hobbies including ceramics, knitting and cake decorating. She was involved for many years with the Bridgeport Fire Ladies Auxiliary, serving as President, Recording Secretary, and Chaplain.
She will always be remembered as a kind, generous, caring person who was never one to complain and found happiness in the simple things. Ida attended St. Clare of Assisi Parish (St. Michael’s Church) and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Bridgeport.
To express condolences visit, www.landolfifuneralhome.com.
BRITTON — William G. Britton, age 83, died on April 18. Raised in Gloucester City, NJ, Bill graduated from Gloucester City High School in 1953, where he excelled in basketball and baseball. Bill lived in Gibbstown most of his life. He later moved to the Lakebridge section of Deptford and has lived in Mickleton since 2000.
Bill began working for Mobil Research and Development in Paulsboro in 1954. He served as Operator on small and large scale pilot units. Bill was promoted to Foreman in the Catalyst Research and Development Group. During this time, Bill also attended Drexel University taking Chemistry classes. Bill retired from Mobil as Catalyst Research and Development Foreman, after 40 years of service.
Bill was an avid sports fan. He enjoyed playing and watching golf. He was also an avid Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies fan, watching all the games. He also enjoyed Villanova basketball.
Special thanks to the nurses and staff and Inspira Hospital for the care and comfort they provided to Bill. A devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was predeceased in 2011 by his wife Jean E. (nee Bowles) who he cared for eight years while her health declined. Survived by his children William (Linda), John (Cindy), Susan, grandchildren Heather, Thomas, Stephanie, William, Ryan, Jennifer, Kimberly and great grandchildren Ryder, Dean, Jo Beth, Gage, Autumn, Liam, Eva, Natalie, Benjamin, Matty, Chase and Charlie.
Memories may be shared at www.buddfuneralhome.com