December 2019 Issue Obituaries

YACHIMSKE — Kathryn D. Yachimske (nee McCann), 79, of Swedesboro, passed away peacefully on Oct. 17.

She was a loving and proud mother, with a very strong work ethic.

She is the devoted and loving mother of Peter Yachimske (Norma), Kathyryn Edwards and Diane Alvarez (Jorge).  Grandmother of Christa (James, Jr.), Patricia, Steven, Jacquelin, Amanda (Justin), Jonathan (Courtney) and Anthony. Great grandmother of James III, Ellie, Brandon, Ayden, Zachary, Alexis, Austin and Everett. Daughter of the late Kathryn and Henry McCann.  Dear Sister of Marion Richardson (late George), Henry McCann, Florence Callan (Bob), the late Edward McCann, the late Richard McCann and the late Marguerite McCann. She will be missed by friends and family.

Memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Relief Services – Share the memories at

MURPHY — Shirley A. Murphy, 85. Kings Things has lost their best volunteer. Shirley was too short to hang clothes but she could sort and find items for customers. Others gave 3 hours a week; not Shirley. She could be found at Kings Things opening the door at 10 a.m. and staying ‘til 3 or 4 p.m. four days a week. It was her second home and many only knew her as the “little lady” who always helped them.

Shirley also volunteered as a den mother when her sons were young. Another of her frequent stops was the Swedesboro Library: books were her friends and constant companions. For a time she lived in Woolwich but then moved to Swedesboro. She loved walking and being in town gave her the ability to walk to Lock Ave Park, the Library, Bethesda UM Church, Aged to Perfection Senior Citizens, and of course Kings Things. At the park she and two friends, Ruth and Grace, picked up trash and eventually wrote a letter to a local paper exhorting parents to not allow their children to litter.

She was raised in Berlin, New Hampshire and with graduation from high school joined the Air Force to see the world.  In her high school yearbook Shirley was quoted saying her ambition was to be a General. That didn’t happen …but she had 5 children instead.

In the Air Force Shirley was trained as a dental hygienist. While working on her late husband George’s teeth, love blossomed. They married 6 weeks later and were together 41 years until his death. Those children surviving her are George Murphy Jr., Mark Murphy (Eileen), Patricia Murphy, Donna Murphy, and Brenda O’Keefe (Chris); also 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and her late sister Jackie’s husband, Tony Debonis.

Donations to Kings Things, 1404 Kings Hwy., Swedesboro will be appreciated.

LAIL — Tommy “Thomas” Lail, age 86 years of Mickleton, went home to be with the Lord on Oct. 28 surrounded by his loving family.

Tommy was born Dec. 27, 1932 in Troutman, North Carolina and was the son of the late Ralph and Beulah Lail. He was a veteran of the United States Army stationed at Camp Paradise. After his discharge, he found his new home away from home with the Horman family in Thorofare, New Jersey. In 1958, he met his future wife, Doris Armbruster, on a Sunday night at the Sunset Beach Ballroom in Almonesson.

He began his first business in construction, got married to Doris, and built their first home in Thorofare. Five years later, Tommy came home to his wife and abruptly told her, “Pack your things, I bought us a farm!” His family moved to the Mickleton farm where he continued to build a successful career in horse racing.

Tommy was truly a self-made man. He believed and lived by his philosophy that anything can be accomplished through hard work. This was evident in the numerous lives he touched in his lifetime as an owner of several successful businesses. Tommy had a heart the size of a mountain and was always willing to help anyone, befriending people from all walks of life.

He was a faithful and devoted member of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Woodbury, where he served on the church council and the property committee. Recently, he was attending the 8:30 service at the Holy Nativity Lutheran Church in Wenonah. He also served on the board of the Woodstown National Bank and was a member of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. In his free time he enjoyed playing golf with the Mongoose Club, body surfing with his grandchildren in Sea Isle City, and cruising the town in his Lexamino.

A wonderful and devoted husband, father, and PaPaw, Tommy will forever be remembered by his beloved wife of 58 years, Doris Lail (nee Armbruster) of Mickleton; his children, Tom Lail and Linda Mowbray of Repaupo, Diane (Lail) and Tom Contarino, Mark and Karin Lail, Troy and Sharon Lail, and Joel and Patti Lail, all of the “Lail Compound” in Mickleton; his grandchildren, Thomas, Michael, Lindsay, Kristina, Christopher, Jessica, Gabrielle, Ashlee, Troy, Megan and Erin; his brother, Bobby Lail of Troutman, North Carolina and numerous nieces and nephews. Tommy was predeceased by 4 brothers and 2 sisters. Grateful for his blessings, Tommy never failed to always remind his family how blessed they all were to have each other and be so close together.

Arrangements by McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Contributions can be made in memory of Tommy Lail to St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Woodbury, NJ 08096 or to a charity of your choice. Memories can be shared at

CLEMENT — Benjamin Ralph Clement, Jr. of Millsboro, DE and formerly of Mount Royal, passed away in the care of the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford on Oct. 30. He was born on May 22, 1951 to the late Benjamin R., Sr. and Lucille Dorothy Dawson Clement in Camden, NJ.

He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Seaford Ward. He was also a member of the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal and Accepted Masons of New Jersey.

He is survived by his loving wife, Beverley Feild Clement and two children: Benjamin Ralph Clement, III and Rebecca Jane Clement Reither. Also surviving are a sister: Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Clement Smith; and a brother: Gregory Bruce Clement. There are two grandchildren, and extended family and friends.

The family suggests memorial contributions to either: Delaware Hospice; 100 Patriot Way; Milford, DE 19963, or: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Missionary Fund; 50 East North Temple; Salt Lake City, Utah 84150, or: The Grand Lodge, Fraternal and Accepted Masons of New Jersey; 100 Barrack St., Trenton, NJ 08608.

DeFRANK — Helen DeFrank (nee Capizzi), 84, of Woolwich Twp. passed away Nov. 1 at Cooper Medical Center in Camden, NJ.

Born in Phila, PA, Helen resided in Woolwich Twp. for the past five years coming from Penns Grove. Helen was the wife of the late Samuel DeFrank who passed away this past September 2019 after a marriage lasting 64 years.

She graduated from S. Philadelphia High School, Class of ’54, and was the lunchroom hostess at St. James High School in Carneys Point, NJ where the students affectionately called her ‘Mom’. She was the Past President and Officer of the Altar-Rosary Society at St. James and Queen of Apostles Church. Helen was a member of St. Clare of Assisi Parish. She was the Matriarch of the family, loved to sing and dance, an occasional trip to the casinos and was lucky with the scratch-off lotteries.

She is survived by her sons, Samuel (Kimberly) and Thomas (Eileen) DeFrank and Patricia Handley and Michael, 8 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson. She was predeceased by siblings, Rita Hand, Madeline (Madge) DiTizio, Joseph and John Capizzi.

Arrangements are being handled by the CHEEGA FUNERAL HOME, 1329 Kings Hwy. Swedesboro.

McLAUGHLIN — Frances D. McLaughlin, 83, of Clarksboro, passed away on Nov. 4 surrounded by her loving family.

A loving lady, devoted to her faith and her family, Frances cherished her family time, making wonderful memories.  She enjoyed crafting and often spent time at craft shows with her works of ceramics and sewing. 

Born in Camden, NJ, Frances was a resident of Clarksboro for the past 50 years. She was an active member of Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit where she was former director of CCD. For over 30 years, Frances was an Avon representative and was a cafeteria lady at Samuel Mickle School in Mickleton.

Beloved wife of 64 years to Henry J.: loving mother of Kathleen (David) Winslow, Peggy Gindhart, John McLaughlin, Jane Anne (Jerry) Stone, Joseph (Peggy) McLaughlin and Patrick McLaughlin; cherished grandmother of Elizabeth (Michael), Anthony (Bianca), Amanda (Jordan), Jason (Jodi), John (Amanda), Ryan (Lauren), Christopher (Monica), Caitlyn (Dustin), Hank, Maggie, Charlie, Shane, Erin and great grandmother of Olivia, Aubrey, Violet, Caroline with one on the way, Harper; dear aunt of Susan and Heather.  Frances is predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Dorothy Spytek and her brother, Joseph (Beverly) Spytek.

Memorial contributions may be made in Frances’ memory to The Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit Holy Spirit, 17 Earlington Avenue, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062. Share the memories at

DiSTEFANO — Harry J. DiStefano age 94 years of Mickleton died Nov. 5 in Woodbury Mews. Mr. DiStefano was born and raised in Paulsboro and he was a veteran serving in the United States Army. Mr. DiStefano raised his family in Woodbury where he worked for many years as an insurance broker for MetLife. After his retirement he built a new home in Mickleton where he enjoyed reading and tending to his yard.

He is survived by his children, Greg and Terri DiStefano of Philadelphia, PA, Sherry and John Piligno of Williamstown, Judy and Mike Collins of Manasquan, Eric and Ginger DiStefano of Livermore, CA; his daughter in law, Diana DiStefano of Nazareth, PA; his grandchildren, Gregory, Laura, Chris and Kate, Nick, Johnathan, Christina, Martin and Emily, Stephanie, Mickey, Harrison, Kendric and his great grandchildren, Aurora, Olivia, Cole and Caden. Mr. DiStefano was predeceased by his wife Martha DiStefano on March 16th; his son, Ken DiStefano; 2 sisters and 6 brothers.

Arrangements by McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro.

HURFF — Eleanor Mae Hurff, age 87 of Centre Square, Logan Township, passed away peacefully on Nov. 6 at home. She has been on hospice care for many months.

A beloved mother and grandmother, she was the daughter of the late John and Henrietta (McAllister) Jones and the wife of the late Gordon H. Hurff. Eleanor grew up in Pedricktown and was a graduate of Penns Grove High School.

In 1947, she met a young man on leave from the Sea Bees, Gordon Hurff. They soon married and made their home in Centre Square. She was a devoted farmer’s wife but found time to work with the school board and teach Sunday school and be the church organist.

In 1968, she joined the US Postal Service where she worked for 35 years. Many of those years were as the weekend clerk in Harrisonville. Eleanor liked to keep busy doing crafts and puzzles, writing poems, and collecting Teddy Bears and Beanie Babies. These activities were done with her family, who were her pride and joy.

Her home always had an open door policy. This applied to all. Strangers often stopped in for direction and would stay for the day. She will be missed by all.

Eleanor is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Daniel Hebert; her sons and daughters-in-law, Kenneth and Elizabeth Hurff and Don and Debra Hurff; her son, Bruce Hurff; nine grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 53 years, Gordon H. Hurff; and her son, Dale G. Hurff.

Burial in Lake Park Cemetery in Swedesboro. Please visit to leave a note of condolence to her family.

BUNDENS — Audrey Bundens, 89. She was meant to be a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. When the kids left Audrey’s house, they left with two kisses: one from her lips and a Hershey Kiss in their hands. If there was a bus heading to the casinos, you can be sure she was on it. She played the slots from here to Las Vegas. She loved a little fun in the sun. The first two weeks of July always found her in Ocean City, NJ and then she escaped the winter with the help of cruising on Royal Caribbean.

Everyone knew that family and friends came first. Audrey took classes to learn how to use her computer, and when she started to lose her hearing, she used it to keep in touch. Her card table was always set up for jigsaw puzzles and every puzzle featured a cardinal.

A handsome guy, the late Lawrence, was marching in a Swedesboro Parade. The beautiful Audrey Hurff was watching the parade, but he was watching her. They dated through high school and married shortly after. Lawrence always grew a bountiful garden and she would can or freeze the vegetables.

In addition to vegetables, they raised 4 daughters: JoAnne Penza, Patricia Pappas (James), Susan Costill (Kirby) and Janet DeVault. They were blessed with 14 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. She was the sister of the late Joseph Hurff.

CONNER — Lura Marie Butler Conner. As the first frost of the season descended upon the earth, and with the harvest of a fruitful life filled with accomplishment and joy, our beloved matriarch drew her last breath peacefully just weeks shy of her 86th birthday. After a long and arduous struggle with dementia, she became an angel of the Lord on Nov. 9 and was reunited with her parents Frank and Beatrice Butler along with her beloved husband of 53 years, Edwin, as they now all rest in eternal peace and glory together.

Words are inadequate to describe the depth of our loss or how deeply she will be missed. Her outgoing personality rendered her unforgettable. Lura was born on Nov. 25, 1933 and raised on the family farm in Mullica Hill where that work ethic was instilled in her at an early age. While working at the local drugstore soda fountain, she met a dashing gentleman 5 years her senior, who unable to consume one more milkshake, asked for her hand in marriage. Lura and Ed were married October 3, 1952 and welcomed their only child, Carol, in 1955.

Upon graduation from Swedesboro High School in 1952, Lura matriculated at Goldey-Beacom College where she learned foundational skills in business which paved the way for a distinguished 43-year career in banking which began with a position in the bookkeeping department at Swedesboro Trust Company. She quickly progressed up the corporate ladder which, although unusual in a male dominated industry at that time, Lura stood out for her standard of excellence, skills, drive, dependability, organization, and incredible work ethic. Over the years she opened three bank branch offices, serving as a manager and Vice President at a number of banks in South Jersey and retired as manager of business development for Woodstown National Bank.

In spite of her busy schedule, she furthered her education by completing courses at the American Institute of Banking, Gloucester County College, Dale Carnegie, and Rutgers University. She was the first female appointed in Gloucester County’s 295-year history to serve as the county treasurer. Additionally, she taught courses at AIB and served for 25 years as the tax collector for Swedesboro. Lura was honored as Woman in Finance by the Business and Professional Woman’s Club of Gloucester County for her achievements and held memberships in numerous professional organizations.

Despite working full time, Lura was able to balance her professional and family life as she always found the time to be involved in her daughter’s myriad activities. She served as a Girl Scout leader, youth church choir director, Sunday school teacher, and was present for every piano lesson and recital. She was also known to be a very vocal cheerleader at swim meets.

She was passionate about being outdoors and in addition to tending many animals on the farm she had a pet crow, raised a raccoon from infancy, and enjoyed riding her favorite horse named Sun. Among her many avocations she loved water skiing, fishing, boating, swimming, and snow skiing. She was an avid walker whose farm girl stride was near impossible to keep up with.

Lura was musically talented and played the accordion, piano, and organ. She and her husband enjoyed travel together often and following his death she fulfilled her dream of going on an African safari.

The Jersey shore was her happy place where she hosted family gatherings for over 50 years. Retirement was enjoyed in both Ocean City, NJ and Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Socializing with friends, she was the hostess extraordinaire and was a pillar of impeccable taste and character. Her beauty, grace, and poise were of another era. Lura was always bursting with pride at her grandson’s achievements and was always involved in their lives.

Tireless in her endeavors and her love for her family, her legacy is the example she set about what matters most in life. In addition to her daughter, those left behind to mourn her loss, cherish her memory, and carry on her legacy by living fully in her place are her son-in-law, David Restrepo, grandsons Dr. Ryan Restrepo CDR USN (Melissa) and Randy Restrepo (Lauren), and great-grandchildren Conner, Camryn, and Ella. Additionally, she is survived by her brother Lance Butler, Sr. (Eleanor). Lura was the epitome of elegance, energy and fashion flair. As she walks the fashion runway in Heaven, we are quite sure that she would be most delighted if you would consider purchasing a new outfit and wear it in her honor.

Donations would be gratefully appreciated in her memory to either the United Methodist Communities (3311 State Route 73 Neptune, NJ 07753) or Serenity Hospice (56 Georgetown Road Bordentown, NJ 08505). There are not enough words to adequately describe the caring and compassionate caretakers who provided care over these past six years and who especially in her final days eased the burden of suffering during her challenging journey. May all of the dedicated “Team Lura” caretakers continue to be blessed in their capacity to heal and comfort others in whose care they have been entrusted.

MACCHERONE — Joseph R. Maccherone, 92 of Mullica Hill, passed away on Nov. 10.

Born in Clarksboro, he was a life resident of Gloucester County, graduated with honors from Swedesboro High School, Class of ’44, and served in the Army Reserve during the Korean War. He worked as a farmer his entire life, was a member of St. Clare of Assisi Parish, was active with the St. Joseph and St. Alfio Celebrations, donated watermelons for the church’s Spaghetti Dinners and Chicken BBQ’s. He served three terms as a Committeeman for South Harrison Twp., was a member of the Circle M Farms Bowling Team and was an avid dancer, and with his late wife Eva (nee Sorbello) could be found gliding across the floor of the former Oasis Club in Mullica Hill.

Joe is survived by his children, Sara (Anthony) Picciano, Santo (Lorry), Fred (Donna) and Joseph Jr. (Annabelle), and 7 Grandchildren. He was predeceased by siblings, Mary Licciardello, Carmen, Alfred and John Maccherone.

Arrangements by the CHEEGA FUNERAL HOME, Swedesboro. Contributions in his memory to St. Jude Childrens Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105 would be appreciated.

GRUBER — Jean E. Gruber age 85, of Mickleton passed away on Nov. 14. She was born in Swedesboro to the late John Lyons and Marjorie (Watson). Jean loved spending time gardening, bird watching, cross stitching and was a member of Fellowship Bible Church.

Wife of the late Carl W. Gruber Sr., she is survived by her three sons, Barry W. (Stella) of Mickleton, Paul B. (Joyce) of Paulsboro, John A. (Patricia) of Glassboro; daughter-in-law, Sarah Gruber; sister, Linda Hughes (Charles); 6 grandchildren, Albert (Rebekah), Tara (Justin), Matthew, Melissa (Mark), Justin (Rebecca) and Jesse (Hanna); and 11 great grandchildren, Elijah, Isaac, Vivian, Nikolay, Kaileigh, Mason, Logan, Evelyn, Jamison, Theodore and Waverly. Jean was also predeceased by her son, Carl W. Gruber Jr.

As an expression of sympathy, contributions can be made to Children’s Fellowship of India Inc., 151 Plum Creek Rd., North East, MD 21901. Memories and condolences can be shared at

MORRISON — Robert W. Morrison, 62. You would be lucky to have Robert as a neighbor. Snow storms turned him into a kid again and he would plow for everyone just to be outside. He refused payment. He was having fun. Other seasons found him manicuring the lawn.

As a teen he and his brother Chris caught turtles at Lake Narraticon and sold them to a local person for snapper soup. He brought home a deer that he butchered and also a wild turkey. As an outdoorsman Robert also enjoyed fishing. Since he always had an Irish Setter (kept perfectly groomed) Robert vacuumed daily.

On their honeymoon he and wife, Pat went to Hawaii. Those beaches were so pristine Robert wouldn’t go to our NJ beaches. On their first date Bob brought Pat a rose then every Friday he would bring her a rose and a Hallmark card. That went on until there were no more new cards to buy. In addition to his wife, Patricia Wallace, he is survived by his mother, Margaret; sisters: Roxanne Boucher and Deborah Harker and brother, Chris Morrison and

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Swedesboro NJ
October 2, 2022, 3:56 pm
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