December Issue

MATTEO – Everett Matteo,79.His whole life he wanted to have a family. A young Everett spied a pretty girl named Elaine Barber in his Swedesboro neighborhood. Word reached her that he was interested in dating. She declined but was later coaxed into it by her brother, Richie. It would lead to a 58-year marriage: lots of give and take but she would be the calming anchor of his existence.

And with Elaine he would get so much more than a wife. Everett became part of the Barber clan, the late Richie more of a brother than an in-law, and a lifelong partner in horseshoes. His family would grow with the addition of sons, Tom, Steve and John. As a dad he was more of an adviser offering up knowledge on everything from baseball to marriage to child rearing, but the boys were free to make their own decisions.

To support his family, he always worked a couple jobs; the counter at the liquor store, Del Monte and even painting houses to make ends meet. He eventually landed a job working the yard at Wickes Lumber. It wasn’t long till they figured out he had a dynamic personality and moved him inside to sell kitchens. Year after year he’d be the number one seller for the entire chain.

After some years he sat his family down and told them of his plan to open their own kitchen store in Woodstown. Tom and Steve agreed to come aboard. Elaine would do the books and Matteo Family Kitchens was born. The heart of the home specialists would be a huge success. Contractors and customers knew Everett valued his relationship with them much more than profits; for him it was a source of pride.

Likewise with his friendships; he maintained them for life. For 30 years you’d find most of his friends gathered around his card table for “guys’ night” laughing and loving each other’s company. Everett took great pleasure in taking the boys’ money playing poker. He was always amazed how none of the guys would fold and, in turn, would take their easy money. He always dealt the first and last hands of the night.

He had a lifelong love of baseball playing in high school and for much of his adult life he coached. He started off in his teens as an umpire and would eventually coach his son’s baseball team and later the softball team at Buddy’s. A loyal fan of the Phillies, he would try to watch the games but often had to turn it off and just walk away. Sometimes he’d turn it back on a couple of innings later.

Everett was strong in his faith and active at Trinity Episcopal Church; a eucharistic minister and served on the vestry.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine; his sons, Tom (Valerie), Steve (Gwen) and John (Jennifer Seltzer) Harmon; grandchildren, Kimberly, Dominic, Lauren, Kristina, Rayna, Jacob and Stephanie; and great grandchildren, Jay, Jaida, Vason, Jordyn, Lucas, John and one on the way; and many nieces and nephews who he treated as if they were if his own. Services were held at Daley Life Celebration Studio, Swedesboro with interment Lake Park Cemetery, Swedesboro.

DURR — Edward Russell Durr, Sr., 84, of the Repaupo Section of Logan Township passed away Oct. 21 at home.

Born in Camden, he grew up in Gloucester City and had resided in Repaupo for the past 40 years.  He was a carpenter all his life, loved working with wood and even constructed the second level to his home. He was a strong family man, loved listening to Family Radio, enjoyed old westerns and war movies and was a devoted Ford Truck man.

Ed is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Gloria (nee Landis) Durr; his children, Gloria Melchiore (James Feldman), Linda (Ray) French, Cindy (Jim) Essick, Edward Jr. (Lynn), Paul (Beckie), Steven (Fiancee Kinsey) Durr; 18 Grandchildren and 18 Great-Grandchildren. His siblings, Joyce Richards, Pat Meeks, Betty Mease and Richard (Sally) Durr. He was predeceased by siblings, Millie, Jennie, George, Robert and Charles David.

Funeral Services were held at the Cheega Funeral Home, Swedesboro. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the funeral home to help with expenses and would be appreciated.

PYLE – Charlene Adelaide (nee Reymer) Pyle, of Clarksboro, passed away on Oct. 22 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was 84. Born in Mt. Royal, she was the daughter of the late Leroy and Mary Reymer.

Charlene was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend to those who knew her. She was a wonderful, kind, sweet, and giving person. She loved and enjoyed spending time with her family. She enjoyed attending events for her children and grandchildren

She was a secretary for Campbell Soups in Camden for 20 years. She was a long-time member at St. Peter’s in Clarksboro and participated in dinners and events at the church. She enjoyed traveling with her husband Don to various places around the country and was an avid baker especially on the holidays.

She is survived by her loving husband and childhood sweetheart of 63 years, Donald C.; devoted mother of her children, Susan (Jerry) Cosgrove, Donald Pyle, Jr., and Michael (Kelly) Pyle; loving grandmother of Jerry, Jr., Matthew (Erica), Michael (Mary), Kourtney, and Kristen (John); loving great-grandmother of Huxley and Ledger; beloved sister of Mervin Reymer; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her sister Joan Nagler.

Family and friends are invited to attend her viewing on Wednesday, October 27 from 11-12 PM at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Funeral services will be held at 12 PM at the church. Interment to follow at Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro. Memorial contributions can be made in Charlene’s memory to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 304 Kings Hwy., Clarksboro 08020. Arrangements are under the direction of McBride-Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro.

SALVATORE — Joan E. Salvatore, 85 of Woolwich Township passed away at the home of her son on Oct. 25. Born in Newark, NJ, she lived with her son in Woolwich Township for the past three years coming from Brick, NJ.  She was a homemaker and a former telephone operator.

Joan is survived by her sons, Donald Jr. (Patricia), Patrick (Marianne) and William (Kelly). Joan was the loving grandmother of 8 and great-grandmother of 6, a brother Dennis Beltram. She was predeceased by her husband, Donald Sr., a son, Douglas, her grandson, Erik and a brother, Richard. Services will be held at Sacred Heart Church, Lake George, NY.

CASELLA — C. Darlene Casella, 80 of Swedesboro, passed away Oct. 30 at Crozer Medical Center, Chester PA.

Born in Chillicothe, Missouri, she has resided in the Swedesboro-Woolwich Township area for the past 62 years. Darlene was a member of St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Past President of the former St. Joseph’s PTA, Past President of the Kingsway High School Band. She was the cafeteria manager at Headstart in Swedesboro, and a former certified nursing aide at Shady Lane Nursing Home, in Clarksboro. She also worked the Polls in Swedesboro for every election.

Darlene was very opinionated, was funny with a unique sense of humor, she loved the Phillies and disliked the Eagles, enjoyed her trips to the casinos, had a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother, loved her coffee, cigarettes, Coca-Cola, chocolates, ice cream and jelly beans. Darlene was an excellent Italian cook – for being Irish!

She was predeceased by her loving husband of 47 years, Frank Casella, and survived by her children, Frank Jr. (Carolyn), John, Salvatore (Nadine) Casella, Patricia (Brian) Mays, and Lucy Zane and her companion Gary Gubbei. Her grandchildren Rebecca, Tyler, Austin, Jason, David and Chad, Her brother, Mitchell (Adriene) Simmons.

Services were held at the CHEEGA FUNERAL HOME, Swedesboro. Donations in her memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105-9959 or at would be appreciated.

BRANCO — Patricia M. Branco (nee Maerz) age 81, of Logan Township passed peacefully Sunday, Oct. 31, with family by her side.

Patricia was retired from a career with Underwood Memorial Hospital as a Nurse. She graduated from Woodbury Class of 1958, and attended Presbyterian Nursing School, she was a faithful member of Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit Church in Mullica Hill. Patricia enjoyed spending her time active with Logan Twp. Senior Citizens, reading, and spending time with her family.

Patricia is survived by her husband of 59 years, Donald C. Branco, and daughter Amanda (Michael) Riley, also by granddaughters Abbey and Sara Riley.

Donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Memories and condolences may be shared at

BOWEN — Paul James Bowen, 83 of Logan Township passed away Nov. 2 at the VA Hospital in Phila, PA.

Born in Elizabeth, NJ he has lived in Logan Township for the past three years, coming from Florida. He was an Air Force Veteran of the Vietnam War. Paul was a truck driver in his younger days employed by the Teamsters Union in Elizabeth, NJ and after moving to Florida, he was employed by the Charlotte County Public School System as a custodian. He had attended St. Joseph’s Church in Swedesboro and was a member of the Knights of Columbus in Florida.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia (Nee Gallagher), a son, Brian (Colleen) Bowen, his grandchildren, Barbara, Connor and William Bowen, his siblings, Lois Brennan and Thomas Bowen.

Services were held at the Cheega Funeral Home, Swedesboro. Donations in his memory to the Gloucester Animal Shelter, 1200 N Delsea Dr.  Ste 1, Clayton, NJ 08312 would be appreciated.

FISHBURN — Ruth Fishburn. She was a Swedesboro gal through and through. Ruth was born and bred and raised her family inside of the Borough. She was always on the move, usually working three jobs to meet the family needs. She was blessed to have family members on her block to lend a hand with the kids and a Crock Pot for when she couldn’t make it back for dinner.

She’d often pile the kids in her Datsun 210 hatchback and head off on camping trips or go to sunny Florida. Her family always came first but her friends were a close second. Ruth’s home was always full of laughter and friends. When they weren’t enjoying a couple of drinks, they were most likely swapping whatever books they were currently enjoying. She loved Elvis and shared a birthday with the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.

She found her real calling late in life; that of a grandmother. Sundays were for gathering her family back to her home. Abigail knew there was no better place for hot dogs. Ruth was a lab supervisor for Memorial Hospital of Salem County and loved her puppy, Bandit and Star Trek.

Ruth was the mother of Richard, Leo (Julie) and Deborah (William Brummett); and grandmother of the late Alexandria, Abigail and Benjamin; sister of the late Barbara (the late Ted) Miller and aunt of Susan (Russell) Everest. 

Services were under the direction of Daley Life Celebration Studio, Swedesboro.

KOEHLER — Janet N. Koehler (nee Myers) age 83, of Clarksboro passed peacefully, Nov. 6. Janet was retired as a teacher with West Deptford Public Schools where she taught 4th grade for many years. She designed and built the Gifted & Talented Program (PAGES) for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders travelling between the three elementary schools (Green-Fields, Oakview, and Red Bank). She felt privileged to teach elementary school children for 43 years and was a most passionate and dedicated teacher for every one of her kids.

She earned her Master’s degree in Education from Widener University and was well on her way to completing her PhD. She was a devout Christian who was actively involved with the First Presbyterian Church of Woodbury Heights. She was a pillar of the church who jumped in to help with anything and everything.

For the past decade, she worked extensively on gathering and organizing the documents and artifacts for the history of the church with the History Committee. She organized the display to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the church, the installation of the Narthex cabinet, and the refurbishing of the annex conference room.

Janet sang in the choir for many years and was involved with the Bell Choir for a time. For a few years, she served in Session which is the governing body of the church and was a church Elder. She was an active member of the Primetimers Group, Esther Circle, The Women’s Association, Women’s Bible Study and was voted Woman of the Year for the church at one point.

Her love of children and whimsey led her to craft a toy mouse family to dramatize the historical tales of the church. She wrote funny scripts of the mice telling the stories of the church through the eyes of the church mouse. She made little mouse outfits and sets for every season and period of history. The Mouse House is on display in the 4th Street entrance foyer of the Church.

For decades she provided all the small gifts and craft items to go along with the Bible story for the children’s message during the worship service. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. Janet used her years of experience as an elementary school teacher and crafting afficionado to take the lead on managing all the church bulletin boards. She made sure that they were always fresh and fun.

Janet was beloved by a wide circle of friends, neighbors, and former students. Her niece Gayle Marshall and nephew Graham Land were a very big part of her life and helpful to her, especially in the last few years as her health declined. She is survived by her husband David Koehler, her daughter Patricia Cusack, and her granddaughter Sarah Cusack.

Donations can be sent to First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund. Make checks payable to First Presbyterian Memorial Fund with the memo line of Janet Koehler Memorial Fund (335 Elm Avenue, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097).

LINK — Doral Kay Link (nee Schwan) age 82 years, a longtime resident of Mullica Hill, went home to be with the Lord and her beloved husband Freddy on Nov. 9.

Doral Kay was born in Woodbury, raised in Paulsboro and was a 1956 graduate of Paulsboro High School. She then attended West Jersey School of Nursing and worked for several years at West Jersey Hospital as an operating room nurse.

Among her favorite jobs was being a room mother during her children’s elementary school years and a den mother for her sons’ Cub Scout troops. She enjoyed traveling and was a devoted mother and grandmother. Her “perfect day” was spent doing anything involving her children or grandchildren, with Freddy by her side.

Doral Kay was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Paulsboro and the A. Monte Woodard Sunday School Class. She played the piano for church and Sunday School services for many years, as well as playing for summer church services at Lake Gilman. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Williamstown Chapter #149 and the Blue Auxiliary of Clarksboro Masonic Lodge #87 F.&A.M.

She is survived by her sons, Jeffrey and Amy Link of Franklinville, NJ, and Brian and Stacey Link of Guilford, VT; her grandchildren, Grayson, Wheaton, Benjamin and Sophie Link; her sister Kathy Vaczi of Clarksboro, NJ and several nieces and nephews. Doral Kay was predeceased by her beloved husband of 55 years, Fredrick L. Link.

Arrangements by McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Contributions can be made in her memory to the General Fund of St. Paul’s U.M. Church, PO Box 209, Paulsboro, NJ 08066. Memories can be shared at

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