June 2022 Issue Obituaries

HETTEL — Donn Rodman Hettel, beloved husband, father, and grandfather of Swedesboro, passed away at age of 83, on April 17, at Vitas Hospice of Philadelphia, PA.

Donn is survived by his three children; Dana Hettel-Hori, Jason Sean Hettel, and Shanin Alicia Muller, and seven grandchildren; Sterling, Dean, Julian, Dakota, Tristen, Olivia, Caden, and one great grandson; Atlas.

Donn was born July 26, 1938 to Thomas Joseph Hettel and Ruth B. Hettel. Donn grew up in Palmyra, NJ with his parents and his older brother, Charles Wallace (known as Wally). Donn graduated in 1957 from Palmyra High School where he excelled in the Arts and Football. After High School, Donn attended The Philadelphia College of Art (now known as University of the Arts) where he studied illustration and photography. After his graduation from PCA Donn proudly served in the Army National Guard and served at Fort Knox in the armored division.

In 1963, Donn met Jeanne, his wife-to-be, while working for NY Ship and General Dynamics as a purchasing agent for the military. Donn and Jeanne met at The Glass Bowl in Glassboro. Donn proposed to Jeanne one month later and they were married on April 1, 1965.

In 1971 Donn got to follow his true passion as a career artist and opened his first art gallery, The Gaslight Gallery in Runnemede, NJ. The gallery was where he not only created his own personal works of art but also taught over 250 students a week and showcased many other aspiring artists’ work. In 1974 he opened his second gallery, The Laughing Horse Studio in Evesham Twp, NJ. Donn closed both studios in 1979 to become a freelance artist and designer so he could work from home, allowing him to be part of many youth coaching staffs and extracurricular activities with his children.

It was during his art freelancing period that he worked for the Edward Marshall Boehm Company and the Philadelphia Flyers. Donn was then hired by Ascalon Studios in Berlin, NJ where he worked full time from 1985 to 2012 as a stained glass and sculpture designer and artisan. He retired in 2012, however, he decided to come out of retirement in 2013. He was then hired to work at Beyer Studio, Inc in Philadelphia, PA as a full time stained glass artisan until he was no longer physically able to work due to a stroke.

Donn was always very active and involved in many hobbies and activities. He was an avid freshwater fisherman but had a true passion for gardening, both of which he learned from his father, Tom. He was extremely meticulous with his lawn and gardens and was especially proud of his landscaping and fishponds.

Even after suffering a stroke, leaving his left side paralyzed, he was still maintaining his gardens to perfection. Donn was a fanatical Philadelphia sports fan, especially the Eagles and the Flyers. He was also a fan of professional boxing.

Donn cared very deeply for all creatures big and small, especially his most recent dog Presley, a German Shorthaired Pointer and his black cat Inky that he adopted after losing Presley. He will be missed deeply. The impact his life made on all of us cannot be measured. He leaves an indelible mark on the world.

GRENDISA — Carol A. Grendisa (nee Hart), 61, of Mickleton, passed away on April 20.

Carol was a longtime resident of Havertown, PA. She was a graduate of Havertown Senior High School and Delaware County Community College. She worked as an RN for over 40 years at Lankenau Hospital.

She was the daughter of the late Marie A. Hart (nee Vikingstad). Survivors: Her father: William G. Hart; sons: Bill Grendisa and Carl Grendisa; and sister: Andrea (John O’Connell) Hart.

Carol’s compassionate loving spirit graced her family, friends, and those she cared for as nurse.  She often looked forward to cooking, decorating and entertaining family and friends for a holiday celebration, sport events, or barbecues.

Carol enjoyed listening and dancing to music. She loved her family vacations in Cape May filled with swimming, bike riding, hummingbirds, butterflies, and sunsets.

Carol was always athletic and enjoyed a game of horseshoes as much an old fashion board game. Carol’s warm, lively spirit and contagious sense of humor will be dearly missed.

Donations can be made in Carol’s name to Generation to Generation Fund, Temple Lutheran Church, 501 Brookline Blvd, Havertown, PA 19083.

THOMAS — Eleanor Thomas, 78. She was known as mom, mom-mom, Aunt El, a sister and a friend. If you knew her, you had the privilege to know a beautiful person inside and out who was loved by many.

She was a woman in motion, working circles around just about everyone. Eleanor’s earlier careers were diverse; she worked at a bank, a supermarket, a casino and had several other jobs, but she found her real calling as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant. Pediatrics was her thing: she was that rare caregiver that kids would run to and jump into her arms. Her passion to help people lead her to become a live kidney organ donor.

She loved life, living it to the fullest. She was the happiest when spending time with her family and friends. As a mom she was hands on and involved in all her daughters’ activities from Brownies to coaching softball to being a dance mom.

As a grandmother, she was an unapologetic spoiler. If mom and dad said no, Mom-Mom would be good for a yes. She was ever present at their events and constantly had her grands in tow.

She loved to dance and was always the life of the party. She loved the outdoors, spending summers on the beach and traveling to Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, Australia, New Zealand and cruising the Rhine River. Her leisure activities weren’t so leisurely: white water rafting, parasailing, jumping out of a plane. She nearly had her pilot’s license and once flew in a glider.

Eleanor never met a stranger: there was no such thing as a quick trip out; she talked up the neighborhood. Without exception, when she left the house, she looked perfect, hair and makeup just so.

No one ever looked more stunning arriving for their radiation appointments. Through those tough times she relied on her strong faith in the Lord and was an inspiration to everyone around her. She never voiced a complaint.

If her TV was on, she’d be checking out some detective shows, Dr. Phil, the Golden Girls or Paternity Court which she jokingly referred to as Who’s your daddy.

At Swedesboro High the pretty freshman field hockey player would meet a handsome sophomore member of the football squad named John. Eleanor was predeceased by her baby girl Deborah, is survived by her husband John, and was blessed to have two daughters, Allison (Amos) Pitt and Denise (Dave) Silver; and later by five grandchildren, Joshua (Michelle), Ryan (Tori), Erica (Sean), Daniel and Olivia. She was one of eight children and is survived by her siblings, Bill Nickerson (Karen), Rosie Shute, Charlotte Spencer, Gertie Gentile and Joseph Nickerson (Priscilla); many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and cousins.

Donations to St Jude Hospital (stjude.org) will be appreciated.

LOWE — Patricia Lowe, 75, of Logan Township, passed away on April 24. Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, she had been a resident of Logan Township for the past 43 years. Pat earned a Batchelor of Arts Degree from Neumann University in 2000. Pat had retired from Gloucester County College where she worked for many years as a library assistant.

Pat was a proud member of the Red Bank Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); as well as an active member of the Laureate Lambda Chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority. She was an avid reader and enjoyed both the Swedesboro Library and Logan Library book clubs.

Pat was an excellent cook and baker, and collected many cookbooks over the years. Pat traveled to many wonderful destinations all over the world; but Paris in the springtime was truly her favorite.

Pat was a loving and devoted wife and mother, and was also a doting grandmother to her grandsons. She was the type of grandmother that attended as many sporting events, concerts, and extracurricular activities that she could, to cheer them on. Everyone could count on grandma to arrive early to make sure the family had seats together, front and center, and take lots of pictures.  There was nothing Pat loved more than her family and her love for them showed in her everyday life.

Pat is survived by her husband of 43 years, Robert, and their children: Jon Whitehurst (fiancé-Ying), Brian Whitehurst (Cari), Craig Lowe (Jill), and Elizabeth Lowe.  She is also survived by her five grandsons: Nicholas, Ryan, Trevor, Sean and Ethan. She is also survived by her sister, D. Daphney West of Alexandria, VA and is predeceased by brother Floyd Steven West of Virginia Beach, VA.

Contributions in Pat’s memory can be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 5066, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-5066.

ANDERSON — Claude E. Anderson, 72 of Mullica Hill, went home to be with the Lord on May 2 after a long illness at The Samaritan Center in Voorhees, NJ.

Born in Toomsuba, Mississippi on November 3, 1949, Claude and his family lived the military life and traveled the world.  He graduated from Pemberton Township High School, while his Dad was stationed at Fort Dix.

Claude followed in his Dad’s footsteps by joining the United States Army and proudly serving from 1968-1988.  During his military career, Claude was stationed at Fort Knox, KY, Louisiana, Hawaii, Guam, and Germany. Claude also served two combat tours during the Vietnam Campaign.

While in United States Army, Claude held many positions which included calvary helicopter gunner, military police officer and recruiter. Claude was honorably discharged in 1988, retiring as a Sergeant First Class E-7.

After his retirement, Claude and his Family moved to Onancock, VA where he served as the Chief of Police for five years before returning to Willingboro, NJ (1994-2007). Claude was a very active and respected member of VFW Post 4914 in Willingboro and served as the Post Commander. He also served as Commander of the Willingboro American Legion Post 516, and was the All State Quartermaster during the 2013-2014 term.

Claude was passionate about his music, specifically his old school southern down home blues. Claude introduced several members of the Willingboro VFW Post 4914 to this genre of music and was known as DJ Blues Man Andy on Monday nights.  Claude is currently a member of Post 7679 in Mantua, NJ where he served as the Sergeant At Arms.

A loving and hardworking gentleman, Claude was devoted to his family, faith, and country.  Bringing smiles to the faces of those he loved was extremely easy for Claude with his colorful personality.  here was always a reason to have good eats, good company and good music where Claude was happy to be the life of the party.

Claude enjoyed taking photos and creating works of art with wood. He was quite talented and endeavored in big projects around the home. Traveling was in his blood and every summer memories were made on Claude’s family farm in Mississippi. After his father’s passing, The Anderson Family reunion was established and every three years during the 4th of July holiday, a family member hosted the event in their home state creating more exciting travels. This is where Claude would pack his family up in the car, put his best down home blues playlist on repeat and drive his family to the reunions as his sons sang the blues with him.

Claude leaves to mourn his Homegoing: Beloved wife of 35 years, Deborah L. (nee Chandler) three sons, Sean Anderson (Mother, Deanna L. Huggins from Claude’s first marriage), Orlando, FL; Jeremy and Ryan, Mullica Hill, NJ; grand-daughter Elianna; brother, Clyde (Raymond) Anderson, Willingboro, NJ; sister, Evelyn Anderson, Blackwood, NJ; devoted in-laws, Nathaniel and Vincintia Chandler, Sr., Deptford, NJ; Sisters-in-law, Veronica Jaynes (Wayne), Street, MD, Phyllis Downing (Chris), Eden, MD; Brothers-in-law, Ernest Chandler, Jr., Temperanceville, VA, Phillip Chandler, Sr., Salisbury, MD; special family, Aunt Bernice Ott, Elizabeth Rodriquez, Janet Maxwell; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended relatives, family and friends. Claude was predeceased by his parents Claude and Christine (nee Lofton) Anderson.

VISALLI — Grace Visalli age 87, of Mullica Hill passed away May 4 at her home.

Grace was born and lived in Mullica Hill all of her life. She attended elementary school in Mullica Hill and graduated from Glassboro High School in 1953.

Grace was extremely hard working and dedicated to her family and the farm. Never would a day go by that she wasn’t either working in the packing house or sorting the produce for the market. What started out on a small step in front of their house has turned into the business today that for generations has served neighboring residents and seasonal travelers.

Her pride and joy was making sauce on Sundays and pizzelles and homemade cannolis during the holidays.

Wife of Joseph Visalli, survived by two sons, Joe Visalli, Jr., Mike Visalli (MC), daughter in law Carlene Visalli and daughter in law Kristin Visalli, grandchildren CJ (Jessica), Becky, Michael, Lauren, Ryan, Annalise, Lucia and great grandson Charlie. Grace was predeceased by her son Charles J. Visalli, her parents Lucy and Joseph Vasta, her sister and brother

 Donations can be made to a charity of your choice in Grace’s name. Memories and condolences can be shared at www.smithfhmantua.com

PIKE — Eugene C. Pike (Gene), age 77, of Mullica Hill, passed away May 9. He is survived by his wife Sandra L. Pike; children, Jennifer (Mark) Counsellor and Melissa (Michael) Hansen; grandchildren, Nathan (Allegra) Counsellor, Michaela (Daniel) Shriver, Luke Hansen, Elaina Hansen, Robert Counsellor, and Dean Hansen; great grandchildren Everett Counsellor, Anderson Shriver, Joanna Shriver, and Harrison Counsellor.

Eugene grew up on his parents farm in Mullica Hill. He graduated from Clearview High School. He was an industrial mechanic and worked for Eastern Lift Truck until his retirement. He enjoyed vacationing with his family and friends, especially cruising. He had a passion for fixing old engines and machines.

Anyone that really knew him, knew he loved his family more than anything. He took great pride in his family, especially in his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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