Thursday, September 04, 2008

Classmates Who Have Passed On

Kathy Bates
Keith Bedwell
Heather Bullock
Greg "Bucky" Caldwell
Marjorie Charles
Darrell Dilibero
Larry Dunleavy
George Grandizio Jr.
Jesse Hamilton
Rich Hipple
Alan Laird
Brian Malloy
Beth Piersol
Gordon (Bill) Roepe
Edgar Ross
James Smyth
Anthony Sweeney
Cheryl Wojtowicz

_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Bucky Caldwell

June 27, 2011

Gregory S. "Buck" Caldwell, 52, of Downingtown, passed away on Monday, June 27, 2011 at Manor Care Nursing Home in Lebanon.

Born in Wheeling, WV, Greg was the son of Gaetano E. "Pop" and Bertha (nee Pritt) DiPietro of Meyerstown.

Greg was a 1977 graduate of Downingtown High School.

He lived most of his adult life in Downingtown but previously resided in Pottstown.

Greg was a printer by trade and worked for various employers including Reynolds Metals.

He was a member of Minquas Fire Company.

Greg enjoyed playing sports and loved his Phillies and Eagles. He liked music and to fish; especially surf fishing off the Indian River Inlet. He also liked hunting in West Virginia. But above all, his greatest joy was his children.

In addition to his parents, Greg is survived by his loving daughters, Casey N. and Kellie F. Caldwell, both of Downingtown.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 7th at the James J. Terry Funeral Home, 736 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, where family and friends may visit from 10:30 - 11 a.m.

Greg fought a courageous battle to recover from a brain injury. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up in his honor. Donations may be sent to the Greg Caldwell Memorial Fund c/o Citadel Federal Credit Union, 520 Eagleview Blvd., Exton, PA 19341.

Bucky Caldwell's guestbook -

_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

Keith Bedwell

Sept. 20, 2010

We just heard that Keith Bedwell passed away over the weekend. It will probably be in Tuesday, Sept. 22nd newspaper.

Mr. and Mrs. Keith Bedwell are benefactors of the Brandywine Valley Association in West Chester.

Keith Bedwell and Jesse Hamilton at the DHS 30th reunion

Sophomore year

Gordon (Bill) Roepe
June 18, 2010

Gordon W. Roepe

Roepe, Gordon W., 50, of Fort Lauderdale, FL, passed away on June 18, 2010. Barbara Falowski Funeral & Cremation Services, Ft. Lauderdale.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on June 24, 2010


Jesse Hamilton
Sept. 3, 2008

My husband and I have been good friends with Jesse and Ronda for many years.

We are putting together a memory book for Ronda
and would like to ask for your help.

If anyone has funny story or a fond moment they remember about Jesse, they can type it up and e-mail it to me at

We're not looking for anything long, just a few sentences decribing the incident or memory they recall. It won't be ready in time for the service on Sunday, so there is no immediate rush, perhaps by next weekend would be good.

Thanks for your help.
Sincerely, Marianne Biffel

Daily Local News

Jesse Hamilton of Chester Springs passed away suddenly on Sept. 3, 2008.
He was born on March 26, 1959, at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia.

He grew up in West Bradford, Chester County.

He was a 1977 graduate of Downingtown High School and a 1978 graduate of Malvern Preparatory School. He graduated from West Chester College.

He and his family own Dane Decor in Downingtown, a Scandinavian contemporary furniture store.

Jesse married Ronda Cline in December 1980. They have two sons, Sean, 20, and Eric, 14.

He was a loving husband and best friend and the best father any child could want. His passions were his wife, his two sons and youth football. He was a coach for 10 years at Marsh Creek Eagles and several years with Lionville Middle School.

He loved coaching. Next to being home with his family, his favorite place to be was on the football field with his team and coaches.

His loss is immeasurable to his wife, children, family, football family and friends.

There will be a Celebration of Life at 1 p.m. Sept. 14 at Dane Decor, 216 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown. A reception will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The DASD Jesse Hamilton Student Athlete Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Mr. Paul Hurley, 50 Devon Drive, Exton, PA 19341.

Final thoughts from Jesse would have been "I love my family" and "It's a great day to be a football player."

Arrangements are being handled by The Donohue Funeral Home, Downingtown,, 610-431-9000.

The memorial service is Sunday, September 14th.

Dane Decor
216 East Lancaster Avenue
Downingtown, PA 19335

There will be no burial service as it was Jesse's wishes to be cremated. There will be a one hour service followed by a reception with the family.

Early information is that the family will be starting an athletic scholarship fund in Jesse's name in lieu of flowers.

Cards and notes can be sent to:

c/o Ronda Hamilton and family
20 Sycamore Lane
Chester Springs, PA 19425

Dave Salinas, Dean Warner, Jesse Hamilton, 2007

Coach Jesse Hamilton and kids

Jesse Hamilton, 1976

Sent: Wed Sep 03 17:28:30 2008
Subject: Very sad news about one of our classmates


No other way to say it............Hours ago I received a call from Rhonda Hamilton telling me that Jesse had a heart attack and died this afternoon.

She requested that I tell his friends and I will be forwarding information about funeral services tomorrow. She also asked, as a courtesy, not to call nor email her in the next 48 hours as she is having a difficult time dealing with the loss, as you can well imagine.

I am sure you are all going to provide support and prayers to the Hamilton family. It is a tragic loss of one on the finest people that I have ever known. He will be sorely missed.

Dave Salinas

Jesse Arrangements September 14‏
From: Ellen Tauber

Ken - I was searching for stuff on Jesse and found your web post. Passing this on to you.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Andrew Tauber
Date: September 4, 2008 5:59:44 PM EDT

Subject: Jesse Arrangements September 14

I wanted to get this message out to all of you knowing that Jesse's friends will pass this along to a bigger audience.

The memorial service is September 14, a week from this Sunday. There will be no burial service as it was Jesse's wishes to be cremated. It is being held at Dane Decor at 1PM:

216 East Lancaster Avenue
Downingtown, PA 19335

There will be a one hour service followed by a reception with the family. Please check the newspapers as well; we are hoping that there will be an obituary/announcement is this Sunday's Philadelphia inquirer and I am assuming that it will be in the local paper as well at some point. Early information is that the family will be starting an athletic scholarship fund in Jesse's name in lieu of flowers.

Please do not hesitate to check-in with Ellen and I.


Eric Stockhausen also posted the following message last night:

(Eric posted this message on the website of the band Marah that Eric actively follows)

"It's a great day to be a football player" and a very sad day out here in
Downingtown, PA. Local businessman (he and his brothers owned the
specialty furniture retail chain, Dane Decor), beloved youth football
coach, father, husband and everybody's friend Jesse Hamilton died this
afternoon of a heart attack in his car on the side of the road, way way
too early. I think he was 48 or 49.

I had the privilege of coaching Pop Warner football for the Marsh Creek
Eagles with Jesse for several years, since our boys are the same age. He
gladly accepted me as a coach when I had recently moved to the area and
made me feel very-welcomed, much like my Marahstafarian friends. There's
even a picture of our football team after a game at Villanova, holding
Marah (IYDLYC promotional) posters, which I entered in the Yep Roc
contest a few years back. [I wish I knew how to post pictues]. People
thought I was his little brother since we sorta resembled each other. He
also helped coach the local middle school team (Lionville) and played
locally for Downingtown High School and West Chester University. If
you're from the Downingtown area, you probably know him or one of his

Every practice and game for a Jesse-coached team started and/or ended
with Jesse (with a beaming smile) yelling "It's a great day", and his
players and parent/coaches smiling and responding back in
call-and-response fashion "to be a football player". Win or lose, good
practice or bad, he'd say it, and with Jesse you usually couldn't tell
whether you won or lost a few minutes after the game was over. To him it
didn't matter, as long as every kid had fun. He was competitive as hell
during the game, but once the game was over, you moved on to the rest of
your life. He coached for all the right reasons, which you don't often
see in youth sports. He wanted to teach the kids how to play the game the
right way, and have a lot of fun doing it. I never heard him scream or
berate a kid - ever, always encouraging them.

The last few times I saw he and his lovely wife, Ronda, at his store's
Grand Reopening last year (it burned down after being struck by
lightning) and at our kids' school orchestra (his son, Eric, plays the
drums), I got to see another side of Jesse, away from football. He showed
me his new, bigger office, and the pictures he had collected for his
upcoming 30th high school reunion, which he was helping to organize.

He loved his wife, his kids, his friends and life in general more than
anyone I've ever seen. And everyone loved him back. A physical giant of a
man (he was about 6'4" and over 300 lbs.), he was a giant in life. I
guess God needed another big pass-blocking OT.

We're gonna miss you a lot, big guy - "it's a great day to be a football

Eric Stockhausen

Good Morning.

In the Daily Local News today there is sad news that our classmate Heather Bullock passed away this weekend. I remember Heather as a funny, warm and caring girl who was in our musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Please pass along to other alumni.

You can log on to to read her obituary. Services are Monday October 22 in Downingtown.

Take care,
Karen Edwards Madrigale

Heather L. Bullock, formerly of Downingtown
Heather L. Bullock of Washington, D.C., formerly of Downingtown, died Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007, one day short of her 48th birthday.

Heather was an outspoken, energetic advocate and a living inspiration for people who must struggle with disabilities.

Born in Waukegan, Ill., she was the daughter of Judith M. Bullock of Downingtown and the late Heaton L. Bullock.

She also leaves one brother, Jeffrey A. Bullock of Parkesburg.

Heather graduated from Downingtown High School in 1977, attended Edinboro University in Edinboro, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., in 1982. In the year following, Heather took a supplemental course in technology training at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In 1984, Heather moved to Washington, D.C., where, over the years, she found that city a friendly one to the disabled, and she worked for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Veterans Affairs, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, and as an information technology specialist at the Department of Education from 1992 until her passing. Heather brought a unique personal charm and charisma to everyone she met.

She took an intense interest in the rights of animals, and contributions in her memory may be made to the Humane Society.

Services will be held at Central Presbyterian Church, 100 W. Uwchlan Ave., Downingtown, on Monday, Oct. 22, at 11 a.m.

Burial is planned to be private.


I have a funny story about Heather.

When we were seniors she had an operation that put her in a full cast on both legs. We all know how little Heather was and with her casts on she could not lift her leg high enough to get up the steps to move from class to class.

Therefore, I was assigned to escort Heather to her classes - specifically helping her get up the stairs. I remember the first time I was in front of her holding her hands and pulling her. That took quite long and I was afraid to pull her arm out of her socket. So we improvised. I picked her up like a football and carried her under my arm as we raced up the steps. It was so funny because each time I lifted her up she would squeal with laughter as this big guy would sweep her off her feet.

Here is another fond memory that Heather used to tease me about. When we were sophomores I didn't really know her because she did not go to Downingtown Jr. High. So one day in the beginning of the year I was sitting in class near the door. I heard this scratching noise again and again. If you recall those doors had a small vertical glass window so you could see out. I looked through the glass and saw nothing . . . however the scratching continued. Then I twisted the knob to unlatch the door and gave it a push. Well, Heather was on the other side and when I pushed the door open she got whacked and went flying across the hall and smashed into the lockers. I ran out of the room to go assist. I helped her up and picked up her books and we walked back into the class together. Everyone cracked up because I got chewed out by the teacher.

It is amazing to me that little tiny Heather made a huge impact on our lives.

Jesse Hamilton

From Heather's entry:

Hi Everyone! I'm a Computer Programmer Analyst working for the US Department of Education in Washington DC. I love using the web and having my kitty cat curl up next to me while I do.


At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just heard and was talking to him a few weeks ago. Too young. A nice guy.

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he was my football coach. he was one of my role models. he was a man i am proud to have known.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Connie Hamilton Bowden said...

Thank you all for your kind words about my brother, Jesse Hamilton. We are very saddened and will miss him terribly.

I look forward to meeting you at his Celebration of Life next Sunday.

Connie Hamilton Bowden

At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speechless…thanks for the update Ken. This is very sad news.

Bernie Punt

Director of Sales & Marketing

Bryce Jordan Center

Penn State University

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am shocked and sadden by this news. This is a big loss of great and respected person who has stayed local to the community that he loved.

God Speed and god bless the Hamilton family in their time of need.


Barry Ross

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken, thanks for always keeping everyone in the loop with the news from home. It is always a tragedy to lose someone like Jesse, especailly at such a young age. He wil lbe missed by many. I won't be able to make it to Downingtown. I am leading a service myself here in Lancaster on the 14th and an not likely to find a repalcement on short notice. The congregation here will be keeping Jesse's friends and family in prayer through the 14th. My thoughts are with all of you in this time of sorrow.
Rev. Bern Kefer

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,

Thanks for keeping us informed.

Anna Parvensky

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ken.

I will plan to be there. The scholarship fund is a great idea. If you guys get together beforehand, let me know when and where.


At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ken!
I am still in shock about Jesse's passing. I appreciate being on the email chain. Unfortunately, my family and I will be out of town on the 14th. I'm so upset I'm going to miss Jesse's memorial service. I will be sending a donation but if we're doing something from the Class of 1977, please be sure to let me know.

Thanks so much,
Linda Mattioni Wolfe

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for sending

Keith Bedwell

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe this, not Jesse! Doesn't seem possible.
Dawn (Davis) Lauzus

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelieveable! I am in shock! Please keep in touch, I will say a pray for his family.

John Garnett

At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning Ken. I am duely sorry for Jes. I hate to see any health issues of any kind with folks and hope his family pulls through. Tough to comprehend in contrast to the time we were free and easy as teenagers in school. Tell Dave Salinas I said hello. I always thought he was a smart guy....I reckon he still is! Take care and be safe. Douglas G.

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is truly sad news!

Jesse took to calling me "Big Jesse" in recent years, and in kind, I can say that "Little Jesse" is already, and will be greatly missed. I guess the class of '77 is down to one Jesse now.

Jesse Shutt

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't see the DHS link at work, but I will check it later at home.

Perhaps you'd want to include Jesse was a co-President (with Dave) and also the major organizer of the class reunions.

Best, Dean

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesse coached my son at Marsh Creek Eagles and, I have to say, was one of the best coaches I've ever met in any sport. Not only did he have a great knowledge of the game, he also knew that it was more important to teach them that good sportsmanship and a positive approach was the most important thing. Personally, I'll miss his big smiling face and welcoming 'Hey, Bud!" on the football fields of Downingtown.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a huge loss to the whole
downingtown community and also
to the Class of 1977. I feel so
blessed that I saw Jesse last week
at the Downingtown East field and
received a Big bear hug from him.
He was such a "gentle giant" and will be missed tremendously!

At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Karen (Downing) Brown said...

Jesse was and always will be a special person to me since I've known him almost 90% of my life. As I read all of the positive comments, especially about his love for football, I can proudly say that I, yes little ole me, probably played football with him on the playground at West Bradford long before he went on to play organized ball with all you big guys. (I think we even played a little hoops on the playground and at their house on Hall Road before everyone got a lot taller than me) Those were the days and it is those days and the many days over the years that we can hold onto and smile about. Jesse was always a leader whether it was on the football field, pep rally, wrestling mat, track field, or presently in the community, youth athletics, and with the Class of 77. He did truly love life and was so proud of his wife and family. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and I'm so blessed to have really known him. He'll live on as long as we have the memories.

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you find out how George Died? so sad!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home