Obituaries March 4

March 3, 2014

Sandy K. Briggs

Avid reader, enjoyed pottery

Sandy K. Briggs, 57, of Washington, died Sunday, March 2, 2014, in her home, following a lengthy battle with frontal-temporal dementia.

She was born October 16, 1956, in Washington, a daughter of the late Robert and Irene Bird Berisford.

Mrs. Briggs was a 1974 graduate of Trinity High School, who worked for the Observer-Reporter, and later for Trinity Area School District.

She was an avid reader, who enjoyed pottery and her family.

On October 19, 1974, in Washington, she married Jay E. Briggs, who survives.

Also surviving are two sons, Brian J. (Carrie) Briggs of Abilene, Texas, and Jason A. (Kelly) Briggs of Washington; a brother, Dale (Cathy) Berisford of St. Petersburg, Fla.; a sister, Debi (Dale) Amon of Washington; five grandchildren, Alexander, Marissa, Violet, Lila and Luci Briggs; and several nieces and nephews.

Friends will be received 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Piatt and Barnhill Funeral Home, 420 Locust Avenue, Washington, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 7. Interment will follow in Washington Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the University of Pittsburgh’s Alzheimer Disease Research Center, UPMC-Montefiore, Suite 421 West, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2582.

Condolences may be expressed, and photos uploaded, at Piatt and Barnhill Funeral Directors, Inc., Charles R. Piatt, owner/supervisor, and Lawrence K. Donovan, funeral director

Joseph A. Chatter

Joseph A. Chatter, 61, of Burgettstown, passed away Monday, March 3, 2014, in Washington Hospital.

Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced in a later edition by Lee & Martin Funeral Home, Burgettstown.

Lawrence Burns Dinsmore

Lawrence Burns Dinsmore, 98, of Blandon, and formerly of Richhill and East Finley Townships, died Monday, March 3, 2014, in Keystone Villa in Blandon.

Arrangements are incomplete and under the direction of Rush Funeral Home Inc., Rogersville. A complete obituary and funeral notice will be published in a later edition.

L. Kim Egolf-Fox

Founded clergy support group

The Rev. L. Kim Egolf-Fox, 61, died February 26, 2014, in his home in Collegeville, after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The Rev. Egolf-Fox was born September 21, 1952, in Waynesburg, a son of the late Clarence E. and Mildred P. Kiger Fox.

The Rev. Egolf-Fox graduated from Waynesburg College with a bachelor of arts in English. He received his master’s of divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Oakbrook, Illinois.

Most recently, the Rev. Egolf-Fox was the executive director of Norristown Ministries Hospitality Center. Prior to that, he was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Norristown for 18 years.

He was a fellow of the Academy of Parish Clergy, as well as a member of the Association of Psychological Type. He founded the Bowen Family Systems Support group of Clergy 17 years ago.

As a community leader, the Rev. Egolf-Fox was well-known for his ability to listen without judgment, and he put forth an aura of love and encouragement to everyone he met. When he talked with you, it was almost as though he engulfed you in the palm of his hand.

In the little time he took for himself, his passions included marathon running and writing.

The Rev. Egolf-Fox is survived by his wife of 35 years, the Rev. Brenda L. Egolf-Fox.

Also surviving, are his children, Brian J. Egolf-Fox (Alicia M. McElroy) of Collegeville and Heather S. Paul (Dr. Jared J.) of West Norriton; his grandson, Joseph Michael Paul; and his sister, Marla Hueston (Lenny) of Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

Friends and family are invited to leave their condolences on his remembrance Website,, and to attend his memorial service at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in Calvary Baptist Church, Norristown. A community meal will follow.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Norristown Ministries Hospitality Center, 530 Church Street, 1st Floor, Norristown, PA 19401; Calvary Baptist Church, 801 West Marshall Street, Norristown, PA 19401; or the ALS Association of Greater Philadelphia, 321 Norristown Road, Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002.

Arrangements are by Moore, Snear & Ruggiero Funeral Home, Conshohocken, East Norriton and Trappe.

Barry L. Gatten

Avid outdoorsman and hunter

Barry L. Gatten, 59, of Scenery Hill, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, March 1, 2014.

He was born April 1, 1954, in Washington, a son of the late Ralph and Betty Devenney Wright.

Mr. Gatten loved working with horses and spent the past 29 years managing the day-to-day operations of Springflow Acres, the standardbred horse breeding farm owned by Rick and Gina Beinhauer in Scenery Hill.

He was an avid outdoorsman. He was passionate about hunting and fishing and was at peace when working outside.

His true joy was spending time with his grandchildren.

Surviving are his wife of 12 years, Linda Cross Gatten; a daughter, Nicole (Rob) Cheek; three sons, Barry “BJ” (Tracy) Gatten Jr. of Bentleyville, Travis (Tiffany) Gatten of Scenery Hill and Justin Mitchell; seven grandchildren, Noah, Ryan and Grace Cheek, Alyssa Booth, Mary and Bethany Gatten and Kaylie Gatten; three brothers, Richard (Robin) Burns of Washington, Harry (Susan) Fisher of Bethel Park and David Wright of Washington; and a sister, Linda (Bill) Sheehan of Washington.

Deceased, in addition to his parents, are two sisters, Carol Ann Devenney and Tracy Dennism, and two brothers, Robert Fisher Sr. and Ronald Tanner.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Beinhauer Funeral Home, 2828 Washington Road, McMurray, 724-941-3211, where a service celebrating Mr. Gatten’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 6. Interment will follow in Woodruff Memorial Park, North Strabane Township. Please add tributes at

Mary Frances Hathaway

Owned Hathaway’s Grocery

Mary Frances Hathaway, 88, of Claysville, died Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Hillsview Nursing Home.

She was born January 16, 1926 in Washington, a daughter of Orin Homer Mounts and Grace Elizabeth Petit Mounts.

Mrs. Hathaway graduated from Claysville High School in 1944 and was a member of West Washington Methodist Church.

She owned and operated Hathaway’s Grocery Store on Route 221 for 54 years. She enjoyed running her store and talking to her customers. She loved spending time with her family and visiting with friends.

Mrs. Hathaway enjoyed baking pies and making fudge for the holidays.

Her husband and son operated a nearby dairy farm, where she lived most of her life.

On December 24, 1945, she married Kenneth Earl Hathaway, who died January 29, 1987.

Surviving are two sisters, Birdie Westfall and Margaret Hoover; two grandchildren, Kelly (Nickolas) Vayansky of Lawrence and Kenneth E. (Laura) Hathaway II of Upper St. Clair; four great-grandchildren, Sara, Noah and Reagan Hathaway and Emma Hull.

Deceased are a son, Kenneth E. Hathaway and his wife, Vivian Hathaway; two brothers, Homer and Harland Mounts; and six sisters, Alice, Dessie, Ida, Gladys, Edna and Grace.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in William G. Neal Funeral Homes, Ltd., 925 Allison Avenue, Washington, where services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 6, with Keith Meier officiating. Burial will follow in Prosperity Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Amedisys Hospice of Washington, 275 Meadowlands Boulevard, Washington, PA 15301.

Additional information and a guest book are available at

Pansy G. Kerr

Pansy G. Kerr, 99, of Waynesburg, and formerly of East View, died at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Personal Care at Evergreen, Waynesburg.

Arrangements are incomplete and under the direction of Rush Funeral Home Inc., Rogersville. A complete obituary and funeral notice will be published in a later edition.

Marie Cecelia McCarty

Former Rices Landing resident

Marie Cecelia McCarty, 87, of Silver Spring, Md., formerly of Rices Landing, died Friday, February 28, 2014, in Montgomery General Hospital, Onley, Md.

She was born March 21, 1926, in Republic, a daughter of the late Clarence W. Sr. and Sarah McConkey Keffer.

Mrs. McCarty lived most of her life in Rices Landing, before moving to Maryland to be with her daughter. She was a member of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Rices Landing.

On June 21, 1950, she married Robert E. McCarty, who died October 2, 1985.

Surviving are a daughter, Marie “Bootie” McCarty-Rojas and husband Victor of Silver Spring; three grandchildren, Joselito, Vico and Rebeca; three great-grandchildren, Valan, Victoria and Tabatha; and a sister-in-law, Helen Keffer of Newton Falls, Ohio.

Deceased, in addition to her husband, are a daughter, Roberta McCarty; five brothers, James Keffer, David Keffer, John Keffer, Arthur Keffer and Clarence Keffer Jr.; and two sisters in infancy.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 7, in Sacred Heart Church, Rices Landing, with Father John M. Bauer as celebrant. Interment will follow in Greene County Memorial Park, Morgan Township. Arrangements have been entrusted to Behm Funeral Homes Inc., 1477 Jefferson Road, Jefferson, Gregory P. Rohanna, supervisor. Condolences may be expressed at

Phyllis Jean Miller

Phyllis Jean Miller, 77, formerly of Washington, died Saturday, March 1, 2014, in the Conway, S.C., home of her daughter, Jeanie Calci.

Arrangements will be announced in a later edition by Hummell & Jones Funeral Home, Washington.

Kelly R. Patterson

Enjoyed time with friends and family

Kelly R. Patterson, 34, of Vestaburg, died Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pittsburgh.

She was born October 23, 1979, in Waynesburg, a daughter of Timothy L. and Carol J. Grable Patterson of Vestaburg.

Ms. Patterson was a 1998 graduate of Bethlehem-Center High School and a 2003 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science in information technology.

For the past seven years, she was employed by Bank of America in Upper St. Clair as an account manager/loan modification.

She was a member of the former Vestaburg Presbyterian Church.

Ms. Patterson enjoyed photography, boating, outdoor activities, cooking and attending her son’s sporting events. She truly loved animals and spending time with her family and friends.

Surviving, in addition to her parents, are a son, Colby Elsbury, at home; a brother, Timothy L. Patterson Jr. (Mindy) of McDonald; a special nephew, Gavin Patterson of McDonald; a special cousin, Kendall Grable of Fredericktown; her loving companion, Harry I. Kassler III of Vestaburg; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Greenlee Funeral Home, 42 Bank Street at Crawford Road, Fredericktown, where services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 6, with the Rev. Louise Corbett officiating. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Washington Area Humane Society, P.O. Box 66, Eighty Four, PA 15330, or Fredericktown Public Library, P.O. Box 62, Fredericktown, PA 15333.

Guest book and personal condolences may be accessed at

Marie Ann Pliska

Devoted supporter of Pony League World Series

Marie Ann Pliska, 80, of Washington, died Monday, March 3, 2014, in Washington Hospital.

She was born September 9, 1933, in Slovan, a daughter of Carlmelo Trimarki and Antoinette Guiddy Trimarki.

A graduate of Union High School, Mrs. Pliska attended business school in Pittsburgh and owned Pliska’s Body Shop.

She was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, Vittoria Lodge, where she was a past treasurer, and Democratic Women. In addition, she was an active member of a card club.

A devoted supporter of the Pony League World Series, she sponsored teams since its inception and attended the games every year.

On February 4, 1956, she married Stanley “Doc” Pliska Jr., who survives.

Also surviving are two sons, Jeffrey “Jake” Pliska (Jodi) and Kevin Pliska, both of Washington; a daughter, Christine Houser (Vern) of Washington; two brothers, Dominick Trimarki (Donna) and James Trimarki, both of Burgettstown; two grandchildren, Morgan Marie Pliska and Madison Diane Pliska; two nephews, Tim and Kyle Trimarki; and a niece, Jena Trimarki.

Deceased are a nephew, Michael “Mickey” Trimarki; a sister-in-law, Debbie Trimarki; and a son-in-law, Wayne Shannon.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in William G. Neal Funeral Homes Ltd., 925 Allison Avenue, Washington, where services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 6, with Pastor Scott Warren officiating. Entombment will follow in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Washington.

Memorial donations may be made to Pony League Baseball, P.O. Box 225, Washington, PA 15301.

Additional information and a guest book are available at

Rebecca Sue Eckard Riggs

Announcer for draft horse events

Rebecca Sue “Becky” Eckard Riggs, 67, of Cameron, W.Va., passed away after her courageous battle with cancer Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, surrounded by her family.

She was born June 13, 1946, in Washington, a daughter of LaVerne Zankowski Eckard of Hickory, and the late Ralph Eckard.

Mrs. Riggs was the beloved wife of Jerry Riggs, whom she married March 13, 1982. They spent almost 32 years together, sharing a love for pulling draft horses. Mrs. Riggs was a well-known announcer at these events, and thoroughly enjoyed entertaining the audience.

She was an elder of the Cameron First Presbyterian Church, where she was actively involved.

For those who knew her, she will be remembered as one of the most strong-minded, good-humored and great-hearted women they have ever known.

She spent the past 50 years being a devoted mother to her son, Dennis Schurr.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by her loving husband, Jerry Riggs; her son, Dennis (Jami) Schurr of Hopedale, Ohio; a sister, Victoria (Randy) Bonzo of Hickory; a special friend and caregiver, Craig Chambers; three grandchildren, Crystal (Nathan) Best, Amber (Hank) Crawford and Austin Schurr; three great-grandchildren, Jonathan and Jaikob Best and Jozi Crawford; a niece, Jennifer Lowry; and a great-nephew, Garrett Reihner.

Mrs. Riggs also leaves behind four admired dogs, who will greatly miss her.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Grisell Funeral Home & Crematory, 400 Jefferson Avenue, Moundsville, W.Va., where services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 6, with Mark Crow and Mike Dunn officiating. Interment in Highland Cemetery, Cameron.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 2 Church Street, Cameron, WV 26033. Sympathy expressions may be made at

Betty J. Whitfield

Enjoyed playing bingo and gardening

Betty J. Whitfield, 82, of Houston, died Monday, March 3, 2014, in her home, where she was cared for by her daughters and grandson.

She was born May 6, 1931, in Washington, a daughter of Charles and Isabelle Durand McCartney.

Mrs. Whitfield was a graduate of Trinity High School. She enjoyed playing bingo and gardening.

On June 28, 1952, she married Thomas Whitfield Jr., who survives.

Also surviving are a daughter, Cindy Whitfield of Houston; three sons, Tom Whitfield (April), Gary Whitfield (Brenda) and Rodney Whitfield (Anne), all of Houston; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a sister, Norma Mullins Strimel of Washington.

A daughter, Kimberly A. Seaman, is deceased.

At the request of the deceased, all services are private and have been entrusted to McIlvaine-Speakman Funeral Home Ltd., Robert K. McIlvaine, owner/supervisor, 27 Cherry Avenue, Houston, PA 15342. Condolences may be left by viewing the obituary at

Harry E. Ziegler

Veteran enjoyed gardening

Harry E. Ziegler, 87, of Canonsburg, died Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Consulate Health Care of North Strabane.

He was born October 7, 1926, in Bridgeville, a son of Edward and Anna Bonsky Ziegler.

Mr. Ziegler served his country with the U.S. Navy.

Prior to his retirement, he worked as a steelworker for Jones & Laughlin, later retiring from LTV Steel.

He enjoyed auto racing, local racing and NHRA drag racing. He was a Dale Earnhardt fan, and especially enjoyed watching NASCAR. Mr. Ziegler was an avid Pittsburgh Penguins fan and enjoyed going to the games.

He was a talented flower gardener and enjoyed his garden.

Surviving are his son, Curtis Ziegler of Canonsburg; a niece, Janet Donet; and a nephew, James Rostron Jr.

Deceased, in addition to his parents, are his wife, Constance Orbich Ziegler, and his sister, Jean Bedner.

Friends will be received from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 6, in Sollon Funeral Home Ltd., 30 East College Street, Canonsburg, J. David Sollon, supervisor, Phillip L. Sollon, director. Interment will follow in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Peters Township. Please visit for additional information and to view and leave condolences.



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