Penncrest High School
Class of 1963


The following classmates are deceased:   Updated October 31, 2013
Louise Arters December 8, 2012
Robert H. Anderson March 7, 2001
Horace G. Armstrong  
Daniel T. Bonaventure  
Martha Bodtke Pisano June 29, 2013
Linda Brogan  
Richard D. Cross  
John Dalton  
Richard Davis  
Bill Erwin  
Thomas I. Gartside October 27, 2013
Charles Green  
Craig W. Holland  
Jim Kelly October 13, 2006
Carol Kidder Yantis August 2006
Ann Loise Duncan Kilb  
Jill Lewicki  
Samuel M. Lutzkanin  
Barbara Neal Vitello November 16, 2011
Erna Phillips Kyle September 11, 2012
Donald Meyer September 2012
Paul Pometti October 24, 2012
Jeffrey Allen Radnor March 19, 2013
Mary Jane Rathey June 11, 2007
Kenneth James Ruger September 3, 2011
Bonnie E. Shisler Olsen November 1, 2007
Faye L. Smith  
Dayle Ottey Thomas January 15, 2009
Edward B. Tunaitis April 27, 2009
Don Ellis Weatherly   November 25, 2002
Marvin Weibley  
Marjorie Worrall Plotts March 2013



Louise Arters, twin sister of Janet Arters Duckworth, passed away on Saturday, December 8th. Louise had been battling MS for more than 30 years, which ended her modeling and acting career. The sisters were best known as "The Sparkle Twins" in the movie Slap Shot (1977 with Paul Newman). They were also the "dancing twins" in the 1974 film with Mia Farrow and Robert Redford - The Great Gatsby.

Condolences to Janet at 36 Oakmont Place, Media, PA 19063


Erna Phillips Kyle, 67

Funeral information

Home: Media, PA

Place of Birth: Spokane, WA

Date of Death: September 11, 2012

Birthdate: January 2, 1945


Age: 67

Memorial Service: Saturday, September 15, 2012 3:00 PM Lima United Methodist Church, Media, PA

Interment: Private


Erna P. (nee Phillips) Kyle, 67, of Middletown Twp., PA and formerly of Concord Twp., PA died Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at home. Erna was a graduate of Penncrest High School and attended Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. She was employed at A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital as a Unit Clerk until her illness. She previously worked for Riddle Memorial Hospital. 
Erna enjoyed her home and cherished her family. She was a person who loved to make those around her smile. Erna was a member of Lima United Methodist Church. 

Daughter: April Kyle-Danyluk 
Son: Hunter Kyle 
Grandsons: Tyler and Brandon 
Brother: Chuck (Karen) Phillips 

Memorial Contributions
 may be given to St Jude's Children's Hospital, Memorial Department, 501 St Jude's Place, Memphis, TN 38105; or Lima United Methodist Church, 209 N. Middletown Rd., Media, PA 19063 








Kenneth James Ruger, 67

ROUGEMONT — Kenneth James Ruger, 67, of Rougemont, passed  away Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, at Duke University Hospital.    He was born to parents Helen and Benjamin Ruger in Chester,  Pa., on April 18, 1944.

Ken is predeceased by his parents and his sister, Penelope  Quinney.

He is survived by his wife, Donna Miller Ruger, of  Rougemont; son, Jason Ruger (Hassie), of Bahama; daughter,  Jennifer Ruger Lane (John) of Rocky Mount; sisters-in-law,  Karla Kucera (David) of Bethel, Ohio, and Linda Ducate  (Larry) of Blythewood, S.C.; nieces and nephews, Ramona  Joiner, Michael Shane Quinney, Courtney Kucera, Austin  Kucera and Caitlin Ducate; and grandchildren, Elise Lane,
Jackson Lane, Lilli Ruger and Shelby Ruger.

Ken was a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, having  served three tours as a Marine Corps sergeant. He was a dedicated husband of nearly 40 years and loving father,  grandfather, uncle and friend. A true gentle giant, he was  never happier than when he was surrounded by his loved ones and had a lap full of grandchildren.

He was a proud member of the National Rifle Association and  American Legion who believed in standing up for Americans’ rights and freedoms. He was always loyal to his beloved  Marine Corps, flying his Marine Corps flag daily and  teaching his children the “Marines’ Hymn” before they  could talk.

As a certified welder, fabricator and machinist for 30  years, Ken touched more than just steel – he served as a  mentor to dozens of coworkers who learned the art of his  craft and the kindness of his heart.

Please consider a donation to the  Wounded Warrior Project, which helps thousands of wounded  warriors returning home from the current conflicts and  provides assistance to their families.



Dayle Ottey Thomas, 65

Electrician and toll collector

Dayle Ottey Thomas, 65, of Kennett Square, an electrician and toll collector, died Jan. 15 at Neighborhood Hospice.  Born and raised in Media, Mr. Thomas graduated from Penncrest High School in 1963.  Mr. Thomas worked as an electrician for 23 years for various companies in the Delaware County area.

He then worked for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as a toll collector, retiring after 12 years. Mr. Thomas served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Allied Occupation.





Class of 1965


Gretchen Worden, Mutter Museum chief

By Gayle Ronan Sims

Inquirer Staff Writer

Gretchen Worden, 56, director of the Mutter Museum, who transformed a collection of sublime anatomical medical oddities and history into a work of art that spoke for itself, died Monday of respiratory failure at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Before Ms. Worden's arrival in 1975, the Mutter Museum was nothing more than an eccentric collection that very few people knew about and even fewer visited. Today, it is a true museum, drawing more than 60,000 visitors annually and enjoying a worldwide reputation. It has a successful gift shop and is the subject of one of the most unusual coffee-table books ever published.

Ms. Worden brought energy and imagination to the staid museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Ms. Worden's understanding and enthusiasm for the pathological items - including Chief Justice John Marshall's bladder stones; a tumor removed from President Grover Cleveland's mouth; and the shared liver of the famous conjoined twins Chang and Eng - enabled her to win friends for the museum.

"She transformed the Mutter from a collection of bones into a work of art that spoke for itself," said Philadelphia-born comedian Teller. "It was still a serious academic venture, and to serious students it really told you a lot about the history of medicine. She welcomed other kinds of interest, though. For photographers and artists, it became about the beauty and horror of nature."

Ms. Worden, who lived in the Art Museum area, did not find the specimens monstrous but thought of them as having their own special and important stories to tell, displaying them in ways that highlighted the tension between attraction and repulsion.

She encouraged photographers and artists to consider the collection's innate beauty.

The New York team of Gwen Akin and Allan Ludwig were among the first photographers to do so. Their photographs, and others, were displayed in a calendar she commissioned in 1992. The calendar sold its first run of 3,500 in a snap.

The appeal of the calendars led to the publication of Ms. Worden's best-selling book, Mutter Museum. Science and art intersect in the 200-page work, holding the artistic photographs of such renowned photographers as Steven Katzman, Rosamond Purcell and William Wegman and historical photographs one would find in a medical text or a sideshow.

Particularly striking are Katzman's snapshot of a skull showing the nerves and arteries along with dried dahlias and Wegman's portrait of a weimaraner with a model of a typhus-ridden foot and ankle.  "In most museums you go to look at objects," she wrote in the book's preface. "In the Mutter Museum, sometimes the objects seem to be looking at you."

Ms. Worden worked her way up in the museum - the only place she ever worked - first as curator in 1982 and finally as its director in 1988. She worked until a few weeks before her death.  "It was the only job she ever wanted," recalls her cousin, Nina Tafel.

Ms. Worden's fascination with the weird began when she was a little girl growing up in Media, where her family had settled after living in Shanghai, China, and Moncilieri, Italy.

She started collecting conjoined objects such as M&Ms and dolls, and odd or suggestive food items, said her friend Janice Wilson Stridick.  As a young woman, she started collecting cow creamers, and as an adult she amassed an international toilet-paper collection. She also collected model and stuffed rats.

She graduated from Penncrest High School in 1965, earned a bachelor's degree in physical anthropology in 1970 from Temple University, and then set her eyes on working at the Mutter Museum.

"She worked among the artifacts of death and had fun with it - it was perfect for her," said her friend Christine Ruggere, associate director of the Institute of History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University.  As the museum's reputation grew, so did hers. Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris featured her story in his First Person television series; David Letterman invited her to be on his show three times; and NPR's Terry Gross interviewed her for a Fresh Air segment.

Ms. Worden had her life exactly the way she wanted it, Stridick said. "Although Gretchen had many suitors over the years, she never married. She did not want to compromise her independence."


Louis W. Scott, III          August 13, 2000


Claude J. Falcone           August 26, 2000
     Memorial web site:


Jonathon Bixby  '77         April 29, 2001

NY Stage: Urinetown, Street Corner Symphony (Broadway); Hello Dolly! 1995 Broadway Revival; Strike up The Band (City Center, Encores!); The Country Club (2000 Drama Desk Nomination), The Torch- Bearers, Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, As Bees in Honey Drown, June Moon, Kingdom of Earth; As Thousands Cheer, "hope is the thing with feathers-" (Drama Dept.); The Cocoanuts (American Place Theater); Sheba (The Jewish Rep.); Advice From A Caterpillar (Lucille Lortel); The Skin or Our Teeth, Man is Man, The Three Sisters, Galileo, Life is a Dream and The importance of being Earnest (both at Jean Cocteau Repertory). Regional: Rhinoceros (New Jersey Shakespeare Festival), Merton of the Movies (Geffen Playhouse); Lives of the Saints (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Sayonara (L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award); The Illusion, Light Up The Sky (Merrimack Rep.); June Moon (McCarter Theater); Man of LaMancha and Oklahoma! (Birmingham Theatre); A Streetcar Named Desire and Caucasian Chalk Circle (Bloomsberg Theatre Ensemble). U.S. Tours: Cirque Ingenieux; The Sound of Music; Brigadoon; The Wiz; Evita; My Fair Lady; Jesus Christ Superstar; West Side Story; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. International Productions: Tango Passion (Munich and Europe); The King and I (West End, USA, Japan); Hello, Dolly (Paris Premiere). Film: Angel Passing (Sundance Festival), Eventual Wife. TV: "One Life To Live"; "All My Children" (1990 Emmy Award). Jonathan is a founding member of Drama Dept.

Jonathan Bixby, 41, passed away on Sunday April 29, 2001 from complications from Colon cancer. A founding member of Drama Dept., Jonathan designed costumes for eight of our first eleven productions. He created many of these designs with his colleague, Greg Gale, who will continue the business they started 15 years ago. Jonathan's work with us went far beyond his creations for our stage; his contributions will always be a part of who we are, what we do and, most importantly, how we work.

Before his death, Jonathan stressed the importance to all people of having a colonoscopy. He asked that the public encourage insurance companies to reform their policy on colonoscopies. They must be mandatory at the age of 35 instead of 50. Colon cancer has become epidemic most in men and women between the ages of 34 and 44.


Updated on 10/31/13