Pauline (Dolly) Hemphill Blake

May 25, 1925 - June 9, 2020 Kennett Square, PA | Age 95 "Dolly"

Pauline (Dolly) Hemphill Blake, lifelong resident of Kennett Square, passed away Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, peacefully at her home. She was predeceased by two beloved husbands, Clifford Hemphill who passed away in October of 1968 and Harold Blake who passed away in November of 1991. Pauline is also predeceased by four siblings, Esther, Florence, Ernest and Peter. She also lost a son, Clifford P. Hemphill, who passed away in June of 2017.

Pauline was born on May 25, 1925 at the Chester County Hospital in West Chester, Pa. She was the daughter of the late Pietro and Lucia (Martelli) Di Guiseppe.

Pauline’s parents immigrated into the United States through Ellis Island, New York. They were from a small town, Civitella del Tronto, located in the province of Abruzzo, Italy, Northeast of Rome.

Pauline’s parents were good examples to her and their Grandchildren. Her Father, Pietro, had an entrepreneurial spirit. He established two businesses, one in mushrooms and the other in real estate. Her Mother, Lucia, had a strong personality and a good work ethic. Both parents had a tremendous amount of integrity.

After Graduating from Kennett High School in 1943, Pauline spent two and a half years living in Los Angeles, California. She became a regular at Tommy Dorsey’s establishment, Casino Gardens and soon became somewhat of a legend for her dancing skills, as she dazzled some of the biggest movie stars of that time period (Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Ava Gardner and many others). Soon Pauline caught the eye of Tommy Dorsey’s band manger, George (Bullets) Durgom, who was responsible for controlling the careers of many famous stars. He was interested in discovering her as a new talent, however, Pauline had other ideas. She danced for fun and was not interested in a Hollywood career. Eventually, Pauline decided to head back to Kennett Square, Pa.

Pauline was a prominent business owner of Clifford’s Hair Fashion for fifty six years. She enjoyed a loyal clientele. She knew everyone in Kennett and everyone in town knew her as (Dolly). She was diminutive in stature with a big personality and infectious laugh, she was quite the character. She was always accepting and supportive, a life long member of St. Patrick’s Church in Kennett Sq., always willing to help others. She enjoyed having fun and was a phenomenal dancer. Her favorite restaurant was Giordanos’s in Kennett. She loved the food and attention she received from the wait staff. She had a competitive side, enjoyed playing bridge, pinochle, solitaire, along with doing crossword puzzles. She was an avid reader of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pauline loved her Grandchildren and was always the doting Grandmother. She was a great example of strength, determination and perseverance. She was one of a kind, truly a unique person. Pauline will be sorely missed.

Pauline is survived by three children, Dorian Lelli and her spouse (Bob) Michael Hemphill and his spouse (Matthew Tseronis) and Mark Hemphill. She is also survived by her three Grandchildren, Matthias Hemphill, Adrian Lelli, and Kyle Lelli and his spouse (Taylor).

There will be a private burial with the immediate family.

Arrangements by Kuzo Funeral Home of Kennett Square, PA.





  1. I didn’t know the incredible story of Dolly. She was personable. I had my hair done at Clifford’s for many years until moving to Maine. I remember her son who was a good hairdresser, very talented.

    Moving to Maine in 1988 I often wondered what happened to Dolly, we were the same age..
    God bless.

    Mary Lee

    mary lee merrill | July 4, 2020 at 1:43 PM
  2. It is with sadness that we just learned on Dolly’s passing. She was such a sweet lady and a great friend to Marguerite. We will remember her always.
    You are in our thoughts. Rob and Christine Plankinton

    Christine | June 26, 2020 at 1:32 PM
  3. Mark, Matthias, Dorian, Cliff (RIP) and Michael, its hard to appreciate the loss you must feel after the passing of your mother. I have so many great memories of her as a young boy growing up in Kennett Square. She was short in stature but had a huge in heart and soul. I am certain you will find some comfort in knowing how many people she touched during her life-time and your own memories of her as your mother and mentor. I am sorry that I can’t be with you this weekend to celebrate her life but my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Jock Halsted | June 26, 2020 at 7:35 AM
  4. I am sorry for your loss. I smile every time I think of Dolly. And, nothing can compare to the wonderful stories brought about from her escapades with Aunt Esther. Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Carol Hollister

    Carol Hollister | June 24, 2020 at 6:43 PM
  5. Dear Michael, Dorian, and Mark, I am so sorry for your loss. Dolly and I had so many good times together and I considered her my good friend. I will miss her contagious laugh and her positive outlook. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your families.

    Rosemary Angelucci

    Rosemary Angelucci | June 23, 2020 at 2:51 PM
  6. Dear Dorian, Mike, Mark, and Matthias,
    I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Dolly. She was truly one in a million. She had a kind heart and a loving soul that lit up the room. I was just a kid, but i remember the birthdays and the graduations she attended for me and she was always fun loving and kind! Rest in peace.
    Domenic Martelli

    Domenic Martelli | June 22, 2020 at 8:55 PM
  7. I have many fond memories of Dolly … as a kid , and a friend of Cliffords , I spent many hours at the house . Dolly was always more than friendly and welcoming to all the kids who spent a lot of time on the back screened in porch . One of those times I was recently reflecting on , given the Space X launch , was the moon landing in 1969 ,,, about ten of us were gathered on the porch ( around a small tv with Rabbitt ears ) betting on which foot would touch the surface of the moon first .. Dolly checked in on us several times that night With her larger than life self !! ,,, fast forward to 2017 , I was on the phone with Clifford, when Dolly screamed from the other room … “ give Dave Becker a big nugie for me!” …. Dolly’s influence was both large and deep , always to be remembered by many — certainly by me !

    David Becker | June 22, 2020 at 2:22 PM
  8. Dorian, Michael, and Mark,
    I’m so sadden to hear of your Mom’s passing. Dolly was one of a kind; someone you could laugh with and have a great time, and yet someone with whom you could have a deep and thoughtful conversation. She showed a lot of kindness and compassion. She will be missed. May all your memories give you comfort at this difficult time and always. My deepest condolences for your loss.

    Mary Angelucci Luxon

    MARY ANGELUCCI | June 21, 2020 at 2:07 PM
  9. Dear Mark, Matthias, Michael, Dorian, and other loved ones,
    Extending loving thoughts and sympathy to you in the loss of your mom. You were blessed to have her for so long (although so long is never long enough) and she was blessed to have such a loving family care for her.
    Jerri and Wayne

    Jerri Hemphill-Wilimzig | June 21, 2020 at 12:50 PM
  10. Dear Michael, Dorian, and Mark,
    I was so sorry to hear about Your Mom. As you know we go way back since 1965 when I worked at “ Cliffords”. What a delight Dolly was, she always made me laugh! I know you all will miss her & so will all of Kennett. I am sending you prayers & hugs.
    ❤️Terry Forte

    Terry Forte | June 20, 2020 at 7:13 AM
  11. Dorian, Thinking about you and your family. Sorry to hear about your mom. She sounds like a special lady that will be truly missed.
    Jo Anne Adel

    Jo Anne Adel | June 18, 2020 at 9:39 PM
  12. Dolly was always the brightest light in the room. She always went out of her way to make everyone feel better. What a great mother. Raising four outstanding and loving children. She will be missed. RIP Dolly!

    Bill Rochetti | June 18, 2020 at 12:35 PM
  13. So sorry to learn of Dolly’s passing. She was always a delight having coffee with us girls at McDonald’s. May she rest in peace. Elaine.

    Elaine Fiore | June 18, 2020 at 8:32 AM
  14. Dear Michael, Dorian, Mark and families,
    My deepest condolences to you all on the loss of dear sweet Dolly. So many losses in the neighborhood this year….very sad. There is a HUGE Stenning Hills party going on right now, with Dolly being the life of the party. I will never forget her laugh or her jovial personality. May she rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers for you all at this most difficult time.
    Donna Pannell Novak

    Donna Novak | June 17, 2020 at 8:09 PM
  15. Sorry for your/ our loss of your Mom, Hemphill family: Michael, Cliff, Dorian, & Mark.
    She was a beloved friend of my Aunt Shirley Leo, & I always remember her as cute, funny, lively, open & talkative, & a little tough! (as I would meet her in the supermarket still shopping in her later years).
    Happy to see that she lived a long life, & be looking forward, family, to meeting her in Heaven.
    Love, Michele Gatti

    Michele | June 17, 2020 at 7:57 PM
  16. So sorry Mark, you’re in our prayers.


    Wayne Gentile | June 17, 2020 at 5:42 PM
  17. Dorian & Family
    We are so sorry for the loss of your incredible mom! What an amazing story of her life! We are
    Thinking of you all!
    Dan and Cindy

    Cindy Borrelli | June 17, 2020 at 2:19 PM
  18. Two words come to mind when I think of Dolly, unique and vibrant. My dear friend Cliff used to say, “Our Dolly, she’s a pip!” Her life story is quite interesting as was she. I’m sure her family will hold their memories close and I am real sure that Heaven is a lot of fun now. Warm thoughts to all.

    Becky Evans Tolmie | June 17, 2020 at 10:15 AM
  19. Mark and Matthias. I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Dolly. She was one of a kind and I know she will be dearly missed. But I’ll bet one thing is true that she is giving God a a hard time and a good laugh at the same time. Hoping God puts his healing hand on you both and your family. Take care and stay strong.

    Carl Hess | June 17, 2020 at 9:09 AM
  20. Dolly and family l just wanted to add how thankful l am for the chance l had to meet Dolly and family. Paul from the day we met always had stories about Kennett Square. Dolly always had the “ Leading Lady” role in his tales. I was taken by how close l felt to Dolly and you, her family during such a brief visit.I do want you to know how much l enjoyed Dolly and absolutely understood Paul’s feelings.My very sincere condolences for your loss. I will always be grateful for meeting you Dolly and wish you a Restful Peace. Suzie

    Suzie Akey | June 16, 2020 at 7:26 PM
  21. Happy to have known Dolly, she was a delight. I will miss her. Joyce Basciani

    Joyce Basciani | June 16, 2020 at 6:42 PM
  22. Dolly and family. There are times in life where, what seems like destiny, you are delivered a very special gift. Looking back on life you just can’t imagine how much you would have missed if this possible destiny delivered gift had not been part of your life. Well enter Dolly and her family who became part of mine or me part of theirs. Some things are easy in life and being around Dolly was oh so easy right off the bat. Dolly was Dolly and you couldn’t help but love her. Even when we didn’t see eye to eye we still saw eye to eye, if that makes sense. The memories are far to many to list. She has loaded my memory bank ,the only bank you can’t steal from, with oh so many Dolly moments. These memories also include her entire family. I am sad and also happy that she gave us the opportunity to be around her for her 95 years of earthly existence. I feel slightly guilty,for not writing a small book,about all the pleasurable times spent with Dolly and family. So Michael, Dorian, Mark and Cliff ( RIP) be sad she’s not with us now but l’m sure we are in the same boat rowing along the river of her memories. Dolly l know you know l’ll miss you always but forget you, never. Your Canadian Son Paul

    PaulAkey | June 16, 2020 at 6:31 PM
  23. Our heart is sad with this loss, We love her like a Mom, RIP our Dolly until we see you again, Sorry for your big loss Mark and the rest of the family Blessings forever

    Ana & Martin

    ANA FELICIANO | June 16, 2020 at 6:27 PM
  24. Dear Dorian and Mark,

    I am so sorry to hear of your mothers passing. I know what it feels like. She was such a force of nature! You were so blessed to have her for so long. Please accept my condolences.


    Rhonda Molin | June 16, 2020 at 5:45 PM
  25. Mark and Matthias….and your family so sorry to hear your Mom passed. She will live in the Hearts of everyone she knew … Thinking of you all …. Bruce and Jesse

    Bruce Pritchett | June 16, 2020 at 3:39 PM

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