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Full Obituaries

Jo-Ann Goncalves

Jo-Ann Goncalves, 79, passed away on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Newport News, VA. She was a native of Elton, WVa. and had been a resident of Newport News for over 40 years. Jo-Ann retired from Farm Fresh as a Pharmacy Tech.

Jo-Ann was preceded in death by her husband, John Goncalves, father and mother, Eura and Evelyn Withrow, and brother, Billy Withrow. She is survived by two brothers, Jimmy Withrow, Wytheville, VA, and Jack Withrow, Kingsland, GA; two sisters, Betty Hicks, Hampton, VA, and Virginia Berry, Meadow Bridge, WVa; and numerous nieces and nephews.

At her request, there will be no services.

Robert G. Crossen

Robert G. Crossen (Bobby) of Hampton, Virginia passed away after a long illness at his niece’s home in Williamsburg, VA on May 25, 2020. Bobby was born on July 9, 1931. He was preceded in death by his father, John Edward Crossen, mother, Mary Crossen, brother, Warren (Fred) Crossen, and sister Marguerite (Dixie) Matthews. He is survived by three nieces and two nephews.  A private interment was held at Peninsula Memorial Park.

Clarence G. Stevens, Jr.

Clarence G. Stevens, Jr., 86, passed away on Thursday, May 14, 2020.  A native of New Jersey, “Steve” lived in Yorktown, VA for the last 16 years.  He was an auto mechanic and had his own business for many years in Long Branch, NJ.  Steve was in the Navy, stationed at Little Creek and Ft. Monroe, VA.  He loved his family, and enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Stevens and Bertha Weir; his brother, Ronald Weir; and sister-in-law, Patty Weir.  He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Patricia Lucido Stevens of Yorktown; son, Clarence Stevens III;  daughter, Debbie Jo Yetka and son-in-law, George Yetka, Jr. of Holmdel, NJ; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; his brother, Samuel Weir of NJ; and many of his New Jersey friends who knew him as “Skip”.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Claren B. Fore

Claren B. Fore, 94, of Asheville, North Carolina, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. He was born October 5, 1925 and preceded in death by his parents, Estie B. Fore and Dema Ann Fore. He leaves behind his devoted wife of 74 years, Sarah Elizabeth Whitaker Fore, and daughter, Carol Fore Holbrook and her husband, David of Richmond, Virginia.

Mr. Fore moved to Newport News in 1942 after graduating from Lee Edwards High School in Asheville. He went to work for Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock as a welder until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. Upon returning from service, he accepted an apprentice position to become a draftsman at N.N. Shipbuilding. During this same time, he enrolled at the College of William and Mary. After graduating in 1951 he accepted a position with Daniels, Turnbull & Freeman in Newport News. He became a partner in the firm once he received his Certified Public Accountant credentials in 1957. Mr. Fore later assisted in the merger of his firm with Coopers & Lybrand, LLC and became a partner with them.

After his retirement from accounting in 1984, Claren and Sarah moved to Lake Gaston to enjoy traveling together in their RV. He soon took a second residence in Mesa, Arizona where he enjoyed silversmithing, square dancing, bible study and exploring the deserts of Arizona on his motorcycle with friends. His final move was returning to his home of Asheville in 2000.

A special thanks to all the staff of Bella Vista Independent Retirement Community, Aston Park Health Care Center, and especially to Billy and Evelyn Woody, all of Asheville.

Lora J. Shelton

Lora J. Shelton, 99, a native of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, passed away on May 18, 2020. She was a resident of the Peninsula since 1952 and was a member of Temple Baptist Church.

Lora was preceded in death by her husband, Edward A. Shelton. She is survived by her sons, Edward A. Shelton, Jr. (Karen) and Samuel J. Shelton (Christine); 4 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Frances Crews and Mary Dalton; and brother, Carroll Jennings.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Temple Baptist Church, 235 Harpersville Road, Newport News, VA 23601.

A private graveside service will be held at Peninsula Memorial Park.

Donald Eugene Wachsmann

Donald Eugene Wachsmann, 86, passed away on Sunday, May 17, 2020 in Newport News, Virginia. He is survived by his wife, Peggy Ann Wachsmann and sister, Sugie Barker.

Interment will be in Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, in Suffolk.

Rachel A. Mulik

Rachel A. Mulik, age 97, of Newport News went to be with her Lord on Friday, May 15, 2020.  She was a long-time member of Liberty Baptist Church, she worked 21 years for the City of Newport News at Ferguson High School Cafeteria and she was also a long-time volunteer at the Red Cross.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Andrew Mulik; son, John Mulik; daughter, Elizabeth Sears; grandson, Johnnie Mulik; granddaughter, Rachel Lind; her parents, two sisters and a brother.

Rachel is survived by daughters, Mary A. Dail and Shirley Hatchett; three brothers; nine grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff of James River Convalescent Center for their wonderful care, especially Tenesha Massenburg and Nicole Saunders.

A funeral service will be held Tuesday, May 19 at 12:00 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home, with interment following at Peninsula Memorial Park.

Maxine Grepiotis

Maxine Grepiotis, age 91, went to be with the Lord on May 11, 2020. She was born to Alma and Thomas Christenberry in North Carolina on July 20, 1928. She grew up as an active farm girl and also participated in her high school plays. After graduating from business college, she worked at Camp Patrick Henry in Virginia where she met her lifelong love, Arthur Grepiotis.

She and her husband, Arthur, were long-time residents in the Tidewater area. They were members of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church where Maxine joined The Golden Hearts and Daughters of Penelope.

Maxine enjoyed working outside in her garden, loved her flowers and bird watching. One of her greatest loves were her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. It gave her great joy to hear from her family daily. She was much loved by them.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the anchor of her life. She knew her Lord provided for her and saw her glass as half full – never half empty. She loved life. This spunky, feisty woman with such a loving spirit will be missed by her many friends and family. She was a ray of sunshine to all she touched.

Maxine was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Arthur Grepiotis, her son, John Grepiotis, and five sisters, Wanda Vanlandingham, Iris McCarthy, Eloise Kruse, Edith Dowling, and Lina Devore.

She is survived by her children: James Grepiotis (Brenda); Jacqueline Henderson (Larry); Joan Blanton (Lacy); Thomas Grepiotis (Libby); Joseph Grepiotis; Nancy Grepiotis (Steve); and Ola Jane Bowman (Robert). She is also survived by her brother, Thomas Christenberry (Ann); and her three sisters: Janet Thomas (Ed), Patricia McIntyre, and Nancy Rosen; 21 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, May 18, at 2:00 p.m. at the Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, officiated by Reverend George Chioros, with burial to follow at Peninsula Memorial Park. Flowers or donations may be sent to Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 60 Traverse Rd. Newport News, VA 23606, or donations to The 700 Club, https://www.cbn.com/giving/700club. Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home.

Erleen Wheeling

Erleen Wheeling passed away on May 10, 2020. She was born in Winston-Salem in 1920 to the late Laurelston Dodson Lawson and Julia Francis Westmoreland Lawson.

Erleen was a graduate of Salem College and a career teacher in public schools. She believed in the value of education and inspired countless students. She was a dedicated and active member of First United Methodist Church since moving to the Peninsula in 1958. She served as a Sunday School teacher and as United Methodist Women president. She found joy in serving on the mission committee, worship committee, the church board, and organizing the annual craft shows. James and Erleen also served as representatives to the Annual Conference and attended the School of Christian Missions for many years. It was through the Bithynia Sunday School Class that she met lifelong friends and made a loving Newport News family.

She was always involved in the lives of her children and grandchildren, loving and supporting each as a constant source of faith, wisdom and guidance. Her presence was unmistakable and she commanded an audience with grace and charisma. She loved her family boundlessly and was our matriarch and guide.

In addition to her parents, Erleen was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, James; daughters, Julia Dawn and Lynn Leslie; and her siblings, Uella and Rosco. She is survived by daughters, Susan Lee Kahl and Karen Jamie Cromer; sons-in-law, Bob Kahl and David Agee; grandchildren, Geoff and Jeremy Kahl, Valerie Cromer Ryan, Anna McLaughlin, and Rachel Hall; five great-grandchildren; and nephew, J.R. Lawson.

The family will hold a small graveside gathering at Salem Cemetery in Winston Salem, NC on May 16th. Because we are restricted to a limited number of guests, we ask that you support us with your prayers. A memorial service will be planned at a later date at First United Methodist in Hilton Village, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center or the First United Methodist Church in Newport News.

The family wishes to thank the nurses, therapists and assisting personnel of Warwick Forest, Riverside Hospice and Visiting Angels for their compassionate and loving care of our Erleen.

Yong H. So

Yong H. So passed away on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at the age of 87.  She was a native of South Korea and had been a resident of Newport News since 1986.  Yong was a member of the Peninsula Korean Baptist Church.

Yong is survived by her children: son, Andy So and wife Grace; daughter, Sunny Yates and husband William; daughter, Joung S. Cho and husband Kyudon; son, Hoon Seo and wife Young Ja; and daughter, Jenny McBroom and husband Roc; her grandchildren: Yoomi So, Dana Choi, Eugene Koo, Lawerence Yates, Steven Yates, Grace Cho, Sylvia Seo, Daniel Seo, Jimmy Hobbs, Angie Stogdill; and seven great grandchildren.

A private family graveside service will be held in the Garden of Eden Cemetery.

Kyrie Josiah Tyree’ 

Kyrie Josiah Tyree´ Foreman, 20 months and two weeks, passed away Thursday, April 30, 2020. Although he had suffered from Acute Leukemia and had numerous medical procedures, he was a happy baby with a beautiful smile.  He loved his stuffed animals that he called his “babies” and his Baby Sharp, loved music and he loved to dance.  His smile lit up at the sight of his family, especially his baby sister whom he loved so much.

Kyrie was preceded in death by his maternal great-grandparents, Joan Anna Fulwood and Freddie Rudolph Fulwood.

He is survived by his mother, Shelayar Fulwood, his father, Dequan Foreman, maternal grandparents, Tiara and Phgero Bernard, paternal grandmother, Natasha Foreman and his sister, Ka´layah Foreman.

A private graveside service will be held on Saturday, May 9 at Hampton Memorial Gardens.

Adora Lou Williams

Adora Lou Williams passed away on Monday, May 4, 2020, at the age of 79.  She was a native and life-long resident of  Newport News. Adora was a life-time member of Northside Christian Church, Piece Makers Quilt Guild, and numerous other quilting bees.

She was an amazing woman who never met a stranger; she was outgoing and vibrant; she was a life-long friend, a second mother to her children’s friends, a beloved wife, homemaker, incredible mother, amazing Nana, and many other special relationships.

She was preceded in death by her father, Henry French, mother, Mary Magdalene French, brother, Thomas Wells, and sister, Ann Brendle.
Adora is survived by her loving husband of 52 years, Charles Williams; daughter, Karen Cunningham; sons, Dennis McCaskill (Laurie), Gene Williams (Anne) and Donald Williams (Beneline); five grandchildren Bryan, Alden, Evan, Madilyn and Kelly; and two great-grandchildren, Jaycee and Layla.

A family service was held at Peninsula Memorial Park.

Mom and Nana, we love you to the moon and back, forever and always.

Eleanor Updike Lucento

Eleanor Updike Lucento, 85, passed away on May 1, 2020. She was born on March 27, 1935 in Harrisonburg, VA. Eleanor was the last born of six children to the late Luther Samuel Updike of Bentonville, VA and Vergi Elizabeth Thompson of VA. She graduated from Mullens High in Mullens, WV, where she was a cheerleader. Eleanor later married her husband, Willie Lucento of Bud, WV, in Newport News on March 8, 1955. She was an active member of Warwick Memorial United Methodist Church. She enjoyed arts and crafts, and opened and operated a flower shop during the 1980s. Eleanor was preceded in death by her sister, Louise White, and her brothers, Luther S. Updike, Jr. and Benjamin Updike. She is survived by her loving husband, Willie; daughter, Tanya Badgett; son, Timothy Lucento; grandchildren, Mandelo and wife Niami Lowery, Brittany, Nikki, Juliana and Evan; great-grandchildren, Audie and Millie; and sisters, Betty Williamson and Barbara Pritchard; along with several nieces and nephews.

A private service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020 at Peninsula Funeral Home, officiated by Pastor Judy Worthington. Interment will follow at Peninsula Memorial Park. The service will be live-streamed beginning at 11:30 a.m. at www.peninsulafuneralhome.com/video. A celebration of Eleanor’s life will be held at a later date.

Yolanda Maria Ulisse Oakley

Yolanda Maria Ulisse Oakley, 75, of Newport News, passed away Sunday, May 3, 2020. She was the daughter of Carmine and Maria Bucci Ulisse and was first generation Italian. She loved gathering with family and cooking. Her favorite trips included travelling to Hawaii and visiting with her family in Rome, Lanciano, and Castel Frentano, Italy.

Yolanda was a graduate of Hampton High School, Class of 1962, and started a career in accounting. She later went on to be founder and owner of Business Aid Associates and just recently retired. She adored working with her clients and built many lasting relationships over the 30 years she was in business. Yolanda was a member of Ivy Memorial Baptist Church, past member of the Kiwanis Club of Poquoson, and an Enrolled Agent, one of the highest credentials awarded by the Internal Revenue Service.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Gene and Nick Ulisse. leaves behind a loving family including her husband of 56 years, Wayne Oakley; daughter, Tina Oakley Duvall and son-in-law Michael Duvall; daughter, Alissa Oakley Nadolski and son-in-law Jonathan Nadolski; grandchildren, Nicholas (and May) Duvall, James (and Maria) Duvall, Ava Nadolski, and Abigail Nadolski; great grandchild, Mia Duvall; two brothers, Jimmy and Tony Ulisse; and many beautiful nieces and nephews.

She was an amazing woman, loving wife, and wonderful mother. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and church family. Due to social distancing, the family will hold a private service at Peninsula Memorial Park on Wednesday, May 6. A celebration of life will be planned at Ivy Memorial Baptist Church at a later date.

Suzette Marie Prest

Suzette Marie Prest passed away peacefully at home on April 26, 2020. She was born May 1, 1963 in Newfane, NY. She is survived by her husband Alan, daughter Ruth Fries (Brian), granddaughter Reagan, and father David Kreutz. She is also survived by her siblings William, Jennifer, Shawn, and Barry, along with her aunt Carol Bradley, a number of nieces, nephews, in-laws, and other loved ones. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, mother Mary Caufield and her stepfather Narvie Salter (survived by his wife Joan). A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or St. Jude’s.

Calvin Edward “Cal” Cox, Jr.

Calvin Edward “Cal” Cox, Jr., of Newport News, Virginia, passed away on Friday, April 24, 2020, at age 95. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Patricia Elaine “Pat” Cox.

Cal was born on October 29, 1924, in Ludington, Michigan, to Calvin Edward Cox, Sr. and Violet Candace Fournier. He graduated from Ludington High School in 1942 and joined the Navy. Cal earned a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1949 and an MBA in 1950, both from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Cal then joined the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan, where he met Pat. They married October 18, 1952. The Cox family moved several times with Dow Chemical, living in Texas, Michigan and Zurich, Switzerland, before settling in Virginia in 1967.

Cal was a devoted husband and a gentle father to his children. He passed on his love for the game of golf to his son Robert and daughter Carol, through many rounds of golf over the years at the James River Country Club. He also passed on his love of discussing sports and politics to his eldest daughter, Nancy. Cal was an avid bridge player alongside Pat and was known to enjoy a glass of red wine or scotch. After retiring in 1986, Cal and Pat spent many happy years visiting friends and family, and researching the genealogy of their family.

Cal is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Robert Alanson Cox. He is survived by his sister Suzanne Gossett of Houston, Texas; his son Robert Edward Cox (Melissa) of Anchorage, Alaska; and his daughters Nancy Cox Welsh (Greg) of Frisco, Texas and Carol Ann Cox (Rocio) of Del Mar, California. Cal will be missed by his grandchildren Tyler Patrick Cox, Stacey Welsh Dominguez and Christopher Taylor Cox and great granddaughters Lyra Gwen Cox and Rosalind Quinn Cox.

Cal was a longtime member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. His ashes will be interred in a columbarium at the church alongside Pat. Arrangements for a celebration of life are pending the lifting of travel and social gathering restrictions. The family requests that those wanting to make a donation, please do so to a cause of their choice in Cal’s name.

Granville Craddock (“Heavy”) Hall

Granville Craddock (“Heavy”) Hall passed away peacefully at his home in Newport News on Saturday, April 25, 2020. He was born on August 10, 1936 in Richmond, VA, but moved to Newport News as a young child, where he remained for the rest of his life. He spent many happy childhood days in the Marshall Courts neighborhood before moving to a home on Sedgefield Drive with his family. Granville was a 1954 graduate of Newport News High School, where he excelled in football and basketball. He was a graduate of the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School, where he also played football, as well as a veteran of the U.S. Army. Heavy retired from Newport News Shipbuilding as a General Foreman in the Electrical Department (X31) in 1998 after more than 40 years of service, and later was co-owner of Ann Marie’s Subs in Denbigh.

Granville’s “happy place” was Kill Devil Hills, NC – so many cherished memories of times with family and friends over the years, on the screened porch of his cottage on Eden Street, in the bar at Chilli Peppers or Awful Arthur’s; and summer days on the beach in a folding lawn chair with a cooler nearby. He loved to cook and throw parties (always); he loved UVA, ACC basketball, the Kentucky Derby, and the Washington Redskins (sometimes); and he adored his grandchildren, making a point of going to every child’s sporting events, performances, birthday parties, and graduations. They will miss his text messages that always ended with “Lv Pappy.”
He relished opportunities to help others, and was a generous and faithful friend to so many. Heavy was well-known for his skill at telling jokes, and his many memorable renditions of “Funky Woman,” a song he learned during his days in the Army. He cherished his friendships, both new and lifelong, and will be especially missed by his beloved longtime friends Mickey Marcella, Glenn (“Bird”) Nelson, Emmett McNulty, and Phil Gregg. And we know he’s enjoying a cold one right now with his treasured friend Dick (“Poopy”) Bowman, who’s been waiting patiently for him in heaven.

Heavy was a member of the Peninsula Sports Club and supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula.

He was preceded in rest by his parents, Edward Pearson and Nell Medley Hall; his brother, Edward P. (“Ted”) Hall, Jr.; and his great-granddaughter, Grace Katherine Davenport.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Diane E. Fulton of Yorktown, and son, G. Todd Hall (Tammy) of Caswell Beach, NC; stepson, Michael Warren (Brandy); and stepdaughter, Lori Armer (Mike). His beloved grandchildren will dearly miss their “Pappy,” including Katie Davenport (Jake), Melissa Hall (Ray), Agatha Pilola (Michael), Sean-Michael Wilkinson, Christina Hall, Elizabeth Lyndsey Hall, Gabrielle Hall, Glen Warren, Jonathan Armer, and Sierra Warren; and nine great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Sherwood (“Sherry”) Hoge (Jeff) of Hubert, NC, and Katherine (“Kate”) Rishebarger of San Antonio, TX, and their children. Heavy was a Peninsula icon and leaves behind a multitude of wonderful friends and loved ones who wish they had time for “just one more” with this very special man.

The family would like to thank Mona DiFazio for the years of loving care and comfort that she provided to Heavy, as well as Grace Hospice for their support in his final days. Funeral arrangements are private and being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula in Heavy’s honor.

Margaret R. Wood

Margaret R. Wood, 91, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday morning, April 23, 2020, in the home of her daughter, Cathy.  She was a woman with a strong faith in God and a tremendous love for her family.  Margaret attended  Restoration Church Phoebus Baptist in Hampton for over 35 years and taught Sunday School for over 20 years in churches she attended earlier in life.  She had a special talent for ministering to the needs of others.

She was preceded in death by her husband and the love of her life, Lewis Wood, whom she always called Honey and referred to as ‘My Darlin’.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1996.  Margaret was also preceded in death by her grandson, Jamey Ludwig (Ma’s boy).

Left to cherish her memory are two daughters, Jeanne Bensten (Ron) and Cathy Geary (Mark); four grandchildren, Everett Bensten, Keith Bensten (Libby), Jeremy Ludwig, and Jeanne Margaret McFarland; five great-grandchildren, Jackson, Abby, Henry, Patrick and Norah Bensten, along with her special “adopted” daughter, Linda Reeves.  Margaret will also be dearly missed by her four step-grandchildren, Kellie Webb, Amber Geary, Andrew Geary and Kadie Prillaman; and 11 step-great-grandchildren.

Margaret was called Ma by her grandchildren and GGMA by her greats.  Her presence always brought many hugs, kisses and laughter that will be missed.  She cherished time with her family and always wanted to get together for any holiday, big or small, and anytime in between.  Big family dinners were her trademark.
A private graveside service will be held on Monday, April 27, and a celebration of her life will be scheduled at a later time.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Lt. Col. Leonard A. Ragus

Lt. Col. Leonard A. Ragus (U.S. Army, Ret.), 79, passed away on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. He was born a sharecropper’s son in Darnell, Louisiana and graduated from Springhill High School. He was in the ROTC program at LSU, and upon graduation entered the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant. He earned his master’s degree in Education Administration Supervision and married his high school sweetheart. In his full military career, he earned the Bronze Star Medal for Heroism in the Republic of Vietnam, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Vietnam Gallantry Cross. Following his faithful military service, he continued to support his comrades through government contracting.

Leonard was the son of the late Leonard and Inez Ragus. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Charlene Ragus McIntyre. He is survived by his devoted wife of 57 years, Donna Lee; daughters Dawn Ragus, Donna “Pidge” Ragus Glaze, and Leslie Ragus Jecker; grandchildren Nicki Ragus Musel, Keith Huff, Quinn Glaze, Tyler Wambold, Kelly Glaze, Braden Wambold; great grand-children Leena, Emmett, Leo, and Alden; and siblings Carl Ragus and Debbie Ragus Fields, who have always been his dearest friends.

The family will receive friends at Peninsula Funeral Home on Monday, April 27 from 4-6 p.m. A private funeral service, with military honors, will be held Tuesday, April 28 at noon at Peninsula Funeral Home, officiated by Father George Prado. Please contact the family regarding live streaming of the service. A private interment will be held at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude’s Hospital, or an organization supporting military veterans.

Daddy – on the eve of your departure, with gratitude we commend you, with respect, we salute you. Your loving family.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Linda J. Stavrakis

Linda J. Stavrakis, 70, was called to Heaven at her home surrounded by loved ones, on April 19, 2020. A native of West Virginia, she resided in Virginia for over 30 years. She was a headstrong woman with a green thumb, who loved animals and her family. She will be greatly missed.

Linda is preceded in death by her husband of 27 years, Constantine Stavrakis. She is survived by her children, Stephanie Stavrakis and fiancé Howard Helmick and Nick Stavrakis and fiancée Denise Vazquez; and three grandchildren, Christian, Alissa, and Howard, Jr.

A private graveside service will be held at Peninsula Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the family to assist with funeral expenses.

Arrangements are being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Irvin “Buddy” Holzsweig

Irvin “Buddy” Holzsweig, 93, of Newport News passed away peacefully April 15, 2020, at his home. Born in Portsmouth, Va., to Fannie Banks and Philip Holzsweig, Buddy grew up in Newport News within a close community of family and friends.

From his first job at age 14 as a Paramount Theatre usher until his last as a product sampler at Costco at age 87, Buddy valued work. He attended Newport News High School during World War II and entered the Army at age 18. As an entertainment specialist, he served in General MacArthur’s music corps in Tokyo, Japan, playing the drums for dignitaries and military events. Upon returning home, Buddy continued drumming in numerous bands at local clubs and venues, including the Saturday night “Dime a Dance” events at Buckroe Beach, and the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corp.

As vice-president of Golden Foods, Buddy’s professional career consisted of more than 40 years in the snack food business. He served as president of the Tidewater Food Dealers Association (Man of the Year 1987) and the GMRA of Tidewater. Buddy was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason with Warwick Lodge 336 and a member of the Shrine Club and Oriental Band (president 1981). Buddy was a member of Temple Sinai for more than 50 years and named Man of the Year in 1975.

Buddy enjoyed playing golf and keeping up with news in his hometown. He said he read the obituaries every day to make sure he wasn’t in them. Though quiet in demeanor, Buddy’s love for his family was evident in all that he was. Always kind, patient and selfless, he was everybody’s “buddy.”

Having lived such a long life, Buddy said goodbye to many of his dear relatives and friends. Buddy is survived by his loving family: Lorraine, his wife of 58 years; daughters Elisa Finneran (Pat) and Linda Grovenburg (Virgil); son Gary Klatz (Ruth); grandchildren Alex Finneran, Carly Finneran, Paul Berger and Sara Berger Meloni; great-grandchildren Brooke, Micah, Gabi and Ryan; sister, Regina Weinstock; and nieces, nephews and cousins.

Due to current conditions, a private graveside service will be held at the Jewish Cemetery of The Virginia Peninsula and a Celebration of Life gathering will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Temple Sinai (Newport News) or Shriners Hospitals for Children. Arrangements under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home.

Bertha Idella Ilish Buras

Our angel on earth and lifelong servant of Christ, Bertha Idella Ilish Buras, 95 years young, is at peace in the loving arms of God, her beloved husband, numerous siblings, and parents in heaven. Our beloved ‘Granny’ passed away April 9, 2020 in Mandeville, LA. Born in Newport News, VA on January 30, 1925, she graduated from Newport News High School and worked in the Newport News Shipyard as a timekeeper during World War II.  She was predeceased in 2014 by her devoted husband of 68 years, Frank Thomas Buras of New Orleans, who she married in 1946 in Fort Bragg, NC; her parents, George Ilish, born in Omisalj, Croatia and Bertha Adele Jones Ilish, born in Isle of Wight, VA; sisters, Virginia Bowen and Catherine Weaver; and brothers, George, Linwood, John, Elbert (Nick), and Dennis Ilich, all of Newport News, VA.

Bertha was a lifelong devoted servant of Christ, spreading God’s message of love and compassion through her deeds. She was the loving mother of five children and a military wife who kept her family together in moves to seven states and several European countries.  Along the way she made many friends that she annually corresponded with at Christmas. Her family and friends will treasure the memory of and miss her sweet, generous spirit.  Bertha always had a smile on her face, a song in her heart, a joke on her tongue, a great meal on her stove, and something sweet in the oven to share.

‘Bert’ was a dedicated member of Calvary Baptist Church in New Orleans where she was active with the church nursery, Sunday school, children’s choir, and hand bell choir programs. She also supported the Seaman’s Center of Global Maritime Ministries in New Orleans and was a member of Lodge 469 of the Order of the Eastern Star in Belle Chasse.

She is survived by her 5 children and their spouses: Frank E. Buras and Patricia Young Buras of Mandeville, Trudy Buras Ramey and Dr. Stewart T. Ramey of Baton Rouge, Thomas A. Buras and Honora Sloss Buras of Prairieville, Howard I. Buras of Cypress, CA, and  Ralph R. Buras and Donna Baier Buras of Chester, VA; twelve grandchildren: Kim Buras Prevost, Erika Buras Moore, Jennifer Buras McLachlan, Natalie Buras Bratton, Douglas Ramey, Lauren Ramey, Amanda Buras, Nicholas Buras, Nicole Noggle Walsh, Michael Noggle, Hannah Buras, and Sarah Buras; and ten great-grandchildren: Jacob and Benton Prevost; Roselynn, Caroline, and Isaac Moore; Wakeley, Walker, and Arden McLachlan, and Harper and Reagan Walsh. Bertha is also survived by her sister, Shirley Williamson and husband Boswell of Grafton, Virginia and numerous nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces.

Bertha will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband in Mill Swamp Cemetery in Ivor, VA on April 21, 2020. Due to the gatherings restrictions, there will be a private graveside service for the immediate family with a Celebration of Life Memorial to be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to Calvary Baptist Church (www.calvaryneworleans.com), The Gideons International (www.gideons.org), Global Maritime Ministries (www.portmimistries.com), or Fisher House Foundation (www.fisherhouse.org). Relatives and friends are invited to send condolences to Mothe Funeral Home (www.mothefunerals.com) or Peninsula Funeral Home at (www.peninsulafuneralhome.com).

Bettie H. Jeffery

Bettie H. Jeffery passed away on April 14, 2020, at the age of 85. She was born in Davie County, North Carolina and had been a resident of Virginia for over 70 years. Bettie retired from the Poquoson Police Department as a Dispatcher after 16 years of service. She loved bowling, gardening, and CB radios but her passion was genealogy which she started at a young age.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Franklin “Jeff” Jeffery and her parents, E.R. and Lottie Horne.

Bettie is survived by her son, Preston “Buz” Rinehart (Deb Hebert), daughter, Debra Sweeney (Chris) and son, William “Bill” Rinehart (Teddy Mular); five grandchildren, Vicky Perron, Sarah Ming, Brett Rinehart, Everette Rinehart, and Emma Rinehart; three great-grandchildren; sister, Louise Cassell (Harry); two nephews; and close life-long friends, Jim Parker, Vicki Sterling, and Karen Quarles.

A private graveside service was held on Saturday, April 18, at Peninsula Memorial Park. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Virginia 23601

Kenneth Ohman

Kenneth Ohman, 68, of Surry, VA went home to be with Jesus on April 10, 2020. He was a man who loved his wife and family dearly, and loved making people smile.

He was originally from Boston, MA and had been a resident of Virginia for over 45 years.  Kenny proudly served aboard the USS Saratoga during the Vietnam War, and was a retiree of Dominion Energy.

Kenny was preceded in death by his parents, Conrad H. and Madalene Ohman, and brother, John Ohman. He is survived by his wife, Carol; son, Michael; daughter, Laura; six grandchildren; one great-grand daughter; two brothers, Conrad C. and Leonard Ohman; sister Ruth Bergdorf; and many cousins, nephews and nieces.

Kenny will be laid to rest on Monday, April 20, 2020. Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

John Thomas Dever

On April 15, 2020, John Thomas Dever of Newport News, Virginia, loving husband, father, grandfather, and educator, passed away at the age of 74. He was born on November 10, 1945, in Lebanon, Kentucky.

John was a graduate of St. Augustine High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Bellarmine College (University), his master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

For the majority of his forty-five-year career, John was an English faculty member and administrator in the Virginia Community College System, serving Thomas Nelson Community College. He was deeply committed to the community college mission of providing affordable access to high-quality collegiate and career education as well as workforce training for all members of the community.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Peggy Elaine Dever, his parents, Garland Ray Dever, Sr. and Mary Frances O’Sullivan Dever; his brothers, Garland Ray Dever, Jr. and James Varty Dever. He is survived by his son, Seth Michael Dever and his wife, Blair Noel Costin; daughter, Sarah Katherine Sullivan and her husband, Scott Thomas Sullivan; and seven grandchildren, Rylan Wayne Gardner, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Gardner, Christian James Sullivan, Cameron Thomas Sullivan, Naomi Ellen Dever, Kenley Elaine Sullivan, and Brooke Noel Dever; his niece, Marie Eileen Dever, and nephew, Christopher W. Dever.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the John and Peggy Dever Changing Lives Fund at the Thomas Nelson Community College Educational Foundation, or to the Food Pantry at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, or a charity of choice.

A private graveside service will be held at Peninsula Memorial Park. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Virginia 23601.  

Gladys Barbee

Gladys Barbee, age 94, passed away on April 9, 2020. She was born in Fort Valley, GA to the late Charlie and Willie Queen Tukes. She attended Henry Hunt School and Fort Valley State College before moving to NJ. There, she met, then married Ernest Eugene Barbee, who preceded her in death.

During WWII, she began her career as a factory worker at a defense plant. After the war, she went on to work at the Margon Doll Company, and then the Metro/Ball Glass Company. Later, she became a nurses aide. After retiring, she enjoyed being a homemaker for many years before recently moving to VA to be near her daughter. Her last residence was at the Commonwealth of Hampton where she was feisty until the end. Her family would like to thank the staff for their professionalism and kindness.

Gladys was a strong, fun-loving, independent woman, who always had an encouraging word for others.

She is survived by her daughter, Michele Hirsch; grand-daughter, Rachel Hirsch; sisters Jewell Gaines and Charlie Mae Lemmons; nephews (Larry, Charlie, and Donald Gaines; and Victor and Dino Lemmons); nieces (Willie McDonald, Denise Gaines, and Malinda Smith); companions (Tilman Ware and Patricia Warrings); as well as innumerable cousins & friends.

A private family service was held on April 16.

Arrangements are under the care of The Peninsula Funeral Home at 11144 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601.

Frances T. Hooker

Frances Hooker transitioned to be with her Heavenly Father on Friday, March 27, 2020. She was born in Giles County, Tennessee and moved to Virginia in 1952 and she has resided in Newport News since 1958. Frances was preceded in death by her parents, William R. and Beatrice Tucker Tomerlin, and her two husbands, Walter B. Williams, Sr., and Guy D. Hooker. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Newport News and regularly attended the Bithynia Sunday School class and the United Methodist Women Circle #4. Frances retired from the banking industry formerly known as Bank of Virginia, now Wells Fargo.

She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Imogene and John Deuchert, of Jeffersonville, Indiana; brother, W. C. Tomerlin (Joan) of Prospect, Tennessee; three sons, Walter B. Williams, Jr. (Lisa) of Hampton, Richard E. Williams (Cheryl) of Naples, Florida, and Dewitt (Dee) Hooker (Lynn) of Oldsmar, Florida. Frances is also survived by one granddaughter, Misty Martin (Jon) (daughter of Walter Williams, Jr.) of Apache Junction, Arizona, seven great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

Frances loved nature, bird watching, her flowers and her walks. She will be missed but she is with her loved ones that preceded her.
Due to the pressing issue of COVID-19, there will be no public services, only a small immediate family graveside service to lay her to rest at Peninsula Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to those who helped make her final weeks peaceful, Riverside Hospice, 12420 Warwick Blvd., Suite 6E, Newport News, VA 23606, (757) 594-2745.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Rachel Quinn Wallis

Rachel Quinn Wallis, 92, of Newport News, VA, embarked on the next adventure of a full life, embraced into the peace and joy of heaven, on Good Friday, April 10, 2020. She was predeceased by her husband James, son Bobby, and daughter Barbara, and is survived by her son Jimmy (Martha), daughters Elizabeth (Jimmie Massie) and Linda (Greg Reisch), son-in-law Doug Garson (Pam) and daughter-in-law Renata (Woody Woodworth), 16 adoring grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.

Rachel was born on June 28, 1927 and raised in Smyrna, SC, matriculated through Duke Nursing School (and was forever rooting for Duke), and upon marriage moved to the Hampton Roads area in 1950. Raising five children in a warm, action-filled home, and always enfolding more into the mix, life was always an opportunity for learning and seeking adventure, whether it be picking berries, camping, Scouts, gardening – finding joy in everything, always giving of herself, always focused on others.

From homemaking and nursing she moved into serving around the world in missions of many forms – cleft palate repair, general nursing, holding babies in orphanages, digging ditches, building (or rebuilding) as needed – in all instances reflecting the love of Christ. We often lost track of where she was serving others (Where in the WORLD is Granny?) She loved her family and friends with abandon, and seemingly undivided love, mostly in the simple pleasures of walking to the beach, cultivating a garden (to give the produce and flowers away), snapping beans and shucking corn, or picking whatever berry or fruit was in season to enjoy its perfection and even more to share with others.

Granny (as her family and their friends know her) taught lasting, eternal lessons to her children and extended family through her faith in action, always focused on others and making each person she encountered feel like the most special person in the world. She taught that it’s never about things, it’s about relationships, showing up for each other, creating memories together, and love. Her faith was quiet and ever present and she led with great optimistic hope for all of us to love each other and make the world a better place. Her love was unconditional, no matter how flawed we were, and is the most poignant example of the love Christ has for us. Her remarkable care of and impact on so many people, the extent beyond what we can fully imagine, will be the fruits of her witness in life and a precious gift to us all.

We know heaven is shouting for joy with Granny’s arrival!

In thanksgiving for the life of our mom and Granny, please consider doing something for someone else, spread love and affirmation with a smile and kiss on the lips (her trademark), and “make the world a better place”.

A private graveside service will be held on April 18, 2020 at Peninsula Memorial Park in Newport News, VA. A celebration of Rachel’s life will be held later when circumstances allow. Mom gave to so many causes, financially, with her time, and with her God-given gifting; in lieu of flowers, consider making a gift to the charity of your choice, in her honor, but please also give thanks in action with a kind act for someone else. Arrangements are being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Ann Vesta Yates

Ann Vesta Yates, passed away Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at her home, at the age of 75. She was a native of Boston, MA and had been a resident of Hampton for the past seven years. She retired in 2013, after 42 years as an X-ray technician, and was a marriage and family therapist throughout her life. Ann was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and participated and supported numerous community support groups.

She is survived by her husband, Robert J. Yates, Jr.; sons, Christopher Vandeman, and former wife, Alisa, Paul Vandeman, and Timothy Vandeman and wife, Julie; daughter, Elizabeth Kraft; grandchildren, Shea, Tyler, Haley, Ethan, Ashton and Hannah; sister, Vera O’Brien; and a large extended family.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ann Vesta Yates for Addiction Recovery Fund on GoFundMe.com.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Shirley A. Causey

Shirley A. Causey of Newport News, Virginia, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at Riverside Hospital after a brief illness.  She had been a resident of Newport News for the last 50 years. Shirley was the daughter of David W. and Ingetraude Causey.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Richard.  Shirley is survived by her brothers and their spouses, Frank (Bonita), Kenneth, Thomas (Joanne), Craig, and David (Yvette) along with numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held privately.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA in Shirley’s memory.  Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Virginia 23601

Elizabeth H. Howard

Elizabeth H. Howard passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of April 6, 2020. Better known as Memaw, Lib, Sussie and Libby. Elizabeth was born on February 21, 1930 and raised in Newport News. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 49 years, Jack P. Howard, Sr.; parents, Margaret and George Hand; and sisters, Irene and Nancy. She is survived by her children and their spouses, Jack Howard Jr. (Judi) and Teri Paffrath (Bill); sisters, Christine, Gloria and Martha; dearly loved grandchildren, Will, Casey, Zach, Ben and Kevin; beautiful great-grandchildren, Matthew, Madelyn, Bryson, Harper, Hayden, Dylan, Hannah, Graham, Carlee and Owen; and her nieces and nephews that she adored. Elizabeth happily retired from the Newport News Shipbuilding after 25 years of service.

A family service will be held at Peninsula Memorial Park.  Arrangements are being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Wayne A. Wright

Wayne A. Wright, 81, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 4, 2020, surrounded by his family. He was a wonderful father, husband, uncle and Scoutmaster, amongst many other roles in which he participated. Wayne was a technician at NASA Langley and eventually managed the Materials Fabrication building. He began in October 1957 when NASA was known as NACA. The NACA employees were known as “NACA-Nuts”, a title Wayne was very proud to carry. He was a graduate of Warwick High School and spent his youth in Newport News where he met and fell in love with Sandra Lee, later to become his wife, Sandra Lee Wright. When Sandra passed in 1996, Wayne retired with 37 years at NASA at the young age of 57.

Wayne is survived by his sons, Timothy Wayne Wright and Steven Arthur Wright; sister, Janet Wright Stroup; sister-in-law, Kathy Bryan Gibson; cousins, Dwight Reynolds, Ronnie Reynolds, and Libby Reynolds Yeatts; and nieces and nephews, Ronald Gary Lee, Kevin Magee, Kim Magee Tyler, Karen Magee McCollum, Melissa Stroup Capps, Jason Stroup, Christopher Gibson, Melissa Gibson Dorris, and Russell Gibson.

Interment services will be held privately at Parklawn Memorial Park.  Arrangements are being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Bobby Lloyd Bradley

Bobby Lloyd Bradley, passed away on March 25, 2020 at the age of 68.  Bobby was born on March 29, 1951 in Newport News and had been a resident most of his life.  He worked for over five years at the Virginia ABC as a Manager.

Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Vera and Lloyd Bradley, his twin sister, Linda Bradley Carson and sister, Carolyn Bradley Burns.  He is survived by his daughter, Bobbi Leigh Bradley; son, Marvin Bradley; two grandchildren, Teddy F. Lilley, Jr. and Christian Bradley; and sister, Helen Bradley Miller.

He was a loving father, grandfather and brother and he will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.  Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Harriet N. Fryer

Harriet N. Fryer, 90, passed away at home on March 29, 2020. She was a native of Massachusetts and a Peninsula resident for the past 45 years. Mrs. Fryer was a clerical worker and retired from Newport News Shipbuilding.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel J. Fryer; sister, Virginia Sargent; and brother, Norman Phillips. She is survived by her daughter, Valerie Jensen and husband Ronnie of Newport News; sons, Walter Sargent and wife Daunice of Hampton, and Russell Sargent of Newport News; brothers, Wayne Phillips of Texas, and Stanley Phillips of Massachusetts; granddaughters, Elizabeth Sargent of Hampton, Melissa Jensen of Newport News, and Erica Fowler of Newport News; grandsons, Jonathan Sargent and wife Josie of Newport News, Nathan Sargent of Hampton, and Jason Sargent of Newport News; great-granddaughter, Ava Sargent of Hampton; great-grandsons, Ethan Sargent and Samuel Sargent, both of Newport News, Evan Fowler of Hampton, Kian Bradley of Arkansas, and Jameson Sargent of Hampton; step-children, Karen Lawson of Hampton, Denise Knox of Lanexa, Michael Fryer of South Carolina, and Stephen Fryer of Hampton; and several step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a future date.  Arrangements are being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Sharon Lee Ellis Landers

On 29 March 2020 Sharon Lee Ellis Landers departed, peacefully, from her home in Hilton – surrounded by her family and closest friends. She is survived by her husband Dave, brothers Eric (Karen) and Gregg, faithful hound Scamp, and hundreds of great and noble family and friends.
(Her age – always-guessed-at – was never resolved…)

Lee worked most of her adult life in teaching. She taught for DODDS in Germany, and for the past 20+ years she instructed NNPS teachers on best practices for teaching children to read. Lee was a highly esteemed educator. A former boss once quipped that “she could teach a tree how to read.”

She was the queen of hospitality, fashion, and flair. She loved to travel and was up for any adventure.
She enjoyed meeting new people but relished spending time with her family and many loyal friends.
She had an eternal love of learning, managing to become a master gardener recently. Anything that she attempted was done well.
And she never met a bird that she didn’t hate.

Lee requested that her pals not arrange a big farewell bash right now. (Nice timing, Lee!) We’ll re-convene at a later date to celebrate her life, once the virus clouds break.

If you’d like to contribute something, maybe buy some masks for your local EMTs.
Arrangements are being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.

Hiromi Mihara O’Keeffe

Hiromi Mihara O’Keeffe passed into her Savior’s arms on March 30, 2020. Hiromi was born on February 28, 1947 in Southern Japan. Her father passed early and she was raised by her mother and elder brother, Hidonori Mihara. Hiromi later married her husband Fredrick O’Keeffe, and moved to the United States in 1970. She was an active sewer, crocheter, reader, and golfer. Hiromi was a proud military wife, and also was a relocation specialist for Cannon Virginia. She was a member of Denbigh United Presbyterian Church. Hiromi is survived by her devoted husband, Fredrick O’Keeffe; nieces, Mayumi and Mari; great-niece, Eri; great-nephew-in-law, Tomoya; a large extended family including her sisters-in-law, Jean Saunders and Mary Sue Lee and brother-in-law, David O’Keeffe; and many nieces and nephews. A live stream of the funeral will be held on Facebook (facebook.com/denbighpres) at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23601.

Norma Gardill Boyette

Norma Gardill Boyette, Captain US Navy (retired), 94, passed away peacefully on March 27, 2020. Norma was born in Pittsburgh, PA, on December 24, 1925, to Michael Gardill and Margaret Gardill Schlote who emigrated from Germany. She graduated from St. Wendelin High School and Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, and received her BS in Nursing from the University of Minnesota. Norma served in the Navy Nurse Corps from 1949 to 1974, and was a veteran of the Korean War and the Vietnam War. She served as Chief of Nursing Services at U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy, and the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD; she was Operating Room Supervisor at Naval Hospitals in Newport, RI, and Portsmouth, VA; and Assistant Chief of Nursing Services at Naval Hospital Great Lakes, IL.
Norma and her husband Don were enthusiastic world travelers, who were always seeking out their next great adventure together. They traveled extensively throughout the United States and around the globe, returning each time with a greater appreciation for international cultures and traditions. A gourmet cook, Norma enjoyed entertaining family and friends in her home, sharing dishes that reflected her love of diverse cuisines, and transporting her dinner guests with vivid stories of her time abroad. Her grace, courage, and trailblazing career made her a role model for the young women in her family. Norma will be remembered for her dedication to family, her commitment to the Navy Nurse Corps, and her devotion to the Catholic Church.

Norma is survived by her nieces and nephews, Daniel McGinnis (Deanne) of San Diego, CA, Lynn Miller (William) of Ada, MI, John McGinnis (Cynthia), Bonnie Vello (Remo), Patrick McGinnis (Mary), Norma McGinnis (Joan), Noreen McGinnis (Gary) all of Pittsburgh, John “Jackie” Fess of Chanhassen, MN, Thomas Fess of Reading, PA, Jay Group (Janet) of Solon, OH; and 26 great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 44 years, Donald H. Boyette; her parents, Michael Gardill and Margaret Gardill Scholte; her siblings, and their spouses, George Gardill (Kathrine), Sr. Claretta Gardill, OSF, Ann Fess (Sylvester), Marie Gardill, Rosella McGinnis (Elwood), Louise Gardill, Marion Group (William), Stella Gardill, and Barbara Gardill; her special niece, Sharon McGinnis Young (Walter); and nephew, William M. Group. The family expresses deep gratitude to the staff at Edgeworth Place at New Town in Williamsburg, VA, for the love and care Norma received, and to AtHome Care Hospice, especially Nelda, her case manager, for supporting her end of life care. The family is thankful for Donna O’Hara, Certified Geriatric Care Manager, for her care and guidance over the past 8 months. Per Norma’s wishes she will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A mass celebrating her life will take place at St. Mary’s of the Mount in Pittsburgh, PA at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to AtHome Care Hospice; 287 McLaws Circle, Suite 1, Williamsburg, VA 12185.

Arrangements are being handled by Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23601.