Gardening 09

Viola (Ford) DeFrances

March 29, 1932 ~ October 26, 2018 (age 86)


Viola Bland DeFrances, age 86 years, a resident of Bayonet Point, Florida, and Pittsburgh, PA departed this life Friday evening, October 26, in Chester County Hospital, West Chester PA. 

She was born in 1932, in Doddridge County, WV, a daughter of the late Clyde M. Ford and Mamie Bland Ford.

In 1953, she married John A. DeFrances of Clarksburg, WV who predeceased her in August of 2008.

Her crowning achievement was that of being an adoring grandmother to her 6 grandchildren who lovingly called her "Granny," They are James 29, Lindsey (Tyler Gunther) 25, Kevin 23, (Downingtown, PA); Devon 21, and Derek 19 (Orchard Lake, MI); and Ava Marie 15, (Atlanta, GA). Surviving her are three sons; John (Kathleen} DeFrances of Orchard Lake, MI, Jim (Kathy) DeFrances of Downingtown, PA and David DeFrances of Atlanta, GA; one sister, Bernadine Bellotte, of Morgantown, and one brother, Clyde M. Ford, of Salem, WV.

Preceding her in death, besides her parents are four sisters Glenna Davis, Marguerite Long, Rhea Howell and five brothers, Rolly, Gencil, Maynard, Doyle and Sheridan Ford.

Viola was a graduate of Doddridge County High School with the Class of 1950 and attended business college in Clarksburg, WV.  She was also a member of Saints Simon and Jude Catholic Church for over 50 years and a SSJ Viking booster.

She and her husband were long-time season ticket holders of the WVU Mountaineers Football Team. She, also, followed the Pittsburgh Steelers avidly. She enthusiastically cheered his sons and grandchildren in all of their sporting/musical endeavors. She loved going to the horse track and was an owner\breeder of harness racing horses at The Meadows Racetrack in Washington, PA, owning some 40 horses throughout the years as part of the “JD’s Stables.” Her passion was golfing and she was a member at Lakeview Country Club (Morgantown, WV), Sunnycroft Country Club (Clarksburg, WV) and Washington Country Club (Washington, PA).  She also enjoyed a good game of bridge. As a dedicated wife, she was constantly at her husband's side be it working, golfing, traveling, going to church, going to the store, visiting family, etc.  They basically did everything together when her husband retired in 1989 until his passing in 2008.  She found her most serenity going to her farm (formerly The Saddler Place) in Salem and sitting on the front porch in a rocker and taking in the fresh clean country air.

The family will receive friends from 4 pm to 8 pm on Friday, November 2, 2018 at the Greathouse Funeral Home at 1999 W Main Street, Salem, WV 26426. A  Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 10:00 am at the Saint James Catholic Church, 2107 Pride Ave, Clarksburg, WV with Father Akila Rodrigo as Celebrant. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Online condolences may be sent to  Greathouse Funeral Home is honored to assist the DeFrances family.


To send flowers to Viola's family, please visit our floral section.


November 2, 2018

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Greathouse Funeral Home and Cremation
1999 W Main Street
Salem, WV 26426

Mass of Christian Burial
November 3, 2018

10:00 AM
St. James Catholic Church
2107 Pride Ave
Clarksburg, WV 26301

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