Refa Frances “Grandma” Blakely


Refa Frances “Grandma” Blakely, 96, of Front Royal went to be with her Lord on March 15, 2015, in Front Royal.

A funeral service will be held at the Rivermont Baptist Church in Front Royal on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. conducted by Pastor Samuel Blakely and Pastor Steve Guizar. Interment will follow in Panorama Memorial Gardens.

Mrs. Blakeley was born June 27, 1918, in Waynesboro, Virginia, daughter of John Henry and Lillie Frances Johnson Flick.  She was married to the late James Vance “Pappy” Blakely, Sr. She attended Lane High School in Charlottesville.

Surviving are ten children Lillie Eshelman of Front Royal, Helen Jenkins of Front Royal, Pastor Samuel Blakely of Hubbard Lake, Michigan, Barbara Weatherholt of Front Royal, Connie Dendy of Front Royal, Linda Santmyers of Strasburg, Hank Blakely of Front Royal, Brenda Siegert of Front Royal, Karen Lauder of Front Royal, and Mary Cunningham of Rileyville; multiple grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was pre-deceased by two sons James Vance Blakely, Jr. and Paul Edwin Blakely; nine brothers; two sisters; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Pallbearers will be Jonathan Blakely, Bud Weatherholt, Bruce Murphy, Jeff Blakely, Dwayne Whited, and Shane Heater.

Honorary pallbearers will be Ashby Grimsley, Roger Vorous, Tim Barnett, Shawn Mulligan, Bobby Skillman, and Benny Stogdale.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Front Royal Church of the Nazarene.

Mrs. Blakely was a grandma to everyone, loved by all, and especially a loving mother and grandmother.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN  38105.

Arrangements are being handled by Maddox Funeral Home.

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