Frances was born Aug. 14, 1936, to Willard Winfield Newbern and Alethia Lacy Newbern. She grew up in Elizabeth City, N.C., where she also married her husband, Thomas Cooper Via, Sr., on Jan. 1, 1956.
After Cooper finished his service in the Navy and she completed her study of radiology, they began their 57 years of marriage in Blacksburg.
Frances lived every day of her life filled with friendships, family, and fun. There was never a day she was not spending time with those she loved most or enjoying one of her many hobbies.
She was an expert seamstress, African violet grower, bridge player, gardener, baker, antique collector, and cook. She was known throughout the community and beyond for her various cakes but especially her 13-layer chocolate cake.
As a member of the Blacksburg Country Club, she was an avid golfer and a member of the Cooper and she were Pioneer members of the Hokie Club. Since 1965 when Lane Stadium was built, she spent her Saturdays dressed in maroon and orange cheering on her Hokies.
Frances was an active, longtime member of Blacksburg Baptist Church and was a member of the Barnabas Sunday School class. She loved to travel the world with her friend, Billie Mills, and has visited many European countries.
However, her favorite place to visit was always the beach with friends and family where she enjoyed teaching one of her favorite activities, catching crabs.
Although she kept herself busy through all of her hobbies and friendships, she was happiest when all of her family was gathered around her. Her spirit of fun and 13-layered chocolate cake will live on forever in all of our memories.
She is survived by her brother, Willard Windfield Newbern, Jr., and his wife, Scarlett; her children, Thomas Cooper Via, Jr., and his wife, Jo; Christopher Newbern Via and his wife, Melanie; and Elizabeth Via Turbyfill and her husband, John; her grandchildren, Nancy Via, John Christopher Via, Daniel Via (Grace), John Preston Turbyfill (Courtney), James Turbyfill (Brittney), Melanie Via Spicer (Jamison), William Turbyfill, and Woodrow Turbyfill; great-grandchildren Caroline Linkous, Susan Via, Cooper Turbyfill, and Jamison Spicer.
Funeral services were conducted Thursday, July 22, 2021, in the Blacksburg Baptist Church with Dr. Tommy McDearis and the Rev. Todd Millsaps officiating. Interment followed in the Westview Cemetery, Blacksburg. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Frances’s name to the Memorial Fund, ℅ Blacksburg Baptist Church, 550 North Main Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060.