Delbert Hamilton Futrell of Blacksburg passed peacefully the evening of Saturday Dec. 3. He was 81. Originally from Mayfield, KY, Del attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington and was a proud veteran of the US Navy. He thoroughly enjoyed living in Blacksburg for the past eleven years.
Del is survived by his wife, Wendy, whom he met in Lexington while she was pursuing her PhD. They enjoyed nearly 51 years of marriage, and spent many of those years in Potomac, MD, where they raised their family: children Robin Sanborn (Eric), Michelle Tomlin (Scott), and Michael Futrell (Melissa).
His seven grandchildren, who called him Hoppy (for reasons no one fully remembers), were some of the greatest joys of his life. He will also be missed by sisters Mary Hardy and Annie Knight, of Boynton Beach, FL and Mayfield respectively, who loved their big brother very much.
Del will be remembered as kind to children and animals. Among his fondest memories was a 2009 safari he and Wendy went on. Many will remember his account of the morning a monkey stole his toast. He delighted in his likeness to Santa so much that he owned a suit that went to good use over the years.
He was also a lifelong lover of music, especially classical and barbershop. He played the trombone as a young man and in retirement sang in a barbershop chorus, The Kentuckians, in Lexington. In Blacksburg, he and Wendy participated in the Mount Tabor Ruritan Club.
As his family grieves this loss, we ask that in lieu of sending flowers, our friends and family make donations in Del’s honor to any of the wonderful organizations he supported, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Association of Safe International Road Travel, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
A private memorial will be held at a later date.