Graham, Frances Hale

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Frances Hale Graham, 92, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at Arbor Acres Retirement Community. She was born on September 10, 1922 in Floyd County, Virginia to Ollie Jane and William Elliott Hale.

Her beloved husband, CC “Buddy” Graham predeceased her in 1999. She was also preceded in death by her dear sisters Garnet Hale King, Nelva Hale Rutrough and her brother William Elliott Hale, Jr.

Frances is survived by her daughter, Janet Graham Wells and son-in-law Mike Wells of Winston-Salem, NC; three beloved grandchildren Laura Wells Betz and husband John of South Bend, Indiana; Michael Wells, Jr. and wife Jillian of Greensboro, NC; and Christopher Wells and wife Mary Eileen of Chicago, Illinois. She delighted in being a great grandmother to Emma, Jack, and Jane Betz and Caroline and Emmett Wells. She was a beloved aunt and great aunt to many surviving nieces and nephews.

Frances was a graduate of Check High School in Floyd County Virginia. She was a graduate of Radford University with a BS in elementary education. She taught in the primary grades in the public schools of Roanoke County, Virginia, Floyd, Virginia, and Galax City schools. The majority of her teaching occurred at her beloved Galax Elementary School in the first grade. For 43 years, she was an advocate for her students, some of whom still keep in touch with her. She was a master teacher who received the Teacher of the Year Award. She also was forever a supporter of the hard-working teachers and staff who served the students in the public school system of Galax. After her retirement, she served on the Galax City School Board for five years with distinction.

Frances was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Galax for over 60 years, where she had many dear friends.

Frances was also a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma teaching organization. She was also a member of the Lion’s Club.

Most importantly, Frances was a dear wife to her husband, loving mother to her daughter, and a sweet, kind grandmother and great grandmother.

She will be remembered for her strength, intelligence, beauty, her love of singing, her love of poetry, her great sense of humor, the ability to make many friends, and her charm.

Our family would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Fitzgerald Health Center at Arbor Acres for their loving care and devotion to Frances whom they called “Granny.” They provided her family with kindness and a sense of peace.

Memorials may be made to the Galax Foundation for Excellence in Education, PO Box 487, Galax, Virginia 24333, or First Baptist Church, 1024 East Stuart Drive, Galax, Virginia 24333, or Arbor Acres Employee Fund, 1240 Arbor Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 16 at First Baptist Church in Galax, Virginia by the Rev. Sam Bartlett and Rev. Doug Suggs. Burial will follow at Felts Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the sanctuary from 1:00-1:45 p.m. Online condolences may be made to