Grender, Evelyn Darcy

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The first day of Spring, March 20, 2023, saw the passing from this life of Evelyn Darcy Grender of Blacksburg, Va. Born on May 14, 1935, after an active life spending time with those she loved, Evelyn Grender died in her home in the presence of family.

Evelyn grew up in Birmingham, Ala., attended Birmingham Southern College and then Boston University, where she completed her Masters in Religious Education. The wife of Methodist minister Jim Darcy, she became active in her own right as choir director, as they moved from churches in Boston, Mass., to Philadelphia, Pa., to Moses Lake, Wash. Raising their 3 children on her own after the early death of Jim, Evelyn worked at Virginia Tech, in the Geology department and then in Contracts and Grants Administration. It was in Geology where she met Gordon Grender, who became her husband of 38 years.

Evelyn and Gordon were avid walkers on local hiking paths, recognized by the Tilly hats and khakis they wore. They trekked in England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand – memories Evelyn delighted to revisit each year, sharing fondly with others. Upon retirement, she became an accomplished loom weaver, and member and officer of the New River Weavers Guild. Other interests ranged from vermiculture to stamp collection, shaped-note singing to wildflowers, and, in her later years, crossword puzzles and knitting blankets for hospitalized children through the New River Valley’s Project Linus. Evelyn was a lifelong gardener, known for the local natural habitat conservation area established by husband Gordon, and her own native plant and flower beds.

Evelyn is survived by children, Cindy, David, and Diane; stepsons, Andy and Ian Grender; grandchildren, Lindsey, Reid and Natalie Bonsall, Jasmine Darland, Haven and Canyon Darcy, and Andy’s children, Holly, Megan, and Justin; and great-grandchildren, Ellie and Valkyra.

In her last days Evelyn often mentioned how fortunate her life had been to be filled with so much love from family, extended family, and a bounty of friends.