Hassell, Barbara Franklin

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Barbara May (Franklin) Hassell passed peacefully in her sleep during the early morning hours on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 during a stay at Oakwood Health and Rehabilitation Center in Bedford, Va.

Barbara grew up in Radford, Va., the daughter of Robert and Helen Austin Franklin. She attended the Radford schools and graduated from Radford College in 1957 with a BA Degree in Education. On Aug. 28, 1958 Barbara married her soulmate of 50 years, Phillip Martin (Tom, Tommy) Hassell and together they raised two sons.

Barbara in her youth was a member Grove Avenue United Methodist Church of Radford, Va. and later joined Grace Episcopal Church also in Radford. In more recent years, she and her family have been members of St. James Episcopal Church in Roanoke, Va.

During the years the Hassells lived in Radford, Barbara taught English at Radford High School while serving as the sponsor for the student newspaper, The Acorn. Barabra was also among the first teachers serving in the inaugural classrooms at the John N Dalton Middle School. Inspired in the early 80’s by her own continuing education and participation in The Southwest Virginia Writing Project along with her student’s curosities surrounding writing and literature, she was very proud to launch and publish an enduring, award-winning, annual student literary magazine known as Kaleidescope, for students who had a particular interest in publication and writing. She loved working with students at all ages in the Radford School system for over 30 years.

Barbara was an accomplished musician and served as the organist of her church for many years. Along with her passion for music, she was a voracious reader of many great writers including Charles Dickens, Tennyson, Shakespeare, Whitman and Wolf. She is also remembered as an avid collector of antiques which developed into the home furnishing business “Country Cupboard” that she owned and operated from her and Tom’s country home in Belspring, Va.

After retirement, Barbara enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, Dustin and Molly Hassell. She was their devoted fan, attending as many of their basketball games as possible, even traveling out of state to attend tournaments. She continued to follow them throughout their college basketball careers at Roanoke College.

In addition to her parents, Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Tom Hassell and her brother William Franklin. She is survived by her son Paul Martin Hassell and wife, Suzan Stojakovich Hassell of Daleville, Va.; her son, Phillip Howard Hassell and his wife, Debbie Vaden Hassell, of Troutville, Va.; and her grandchildren, William Dustin Hassell, of Boston, Ma. and Molly Leanna Hassell, of Troutville, Va.

A funeral service will be conducted by the Reverend Susan Bentley at St. James Church on 4515 Delray Street, NW, Roanoke, Va. 24012, on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 at 2 p.m. The family will meet friends in the Church Parish Hall one hour before the service. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be given in Mrs. Hassell’s memory to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund of St. James Church. Interment will follow at Trinity Cemetery. Arrangements by Burch & Messier Funeral Home of Bedford, Va.