Francina Underwood Draper, 89, active member of Grafton Baptist Church

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Francina Underwood Draper passed away Friday, December 18th at the Chesapeake Health Care Unit here in Newport News.

She was 89 years old, born on January 2nd, 1926 in Kinston, North Carolina. She died peacefully of natural causes.

Francina was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, John Carlton Draper. They had lived on Dare Road in Yorktown for nearly 50 years until Francina became a resident of The Chesapeake Retirement Community after her husband’s death. She is survived by her three children, Leah DuRant, Betsy Scott and Carlton Draper and their spouses. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Sylvia, John, Melissa, Warren and Ashley and six great-grandchildren.

Francina attended Rich Square High School in North Carolina where she excelled in athletics, going to the state finals with her basketball team.

She and John were married on June 7, 1944 during his service in the U.S. Navy. They settled on the Peninsula after World War II, and John worked at the Newport News Shipyard until his retirement. They first lived in Newport News, bought their first house in Hampton, then finally settled in Yorktown.

Francina was an active member of Grafton Baptist Church, and later at Bethel Baptist Church. Her many friends will miss her generosity and her warm, loving smile.

At home, Francina loved baking, sewing and gardening, and proudly filled her shelves every summer with home-grown vegetables and fruits. She also loved taking long, peaceful walks on the quiet roads near her home. She was deeply loved, and will be missed by friends and family alike.

A memorial service will be held at The Chesapeake Retirement Community, 955 Harpersville Road, Newport News, Virginia on Tuesday, December 22nd at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a contribution be made to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at Bethel Baptist Church.

The family would also like to thank the staff of the Chesapeake Health Care Unit for their kind and loving care of our mother. Arrangements are by Amory Funeral Home, Grafton, VA.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Amory Funeral Home.

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