Delma Marjorie Presson Bristow, 86, civil servant who loved her Dare community

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Delma Marjorie Presson Bristow
Delma Marjorie Presson Bristow

Delma Marjorie Presson Bristow was called to heaven Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, after a valiant struggle with dementia.

She was born on Sept. 3, 1930, in Newport News and quickly made her way to Dare, Va., to stay only leaving to visit friends and grandkids. She was preceded in death by her husband; parents, Robert and Hazel Presson; three brothers, Franklin, Wallace and Walter Presson; and sister, Frances Burcher.

She married her high school sweetheart, John Bristow, and they had three children, Robert, Donna and Debra. She had four grandchildren, Brooke and Mitchell Bristow and Terrence and Sean Gleason; and two great-grandchildren, Layla and Wyatt. She is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Miss Delma was devoted to her family, church and community. Her family was the center of her world. She doted on her grandchildren and they all have fond memories of her chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake and tractor rides. She was famous for reunions and bringing family together to meet each other to share stories and good times. Celebrations for her 70th and 80th birthdays were each attended by over 100 family members, friends and coworkers.

Faith was another cornerstone for her. She was a lifelong member of Providence United Methodist Church. She served on the Church Board of Trustees, was president of the Lucy Cox Circle, managed the Cemetery Fund and provided her famous sweet pickles and jam for the annual bazaars.

She loved the Dare community and when the post office moved to Grafton and wouldn’t post her letters from Dare, she put “From Dare” on her car license for everyone to see. Delma and Johnny became fixtures in the community through their operation of Johnny’s Orchard in Dare, Va., growing apples, pears and berries. Following Johnny’s passing, she continued to grow and sell raspberries and blackberries.

She was a career woman who worked for the York County School Board and U.S. Army Civilian Personnel at both Fort Eustis and Fort Monroe. She was devoted to her work and took great pride in being a civil servant.

After retiring, Miss Delma was active in a number of civic activities, including volunteering at the Food Pantry. She was a former member of the Daughter of the American Revolution – Charles Parish Chapter NSDAR. She was a founding member the York County Historical Society and York County Historical Museum as well as member of the York County Historical Committee. She served as a host at the Yorktown Historical Society Museum every Sunday after church and enjoyed telling visitors from around the world about our history and great community.

The family would like to thank the staff of both Home Helpers and Riverside Hospice for their continued support. Both staffs provided Ms. Delma with love and kindness that the family will never be able to repay.

A visitation will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at Amory Funeral Home, Grafton. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Providence United Method Church followed by a graveside service and a reception in the church Social Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Providence Methodist Church Cemetery Fund.

Miss Delma will be missed by friends, the community and especially her family for her devotion to God, her beloved community and for her family.