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1929 Della 2023

Della Elizabeth Lyons Will

July 6, 1929 — July 21, 2023

Della Lyons Will, of Madison Heights, Virginia, passed away peacefully on July 21, 2023 at the age of 94.  Della was born July 6, 1929 in Monroe, Virginia to Hallie Lyons and Clarence Lyons.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband of 65 years, Francis L. Will, and brothers Cecil Jennings, Herbert Reed Lyons, and Kenneth G. Lyons, Sr.

She is survived by sisters, Edith Lyons and Shirley Lyons of Lynchburg, Virginia and brother Jack Lyons (Vivian) of Monroe, Virginia. Della is also survived by her loving children: Sandy W. Driskill (Buddy) of Evington, Virginia; Marlon G. Will (Suzanne) of Atlanta, Georgia; and Sharon E. Will of Madison Heights, Virginia.  She was a wonderful mother who always made us feel loved.  She was proud of and loved her grandchildren, Jason Driskill (Shannon) of Roanoke, Virginia, Allison Deaton (David) of Lynchburg, Virginia, Ryan Will of Alexandria, Virginia, and Meagan Will of Atlanta, Georgia.  Della is also survived by her four great grandchildren, Tyler Deaton, Nathan Deaton, Carter Deaton and Ashlynn Grace Driskill, and nephews Kenneth Lyons, Jr. and Wilson Lyons (Cheri).

Upon graduation from Madison Heights High School in 1947, Della and her best friend Mattie Peele moved to Washington, DC with $50 saved from her jobs at Ideal Laundry and F.W. Woolworth in Lynchburg. They did not know anyone in DC, leased a room in a boarding house, and found jobs shortly thereafter. Della worked at Community Chest and later, the Navy Department.  She met her husband, Francis, in 1951 on a blind date to Glen Echo Park in Maryland.  Della and Francis were married on June 28, 1952 and settled in Alexandria, Virginia. The loving couple moved to Panama in 1955 when Francis was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Francis was instrumental in policy change that allowed wives of enlisted men to live in Panama near where they were stationed.

The couple’s time in Panama foretold a lifetime devotion of love and commitment. In 1958 Della and her husband moved to Lynchburg, Virginia where Francis worked for Norfolk Southern Railway and Della began a seventeen-year career with Hercules Corporation in Lynchburg.

Della enjoyed traveling with her husband to the beaches and mountains, and later in life to many National Parks with her husband and daughter, Sharon.  She enjoyed gardening and cooking and lived her dream with a loving and devoted husband, three wonderful children in a beautiful home that she loved dearly.  She said that she had a very blessed life and was truly grateful.

A visitation will be held at Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, 220 Breezewood Drive, Lynchburg from 5-7P.M. on Friday, July 28, 2023.  A celebration of Della’s life will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, July 29, 2023 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 7336 Timberlake Road in Lynchburg with Pastor Tim Feaser officiating.  Interment will follow at the Amherst Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 7336 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, VA 24502.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Della Elizabeth Lyons Will, please visit our flower store.


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