Cover photo for Frances  E. Parsons's Obituary
1924 Frances 2017

Frances E. Parsons

July 20, 1924 — August 15, 2017

Frances E. Parsons was born in Norfolk, Virginia on July 20, 1924. She was the youngest of three children born to John Russell Parsons and Fannie Willis Parsons. She grew up in Cape Charles, Virginia, graduated from Cape Charles high school (class of 1941) and earned a BA degree from Randolph-Macon Woman's College (class of 1945). She was one of the first women to graduate with a degree in Chemistry from RMWC.

Following graduation, Frances began her career with DuPont and Company in Richmond, Virginia, at their Textile Fibers Plant Control Laboratory and Rayon Research Division. In 1958, when the Division was closed, she transferred to the DuPont Experimental Station, Textile Fibers Pioneering Research Laboratory, in Wilmington, Delaware. From 1964 until her retirement in 1984 she served as a librarian for the Lavoisier Library at the experimental station.

Frances was a member of Trinity Methodist Church of Cape Charles, Virginia, and an active member of Grace United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware for 59 years.

Frances enjoyed family and friends. She regularly attended marriages, christenings and other family celebrations. Each year she took part in family reunions at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and birthdays. For many years she hosted a Christmas Eve party with her sister Ethel Waters in Cape Charles. She took all her great nieces and nephews to Disneyland.

Her hobbies included reading, flower gardening and playing tennis. She excelled as a senior doubles champion at DuPont Country Club.

Frances loved adventure and traveled extensively throughout her lifetime visiting the United States and abroad. Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Canada, Nova Scotia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Europe; including England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Austria and Hungary were among the many trips she took.

Her sister, Ethel May Waters, brother, Samuel Willis Parsons and nephew, Charles Richard Waters, II, preceded Frances in death.

Those left to cherish her memory are nephew John Russell Parsons, II PhD, wife Janey Forrest Nottingham Parsons of Perth Amboy, New Jersey; niece, Elizabeth Hunt Parsons Noble, husband John Stephen Noble of Salisbury, North Carolina; great nephew Stephen Randolph Noble of Salisbury, North Carolina; great niece Elizabeth Hunt Noble Randall, husband Leslie Todd Randall of Buford, Georgia; great niece Barbara Ann Waters Baxter, and husband, Robert Michael Baxter of Norfolk, Virginia. Great-great nieces and nephews are, Lauren, Megan, Kaitlyn and Ryan Baxter of Norfolk, Virginia, and Lindsey, Logan, and Lesley Randall of Buford, Georgia.

A graveside service will be conducted Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 2:00 PM, at Cape Charles Cemetery with Reverend Linda Lowe officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to Randolph College (formerly Randolph Macon Women's College), 2500 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia, 24503 and Grace United Methodist Church, 900 Washington Street Wilmington, Delaware 19801.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements were made by Wilkins-Doughty Funeral Home in Cape Charles, Virginia.

Graveside Service

Cape Charles Cemetery
  • Email Details
  • 3229 Old Cape Charles Road
    Cape Charles, VA 23310
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