CATHARPIN, Virginia — Mary Frances Vandegriff, 88, of Catharpin, Virginia, went to heaven on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. She was in good general health and spirits until her sudden passing.

Mary was from historic Rogersville, Tennessee, and grew up on the nearby family dairy farm, Breezy Heights, on the Holston River.

Graduating from Rogersville High School, she played on the basketball team and became the 4H State Champion Sheep Judge.

While growing up, she was an active member of Rogersville First United Methodist Church.

Mary was a Home Economics major and Kappa Delta Sorority Sister at the University of Tennessee. At UT, she met WWII veteran William “Dub” Vandegriff, who swept her off her feet. They married at Rogersville First United Methodist Church in a double wedding with her twin sister, Carolyn, and Dub’s Sigma Nu fraternity brother, Jack Nelson.

Dub and Mary raised four children in Knoxville, Chery (Rex Hyon), Bill, David, and Dale (Jean) before moving to Virginia, where Mary retired as a computer programmer with Fairfax County Public Schools.

She was an active member of Manassas Baptist Church for more than 40 years, the D.A.R., and the 8th Air Force 95th Bomb Group Association, instrumental in reissuing the Contrails II Pictorial History, which Dub spearheaded.

Mary was blessed with four wonderful grandchildren, LTJG Dan, USN (Beth), Grace, and Sophie Vandegriff, and David Hyon.

Surviving Mary are her children, her grandchildren, her twin sister Carolyn Nelson (Jack), sister Sarah Kesterson (Jim), and sister-in-law Sue Vandegriff; nieces and nephews including Cathy Campbell (David), Felecia Stover (Davis), Jack Nelson, Jr. (Karen), Jimmy Kesterson, Debbie Brown (Terry), Janis Tucker (Bill); Mike, Connie, and Danny Stroh; Steve, Vickie, Kathy, Bob, Tim, and Tom Vandegriff; and countless friends, cousins, great-nieces, and nephews including Megan Kesterson and Collin Stover.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, William “Dub” Vandegriff, her father, Charles “Tommy” Sanders, Sr., her mother, Frances Holston Sanders, and her brother, Charles “Chili” Sanders, Jr.

We will forever remember this sweet soul we called mother, mammaw, aunt, sister, and friend who had a smile and an easy laugh for everyone she knew. Mary will be buried in McKinney Cemetery, Rogersville, Tennessee, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, beside Dub and many of her family members.

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