Virginia Franches, long-time Tooele resident, loving sister, aunt, and friend passed away Monday evening after a valiant struggle against heart disease. She was born December 6, 1923 in McGill, NV.
She was a friend to many, and a pioneer in women's sport.
A member of the Utah Softball Hall of Fame, she played short stop and tenth man for the Sham-rocks until the early 1960s. One of the intermountain west's most widely known and loved golfers, she was assistant to the pro at the Tooele City course for many years. She was the Women's Club Champion at Oquirrh Hills for more than 25 years.
From a humble family of Greek immigrants, Virginia joined the brigades of women who went to work in heavy industry during World War II, working at the Tooele Smelter. Subsequently, while making her living working for Tooele City, she pursued her dream of living a life devoted to athletic achievement.
Six years ago, Virginia was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery and radiation therapy, she returned to tournament play. She was declared cancer-free just before congestive heart failure took her from us.
She is survived by her beloved sisters, Bessie Kulias (McGill, NV), Mary Cotsifas (Portland, OR), Stella Franches (Salt Lake City), Sophia Allcott (Salt Lake City), and Tessie Cox (Spanish Fork). She was predeceased by her parents, Nicholas and Gianoula Franches, and by her sisters, Helen Douvris and Tula Kosta.
Also surviving are her nieces and nephews: Truly Dolphin, Mrs. Mark R. Cromar (Geneve), Gus Douvris, Nick Douvris; Lou ,Paul, and Georgenne Kosta; Michael Cotsifas; Lisa, Michael, Philip and Daniel Allcott; Tina Allred, Rebecca Kelley, and Rayleen Carter. Her grandnieces/nephews will also remember her gentle laughter forever. We love you Aunt Shea.
Special thanks to Virginia's friends and neighbors, the Rose, Sam, and Frank Leonelli families.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Virginia Franches Memorial Golf Fund, c/o First Security Bank in Tooele, UT. The Fund will provide scholarships for Tooele youngsters to learn to golf.
Viewing will be held at Tate Mortuary, 110 S. Main Street in Tooele,
from 6 8 p.m., Friday, August 18. At 7 p.m., friends are welcome to a memorial celebration of her life in the mortuary chapel.
Funeral services will be at Tate Mortuary in Tooele, Saturday, August 19 at 11 a.m., with visitation for friends and family at 10 a.m. Father John Kaloudis of the Greek Orthodox Church will officiate. Burial will be in Tooele City Cemetery.