April 29, 1932 - December 25, 2021
The staff of Heishman Funeral Home/Valley Funeral Service would like to send condolences to the family of Mrs. Marian French. Marian Bashaw French, 89, passed away peacefully in her home in Woodstock, Virginia, on Saturday, December 25, 2021. She spent her last Christmas on earth surrounded by her loving children and family. Marian was born April 29, 1932, in Staunton, Virginia, to Frank Linwood and Virginia Heizer Bashaw. The family relocated to Maurertown in 1936 and ultimately settled on a farm on the banks of the Shenandoah River in 1945. Although Marian resided in Shenandoah County, the entire Valley was her home, and throughout her life, she maintained strong ties to her relatives in Augusta County. She graduated from Woodstock High School in 1949 where she enjoyed the Glee Club and met many of her lifelong friends, including her husband, Francis Douglas (“Doug”) French. Marian’s life revolved around her family. Growing up an only child, she made the early decision that she wanted a large family. Marian, 18, and Doug, 21, married on July 8, 1950, and the next July welcomed their first daughter. Together they would go on to have another eight children, raising them all on their farm in Saumsville. The nine siblings shared a free-range childhood, balancing their farm chores with many well-remembered shenanigans. Marian’s baking, in particular her bread (with homemade apple butter) and holiday cookie spread, were locally famous. These treats were in addition to the preparing, canning, and cooking of daily provisions for a family of 11 all year round. Marian and Doug “moved to town” to their home on Church Street in Woodstock in 1992 to care for Marian’s aging mother. Marian and Doug instilled in their family such a love for the Valley that all nine of their children ultimately settled in Shenandoah County. In addition to bi-weekly Sunday family suppers with her beloved extended French family, Marian served waffles to family and friends at her home every Sunday morning, just as long as you got to the table before 10 o'clock when she had to leave for church. Prioritizing these frequent gatherings cultivated the close family bonds that continue to tie the family together across generations and distances. After serving waffles, Marian would head three blocks South to the Woodstock Presbyterian Church, where she was the longest attending member at the time of her passing. Strong in her belief, Marian’s operatic alto welcomed the seasons of her faith and celebrated the Lord with exuberant joy during her 75 years in the choir, starting as a child member. Family and local Presbyterians remember her talents fondly, never wanting to miss the Christmas Eve services featuring her impressive rendition of “O’ Holy Night.” She also sang with the local Masterwork Chorus for many years and was a strong supporter of the arts. Once her youngest child reached middle school she got her realtor’s license and welcomed many Valley residents to their new homes. She was a co-owner and broker of Valley Real Estate for nearly three decades, primarily serving Shenandoah and Page Counties. In 1998 She was elected President of the Massanutten Association of Realtors. She also served as a director of the Valley Conservation Council, and served on the board of directors of Response for many years. In her younger years, Marian was active in the garden club and the home demonstration club, and she was a strong advocate for local farming her entire life. She was proud to be the wife and mother of farmers who were stewards of the land. She worked to have French Brother’s Dairy designated as a Virginia Century Farm in 2016. Marian balanced her many responsibilities with seemingly effortless grace, giving joyfully of her time and talents. In recognition of her many contributions to her community, she was awarded the Joseph Clower Community Service Award in 2018 by the Woodstock Rotary Club. In her final years, Marian was surrounded by her family, with her children and grandchildren visiting daily. She enjoyed frequent drives to her homeplace, her childhood neighborhood in Maurertown, and among the farms throughout central Shenandoah County. She dearly loved the agricultural heritage of the Valley and in 2005 placed her family farm in a conservation easement to ensure it would be protected for generations to come. In the days since her passing, her family has been humbled by the stories and memories shared by friends and family far and wide. It is clear that Marian’s legacy of love and kindness has had—and will continue to have—a profound ripple effect. She was like a mother and grandmother to so many, and almost without exception, they remember her amazing smile and unconditional love. Marian Bashaw French was a role model for faithful living and graceful aging, the epitome of the wife described in Proverbs 31: “And her children rise up to call her blessed.” (Proverbs 31:28). In addition to her parents and husband, Doug, she was preceded in death by son-in-law, Larry Long, grandson Alex Logan, great-grandson Noah Long, brothers- and sisters-in-law Warren and Pat French, Millson & Doris French, James B. Randel, Ellen and Cliff Fuller, Orrin French, Lena and Bob Fuller, and Sally Weber. She is survived by her nine children: Carolyn Long, Dee-Dee Logan (Bill), Dougie French (Shirley), Martin French (Fabiana), Christina Price (Al), Billy French (Anne), Amy Barbour (Steve), Shelley Schechtel (Pete), Timmy French (Heather). She is also survived by her 39 grandchildren: Matthew Long, Adam Long (Lisa), Emma Garber (Brooks), Taylor Long, Billy Logan, III (Taryn), Olivia Meadows, Chad Logan (Rachel), Daniel Logan (Keisha), Andrew Giordani (Samantha), Trip French (Jenna), Hubbel French (Jessica), Allie Coffey (Brandon), Marty French, Bobby French (Ashley), Katie Beth Polk (Kyle), Mel Shtanko, Ennedi Waybright (Adam), Karsten Shtanko, AJ Price (Heather), Caleb Price (Jaime), Mariah Temkin (David), French Price, William French, Kathleen Michael (Eric), Virginia Funk (Hunter), Thomas French, Claire Wightman (Brett), Sam Barbour, Lander Barbour, Molly Dunivan (DJ), Hannah Schechtel, Abbey Beinke (Daniel), John Paul Schechtel (Michael), Emma Schechtel, Sarah Grace Schechtel, Marian Schechtel, Tyler French, Tabb French, Trey French. She is further survived by her 42 great-grandchildren: Francis Long, Brooks Garber, Pierson Garber, Cole Logan, Camryn Logan, Isabella Meadows, Kennedy Meadows, Cora Logan, Caroline Logan, Jack Logan, Zander Schlademan, Zoey Schlademan, Delaney Logan, Delilah Logan, Delcie Logan, Madelyn Giordani, Scarlett Giordani, Kellen French, Asher French, Jackson French, Remi French, Brentley Coffey, Wyatt Coffey, Immie Coffey, Abigayle Plaugher, Bobby French Jr., Owen French, Sawyer Polk, Dawsyn Polk, Saylor Polk, Olivia Waybright, Xela Shtanko, Bodhi Waybright, Veda Price, Clark Temkin, Grace Michael, Hope Michael, Millie Wightman, Hattie Wightman, Eliza Wightman, Holmes Dunivan, Maddox Dunivan. Additionally, she is survived by her sisters-in-law, Emma Randel and Joyce French, her brother-in-law, John Weber, and a host of nieces, nephews, and extended family members. All who wish to pay their respects to Marian may visit at Heishman Valley Funeral Chapel, 14116 S. Middle Rd., Edinburg, Virginia, on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Family night will then take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Woodstock Presbyterian Church, 142 E. Court St. There will be a funeral service for those who feel comfortable attending at Woodstock Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m., Wednesday, December 29th. The service will also be live-streamed on the Woodstock Presbyterian Church Facebook page. Interment will follow at Massanutten Cemetery, Woodstock. Pallbearers will be Marian's grandchildren. The family is grateful for the care provided by Capital Caring Hospice and Blue Ridge Hospice during her final days. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Marian’s honor may be made to any hospice organization.
The staff of Heishman Funeral Home/Valley Funeral Service would like to send condolences to the family of Mrs. Marian French. Marian Bashaw French, 89, passed away peacefully in her home in Woodstock, Virginia, on Saturday, December 25, 2021.... View Obituary & Service Information
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