Virginia “Gynnie” Franta, 102 years old, died on June 25, 2017 in Greenville, DE. The youngest of three children, she was born in 1914. Virginia graduated from Kenton (Ohio) High School in 1932 and from Wittenberg University in 1936 with a chemistry major. In 1938-39, Virginia studied biochemistry at Göttingen University in Germany through a fellowship.

Virginia worked as a research librarian at the Columbia Chemical Division of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. in Barberton, Ohio for three years. It was there she met William Franta, whom she married in 1940. For four years during World War II, Virginia accompanied her husband during his assignments in Chemical Warfare Service of the US Army at the Pine Bluff (Arkansas) and Edgewood (Maryland) Arsenals. The couple moved to Wilmington, DE in 1946 for William’s employment with the DuPont Company, and they spent their retirement since 1988 at Stonegates in Greenville, DE.

Her brother and sister, a daughter (Laura LaRue Franta), and her husband of 58 years predeceased Virginia. She is survived by son Richard (Gayle) Franta of Wilmington, DE, and Rosalyn (Daniel) Kulik of Tampa, FL, grandchild Katherine Franta (Fedher Torres), great grandchild Sebastian Franta Torres, and nieces in western states.

Virginia “lived a life of service” by volunteering for many years at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Luther Towers, the Arden Quilters, Winterthur Museum, and the Girl Scouts of America. She was an active member of Chi Omega Sorority Alumnae, Panhellenic Society, Embroiderers’ Guild, the Cooch’s Bridge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Delaware History group of the American Association of University Women. Forever curious, she enjoyed needlework, genealogy, bridge, music, travel, watching sports, writing poetry, and entertaining friends.

In 2012, Virginia received the “Wittenberg Medal of Honor,” in recognition of her many contributions to her alma mater and especially to its Department of Chemistry.

Her family expresses their appreciation for the many years of outstanding care and service provided by the entire staff at Stonegates, especially for those who work in Health Care and Food Service.

A celebration of her life will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 501 Duncan Rd., Wilmington, DE 19809 at 10:30 AM on Monday, July 17. The family will accept visitors beforehand, beginning at 9:00.

In lieu of flowers, Virginia requested that memorial contributions be made to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church or to a charity of your choice.