The Times West Virginian


May 19, 2013

Frances Richards

Frances Warfield Abruzzino Richards passed away Sunday (May 12, 2013). She was 95 years old.

Frances was born in Carolina on Nov. 11, 1917, to Joshua Dorsey and Clarice Warfield; she was the second of seven children. The family later moved to Shinnston, where she attended school and as a young woman met and married Stanley Abruzzino, her first love and father of their four children.

Stanley was a pharmacist and owned a drugstore in Fairmont where they lived for many years raising their family. Stanley died of cancer at the age of 42 and Frances raised their four young children.

She became a very successful travel agent and ran the AAA Worldwide Travel Department in Huntington for many years and ultimately worked for Thomas Cook & Sons in Washington, D.C. In the last 15 years of her career she was executive assistant to the treasurer of the U.S. Postal Service in Washington.

While working at the Postal Service she met Theodore R. “Ted” Richards. Frances and Ted married in Arlington, Va., and spent 18 very happy years together. They settled in Charlotte after their retirement and were active members of St. John’s Episcopal Church, delighting in the friendly Primetimers Group at St. John’s and playing golf at Raintree Country Club, where they lived until Ted died in 1994.

Frances was a natural hostess and with Ted’s enthusiastic support they entertained family and friends often for dinners and parties. Laughter and love were plentiful in their home.

Frances was very artistic and had a natural sense of style. She was a skilled watercolorist although she didn’t begin painting until she retired at 62. Frances’ enthusiasm for life was expressed in her works and her many paintings are cherished by her family.

In addition to her husbands, Frances was preceded in death by her son, Frank P. Abruzzino of Chantilly, Va.

Survivors include her daughters and their spouses, Diana and Richard “Sam” Kuninger of Smithville, Texas, Mary Lucinda “Cindy” and Bill Cobb of Davidson, N.C., and Jane and Mark “Tom” Miller of Louisville, Ky. Also surviving are her stepson, Bob Richards of Bridgeville, Del., and his wife Sandy; her daughter-in-law, Katie Abruzzino of Reston, Va.; 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; one brother, Dr. Edwin Warfield of Lewisburg; and one sister, Lucille Polk Vincent of Columbus, Ohio.

Frances was living at Summit Place in Mooresville, N.C., when she passed away. The family appreciates the help and love they provided her for the last year and a half.

A funeral service will be held for her at St. Alban’s Church in Davidson at 11 a.m. Monday.

Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society, 6000 Fairview Road, Charlotte, NC 28210.

Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Huntersville, N.C., is assisting the family. Friends may offer condolences to the family at

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