Plumie H. DeAlba

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2007

NEWPORT NEWS—Plumie Ruth Hearn DeAlba, 101, died Dec. 5, 2007.

Born in Smithfield on July 25, 1906, she had been a resident of the area all her life and a Newport News resident since 1965.

Mrs. DeAlba was the oldest girl of the 14 children of John Thomas Hearn and Plumie Novella Whitley Hearn, and was the last surviving child of them all.

Her father’s furniture store, Hearn Furniture, is still in operation today run by family members. Growing up, she lived on the Jericho Road across from Windsor Castle in Smithfield and loved fishing with her brothers and sisters on the Pagan River.

She graduated valedictorian of her class in 1924 from Smithfield High School and received a teaching certificate in 1926 from Blackstone College in Blackstone.

She was a lifelong pianist and played piano for the Isle of Wight Methodist Church. Even until age 100, she enjoyed entertaining her family on piano during the holidays.

She met her husband, Clinton DeAlba, during the Great Depression when she was an operator with Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company in Portsmouth.

They were married on April 11, 1935, and had one daughter, Linda. After Clinton’s retirement in 1965, he and Plumie moved to Newport News, and the house they lived in was her residence up until the time of her death.

Although Clinton passed away in 1993, she never ceased to enjoy maintaining an active lifestyle, and was known in many Newport News restaurants and business establishments, which she visited regularly with her family.

She attributed her long life to her love of walking, and was featured in a Daily Press article in 2005 on her 99th birthday.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clinton DeAlba; her son-in-law, Carl Filer; and her grandson-in-law, Randal Speer.

Survivors include her loving family, her daughter, Linda DeAlba Filer of Newport News; one granddaughter, Cynthia Filer Maisannes and husband Bill of Charlottesville; one grandson, Wesley Todd Filer and wife Debbie of Newport News, and their two children, Krysti Marie Filer and Zachary Allen Filer.

A memorial service was to be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church in Hilton, Newport News, by the Rev. John LeGault.

A reception and visitation with the family was to take place in the church social hall following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 895 Middle Ground Blvd., Suite 154, Newport News, VA 23606, or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 5712 Cleveland St., Suite 100, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.

Arrangements handled by Peninsula Funeral Home.