Joan L. Raiford

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, December 8, 2022

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FRANKLIN – Joan Lowe Raiford, known as “Ma” to her friends and family, passed away on Dec. 6, 2022 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Joan was born on Dec. 8, 1937 and was a lifetime resident of Franklin. It is here where she met Billy, her husband of 65 years.

A beloved wife, mother and grandmother, Joan was happiest in her home, preparing great southern cooked meals and helping her family and friends. Often, Joan could be found in her sewing room where she enjoyed making countless baby blankets, quilts and projects for her friends and church.

Joan L. Raiford

She was a loyal member of the Franklin Congregational Christian Church and worked for the City of Franklin Department of Social Services for 30 years.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Guy Barclay and Eunice Holt Lowe and her son-in-law, Lawrence Beale. Left to cherish her memory is her husband and love of her life, John “Billy” Raiford; daughters Joann Gatten (Burdette) and Sue Beale both of Franklin and grandchildren Gabby and Barclay Gatten and Megan and Miles Beale.

Joan’s family expresses special thanks to the staff of East Pavilion and Southampton Memorial Hospital where she was well cared for and loved for five years. While Alzheimer’s may have stolen Joan’s recent memories, she never forgot her love for her family, especially her husband, who she affectionately referred to as “my Billy.”

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. at Franklin Congregational Christian Church with the Rev. James H. Hyatt Jr. officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Franklin Congregational Christian Church, 412 N. High Street, Franklin, VA 23851.