Virginia Gaynell Ford Austin

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, November 30, 2019

Virginia Gaynell Ford Austin, of Suffolk, turned 94 on her first full day in heaven. She went to be with her Lord and Savior on Thanksgiving evening, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.

Gaynell, a native of Mayo, was the daughter of Lila Pearl Cox Ford and Johnny Otto Ford. She was the second to youngest of five children. She was the proud wife of William Davis Austin, the love of her life, who predeceased her by 10 years in his trip home to be with our Lord.

Gaynell was a dedicated and loving mother, wife, grandmother and great-grandmother. She loved Jesus with her whole heart and was full of Godly wisdom. Her well-worn Bible is full of important handwritten verses, messages and her prayers. Gaynell also possessed a greatly creative mind. She was an artist, gardener, florist and seamstress. Her skills were enviable as evidenced by paintings, countless sewn clothes, blankets, dolls, floral arrangements and drawings. She sewed all her daughters’ clothes as they grew up, wedding dresses, and clothes for her grandchildren. She was wise and loyal and could silence an army with a quick glance or calm a hurting soul with a simple touch. Gaynell emanated a calm peace and was never without her signature black paparazzi sunglasses.

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Gaynell is survived by her three daughters, Angela “Angie” Austin Webb (Skip), Mitzi Austin McCoy (Alan, deceased), and Michele Austin Stancill (Ben); granddaughters, Erica Austin Heesch (Matt) and Ashby Blayne Stancill (Skyler), and grandsons, Joseph Andrew “Drew” Webb (Dan) and Benjamin Daman Stancill (Heather); great-grandchildren, Joey Austin, Charley Elisabeth and Scout Calhoun Heesch, and Henry William Stancill. Gaynell was also loved and cared for by Ashley Puckett. Gaynell’s family is forever grateful for her amazing caregivers who were endlessly steadfast as well.

A celebration of Gaynell’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, at Graham Hall in Bethlehem Christian Church. In lieu of flowers, though Gaynell surely did love flowers, we ask that you please spend time with those you love, enjoy a tomato and pimento cheese sandwich and some sweet tea, create beautiful things and spend a few minutes drawing the world around you. Appreciate your loved ones. Though we know our days here on this earth are numbered and we know that Gaynell is spending eternity in heaven, sometimes even the longest life seems shorter than we wish it was.

“Dear God, we pray that you will fill us with that glorious and mighty strength so that we can keep on going no matter what happens, always full of joy in the Lord.” — prayer found written by Gaynell in her Bible.

R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home is serving the family. Condolences may be registered at