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Frances Barker Runzo

VIRGINIA BEACH - Frances Barker Runzo, better known as "Tinker" to her friends and family, died Sept. 28, 2013. Tinker was born in Norfolk and attended Larchmont Elementary and Maury High School. Her father, Harvey Barker, moved the family to Princess Anne County in 1955 where she graduated from Princess Anne High School in 1957. Tinker earned a B.S. in Education and an M.S. in Counselor Education from Old Dominion University. She taught 5th grade at Louise Luxford Elementary School where two of her students introduced her to Lt. Melvin Runzo, USN, a helicopter pilot, who she married six months later. Tinker was a Counselor at Kellam High School until a change of duty took the family to Fairfax County, VA, where Tinker was a high school Guidance Counselor in the Fairfax County School System, working in Oakton, Falls Church, Annandale and JEB Stuart high schools. She retired from the Fairfax County School System after 25 years of service, and she and her husband, Mel, moved to Williamsburg, VA, where she was a volunteer for the Colonial Williamsburg foundation, giving tours of the St. George Tucker House, a job she continued after moving back to Virginia Beach. She served for five years on the First Night Williamsburg Board of Directors, where she was coordinator of the food service vendors. In 2010, they moved to Atlantic shores in Virginia Beach. Tinker is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Melvin Runzo, USN (ret'd); son Chris Runzo and wife Beth; grandsons Aaron, Dustin and Ethan; a sister Barbara Hull; two nieces Patty Bartneck and Peyton von Hirsch, of Virginia Beach; an aunt, Bernice Rea of Crozet, VA, and numerous cousins and friends who were a source of much joy throughout her life. A Memorial Service will be held at Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church on Oct 17 at 1:00 PM followed by inurnment at Eastern Shore Chapel Cemetery with a reception to follow in the Church's Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her memory may be made to Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church, 2020 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach, Va 23454; or Atlantic Shores Employee Gift Fund, 1200 Atlantic Shores Drive, Virginia Beach, Va 23454. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Rd Chapel is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.

Published in Daily Press from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8, 2013
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