Ira Thomas (Tom) Vance Jr., affectionately known to his grandchildren as "Pop Pop" of Powhatan, Va., and formerly of Henrico, Va., passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, August 22, 2013, after a brief battle with cancer. Tom was born in Clifton Forge, Va., on April 19, 1933, to the late Ira T. Vance Sr. and Nannye Putnam (Peggy) Vance. He leaves to cherish his loving memory, his wife of 54 years, Olga Kandis Vance; a son, John Thomas (Jay) Vance and his wife, Lara, of Chantilly, Va.; a daughter, Diana Vance Barden and her husband, Ron, of Henrico, Va.; a sister, Dreama Clifford, of Clifton Forge, Va.; a sister-in- law, Virginia P. Elmendorf, of Glenshaw, Pa.; seven grandchildren, Maddie Vance, Vance Barden, Tommy Vance, Brett Barden, Reid Barden, TJ Vance, and Macie Vance, for which he had a nickname for each; three stepgrandsons, Kyle, Zak and Justyn Rhodes; as well as several cousins, nieces, and nephews and an abundance of friends.
He was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Marie Parthenis (Aunt "Ree").
Tom met Olga in middle school where they dated for over 10 years before marrying in 1959. After graduating from Clifton Forge High School, he pursued his love of baseball and played for University of Virginia (UVA) and Glenville State. He left college to serve as a Specialist Fourth Class in Korea where he received the Good Conduct Medal.
When he returned a proud veteran, he continued playing baseball and football for Bridgewater College where he obtained his BA in Physical Education with a minor in History. Beginning in the summer before graduation, he played semi-pro baseball for the New Market Rebels.
Having worked in Grottoes and Richmond, Tom retired from Reynolds Metals Company as a Product Manager in the Plastics Division after 33 years of service.
His love of children and sports took him to Tuckahoe Little League where he was "the best coach ever," Manager and Past President of Tuckahoe Sports. Tom was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed baseball, golf, hunting and fishing. He was an animal lover and always had a dog by his side. Several dogs will see their master once again including, Toto, Laddie, Whiskey, Myvrie and Dutchess. His latest addition, Rockbridge, will continue to be loved by Olga and all of the neighbors and friends.
He was a member of the Civil War Roundtable of Powhatan. He was a member of the Powhatan United Methodist Church, 2253 Rosson Road, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2013, officiated by Pastor John Hemming. There will be a private spreading of his ashes at their mountain cabin. The family will receive friends at Bennett & Barden Funeral Home, 3215 Anderson Highway, Powhatan, Va., on Friday, September 6, 2013, from 5 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts be made to Cancer Research, the Powhatan United Methodist Church or the
Special thanks to all of his friends, both young and old, the Powhatan Rescue Squad, and the nurses on 5 West, physicians, staff and Hospice staff at St. Mary's Hospital who have stood with the family through this past week. Online condolences may be made at bennettbardenfh.com