Frances Lane Alwood

Frances Lane Alwood

Suffolk, VA
09.06.1929 - 02.27.2020
Guatemala City

Frances Lane Alwood, passed away peacefully Thursday, February 27, 2020 at the age of 90 at Lake Prince Woods (LPW). Near the end of her life she often commented how she felt enveloped in the loving care of her extended family, LPW, Pat Hewitt, Heartland Hospice Care, and Full Bloom Personal Care Agency. She was the daughter of the late Robert and Lunita Lane and was predeceased by her husband, Robert L. Alwood; daughter, Sarah Williams and brother, Robert M. Lane, Jr. Frances is survived by her children, Robert “Jack”Alwood (Claudia) of New Port Richey, FL; David Alwood (Nancy) of Richmond, VA; Jennie Alwood of Durham, NC; son-in-law Nelson Williams of Raleigh, NC; ten grandchildren (and spouses); and seven great granddaughters. 

As a teacher, guidance counselor, Spanish interpreter, mother, sister, grandmother, even as a patient in hospice care she related to people not as their social status, color or education but as the light she saw inside of each person she met. She touched the lives of hundreds of people through her work with Suffolk High School,  Suffolk Presbyterian Church, Suffolk School Board, Suffolk Sister City Commission, Habitat for Humanity, Youth For Understanding, Retired Teachers Association, Western Tidewater Free Clinic, and American Association for University Women.

She received degrees from Randolph Macon Woman’s College in 1950 and Old Dominion University in 1982 and briefly attended Yale University before marrying the love of her life in 1951. 

A memorial service will be conducted by Rev. Julie A. Sterling in the Suffolk Presbyterian Church, 410 N Broad St, Suffolk, VA 23434 on Monday, March 9 at 10 am.  In lieu of flowers, there are 2 choices for memorial donations #1. Suffolk AAUW with checks noting the Frances Alwood Scholarship Fund, sent to 206 Military Rd, Suffolk, VA 23434 or #2. Suffolk Presbyterian Church where funds will be distributed to projects dear to Fran’s heart: Waters for Life Project, and Edmarc Hospice for Children. Condolences may be registered at

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Suffolk Presbyterian Church
410 N. Broad St.
Suffolk , VA 23434
United States


I send my sincere sympathy to the family of Fran Alwood. Fran was a smart and gentle woman with so many talents. She gave so much to her students, her friends and her community. Her memory will live on the hearts of those who knew her. My thoughts are with you at this sad time.

Brenda Kincaid

Recently, I learned that Mrs. Fran Alwood passed away. Señora Alwood taught me along with my classmates Spanish from the Second Grade up through the 12th Grade in Suffolk Public Schools. Señora Alwood was the reason I became a Spanish teacher, studied other languages, taught and worked for social justice. Señora Alwood was a social justice warrior long before the term came into existence. En Paz Descanses, nuestra querida Señora Alwood. Mis pésames y lamento mucho su pérdida. Abrazos para toda la familia.

Robert L. "Bobby" Oliver

Mrs Atwood, you were the loving spirit that kept Suffolk High School together, not just a student body but an extended family. You will be missed by many.

William Powell Jr

On behalf of The Jack and Bobbie Chapman Family , please accept our heart felt condolences. Your family will be close in our thoughts and prayers in the days to come.
~Mary Beth Chapman Carden

Mary Beth Chapman Carden

Sincere sympathy and love to the family. Her progressive ideas about foreign language education in the elementary years formed the foundation of my love of foreign languages beyond the ten years she was my teacher from second grade until I graduated. My mother on occasion would run into her in Suffolk, and she never failed to ask about me. What an exceptional human being and teacher. Muchas gracias always, Sra. Alwood.

Anna Morris Cross

Our heart felt condolence's to Fran's family. We have not lived in Suffolk for many years but have very fond memories of the great lady at Suffolk High School. It is consoling to know she is now with her loved ones in heaven.
Patricia Henry and daughters

Patricia Henry

I was so sorry to learn that Fran passed away. I think fondly of my time working with her at Suffolk High School and later in the peer facilitation program. Fran had a tremendous worldwide impact in her work promoting international understanding at the local level through the many exchange students her family hosted. For many years she encouraged many Suffolk area families, including my own, to join her in this endeavor. Barbara and I extend our sympathy to the many members of the Alwood family during this difficult time.

Randy Betz

Dear Alwood Family,
On behalf of the City of Suffolk Treasurer's Office, I want to extend to you our sincerest sympathy on the loss of your wonderful Mother. She was such an inspiration to her family and friends and the community. I know that she will be missed by all that knew her. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
Ronald H. Williams, City Treasurer and Office Staff

Ronald H. Williams

Fran Alwood was in a class all her own. She just exuded the warmth and love of the Central and South American people. She touched everyone that knew her. She was very unique in a place like Suffolk. We are all better for having known her. Blessings to her family.

Penny Dudley

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