Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Virginia Hosea Francis, A Very Special Centenarian, Named One of Two Special Grand Marshals for the Sesquicentennial

Jinny with David and Marcia Hosea on her birthday. 

The Sesquicentennial is such a big deal that it needs two Grand Marshals. Meet the first one, Virginia Elle Schry Hosea Francis who prefers to called Jinny.  She is the 101 year old mother of David Hosea. And is still as energetic and feisty as ever.


She was born in 1916,grew up in Dayton, Kentucky where she was a school cheerleader in the 1930s. She met her future husband, Henry Hosea, at Tacoma Beach in Dayton.  During WWII Henry Hosea was stationed in the South Pacific as a Seabee developing landing strips while Jinny worked for the local telephone company.  After the war, they had two children, David (married to Marcia) and Cindy (married to Pat Roth).

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Jinny was active in Fort Thomas social circles and together they were quite active in the Lion’s Club for decades. Sadly, Henry Hosea passed in 1990. But about ten years later, in her seventies, she found love again when she married Roger Francis, a retired Air Force pilot. Roger Francis passed in 2012.

Marcia Hosea says with some amazement, “Think about what she has seen in 100 hundred years.” That must be an amazing view of the world from her perspective.

Mrs. Hosea told me about how they planned a surprise birthday party for Jinny and Henry.

“At 70 we gave Jinny and Henry a joint surprise birthday party. When we entered Jinny looked around and said, “I didn’t know I had this many friends still alive!’ It was fun. People told stories on them. Ten years later, Henry had died and she was close to remarrying. So we had a low key 80th birthday party. So then for her 90th birthday we took her to dinner with just the family. But she walked in said, ‘I need my drink.’” Marcia laughs. “So then we know that we had to plan a 100th. And she was surrounded by friends and family.”


Even though she has recently suffered some health setbacks, she is still sharp, witty, and feisty. She still lives in her house, although with around the clock care. “We had a scare in January. We called hospice, but she recovered and even gained some weight and seems to be fine.”

Every family has recurring stories so I asked if there was one about Jinny.


Marcia laughed and said, “Oh, yeah. Jinny and Gertrude Bush, a friend, were on their way to Homemaker’s Club. They arrived at the hostess’ house a little early and they just walked in because that’s what they did then. The hostess was not home. They looked around and thought, ‘Oh my, we better help her out. This place is a mess.’ They thought something must have happened to make her leave suddenly knowing that guests were coming. So they cleaned up her kitchen and folded laundry and ran the sweeper. Then Jinny looked at a picture and said to Gertrude, ‘Hey, do you recognize anybody in this photo?” That’s when they realized they were in the wrong house. So they quickly left and found the right house a few doors down.  Marcia report that Jinny said, ‘We laughed about that for forty years.’” And I can see why. I can only imagine what that woman said when she came home to a clean house.

“She was thrilled,” Marcia says when Jinny learned that she was a Grand Marshal. “She will be decked out and wouldn’t want to miss it.”  Jinny Hosea values her family more than anything and that is an important Fort Thomas value.  So tip your hat and applaud her as she rolls by in the parade because we have lots to still learn from Virginia Elle Schry Hosea Francis.

Jinny worked for the telephone compnay during WWII/


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