Frank DuVal Hargrove Sr.

January 26, 1927October 16, 2021

Frank DuVal Hargrove, Sr. died on October 16, 2021, at Cool Water, his Hanover County home. He was ninety-four years old.

Born in Elmont, Frank was the son of Arthur W. Hargrove, Jr. and Lula D. Hargrove. His parents; his brother, Arthur W. Hargrove III; and his sister, Mary Anne Hargrove Coolidge, predeceased him.

Frank was independent and very competitive from his earliest days. An adventurous childhood presaged his later life. He is said to have traveled solo around the southern United States when he was twelve and learned to fly airplanes as a teenager. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond, where he was a standout football player and earned the nickname Ripper, the name by which his grandchildren knew him.

Upon graduating from high school in 1945, Frank enlisted in the Army and served in the occupation forces in Japan.

After discharge, he attended Virginia Tech on a football scholarship and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. He rarely mentioned his studies or football, but there were numerous stories of his exploits with his airplane. He enjoyed recounting how he dropped flour bombs on VMI, landed on the Drillfield, and flew under bridges. Later, Frank repurchased the plane he owned in college and flew it from the airstrip at his home. If an out-of-town grandchild expected a present, he might drop it from the plane.

Following college, Frank joined his father in the insurance business and married Oriana Robertson, his wife of fifty-seven years who died in 2010. She took credit for channeling her husband’s considerable energy to productive ends.

Frank was a success in business. He assembled a team, and together, they built A. W. Hargrove Insurance Agency, Inc. into one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Virginia before selling it in 1997.

He sought new challenges while his business grew. He taught himself to sail, joined Fishing Bay Yacht Club, served as its Commodore, and competed in regattas throughout the United States.

In the 1960s, he spotted Cool Water, an eighteenth century home, from his plane. That discovery led him to buy Cool Water and restore it with his wife, Oriana, before moving his family there.

Frank and like-minded friends promoted building Hanover County Airport in the late 1960s. The airport field is named for him in recognition of his work.

Frank was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1981, where he served for twenty-eight years. He loved making government work for his constituents. He did not believe that men and women in government power were angels. That skepticism and his moral compass led him to call for abolition of the death penalty years before the idea gained acceptance. Although over 90% of his constituents disagreed with his stance, they continued to re-elect him until he retired. He supported many causes over his long legislative career. One of the most important to him was the Virginia War Memorial. He was instrumental in securing funding through the General Assembly to restore the Memorial Shrine and Building, and led the fund raising efforts for the Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center construction and programs.

In his fifties, he took up long distance running and cycling. He was the sort of person who preferred a bike to a car to cross Teton Pass.

He rounded out a busy life with the support of many more charitable organizations than can be mentioned here. He was especially proud of his work on the governing bodies of Ferrum College and Randolph-Macon College.

He is survived by his children and their spouses, Dale Alderman (Richard Alderman), Frank Jr. (Elizabeth), Stewart (Lynn), and Wellesley (Kim), and grandchildren Oriana (Douglas Fletcher), Stewart (Dana), Sarah, Mark (Amber), Frank III, Madeleine, Mollie, Hannah, Graeme, and Bailey, and one great-grandchild, Stewart. He was an indulgent, supportive, and caring parent and grandparent.

He is also survived by his brothers-in-law Dr. William A. Robertson (Mary), M. Bruce Robertson (Juanita), and Jean Beckh Robertson, the wife of his deceased brother-in-law E. Stewart Robertson.

Frank’s family will miss his direct manner, vice grip handshake, storytelling, elaborate family gatherings complemented by bonfires on the order of infernos, and the Thanksgiving shooting contest for the Cool Water Cup.

The family thanks Joram “Joe” Kiromo, Mary Kiarie, Colonel Watkins, Alice Mwangi, and Casey Jones whose care made it possible for Frank to remain at home during the final years of his life.

There will be a private funeral service and burial. Those wishing to make a memorial gift might consider The Virginia War Memorial Foundation, 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, VA 23220, or Randolph-Macon College for the Hargrove Scholarship, P. O. Box 5005, Ashland, VA 23005.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Frank DuVal Hargrove Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Betsy Akins

November 15, 2021

Mere words are pale when trying to come up with one memory of this great, thoughtful, strong man. He welcomed me and my family many times to his beloved Coolwater. I have so many wonderful memories of my stays with him and Oriana.
May God bless you all with sweet memories of him and his legacy he left behind.
Betsy Matthews Akins

Michelle Brooks

October 23, 2021

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing some of your memories of your father when he was hospitalized. I appreciated the opportunity to take care of him.


Michelle Brooks, MD

Corinne Dixon

October 21, 2021

Frank and Oriana were our neighbors. When we moved here from Maryland in 1990 they were one of the first ones to welcome us at Fork Church. Occasionally I would run into Frank at the dump and he wore his country jacket that had holes in the elbows. But he would dress nice at all other times. I would drive by Cool Water and see him at the mailbox, he would walk that long driveway for his health. When I was collecting monies for the Honorary Mayor of Beaverdam (nonprofit charity) Frank opened up his wallet and wrote a big check. As a fellow Republican, I would be so pleased to see him attend our functions and I always voted for him. He will be missed.

Andrew Ferrell

October 20, 2021

He was my college roomates dad and he and Mrs Hargrove we’re always nice to me
They gave me my first ride in a Mercedes ha
He was the true definition of a southern gentleman

John Walker

October 20, 2021

I met Frank around the year 2000. I managed the Reid Funeral Home in Ashland at the time. We struck up a friendship almost immediately because of a mutual interest of the Ford Model A car. A car he remembered fondly because I believe his grandmother had owned one when he was a child, he said it was a blue roadster. One day while he and his sweet and lovely wife Oriana were attending a funeral I was conducting, as he walked into the church, he looked at me and said "can you find me a Model A Ford." I think it was about two weeks later it was delivered by truck. He later purchased a beautiful Roadster also and had it repainted in the blue as he had remembered. We all had great times touring in those cars. When Oriana passed away he honored me with the privilege of handling her funeral services. I remember it was a very difficult time for Frank as where you saw Frank you saw Oriana. Now he's finally joined his love and I'm great full to God for that and the privilege of calling them friends. My family sends sympathy to His family. May God comfort you as knowing he is with his sweet Oriana finally.

Ann Williams

October 20, 2021

Frank and Oriana took my husband - Allan Williams - County Manager in Hanover and treated us like one of his children. We will forever be thankful for our many weekends at Fishing Bay and especially the close friendship. we were blessed to have them in our lives and will always temenber the good times! Later our son Zach and Dale became good friends while working in the Legislature. Dale was always the special one to us and the care that she took of Frank is remarkable.!

Lynn Yarbrough

October 20, 2021

It was an honor to work for him in The House of Delegates for 16 years. He and his family were very special people.

George Fearnow

October 20, 2021

Frank was a great asset to Hanover County. Enjoyed times spent with him.

Jean Robertson

October 20, 2021

Frank Hargrove was an icon to his family, Hanover County and the State of VA.
He will be remembered for his generosity and his energetic hard work being part of the solutions. Jean Robertson, Lake Ridge, VA

Connie Whitley

October 19, 2021

Frank was the nicest person I have ever met. He always brightened my day when he came to my store. As soon as I knew he was here I would run out to get my hug and kiss. I am going to miss him so much. Love and prayers to all of his family.
Connie Whitley