A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY

Masks will not be required if vaccinated (honor system)
OBITUARY

Julia Nelle (Blosser) Grandle

August 11, 1925May 28, 2021
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Julia Nelle (Blosser) Grandle finished a full and successful earthly life on Friday May 28, 2021. She was born August 11, 1925, to Emanuel and Leona (Branum) Blosser, and lived in Harrisonburg all her life. In 1945 she married the love of her life James A. (Jimmy) Grandle who preceded her in death after 54 years of marriage. She was also preceded in death by a brother Dr. Henry G. Blosser of East Lansing MI, and by a daughter-in-law Connie Sue (Harpine) Grandle of Reynoldsburg OH.

Julia Nelle was a supremely confident woman, strong-willed, and not afraid to speak her mind. She was admired and respected for her integrity, style, and grace by nearly all she met. She attended Mary Washington College (now UMW) and received B.S. and M.S. Degrees in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Madison College (now JMU). She was a much celebrated teacher of Mathematics at Harrisonburg High School for 24 years before her retirement in 1988. During that time she also served as faculty advisor for the Student Government Association and as wardrobe mistress for HHS’s annual Broadway musical productions. She was loved by students and faculty alike and considered a second mother to many, especially to the foreign exchange students who came under her wing.

Julia Nelle was a lifelong active member of Otterbein United Methodist Church. There, as a young mother, she was a founding member of the Young Adult Class, served as a children’s Sunday school teacher, and was also a member of the adult choir as well as serving on many church committees and councils over the years.

In the 1950’s and ‘60’s she served in the developmental years of the former Rockingham Crippled Children’s Center and was active at the local, state, and national levels of both the March of Dimes and the PTA. She also served on the Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Commission during the early years of its existence.

She held the corporate office of Secretary for Lacey Springs Farms/Westdale Hatchery Inc. owned by her husband and his business partner. And she was also on the Board of Directors and Secretary of the Board of the former Rockingham Milling Company. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority and Quota International, a service organization of professional women. She was the self-published author of the book “Pot of Gold,” which tells the story of her family raising their youngest son to a successful adulthood despite his severe disability.

Julia Nelle was a great believer in and supporter of the Community College system in Virginia. She served on the Blue Ridge Community College Board 1989-1997 and on its Educational Foundation Board 2001-2007. In 2007 the Virginia Community College System recognized her with the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. In 2008 she was recognized as a BRCC Director Emeritus.

From 2000 she lived at the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. She was active in various activities and resident committees until moving to the VMRC Warsack Assisted Living group home in 2018.

Julia Nelle is survived by three sons and two daughters-in-law, James A. Grandle Jr. of Reynoldsburg OH, Robert E. and Lynn H. Grandle of Hampton VA, and Christopher O. and Rebecca U. Grandle of Stuarts Draft VA; two grandchildren and spouses, Dr. Jennifer A. and Dr. R. Scott Lillard of Copley OH and J. Brian and Heather K. Grandle of Jacksonville FL; and four great-grandsons J. Mitchell and wife Emily E. Grandle of Jacksonville FL, B. Matthew Grandle currently in the Navy, and James R. and Thomas F. Lillard of Copley OH. All lead successful lives, of which she was very proud.

A memorial service will be held at Otterbein UM Church Saturday June 12, at 11AM with a family visitation from 12-1 pm to follow in the church social hall. Inurnment will be at 1:30 pm at Eastlawn Memorial Gardens, 3289 Spotswood Trail, Harrisonburg, VA. Masks will not be required if vaccinated (honor system). For those who cannot attend the service will be Live Streamed from the church website and uploaded to YouTube as well.

In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made in her honor to any of the following local organizations: Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) Educational Foundation, Otterbein United Methodist Church, or Valley Associates for Independent Living (VAIL).

Lindsey Funeral Home in Harrisonburg is handling arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.

  • FAMILY

  • James A. Grandle, Jr., Son
  • Robert E. Grandle (Lynn H. Grandle), Son
  • Christopher O. Grandle (Rebecca U. Grandle), Son
  • Dr. Jennifer A. Lillard (Dr. R. Scott Lillard), Granddaughter
  • Brian Grandle (Heather K. Grandle), Grandson
  • J. Mitchell Grandle (Emily E. Grandle), Great-Grandson
  • B. Matthew Grandle, Great-Grandson
  • James R. Lillard, Great-Grandson
  • Thomas F. Lillard, Great-Grandson
  • James A. "Jimmy" Grandle, Husband (deceased)
  • Leona Branum Blosser, Mother (deceased)
  • Emanuel Blosser, Father (deceased)
  • Dr. Henry G. Blosser, Brother (deceased)
  • Connie Sue Harpine Grandle, Daughter-in-law (deceased)
  • DONATIONS

  • Blue Ridge Community College
  • Otterbein United Methodist Church
  • Valley Associates for Independent Living

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, June 12, 2021

  • Visitation

    Saturday, June 12, 2021

  • Graveside Service with Inurnment

    Saturday, June 12, 2021

Memories

Julia Nelle (Blosser) Grandle

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Gordon OHLSSON

June 11, 2021

Farewell, Mrs. Grandle - for that's how we knew you back in the day. I am honored to have known you as my teacher, Drama Club and student government adviser, and indispensable part of the production our musicals. I'm grateful for all I learned from you. May you rest in peace, and may all in your family be comforted.
Gordon Ohlsson
HHS '69

Elizabeth Green

June 11, 2021

Mrs. Grandle was a Wonderful Math Teacher at HHS. She tried so Hard to Keep me focused on that subject. Bipolar Disease wasn't known back in the 70's. Mrs Grandle knew I had some kind of learning disability. She was Kind, never embarrassing me. I always appreciated her and All my Teachers at HHS. You will be Missed So Much especially of your Kind and outgoing Personality to Help your Students succeed.
Rest in Peace as You now are joined with your Husband in Heaven.

Sending Prayers up for All her Family for I know how Hard it is to loose a Beautiful Soul called a Mother.

John Rosenberger

June 9, 2021

My sincere sympathies to the entire Grandle family and all of Judy’s many friends. She was an amazing lady who I met somewhere around 2008. She had been a past board member for RMC (Rockingham Milling/Rocking R Hardware) and continued to visit the corporate offices and stores. She was probably one of the very first women to be a board member for any company in the local area. She was on the board in the late 1950s and early 1960s to help lead the company through some of its most challenging times. I found her to be an amazingly strong lady full of grace and wisdom. It was a blessing just to listen to her. When I was on the board at VMRC, we worked together to help bring the Green Homes to Woodland Park. She was always busy trying to make life better for others. She would visit me to sell pecans for a fund-raising project, again always doing for others. She led a blessed life.

Ronnie Sours

June 8, 2021

I send my sympathies to the family and friends of Judy. As a beginning teacher I paid close attention to Judy who was already a very talented teacher and a devoted leader of students.

I have fond memories of late night musical practices where, during the dark scenes, Judy's sewing machine light would be the only light in the large auditorium, and, during quiet times, the soft sounds of her sewing machine could sometimes be detected as she worked on costumes.

Inger Carlsson

June 5, 2021

Dear Chris, Becky and family.

I’m so sad to know that Momma G. is gone. She played such an important part in my life.
I was the exchange student at HHS 1968-69. She was my American Field Service school-mama. She was always there for me during my exchange year and took such good care of me. I think of her with gratitude for always showing me kindness and support.

Thinking of her makes me happy. She was so much fun to be with, always full of laughter and mischief. We had such a good time together. She used to take me riding in the red Jeep.
We kept in touch through the years. She and Jimmy came to see us in Sweden and I and my family have been back to H-burg a couple of times.
In 2019, my class of -69 had the 50th anniversary reunion. The day before, Chris took me and my daughter Jenny to visit with Momma G. I cherish that day. So wonderful to see her smile again.
Inger (Olofsson) Carlsson and family

Frances Swope

June 4, 2021

My mother, Sarah Frances Harnsberger, and Judy worked together in PTA activities on the local and state levels. Mother always spoke highly of Judy, her work in education, her interest in the students she taught, her activities in the community.

Elaine Baxter ( Fry)

June 4, 2021

Mrs. Grandle was a first class lady. Always gracious and always kind. Loved her as a teacher and as a neighbor to the people who kept me during the summers when my mother worked. Prayers for all the family during this time of loss.

Barbara Somers

June 4, 2021

Dear Grandle family. I was so sorry to learn of Judy's passing. She was certainly an inspiration to many people.

Ron Wenger

June 4, 2021

Artie, Bobby, Christopher,

I am saddened by your mothers passing. I always thought very highly of her. I think at times when my own home situation got unbearable, I would drop in on you guys for a few hours of normal life just so I could go back home again. Your home was was one of two or three in our extended church family where I could do that. Your mom always kind of encouraged me to go for more than I thought I was capable of. When I got home from the Army she was the one who along with Ray Sonner who convinced me to continue with the education process I started again while I was in the Army. Due to changing majors it took me a few more years than most, but shortly after earning a BS I was back in school again in a masters program. Had it not been for folks like your mom, I would never have tried to reach for anything higher than a GED and AA degree. I know that they say that there is a time and season for everything, but it gets scary when we suddenly find out that we are now "the old ones"' I don't think our lord could have taken a more caring individual from our midst. If he was looking for an angle, he got the best one. Sue and I are visiting with our Grandchildren for the first time since 2019 and the start of COVID. So I am not sure if we are going to make it home to WV and back to VA in time to attend the services for your mom, but we are going to try. I hope to see all of you guys there. Ron & Sue Wenger

Lynn Gilkerson Hoy

June 4, 2021

Chris and Family,
On behalf of the Gilkerson family and as a current staff member of Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation, please know how important your sweet mom was to all of us. She helped my dad and the Recreation Department in so many countless ways. She helped build and mold this department into one of the best in the State of Virginia. Her impact was greatly valued and appreciated.
I think of her smile and I do know without her and her overhead projector, I would not have made it thru geometry at Harrisonburg High School!
We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
-Lynn Gilkerson Hoy

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Julia Nelle Blosser

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Emanuel, Leona and Julia Nelle Blosser in early 1926

FROM THE FAMILY

Mom and Pop Blosser

FROM THE FAMILY

Pop Blosser's parents

FROM THE FAMILY

With her bye-lo baby doll. . .she broke two of these and then got a rag doll.

FROM THE FAMILY

This must be the rag doll.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

415 N. Liberty St. where she grew up.

Biography

Julia Nelle (Blosser) Grandle finished a full and successful earthly life on Friday May 28, 2021. She was born August 11, 1925, to Emanuel and Leona (Branum) Blosser, and lived in Harrisonburg all her life. In 1945 she married the love of her life James A. (Jimmy) Grandle who preceded her in death after 54 years of marriage. She was also preceded in death by a brother Dr. Henry G. Blosser of East Lansing MI, and by a daughter-in-law Connie Sue (Harpine) Grandle of Reynoldsburg OH.

Julia Nelle was a supremely confident woman, strong-willed, and not afraid to speak her mind. She was admired and respected for her integrity, style, and grace by nearly all she met. She attended Mary Washington College (now UMW) and received B.S. and M.S. Degrees in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Madison College (now JMU). She was a much celebrated teacher of Mathematics at Harrisonburg High School for 24 years before her retirement in 1988. During that time she also served as faculty advisor for the Student Government Association and as wardrobe mistress for HHS’s annual Broadway musical productions. She was loved by students and faculty alike and considered a second mother to many, especially to the foreign exchange students who came under her wing.

Julia Nelle was a lifelong active member of Otterbein United Methodist Church. There, as a young mother, she was a founding member of the Young Adult Class, served as a children’s Sunday school teacher, and was also a member of the adult choir as well as serving on many church committees and councils over the years.

In the 1950’s and ‘60’s she served in the developmental years of the former Rockingham Crippled Children’s Center and was active at the local, state, and national levels of both the March of Dimes and the PTA. She also served on the Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Commission during the early years of its existence.

She held the corporate office of Secretary for Lacey Springs Farms/Westdale Hatchery Inc. owned by her husband and his business partner. And she was also on the Board of Directors and Secretary of the Board of the former Rockingham Milling Company. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority and Quota International, a service organization of professional women. She was the self-published author of the book “Pot of Gold,” which tells the story of her family raising their youngest son to a successful adulthood despite his severe disability.

Julia Nelle was a great believer in and supporter of the Community College system in Virginia. She served on the Blue Ridge Community College Board 1989-1997 and on its Educational Foundation Board 2001-2007. In 2007 the Virginia Community College System recognized her with the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. In 2008 she was recognized as a BRCC Director Emeritus.

From 2000 she lived at the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. She was active in various activities and resident committees until moving to the VMRC Warsack Assisted Living group home in 2018.

Julia Nelle is survived by three sons and two daughters-in-law, James A. Grandle Jr. of Reynoldsburg OH, Robert E. and Lynn H. Grandle of Hampton VA, and Christopher O. and Rebecca U. Grandle of Stuarts Draft VA; two grandchildren and spouses, Dr. Jennifer A. and Dr. R. Scott Lillard of Copley OH and J. Brian and Heather K. Grandle of Jacksonville FL; and four great-grandsons J. Mitchell and wife Emily E. Grandle of Jacksonville FL, B. Matthew Grandle currently in the Navy, and James R. and Thomas F. Lillard of Copley OH. All lead successful lives, of which she was very proud.

A memorial service will be held at Otterbein UM Church Saturday June 12, at 11AM with a family visitation from 12-1 pm to follow in the church social hall. Inurnment will be at 1:30 pm at Eastlawn Memorial Gardens, 3289 Spotswood Trail, Harrisonburg, VA. Masks will not be required if vaccinated (honor system). For those who cannot attend the service will be Live Streamed from the church website and uploaded to YouTube as well.

In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made in her honor to any of the following local organizations: Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) Educational Foundation, Otterbein United Methodist Church, or Valley Associates for Independent Living (VAIL).

Lindsey Funeral Home in Harrisonburg is handling arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.