Woody Funeral Home-Parham

1771 North Parham Road, Richmond, VA


Mabel Jean Essex

July 4, 1932July 24, 2020

God’s precious daughter, Jean, 88, entered His Kingdom in fully restored health and mind, on July 24, 2020.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank, in February, 2001, her daughter-in-law, Nancy, and granddaughter, Emily, both in 2002.

She leaves behind her sons, their wives, grandchildren and great grandchildren: Steve and Michelle (Drew, Carissa, Emma, Benjamin / Chrissy, Zack, Theo, Mason / Maddie, Michael / Joe), Glenn and Rhoda (Cassie, Andrew / Josh, Clementine), Rick and Kathleen (Virginia, Cameron / Erik, Victoria), Ron and Donna (Ryan, Kristen, Jenna), Jay and Marybeth (Megan, Sam).

Jean lived a life of deep faith, raising her boys into fine men who sought her wisdom as they became husbands and fathers. Jean loved her sons’ wives as “daughters” modeling how to be loving wives and mothers.

Such a strong woman will be missed by her family and many friends.

A memorial service, open to family and close friends, will be held on Friday, July 31 at 3 p.m. at Gayton Baptist Church,13501 N Gayton Rd, Richmond, VA 23233. Interment will be private at Monticello Memory Gardens in Charlottesville, Va.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzhieimer's Association (4600 Cox Rd #130, Glen Allen, VA 23060) or Community West Church Building Fund (12201 Gayton Road, Suite 210 Henrico, VA 23238).


  • Memorial Service

    Friday, July 31, 2020


Mabel Jean Essex

have a memory or condolence to add?

Phil and Edna Ketchum

August 1, 2020

Gentlemen, We know that your Mother is in a much better place and we all can rejoice in that. She is surrounded by love ones and she is well. God Bless you all with His comfort and His Grace during this most difficult time.

Lisa Johnson

July 28, 2020

I want you to know that my heartfelt prayers go out to you and your family at this difficult time. Knowing the pain of losing a parent, I encourage you to think fondly on moments big and small. Don't forget to cherish those memories most special to you. Be sure to reflect on your favorite "momisms" as they will surely bring a smile to your face during the days ahead. God Bless.

Isaiah 41:10

Kathleen Essex

July 28, 2020

Kathleen Essex

July 28, 2020

Joan U. Brumbach

July 27, 2020

On July 4th, 1932, Mabel Eustace gave birth to a little girl. As the story goes, expecting a boy, no girl’s name had been chosen. She was dubbed “Little Firecracker “ by her grandfather. She could definitely live up to her name (playing Tug-of-War at her 80th birthday) but she would listen to and Gently support her nieces—my sisters and me. A. Jean was part of our family my whole life; remembering traveling together Jean and Frank with Mom and Dad; golfing to Florida, exploring the west and New England and Canada and with all of us to Louisiana; and Jean with the YaYas to California. Quick to laugh, her smiling face so like Granddad Eustace. She was the last of a generation and she was dearly loved.

Lorna Farruggio

July 27, 2020

I was blessed as were others with our sisters knowledge of our lord. She was a blessing and dearly loved. She and her heavenly family are now together.

Kathleen Essex

July 26, 2020

Words cannot capture all this little spitfire has meant to me. My life is richer due to her deep mother's love for me. She drew me in. She drew me close. She loved me for exactly the way God designed me. She encouraged me, cheered me on, lifted me up when I was sad, and calmed me when I was upset. She truly mothered me. How on earth did I become so blessed to have a second earthly mother come into my life when I married Rick Essex?

Mom taught me much about God equipping us to handle whatever was thrown our way in life. Mom never ran from anything. She was one strong woman. She ran to everyone and everything, whenever there was a need she could fill. She was one of THE most servant-hearted people I have ever met. God created her that way. Always obedient to God's call, she went wherever she was needed.

Momma E raised 5 little boys into 5 fine Christ-centered men who were loving and devoted sons to her, brothers to each other, husbands to their wives, fathers to her grandchildren. Each of them learned how to love well from their mother.

Momma Jean was just "mom" to me. I'd say she was the same to each daughter in law. We were NEVER referred to as 'in laws'. We were daughters.

Each daughter saw firsthand how a wife truly loves and honors a husband by watching Mom love Dad (Frank). We never had to look beyond them to know what a marriage should look like. She was a wonderful, supportive, encouraging, loving and devoted wife. I loved learning about marriage from her! I'm thrilled that she will be reunited with Frank V. in heaven! What joy!

“Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master." Matthew 25:23

Janice (Phillips) DeKorte

July 25, 2020

My sincere condolences to the entire Essex family and anyone who knew what it meant to be loved and appreciated by the warmth of Mrs Essex’s heart and soul. I know I’m not alone in sharing important memories of doing life with her in seasons of life that, looking back, were vital to making me a better person. Personally, those times usually included the kitchen table with kids at elbows and knees, or on a comfy sofa with loads of laundry and children waiting to hear the next chapter. I loved watching her grandchildren’s eyes get big with grossed out wonder when she would tell them drinking milk from cows that tasted like onions because the cows would graze on seasonal grasses and wild onions that effected the flavor of their milk: “ew, Grams, nooooo!” “You got used to it,” she’d say as she shared timeless lessons from growing up on a farm. But what left the biggest impression from interactions with Mrs Essex is her sweet loving grace she brought to everything. She really saw you for who you are, for who you could be. She made you want to try. She could hold space for all volumes and harmonize them into a beauty that made everyone feel perfectly at home. Her legacy lives beyond those men and women who get to call her family but my heart is with them especially as they walk through this fresh grief.


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