A photo of Vivian Franks Cashwell

Vivian Franks Cashwell

Vivian Franks Cashwell, age 82, most recently of Oxford, PA, passed away on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Vivian (class of ‘59) and her husband of 57 years, Clayton (‘57), met at Elon College in her home town of Elon, NC. She worked as a teacher during the 1960s at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, VA.

Vivian claimed to not like cooking, but she was great at it. Especially her pecan pie, which has ruined us for all others. We treasure her handwritten recipes. She would also say she was not artistic, but any project she tried turned out beautifully. Her Christmas ornaments are a joy to see each year. She did not like being the center of attention. We debated writing an obituary for her, asking ourselves if this would be more publicity than she would want. That, combined with a distaste for having photos taken of her, made us wonder as children if she’d been a spy. She’d have laughed at that.

Vivian is survived by her daughter, Amy Cashwell; son-in-law, Rob Maresca (who made her light up by calling her Mom); and their sons, Troy and Clay of Bryn Mawr, PA; her son, John Cashwell; daughter-in-law, Meredith; and their son, Rob of Oxford, PA. She is also survived by her siblings, Betty Reynolds and Richard (Carolyn) Franks of Burlington, NC. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clayton; parents, Cora and Numa Franks, Sr.; and brother, Numa “N.R.” Franks, Jr.

If she had a guiding principle in life, it would be the lesson learned from her father of the importance of respecting people for who they are, regardless of their appearance or life’s circumstances. Vivian’s most favorite people were her three grandsons. She would’ve been proud to see her interest in nature, puzzles, books and trivia living on with them. If she had a last regret in life, it would have been not having more time with them.

All services will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Vivian’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market Street #250, Philadelphia, PA 19106.


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10 Condolences for Vivian Franks Cashwell

  • We are so sorry for the loss of your mom, John, and your grandmother, Rob. I only had the pleasure of being around Vivian a handful of times but each time she was as nice and accepting of me as she always was with Mere. She will be missed. All our love to you. Love, the Simmons Family

  • I had Mrs Cashwell as my teacher at Great Bridge High school, she was a sweetheart, I am so sorry for your loss, God Bless you!

  • Sending heartfelt sympathies in the loss of your mother and grandmother.
    She was a teacher at my high school, and although I did not have a class with her, I knew who she was. I admired her as you could tell she had an air of class in how she carried herself.
    Keep your memories close in your heart.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. She was my typing teacher and was the kindest sweetest person. Learning typing from her saved me several years later when I served in Vietnam as many men could not type back then. Everyone who came in contact with her could sense what a special person she was.

  • I remember Mrs. Cashwell very well. She was my business teacher at GBHS in 1961 or so. I was in the class of ’62. She was always so soft spoken and pleasant. I really enjoyed her class. She was a classy lady. Prayers for her family!❤️

  • So sorry for your loss. She was my typing teacher.

  • She was my Business teacher. A very patience teacher.
    I know she will be missed.

  • Sincere sympathies to the family. She was one of my favorite teachers at Great Bridge High School.

  • Mrs. Cashwell was one of my teachers at Great Bridge H.S. in the ‘60s . She was friendly, kind, patient, and was never rattled by us rowdy boys!! My condolences to her family and friends. I know she’ll be missed.

  • I was in her class, I believe in 1960 or 61and I believe it was business math. I was not into my classes at Great Bridge High and my grades were horrible. I had to pass her class to graduate and I had to make an A to do so. She took the time to sit down with me knowing my situation and told me that if I did not do very well that I would fail her class. She looked at me and told me that I was smart and she believed in me and what I was capable of doing. I studied for that final test and when she gave the papers out she told the class that I made the highest grade on that final test as she passed out the papers. She made a big difference in my life. In 2014 I retired from the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center as a Psychotherapist after 40 years. It is amazing the change that can take place when there is a person that believes in you and shares that belief with you as she did me. May God comfort your heart and mind as you grieve this precious teachers life as I thank God for her impact on my life.