Age 93, Luray, Va.
The Shenandoah Valley has lost, and heaven has gained, a gifted piano player with the death of Joanna Virginia Griffith Vile of Mill Creek Road in Luray, who went to be with her Lord and Savior on March 29, 2022.
Born on December 20, 1928, in Shenandoah, Virginia, Joanna was the daughter of Albert Isaiah and Grace Ott Hunter Griffith of Luray and graduated from Stanley High School in 1945.
She often prepared meals for and visited the sick and bereaved, and was lovingly devoted to Ralph Vile, whom she married at Leaksville on June 30, 1950, and to whom she remained married until his death in 2012.
Mrs. Vile is survived by all five of her children and their spouses: John and Linda Vile of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Judy Vile of Boones Crossing, Virginia; and Joel and Cheryl Vile, Joseph and Paula Vile, and Jan and Vicki Vile, all of Luray.
Mr. and Mrs. Vile also raised two grandchildren: Shawn Allen Vile, who lives with his wife, Tina, in Simpsonville, South Carolina; and Jodi Arbor Johnson, who lives with her husband, Jeremy, in Alexandria, Virginia. Additional grandchildren include: Virginia Vile Tehrani (Eric) of North Potomac, Maryland; Rebekah Johnson, of Knoxville, Tennessee; Darrell Dudding (Haley); Starr Vile Creasy (Jeremy) of Salem,Virginia; and Benjamin Vile, Andrew Vile, Whitney Campbell, David Blair Vile (Hollie), and Zachary Vile (Lindsey), all of Luray. Great-grandchildren include: Blake, Hannah, Harper and Roman Creasy; Erin and Ellie Vile; Jackson and Jameson McCoy; Wyatt Vile; Lexie, Landon and Lakin Vile; Oliver and Christopher Johnson; and Lincoln and Carter Tehrani. Mrs. Vile is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; by her brother and sister and their sisters: Joseph Donald and Carolyn Griffith, and Norma Jane and Willard Scofield, and Ruth Housden Kinowski, whom her parents also raised. She was also preceded in death by half brothers and half sisters and their mates: Stella and Edgar Jenkins, Dorothy Eichelberger, Emma and Henry Rinaca, Julia Price, Marguerite and George Martin, Robert and Elizabeth Griffith, and Benjamin and Anna Griffith.
Deeply influenced by the work of the Children’s Bible Ministries, Mrs. Vile attended Philadelphia School of the Bible (now Cairn University) and Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Billy Graham was president, before going with her family to Costa Rica as missionaries under the auspices of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE). After returning, the family lived in Stanley, Pine Grove and Luray. She completed another degree at Eastern Mennonite College and taught at Luray High School and Shenandoah Elementary School for more than 26-1/2 years.
Joanna was a devoted wife and mother and an avid gardener. She served for more than 30 years as a pianist at the Mount Carmel Regular Baptist Church in Luray, where she also directed many Christmas plays, taught Sunday school classes, and served with the Ladies Fellowship, the Ladies Visitation Team and in the Chimes Choir. She was employed as a desk clerk for 10 years at the Luray Caverns Motel West and was a member of the Page County Retired Teacher Association, where she served for many years as chair of the Scholarship Committee. She also volunteered at Page One in Luray.
Mrs. Vile spent her last months at Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing Center in Luray. After every visit or call with family she would always say “I love you and I always will.”
She now lives in the sure comfort of the resurrection and the knowledge that nothing will ever separate her from God’s love.
The funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, at the Mount Carmel Regular Baptist Church, with visitation from 1 to 2 p.m. Interment will follow at the United Church of Christ in Leaksville, Virginia.
Arrangements are being handled by The Bradley Funeral Home in Luray, Va.
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