Dale and Virginia Faughn
Dale and Virginia Faughn

Hometown: Fredonia, KY
| Fredonia, KY

Life Story


Virginia Faughn (1926-2021) lived to be 94 years old.  And what a life she led!  A brass emblem displayed in her casket had the following traits listed:  self-less, caring, thoughtful, humorous, loving, kind-hearted, supportive, devoted, friendly, gentle, and generous.  She was all that and so much more.  To know her was to love her. 

Virginia was born in 1926 in Kentucky.  Her family moved to Kansas shortly after her birth.  Sadly, she lost her mother in a car accident when she was four years old, with her only memory of her mother being standing close by her side as she cooked holding on to her apron.  Fortunately, Virginia’s children have been very blessed with a lifetime of memories of their mother.  She was later adopted by her aunt and uncle and moved back to Kentucky where she lived the rest of her life. 

Virginia met her husband, Dale, while attending Murray State, and they were married in 1949.  They celebrated over 71 years of marriage.  After college, Virginia taught one year at Frances High School and then did substitute teaching.  In 1953, they purchased a farm on the Good Springs Road which has been their home since that time.  She was a wonderful mother to her seven children:  Phillip, Timothy (deceased), Stephen, Nathan (deceased), Mark, Ruth, and Paul.  She has 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.  Her first great-great grandchild is due in July. 

 After raising her family, she worked several years at Tressler’s in Princeton, before beginning her favorite career of babysitting for one or another of her several grandchildren for many years.  The first grandchild called her “Nannie” and that name stuck.  She became “Nannie” to many more than just her grandchildren.  She was so tickled in 2017 when a great-grandson was born on her birthday, and then when it happened again in 2020 with a great-granddaughter. 

Virginia was a long time member of Walnut Grove Baptist Church, where she was extremely devoted to her church, the WMU, Sunday School, Bible School, and witnessing to others about Jesus. On her death bed at Vanderbilt Hospital, she witnessed to her doctor, asking him if he knew Jesus.  He said he was not a Christian.  When he came back in her room at a later time, she asked him again.  He said, “You’re 94, but we’re all going to meet death, and I need to think more about Jesus.”  Before leaving the room, he took her hand, and she told him she loved him.  You could see in his face the impact she made on him.  “Nannie” survived longer than expected with the condition she had, and the family is convinced that one of the reasons is so she could witness to this doctor.  A nurse assigned to Virginia wrote the family a letter expressing what an influence Virginia had on her in the few short hours she knew her.

This was just the culmination of Virginia’s lifetime of “giving.”  She gave to others in so many ways.  One story of many shared this week was from a family where the wife had serious surgery.  Following the surgery, Virginia visited her at home.  At what they thought was the end of the visit, they thanked her for coming.  She said, “Oh, I’m not leaving.  I’m fixing to clean your house, wash your clothes, and cook your supper.”  That was “Nannie.”  Always giving to others. 

Another way she gave was through cards and gifts.  She never missed giving a card and/or gift to every child, grandchild, or great-grandchild’s on their birthday.  But she didn’t stop there.  Her church had a monthly birthday calendar.  She sent cards to everyone on the church calendar!  But she didn’t stop with birthdays.  There were get well cards, thinking of you cards, anniversary cards, graduation cards, and the list could go on.  On the day she was struck by her final illness, she had delivered cards to a couple of her great-grandchildren.  She never missed a chance to show others she loved them. 

In addition to delivering her cards that day, she also went to her usual Friday appointment at her beauty shop.  She was feeling good until later that night.  She was sitting in her chair involved with one of her favorite things to do, crocheting, when she became ill.  She realized her condition was serious, and she said she was ready to go to her heavenly home to see Jesus. But she told her doctor, “I really need to finish those afghans I’m working on!” 

Nannie didn’t get to finish those afghans, but there are hundreds and hundreds of others that she did complete.  She crocheted afghans for all her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and had even finished one for her first great-great-grandchild due in July.  She attached a special handwritten note to this first great-great grandchild which will be treasured forever.  One of her unfinished afghans was for another great-grandchild and another was for a grandson-in-law.

She not only made afghans for all her many family members, but she made countless others for friends, fellow church members, new babies in the community, her doctor, and others.  It was all part of her “giving” spirit. 

As a tribute to Virginia, the family brought many of her afghans to Morgan’s Funeral Home to be displayed at her visitation.  They were draped over the chairs and hung on the walls. There were beautiful afghans everywhere.  What an impression it made on the many who saw them.  She put such love into each and every afghan she made.  They will be treasured by family and friends for generations to come.  But even more than the afghans, the incredible impact Virginia “Nannie” Faughn made on this world will live on forever.   (Tribute written by daughter-in-law, Pam Faughn.)


Dale Faughn was born to Wayne and Dora Faughn on November 8, 1925, at Lamasco, Kentucky.  He attended the Lyon County grade schools of Fungo, Friendship, and Lamasco.  He attended Butler High School at Princeton for one year but graduated in 1944 from the old Eddyville High School. 

World War II was going on, and he was examined for the military service three weeks prior to high school graduation and was inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps one week after graduation in Louisville.  He was sent all the way across country to San Diego, California, for his Marine Corps Boot Camp there.  He had only a furlough of ten days which gave him only two and one-half days to spend at home during his twenty-six month tenure in the service.  The highlight of his Boot Camp training was to qualify as Expert Rifleman which even added five dollars to his monthly pay which had been fifty dollars per month.  After Boot Camp he was chosen to be in a group of about forty to train as Scout Snipers.

Near the end of 1944, his group was shipped to Hawaii, and not long after that boarded a ship for a destination that was unknown to all except the higher ups.  D-Day on Iwo Jima was February 19, 1945, and his group stayed until March 16.  He was in the 5th Division, 26th Regiment, Headquarters and Service Company.

Upon leaving Iwo Jima, this young nineteen year old Marine began his poetry writing endeavors.  He had been so moved by what he saw on this little eight square mile, pork chop shaped, volcanic island that he wrote two poems pertaining thereto.  Years later he wrote what is probably his best known poem, “I Met the Flag at Iwo Jima” for which he was awarded a George Washington Honor Medal Award by Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

After the Iwo Jima campaign, his Marine unit returned to Hawaii, and later that year were issued cold weather clothing for another unknown destination.  Then before long the war in Japan ended, and the cold weather clothing was taken up.  Soon thereafter, these Marines were sent to Sasabo, Kyushu, Japan, as occupation forces.  After about a month, the group was divided.  Part of the group was sent to China, and his group was sent to Peliliu in the Pelau Islands, eight degrees north of the Equator. The stay at Peliliu lasted about seven months, and there was work to do, but the atmosphere was quite “laid back”.  The temperature stayed about the same, month after month, making sunbathing possible on Christmas Day.  Wild chickens were trapped occasionally for food, and coconuts were readily available for those who wished to eat them.  Volleyball was the main recreational activity.

Nearing discharge time, this twenty year old Marine was sent to the United States by way of Guam and the Hawaiian Islands.  On July 27, 1946, Corporal Dale Faughn was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in North Carolina. 

Very shortly thereafter, he started his formal education at what was then Murray State College where he got his Bachelor of Science degree in 1949, and later his Master of Arts degree, and  Rank One credentials. 

While attending college at Murray State University, Dale met his future wife, Virginia Ray Chandler.  Virginia was born December 8, 1926, in Crittenden County.  Her parents were William Clement and Gladys Asbridge Chandler.  Dale and Virginia married on  October 9, 1949, at the First Baptist Church of Murray, Kentucky.  Officiating was Bro. Kelly Fitzgerald.  Their attendants were Arnold Gibson and Rosa Lee Lemon, with Gilmer Thomas and Doyle Mayhugh serving as ushers.

Dale and Virginia lived in Mexico and then Fredonia following their marriage.  In 1953, they purchased a farm on the Good Springs Road and have lived there since that time. 

Dale and Virginia are the parents of seven children:  Phillip, Timothy (deceased), Stephen, Nathan (deceased), Mark, Ruth, and Paul.  They have many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Dale retired in 2011 after teaching 61 years in the Caldwell County School System.  Though he was primarily a science teacher, he taught many subjects during his tenure.  His education endeavors have been rewarded, and he has been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Kentucky Teachers Hall of Fame in 2009. .  He has received many other professional and educational awards.

He has traveled in all 50 states.  He has attended summer programs at 26 colleges and universities. 

In 1986, the Kentucky House of Representatives made him a Kentucky Poet Laureate. Together with artist Rick Phelps, he published seven illustrated volumes of poetry in the 1980’s.  He has published a second series of three poetry books with his daughter-in-law, Pam Faughn, Fredonia Valley Publishing.  He writes poems to individuals and groups.  He also gives poetry recitals.  He continues his interest in poetry writing,

He has donated over 30 gallons of blood at Madisonville Regional Medical Center Blood Bank.   He has been inducted into the Baxter Blood Donor Hall of Fame and into the Fenwal Blood Donor Hall of Fame. 

Dale appeared five weeks on the CBS show, “The $64,000 Challenge.” 

Being a strong believer in the value of exercise, he ran and race-walked competitively for over 30 years, competing in hundreds of running and walking competitions.  He highly recommends nutritional eating and other health endeavors.

He helped to organize the Fredonia Unity Missionary Baptist Church, is a charter member there, and has served in church in varied positions.

 He has served as a speaker to a variety of local, state, and national groups.  He has been  involved in his community, including church activities and other civic organizations and events.

He and his wife, Virginia, were married 71 years.  

Believing there is no such thing as a self-made person, he gives lavish credit to God and so many people for all who have reached into his life in so many positive ways. Knowing that life is so short at the longest, and knowing that life is so important, this Marine gives this advice to all, which is the title of one of his publications:  “Don’t Be Ordinary.”