Vona Lou Bell McCandless of Durham, N.C., formerly of Grove City and Slippery Rock, passed away Wednesday evening at Duke Regional Hospital in Durham, N.C. She was born Sept. 18, 1928, in Forestville and was the daughter of Burton C. and Frances C. Rentz Bell. She was a graduate of Harrisville High School. She was a charter member of the Forestville United Methodist Church and was involved in many of the church's ministries. Her membership to both Grove City White Shrine 53 and the Slippery Rock Grange showed her commitment to being an active member in her community. She and Ken proudly supported the vision of their son, Larry, in the establishment of the Grove City YMCA. Vona was the devoted wife of Kenneth S. McCandless. In their 68 years together, they served the Lord, raised a family and built a strong marriage. In Ken's final years, he faced a very long and difficult battle with dementia. She lovingly cared for him and remained attentive to his every need. God granted her profound strength to continue to care for him, while faithfully upholding her vows to remain committed to him, in sickness and in health. They shared a bond so deep that she could not imagine a life without him. She died of a broken heart, just six weeks after the loss of Ken. They were the parents of two children, Larry K. McCandless, who died March 2, 1988, and Brenda J. Jamison, wife of Ron Jamison of Durham, N.C. They have a daughter-in-law, Vonie Elverson, wife of Tom Elverson of Slippery Rock. They have four grandchildren, Matthew McCandless of Austin, Texas; Adam McCandless and his wife, Danielle, of Corpus Christie, Texas; Andrew Jamison and his wife, Valarie, of Wilmington, N.C.; and Megan Lewis and her husband, Joshua, of Mooresville, N.C. They have eight great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Cora McCandless; Grey, Oliver and Nora Jamison; and Laura Anne, Jacob and Eli Lewis. She considered her family to be one of her life's greatest blessings. Vona was blessed with the gift of hospitality, which brought her joy and served as a source of encouragement to her friends and family. Whether she was hosting pool parties, helping with spaghetti dinners or sharing homemade cookies and pies, others were enriched by her generous spirit. In recent years, she continued in the tradition of sharing her life with her family through reminiscing the stories of her childhood and the adventures of traveling the country with Ken. Her presence will be so deeply missed by her loved ones. She is survived by one brother, Don Bell of Harrisville. She was preceded in death by her husband; her son; her parents; two sisters, Delores Hubenthal and JoAnn DeFranciscis; and two brothers, William "Bud" Bell and Jack Bell. MCCANDLESS - Visitation hours for Vona Lou Bell McCandless, who died Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, will be from noon until the time of service at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Cunningham Funeral Home, 306 Bessemer Ave., Grove City. Burial will take place at the Slippery Rock Cemetery in Slippery Rock. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Forestville United Methodist Church or the Grove City YMCA.
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