Nancye Jane Barksdale Via (2).tif

Nancye Jane Barksdale Via, 85, of Charles Town, passed away on August 29, 2021 at Hospice of the Panhandle in Kearneysville, West Virginia. Beloved wife of 60 years to the late George Via, she was a devoted mother to her four children, and a loving “Oma” to eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She is survived by her children, Bruce (wife: Teresa), Mark, Susan (husband: Thomas), and Michael (wife: Jennifer); and her sisters Anne and Patricia.

Born and raised in Danville, Virginia, she was the fifth of six children to the loving family of Charles and Mattie Barksdale.  She was preceded in death by her husband, George W. Via, of Charles Town; her older brother,

Harry, and her older sisters Frances and Evelyn Marie.

Due to COVID-19, no services or memorials will be held. The family will scatter her and her husband’s ashes at a later date.

Nancye was a passionate and accomplished amateur cook early in her life and later became a professional chocolatier (graduate of Richemont Professional Master Bakers and Confectioners’ School in Lucerne, Switzerland) and professional pastry chef (graduate of the L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland).  She was the proprietor of Via Chocolate for over forty years, serving clients in the Washington, D.C. area: specialty gourmet shops, country clubs, embassies, law firms, and loyal “chocoholic” customers.

From a little girl making mud pies on the sidewalk and decorating them with cornstarch and food coloring - food and cooking were her obsessions.  Always friendly and a bon vivant, Nancye never met a stranger and loved to travel, experiencing new foods, meeting new people, and soaking up unfamiliar cultures.  

When she wasn’t preparing chocolates and pastries for Via Chocolate, she could be found puttering around her two kitchens (cooking and pastry), trying new recipes and perfecting familiar ones. Whenever a natural disaster was reported in the news, her first comment was, invariably, “I wonder what those unfortunate people will eat tonight?”

To celebrate her passion for food, family, friends, and dinner parties, please raise a glass in her honor at your next gourmet adventure.

Memorial contributions can be made to José Andrés World Central Kitchen (655 New York Ave NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC, 20001, or the Alzheimer’s Association (225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601,

Please sign the online guestbook and view her obituary at

To plant a tree in memory of Nancye Via as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.


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