Valinda Tagg

Obituary of Valinda Marie Tagg

Valinda Marie Tagg, 68, of Fairmont entered the arms of Jesus when her soul departed this world on May 25th, 2023 at the home of her sister and best friend, Kathy. She was surrounded by those she loved most, including both of her dear sons. She fought against an aggressive disease, ALS and came out victorious as she crossed into eternity, healed and home in Heaven. Valinda was born June 14, 1954 in Fairmont, WV, a daughter of the late Lawrence Nelson and Virginia L. Dillow Gross. Valinda had resided in other states across the country during her time in the service but made her true home among the hills of West Virginia where she was raised. After she graduated from Fairmont Senior High School in 1972 she joined our armed serves as a member of The United States Navy. She was proud to be a veteran and grateful for the provision of care the VA Hospital had provided from the time of her diagnosis to its final progressive stages during her final days. Including her motorized scooter, she was delighted to find out she could have made in her favorite color-purple. To know Valinda was a privilege and honor for her family and friends but she could bring spunk, laughter and joy anywhere she went, gracing those who knew her and acquaintances alike with quick-witted comebacks and sassy one-liners. Her humor was one of the best facets of her personality and her greatest weapon against the disease she fought. She never lost it or her joy even when the ALS tried to steal so much from her. Her strength will be remembered by everyone who witnessed her fight. Over the years she had worked for various local businesses including Dr. Columbo in the dental service and Sayboy’s Restaurant as a server. But her longstanding place as a server and part of original employees at Dutchman’s Daughter in Whitehall for over 28 years is where she found another family among her coworkers. When the ALS progressed, with great strength and determination, she would come to work, even for half a shift, to be with her work family making them smile and laugh with her spunky sass. She was loved by her customers. Many regulars, who would only sit in her bottom section, knew they would be well taken care of with a little teasing thrown in for free. She was famous far and wide but especially at the restaurant as, “The Fudge Lady” making the best peanut butter, chocolate walnut and butterscotch fudge around. Her bags of fruity and cinnamon hardtack candy never lasted long by the register either. She frequented many of the local craft shows with her sweet treats and hand-crafted creations. She had a following of faithful followers who greatly anticipated each chance to procure her fudge and place orders for the holidays. When Dutchman’s Daughter hosted a Spaghetti Fundraiser for Valinda in March, the response and turnout was overwhelming. It proved to her just how much she meant to her customers and the community. Friends and family joined to celebrate her with an early birthday celebration in April with everything purple. Despite being so tired and worn, she danced full of life to “Purple Rain” in her purple chair. She sat surrounded by love as everyone sang her “Happy Birthday”, not knowing she would be spending her birthday in Heaven this year. Valinda found Jesus during her time here and accepted Him as her Savior. He became even more dear to her towards the end of her journey, knowing she would be joining Him soon. Her unwavering strength in the face of the adversity she faced no doubt came from her faith in her Creator to heal her, this side of Heaven or in His arms. She gave her loved ones a blessing, giving them the comfort in knowing to whom her heart belonged and where she would spend eternity. She recently celebrated her faith by being baptized at the home of her sister. Valinda is survived by her sons who were her greatest joy, Chad F. and his wife Chivon Tagg, and Chip B Tagg, both of Fairmont. And was a proud “Nan” to her grandchildren, Lucas and Logan Tagg whom she cherished; her sister and best friend, Kathy A. Cain and her fiancé Jack Rutherford of Fairmont; and her deeply loved brothers Kenneth L Gross of Fairmont, Michael L and his wife Linda Gross of Surry, VA, and William E. and his wife Lisa Gross if Fairmont. She is also survived by her close friends, Dana Garlow, Lana Hess, and Mary Lauderback: as well as the father of her children, Franklin B. and his wife Lorrie Tagg. In addition to her parents, Valinda was preceded in death by her sister-in-law, Debra Gross. The family would like to thank WV Caring Hospice and The VA Hospital for providing excellent and attentive care during her battle with ALS. And a special, heartfelt thank you to her personal caretakers, Charlene Moats, Brandy Runion, and Laurinda McCoy. You helped make the last days with her as unburdened as possible so we could spend our time loving her. The family has entrusted the arrangements to Ford Funeral Home, 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont. Private visitation services will be held on the morning of Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Public graveside services will be held at the WV National Cemetery in Pruntytown, WV on Tuesday at 1PM with Reverend James Morley officiating. Military honors will be held graveside by the Marion County Veterans Council. Online condolences may be made to