Frank Leslie Tignor, better known as “Les” or “Coach” to his family and friends, passed away on Thursday, September 6th. He is proceeded in death by his parents, Ernest Linwood Tignor and Rachael Wilkinson Tignor of Richmond, Virginia, and his former wife Carol Watt Tignor of Richmond and Roanoke, Virginia. He is survived by his three children: Kenneth Tignor of Hampton, Virginia, Amy Bradley of Roanoke and her husband Tim, and Stephanie Holcomb of Roanoke and her husband, David, as well as six beloved grandchildren: Michael and Emma Tignor and Thomas, Rebecca, Emily and Matthew Bradley.
Born in Washington, D.C., Les grew up in Richmond, Virginia in a big house full of parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and usually a dozen guests for Sunday supper. He attended Randolph Macon College and Richmond Professional Institute, which later became Virginia Commonwealth University.
Les had a long career in Hampton, Newport News, and Salem, working for the Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Court as a Probation Officer. He also worked post-retirement in wholesale and retail, in everything from flowers to personal computers.
But Les’ great loves beyond his friends and family were sports and music. An avid sports fan, Les hardly ever missed a college or pro game. He also served as a football, track & field, and wrestling official with the Virginia High School League and a baseball umpire with National Little League for almost 40 years. Most of all, he loved watching his grandchildren play sports and would often “advise” the officials or umpires on the proper rules.
Les could play about any instrument with strings-- guitar, ukulele, mandolin, piano-- and had fond memories of plinking around on the piano with Elvis when he worked at the Mosque Theatre in Richmond. He sang tenor in many church choirs and barbershop quartets, and was Director of Sing Out Roanoke Valley and The Cardinal Chorus for many years. He loved to write and arrange music and sing quirky songs to anyone who would listen. He had a knowledge of trivia that could have landed him on Jeopardy in a heartbeat. He also loved to read, watch old movies, listen to and watch public radio and television, tinker with gadgets, program computers, and go to any and every library and diner in town. He was kind, smart, funny and an all-around good guy who will be sorely missed by anyone that knew him.
A memorial service honoring Les’ life will be held on Monday, September 17th at 11am at Thrasher United Methodist Church on Washington Avenue in Vinton, Virginia. He will later be buried in Forest Lawn cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. To honor Les, the family suggests donations to WVTF Public Radio in Roanoke and thanks everyone for their kindness and support.