Former Shoney's executive and restaurant owner Denise Biafore passes away at age 52

By Local News | February 26, 2017
Sharon Denise Gillespie Biafore, 52, of Bridgeport, passed away Thursday evening, February 23, 2017, at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.
 
She was born May 9, 1964 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Sharon Laign Gillespie, who survives in Bridgeport, and the late Ronald Lee Gillespie.
 
She is survived by her husband of 33 years, John Biafore, whom she married on September 8, 1984 in Bridgeport, West Virginia. In addition to her husband and mother, she is survived by her daughter, Alexia Laign Biafore and fiancé, Michael Anthony Burge, and her son, Samuel Joseph Biafore, all of Bridgeport.
 
She is also survived by her sisters, Debra Lynn Martin, husband John, and their daughter, Montana Brooke of Bridgeport, Dawn Lee Kim, husband Peter, and their daughter, Emma Laign, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and Deanna Jo “Bo” Williams, and husband, Mike of Fairmont.
 
She is also survived by her brother-in-laws, Sam Biafore and wife, Bernice, of Henderson, Nevada, Joe Biafore of Clarksburg, West Virginia, Rocco Biafore, and wife, Anita, of Hollister, California, James Biafore and wife, Tammy, of Alexandria, Virginia, sister-in-laws, Kathy Newbrough of Fairmont, West Virginia, and Bernadine Biafore of Las Vegas, Nevada, along with several nieces and nephews.
 
She is also survived by her uncles, Robert Caudell of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Paul “Butch” Blackwell and wife Pat, of Apopka, Florida, Richard “Dick” Moore of Bridgeport, Jerry Moore and wife, Virginia, of Harahan, Louisiana, and Arthur Wilson of Brooklyn, Ohio.
 
In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her in-laws, Frank “Higgy” Biafore and Parmasena Biafore, her brother-in-law, Frank Biafore, her maternal grandparents, Cecil and Nellie Moore, and her paternal grandparents, John and Melba Gillespie, and Maggie Caudell, and her special Aunt Sylvia Wilson.
Denise is a 1982 graduate of Bridgeport High School.
 
Denise began her career at Shoney’s Restaurant as a server and along with guidance from her business partner, Rory Smith, climbed the corporate ladder and achieved her ultimate goal of owning her own stores—Shoney’s of Flatwoods and Summersville. After turning these stores around, she was awarded 2016 Turn Around Artist of the year, a prestigious honor bestowed upon her by David Davoudpour, CEO of Shoney’s Corporate. She loved her Shoney’s family and had a passion for helping others reach their full potential.
 
Denise, along with her husband, enjoyed the outdoors, especially trout fishing. She also loved to travel with her family to Las Vegas and Aruba. Above all, her greatest passion was her husband and children.
Denise was a Roman Catholic by faith.
 
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bonnie’s Bus, or a charity of your choice. The address to Bonnie’s Bus is: WVU Cancer Institute, Office of Philanthropy, P.O. Box 9300, Morgantown, WV 26506-9300.
 
Friends will be received at Burnside Funeral Home, 607 S. Virginia Avenue, Bridgeport, on Monday, February 27, 2017, from 11 am to 6 pm, where Catholic Burial Rites will be held at 6 p.m. with Father Hilarion V. Cann presiding, followed by a dinner for family and friends at All Saints Catholic Church.
 

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