Irving, Virginia Hare (Mrs. William R.)


Jan. 8, 1913-Feb. 23, 1998
Virginia H. Irving was a devoted wife, a loving mother of four children and a servant of God. She was brought up in a religious home with two brothers and one sister. She was born in Scooba, Mississippi and educated in public school and junior college.
In 1933 she married William R. Irving, Jr. from Electric Mills, Mississippi. After her husband was called to the ministry, she worked various jobs to send him through Milsaps College and later to seminary at SMU. They served churches in the Mississippi Annual Conference until his entrance into World War II as Chaplain in the US Army. After the war, they served churches in the Louisiana Annual Conference until his death in 1973. She was always by his side doing everything she could to enhance his ministry.
After her husband’s death, Virginia enrolled in a creative writing class at LSU. She wrote a poignant memoir about their ministry together entitled “If Parsonages Could Talk.” She also wrote three other books, a play, and many short stories.
After her husband died, Virginia rejoined Ingleside United Methodist Church, a church that she and her husband had served for eight years. She was a faithful member, participating in all activities until diabetes caused the amputation of first one leg and then the other. Even after a stroke in 1995, which slowed her down considerably, she attended church services faithfully and made it a point to attend Parson-Parsonettes meetings even in her wheel chair. Her minister often says whenever people make excuses why they cannot participate in the activities of the church, he thinks of her and her determination to come to church to worship her God.
After her 1995 stroke, it was necessary for Virginia to live in a nursing home. Her devotion to God never faltered. Her spirit was an inspiration to all that knew her. Her will to live was incredible. Even though her doctors thought she would die, she lived for three and a half years after the stroke. Her speech was affected but she remained active, going to the mall every Wednesday with her family, and always enjoyed Sunday dinner at the Piccadilly after church services.
On February 23, 1998, vascular disease, caused by diabetes, finally claimed her life as she slept. Her son and his wife were at her bedside as she left this earthly life for reunion with God, her beloved husband and members of her maiden family who had all died before her. She will be missed by all who knew her, especially her four children who are grateful that her physical suffering is over and are assured that she is in the hands of a loving God.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1998; p. 2450 By William Irving, III

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