Ambrose John (A.J.) Virgo, 85, of Raymore, Mo., passed away December 9, 2013, at Foxwood Springs Care Center. He was born Feb. 3, 1928, in Chicago Heights, Ill. He grew up in Chicago Heights, graduating from Bloom Township High School in 1947. He served in the Army
during the Korean War
. He attended Eureka College, where he met his wife, Beverly, and they were married on Jan. 31, 1953. Transferring to Illinois State Normal University, he received his Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1955. His first teaching position was in the junior high school in Virden, Ill. In 1959, the family moved to Kansas City where he was employed by the Ford Motor Company. In 1961, he returned to teaching in the Kansas City School District, where he taught in elementary schools. He received his Master of Art in Education degree from the University of Missouri- Kansas City in 1968. He was actively involved in building the membership in the teachers' union, including walking the picket line. After his retirement in 1988, he worked endless hours leading the fight and won against his teachers' union management to increase the retirement pay for all Kansas City Missouri School District retired teachers by having an annual cost of living increase feature added to their retirement pay. He organized a Great Books Study Group and also enjoyed studying many favorite theological books. He and his wife enjoyed traveling out of Missouri to visit their daughters' families, stopping along the way at historical sites. In 1996, they moved to Foxwood Springs Living Center, where they appreciated the many activities and friends they made there. Ambrose was preceded in death by his sister, Angela Grossi; his brothers, Frank and Dominic; and his grandson, Joseph Gagnier. Survivors include his wife, Beverly, brother-in- law, John Duxbury of St. Louis, Mo.; children and spouses, Mary and Ed Youtz of Emmaus, Pa., Carol and Dave Pearce of Weatherby Lake, Mo., Becky and Ned Smith of Franklin, La., and John and Sally Virgo of Overland Park, Kan. Grandchildren include Dan Gagnier and wife, Stephanie; James Smith and wife, Laura; Derek Pearce, Ryan Pearce, Jon Smith, Ann Virgo, and Michael Virgo; three great-grandchildren, Austin Smith, Sophia Gagnier, and Katelyn Gagnier; and many nieces and nephews. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the many caring people on the staff at Foxwood Springs and Kansas City Hospice, in addition to the friendship and support of the many residents at Foxwood. He was deeply loved by his family and was an exceptional role model as a patient and caring gentle man. He touched many lives in many ways and will be truly missed by all who knew him. Ambrose donated his body to the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at Raymore Christian Church, 500 Peace Drive, Raymore, MO 64083. The family can be greeted at 6:30 p.m. or after the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to either the Raymore Christian Church (designate it to the food pantry), PO Box 680, Raymore, MO 64068; or to Uplift, PO Box 270175, Kansas City, MO 64127-0175, which serves the homeless.