Virginia Buchanan

Virginia Wright Buchanan

Black Mountain - Virginia Wright Buchanan of Black Mountain, North Carolina, formerly of Rich Valley, Virginia, passed away on Thursday, October 24, 2013, at the Highland Farms Retirement Community. She was born at Chatham Hill, Virginia, on December 13, 1920, to the late Graham Sullivan, Sr. and Florence Virginia Buchanan.  She was preceded in death by three brothers:  Graham Sullivan, Jr., Thomas Wiley, and David C Buchanan, Sr.  She is survived by her sister Laura Buchanan Hays Matthews and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and one great, great niece.  She is also survived by her house mate, Betty Maxwell. 

Virginia graduated from Rich Valley High School.  She then attended Virginia Intermont College, earning her Associate's Degree in 1940.  In 1942 she graduated magna cum laude from King College in Bristol, TN.  She received her MALS degree from George Peabody College for Teachers (now Vanderbilt University) in 1950.  She completed graduate studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and UNC-Chapel Hill.  After teaching in various high schools in Virginia for nine years she moved to Montreat, NC, in 1951 to take the position of Head Librarian at Montreat College.  After serving as librarian for 21 years, she went on be the Assistant Dean; she was later named Associate Dean and then was the Acting Dean of Academic Affairs for one year.  Virginia retired from Montreat College in 1979 and at the time of her retirement she was awarded the title of Professor of Library Science.  She was active in all aspects of college and academic life and is one of only seven named Faculty Emeriti of Montreat College.  She was also a member of the honorary education fraternity, Delta Kappa Gamma. 

Under her guidance as Head Librarian at Montreat College, the Nelson Bell Library was built, the honor society Phi Theta Kappa was initiated on campus, and she fostered much institutional research.  She also served as advisor to Kappa Pi Beta.  She was a determined supporter of both the Christian worldview and academic excellence on campus.  In honor of her service and work for the college and the library, the Virginia W. Buchanan Archives Room was created and dedicated on July 11, 2008.  In 1992 she moved from Montreat to join the retirement Community at Highland Farms.

A devout Christian, Virginia was a life-long member of the Presbyterian Church where she was very active in Church Women United, serving in almost every office, on almost every committee, and attended district and state meetings.  She has also served twice as president of the local church's Women of the Church organization.  She has served as an elder and a deacon in the church and has taught Sunday school.   She is noted for her innovative planning of programs.

She has been involved, since its inception, of the Women's Prison Ministry.  In honor of her many years of service and leadership, the Community Resource Council at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women created a scholarship fund in her name to support education endeavors of the inmates.  She has also been a volunteer at the Swannanoa Valley Christina Ministry, active in the Black Mountain Woman's Club, Friends of the Library, and other community organizations. 

Virginia's hobbies included traveling extensively, both in the states and abroad, volunteer tutoring, reading, and playing Bridge. 

She was a true Child of God and while her family will miss her terribly, we rejoice and celebrate her long and fruitful life. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to any of the following charities:

Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry, PO Box 235, Black Mountain, NC  28711, Black Mountain , Presbyterian Church, Attn:  Weekday School, PO Box 39, Black Mountain, NC 28711,  or the Chaplaincy Fund, Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women, Black Mountain, NC, 28711. 

Wilson Family Funeral Service of Black Mountain, NC, is handling the services.  A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am at the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church on Monday, October 28, 2013.  A funeral service and interment will take place at the Rich Valley Presbyterian Church, in Saltville, VA at 11:00 am on Tuesday, October 9, 2013.

Those who would like to leave words of for the family may do so at


Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27, 2013