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Virginia Sloss Costen

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Virginia Sloss Costen Obituary
Virginia Sloss Costen

Memphis, TN

Virginia Sloss Costen, 93, died at home in Memphis Monday, May 9, in the company of her family. She was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to John Motheral Sloss and Emma Dewoody Sloss and graduated from Pine Bluff High. After attending William Woods College, she worked in Mexico and then at Grider Airfield in Pine Bluff while it was a WW II pilot training center. She earned a pilot's license and was later a flight attendant.

Settling in Memphis, she was a founder of Northwood Garden Club, the scholarship secretary and treasurer of the Josephine Circle, and volunteered for many decades with LeBonheur Club. While working at the US Attorney's Office, and afterwards, she hosted Friendship Force International's "ambassadors" from many nations and participated in its US delegations, including one of the earliest delegations to China in the 1980's. A student at Memphis Art Academy for many years, she ran an art and antiques boutique after retiring. Until suffering a back injury when 90, she was active in garden clubs and Bible studies, and continued to drive to Texas, Oklahoma, and New Jersey to visit family. Visiting her niece in Cairo when the 2011 coup began, she retreated to southern Egypt for a hot-air balloon tour. She had a gift for noticing – and helping others notice – beauty in surprising places.

She is survived by her daughters, Sandra Costen Kunz and Susan Costen Owens; her grandchildren, John Richard Kunz, Juliana Miriam Kunz, and Grace Owens Sparks; their spouses, and other relatives. A memorial service will be held at Independent Presbyterian Church Friday, July 14 at 3 p.m., with visitation beforehand at 2 in the rotunda area. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Ghana Mission Fund at St. John's Episcopal Church, 4200 S. Atlanta Place, Tulsa, OK 74105 or the Autism Oxalate Project, 4182 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on July 11, 2017
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