Virginia Jeavons was born on February 16, 1917 in Illinois. In her twenties, the Charleston was a popular dance, and she aspired to be a ballet dancer with George Balanchine, and also wished to study to become a medical doctor, yet her mother felt these pursuits were not ladylike. Virginia attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Her major was German literature, and in 1928, as part of her studies, she was in Germany and was almost caught up in the beginnings of World War II. Virginia's interests and readings continued to be wide ranging throughout her life.
Halfway through college, on a blind date, she met Jack Jeavons, orphan son of a Welsh couple. She and Jack hit it off, she transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, and they married. Jack was being groomed to be a top-ranking officer in the Army, but preferred to be with is men. In 1944, Major Jack Jeavons was killed by a sniper in Belgium, just before the Battle of the Bulge. At the time of Jack's death, their son, John, was two, and daughter, Marian, less than a year old. For 75 years, Virginia and Jack were separated until this April 7, 2019 when Virginia, at 102, died peacefully of old age. Virginia's last earthly days were living at the wonderful Holy Spirit Eldercare Home in Willits.
Virginia was a teacher durning much of her life. In Phoenix, Arizona she was a high school science teacher. Later she taught challenged high school students at an at-risk high school in Phoenix and at the Mental Health Hospital in the area. Living in Redwood City, California for a time, she taught reading to jail inmates.
Virginia had Multiple Sclerosis since the age of 14. Of course, this never stopped her from a life of adventure, intellectual pursuits, and deep caring for the people and world around her. She graduated as Valedictorian as a Nurse at age 60. She was also later able to assist a doctor with heart surgeries - a life-long dream of hers. Ever seeking out how best to assist in public service, Virginia volunteered with Willits Hospice, Northbrook elder care home, and at the Willits Library.
A long-time member of St. Francis of the Redwoods Episcopal Church, Virginia also considered herself Buddhist, practicing compassion towards all and rejection of war.
Virginia is succeeded by her two children, six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren - all lucky to have known this strong, intelligent, loving and strong-willed person. Virginia considered herself lucky to have been able to watch her progeny grow into capable, kind and interesting people.
Virginia enjoyed living in Willits, and interacting with the many wonderful people who live here and serve this community so well. We are grateful to the many in our community who brought joy, fun and care to Virginia's long life here. On Saturday, July 6th at 11 a.m., a half-hour Celebration of Life Service will be held at St. Francis of the Redwoods at the corner of Main and Commercial Streets in Willits, with a reception following. All who remember and love Virginia are welcome!
Published in The WillitsNews from Jul. 3 to Aug. 1, 2019.