Eggleston’s favorite aunt, Miss Virginia Whittaker passed away in the fall of 2020. “Miss Virginia” as she was called, was a pillar in the community and carried a torch for education, service, and love for her community. After she graduated from Madison College, her first job was teaching at the remote Konnarock Lutheran Girl School in Smith County, Virginia. Miss Virginia loved her three years at Konnarock but needed to come home to be with family. She started teaching at the Eggleston School until the school closed in 1981 and she retired. She taught 4th and 5th grade as well as English and Art at the Eggleston School.
Those who remember Miss Virginia, recall her sweet tooth, her commitment to education, her dedication to the Eggleston community, and the glitter in her eyes. Ms. Evelyn Thompson who worked at the school with Miss Virginia remembers her being good to the children, having them do artwork, and passing out cookies from her tin. Two of her former students recall her being a wonderful teacher, strict but fair to everyone, good country folk, someone that loved to talk about the “old times”, tomatoes and riding the school bus with the children. Miss Virginia loved to talk about the Old Ice Cream Parlor and the new flavors they received, and always wanted to know what the latest news in town was.
Lynn Thorpe knew Miss Virginia through the Ruritan Club, which established a scholarship fund for Miss Virginia in 1999. Miss Virginia would always look over the student’s essays and contribute to the scholarship. After the Club stopped managing the scholarship, Lynn took over fundraising and management so it could continue. Miss Virginia passed away in November 2020, and Lynn approached the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) about managing the fund and creating a legacy for Miss Virginia with an endowment. The community has rallied to grow the fund, which supports students graduating from Giles County with a preference for those from Eggleston, in honor of Miss Virginia’s commitment to Eggleston. The first scholarship was awarded to Ruthie Brown in 2021, who will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall. “I am very grateful to receive a scholarship from the Community Foundation of the New River Valley….Thank you to everyone involved to help students of the New River Valley better afford higher education.”
To contribute to the Virginia Whittaker Memorial Scholarship Fund, send a check payable to CFNRV to PO Box 6009, Christiansburg, VA 24068-6009 and indicate Virginia Whittaker in the memo line. Or, give online at cfnrv.org. If you are interested in starting a scholarship fund at the CFNRV, please reach out to Jessica Wirgau at firstname.lastname@example.org.