WARSAW—Virginia Mae Packett Barnes passed away peacefully on June 2, 2017. Virginia was born on March 14, 1926, in Warsaw. She was preceded in death by her parents Arthur and Eva Packett, stepmother Mary Ellen Packett, sister Frances Wright, brother Larry Packett, and devoted husband John Carrington Barnes Jr.
She is survived by her brother, Johnny Packett and sister, Barbara Walker; her children, John Barnes III (Marti Pierce) and Gwen Bowles (Russell); her grandchildren, Lynn Bowles, Jennifer Medders, John Barnes IV (Tom Smith), and Christopher Barnes; and her great-grandchildren Dustin, Caleb, Tyson, Jade, Ky., Brayden, and TJ.
Virginia graduated from Warsaw High School and attended State Teachers College (Longwood) in Farmville. Upon graduation, she began teaching at Warsaw Elementary School. She continued to work with children of all ages throughout her career, running her own Kindergarten program and teaching high school business courses. A woman of great faith, Virginia’s love for God was formed growing up in Warsaw Baptist Church. Upon meeting the love of her life, Johnny Barnes, Virginia joined Coan Baptist Church, where she remained a member for almost 70 years and served as a deacon and a missions leader at the state and local level. Her church community, faith and family were central in all aspects of her life.
Virginia and Johnny traveled the East Coast in their motor-home, camping and enjoying time with their family and beloved Cocker Spaniel, Buffy. Also, they spent many hours together with friends and family playing bridge and dominoes. Virginia was well-known for her beautiful garden, her work with Ruth Keyser as leaders of Coan’s flower committee and showed lilies competitively as a proud member of the Garden Club of the Northern Neck. She delighted in sharing the bounty of her garden, always bringing something whenever she appeared on the doorstep for a visit.
Though she was known by many names—Virginia Mae, Mama, Grandma, GG, Ginny Mae, Ginny, Gin—she will always be remembered as a loving and remarkable woman.
All services took place on Tuesday, June 6, at Coan Baptist Church in Heathsville; the viewing occurred at 11 a.m., followed by funeral services at 12 noon, and a visitation reception at the conclusion.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to a scholarship fund that has been established in the memory of Virginia’s great-nephew, Gregory Wright IV, (The Gregory Wright IV Memorial Scholarship Fund, 2998 Kings Mill Road, Kinsale, VA 22488).