Virginia Martin, 85 of Massac County, IL, passed away on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
Raised on the family farm and being the oldest of a family of five children, Virginia’s character was molded at a young age, doing chores expected of a boy as there were no other children old enough to help on the farm. Like so many farm children of that time, she walked over a mile to a one-room schoolhouse, eager to get an education. As she advanced to high school, a bus to school was available and she graduated from Vienna High School.
In 1953, she married Leonard Martin and they established their home in Dongola, IL, close to Leonard’s employment at Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative. During these early years she was a very active member of Bethany Baptist Church, teaching Sunday School, leading summer Bible schools, and taking a leading role in the campaign to rebuild the church building after a devastating fire, writing many, many churches in Southern Illinois and enlisting their help in the project…one that was amazingly completed with zero debt. Not ignoring her wish to have a family she also gave birth to two sons, managing a family while acting as church secretary and managing all these projects.
In 1963 she and Leonard decided to move to Massac County to take a position with the Cooperative. As a condition of that position, she also accepted as her responsibility the operation of the Massac office…a desk in her living room where she accepted electric bills each month, answered after hours outage calls, and dispatched linemen on the radio. When this office was eliminated in the late 70’s she was hired by Massac Memorial Hospital and eventually oversaw the admitting department. Never straying far from her farm family roots, she and Leonard also raised cattle on farms in Johnson and late Massac counties. Even after Leonard’s death in 2001, she continued to feed and water cattle for many years. Not abandoning the church in these busy years, she became a member of First Baptist Church in Metropolis, being active in the choir, WMU, summer Bible school and of course teaching Sunday school each Sunday.
She is survived by her son David and wife Lillie of Metropolis, as well as son Steven and his wife Ginny of the Metro Atlanta area. She has five grandchildren, Westly Martin, Gabrielle (Ben) Harris, Jeremy (Melissa) Martin, Jillian (Daniel) Crews, and Jenny Lynn Martin. She is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Reagan Harris, Lily Kate Harris, Preslie Harris, Leona Crews, Gavin Crews, Lenox Crews, and Guy Crews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Leonard Martin, father and mother, William Earl and Edith Hennesy, and her younger siblings Viola Penrod, Curtis Hennesy, Janet Norris and Jerry Hennesy.
Funeral services will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at Miller-Loftus-McManus Funeral Home in Metropolis with Rev. Steven Martin officiating. Burial will follow in Cypress Masonic Cemetery.
A visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 12 noon on Saturday at the funeral home.
Condolences may be left at www.aikinsfarmer-millerfh.com.
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