Virginia Ware Blackburn

By  | August 11, 2019 | Filed under: Morrison Funeral Home, Obituaries
Virginia Ware Blackburn, 97, of Tuscumbia, Alabama, died at home on August 10, 2019, surrounded by her family, after a brief illness.

She was one of four children born to William Arthur Ware and Ruby Lee Estes Ware. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, her brothers, William Arthur Ware, Jr., Water Estes Ware, and Joseph Murray Ware, and her grandson, James Leland Wesson, III.

Mrs. Blackburn is survived by her son, William Stanley Blackburn (Laura), and daughters, Karen Blackburn Wesson (Jim) and Betsy Blackburn Speer (Mike), five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and other members of her much-loved extended family.

Mrs. Blackburn, a graduate of Deshler High School in Tuscumbia, earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1944 from Auburn University, where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. She, like thousands of women across the nation, contributed to the World War II effort by going to work, assisting in the lab at the Tennessee Valley Authority in Muscle Shoals. Shortly before the end of the war, she left TVA to marry and begin her beloved family.

In the 1960’s Mrs. Blackburn returned to work, becoming a social worker with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. She later taught the third grade at R. E. Thompson School in Tuscumbia. Attending night, weekend and summer classes, she earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Alabama. She served as the vocational guidance counselor at Deshler High School for twenty-two years. In this role, she served on many local and state advisory committees, becoming a strong advocate for vocational education for young people.

Virginia Blackburn was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church of Tuscumbia, joining the church’s “cradle-roll” at her birth in 1922. She was very proud of her record as First Baptist’s oldest cradle-roll member. She was a member of the Maud Lindsay Study Club, the Muscle Shoals District Service League, the Tennessee Valley Art Association Guild, Friends of the Helen Keller Library, and the Gourmet Club. She loved playing bridge with her friends and rarely missed a Bridge Club gathering.

The family would like to give special thanks to long-time friend and gardener, Mike Hankins, who took pride in taking care of Mrs. Blackburn’s yard, and to Elaine Shirah, who made her house sparkle. We are also grateful to the employees of Tender Care, especially Verborie Shaw, Machelle Abernathy, Gail Carter, Addie Hill, Pam Ingram, Pearl Minor, and Tarshaw Phillips, and to Katie Looney of Amedisys Hospice. Their loving care during the last months of Mrs. Blackburn’s life was truly exceptional.

A private graveside service will be held at the Oakwood Cemetery in Tuscumbia with Reverend Barrett Long officiating. Friends are invited to the Wessons’ home on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 4.00 p.m. to join the family in a celebration of Mrs. Blackburn’s long, faithful and joyous life. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the Tuscumbia Education Foundation, Inc., 303 North Commons East, Tuscumbia, AL 35674, or to a charity of your choice.


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