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Virginia Whitaker Rose
June 9, 1931 ~ July 25, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Virginia Whitaker Rose - 92 years old
June 9,1931 – July 25, 2023
Born to Lorenzo Robert “Whit” Whitaker and Virginia Belle Snyder Whitaker on June 9, 1931, in East Flat Rock, NC, Mary Virginia Whitaker was lovingly named after her mother and grandmother. She lived most of her childhood in Columbia, attended Dentsville High School (now Dent Middle School) and graduated from Reinhardt High School, a boarding school, where she was Salutatorian, elected as Senior Class President and was elected as “Most Likely to Succeed” and “Best All Around”. Her college yearbook accurately described her as... “Most womanly, able leader, quiet dignity, stars in her eyes, and love and loyalty in her heart.” After earning a degree in Religious Education from Columbia College where she served in many leadership capacities and was selected and listed in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities”, she received her Master of Religious Education degree from Emory University.
She began her career working as Director of Christian Education in the Methodist Church. During her time as a church youth director at First Methodist Church in Laurens, SC, she got a call early one Sunday morning that the preacher was sick and couldn’t find a man to fill in on such short notice. (Remember, this was in the 1950’s before women served as pastors.) So somehow, she got it together at the last minute and was the first women to ever preach from that pulpit. She began the sermon by saying, “Well, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in Laurens, South Carolina, who is preaching while wearing a pink suit!”
Upon her mother’s sudden death from a car accident, she felt called to return home to help her father run the family home and family business. Soon after that, an old college friend set her up on a blind date with Kershaw Rose who later became her husband. And that old college friend became her beloved Sister-in-Law, Joyce Rose Shaw (d.).
She was active in her children’s activities, volunteering at school and many extracurricular activities, was a masterful Bridge player and enjoyed being a member of many Bridge Clubs throughout her adult life. She was a health nut before it was cool. She joined an “Exercise Class” in the 1960s, joined a “jogging club” in the 1970s and, in later years, enjoyed her long power walks. She instinctively knew the importance of healthy food, lived by that, and worked hard to prepare healthy meals for her family.
Being a grandmother was one of the greatest joys in her life. She attended her grandsons’ athletic events, school events and spent a lot of time encouraging their interests in nature and sports.
She was a charter member of Spring Valley Baptist Church. Over the years, she volunteered in children’s ministries including teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, served on many committees, led Bible studies and served wherever she was needed.
She is survived by her daughter, Mary Alice Rose Edmonds (Carter); son, Robert Boykin Rose; grandsons Bruce Carter Edmonds, III and David Whitaker “Whit” Edmonds. She also is survived by her Sisters-in-Law, Debbie Whitaker and Linda Rose, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband of more than 50 years, Boykin Kershaw Rose, Jr. and all four of her siblings, Loubie W. Harrington, Halford S. Whitaker, M.D., Jon M. Whitaker and R.W. Whitaker.
A graveside service will be held at Greenlawn Cemetery, Section B, 845 Leesburg Rd., Columbia, SC at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 28 followed by a Celebration of Life Luncheon/Visitation at 302 Senate St. at Senate’s End.
“Take life as you find it, but don’t leave it so.” ~ Virginia Whitaker, 1948 High School yearbook quote
Memorials may be sent to Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry, PO Box 203, Ballentine, SC 29002 in honor of Virginia Rose. www.aldersgatespecialneedsministry.org