Virginia Belle Marshall Starkweather, age 99, died January 2, 2021 at Eddy Village Green in Cohoes, New York.  

She was born in Hennessey, Oklahoma on October 11, 1921, and moved with her family to Clay Center at the age of two.  Her parents were Porter and Ernestine (Mall) Marshall.  

She attended Clay Center schools and graduated from CCCHS in 1939.  She graduated from the University of Kansas in 1943 with a BFA degree majoring in commercial art.  She was a member of Chi Omega Sorority.  She was greatly interested in architecture and landscape design.  She returned home to work as a bookkeeper at Marshalls, Inc.

On May 18, 1944 she married First Lieutenant Lloyd A. Starkweather, who had returned from the European Theatre of operations in World War II.  That first year they resided in Louisiana, Texas, and Nebraska before making their home in Clay Center.  They had four children:  Mary Lou, JoAnne, John Marshall and Lee Arnold.

Virginia’s top priority was her home and family.  She was a member of the United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women and served on local, district, conference and jurisdiction levels of both.  She was president of the local unit of UMW and was the first woman Lay Leader of the Clay Center United Methodist Church.  She was the first woman to be Chairperson of the Kansas West Conference Council on Ministries.  She was Dean of the West Gulf Regional School of Christian Mission.  She served on the Wesley Task Force, and was a trustee of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund.  She also served as Secretary of Kansas Church Women United.

 Locally Virginia served as president of the board of the Clay Center Carnegie Library and helped organize the Friends of the Library.  She was president of Chapter AS of P.E.O., the NEA Study Club, Red Cross Volunteers and Lioness Club.  She served on the Board of Directors for the Clay County Children’s Trust.  Her hobby was landscape gardening.

 Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Lloyd, her daughter, Mary Lou Slaughter, and her step-granddaughter, Kristen Kennedy.  

She is survived by her daughter, JoAnne Chapman of Delmar, New York; sons, John (Midori) of Woodland Hills and Lee (Teri) of Laguna Niguel, California; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a son-in-law, Douglas Slaughter and wife, Karolyn; two step-grandsons and six step-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by Lorenzo Cugniet Elizondo of Santiago, Chile, American Field Service student, who lived with the family 1969-70.

Memorials are suggested to Clay County Children’s Trust in care of Neill Schwensen Rook Funeral Home.

Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery.

Paid notice.