Virginia Long Denison (nee Helen Virginia Long), age 85, passed away on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at Otterbein Hospice Care. Virginia was born on July 8, 1937 in Whitmans, West Virginia. She was the first of six children of the late Solon Ira Long and Helen Zarence Long.
Virginia attended Montgomery City Schools in Montgomery, West Virginia through her sophomore year, then moved with her family to Rutland, Ohio and graduated from Rutland High School in 1954. At Rutland she became a Class Officer and editor of the Class of 1954 Yearbook, as well as winning several academic and civic awards.
She always had an adventurous spirit, and went to Washington D.C. to work for the FBI immediately after high school graduation. In February 1956, her father was killed in an industrial accident, and she returned to Ohio to better support her mother, taking a job at Westinghouse in Columbus. She and her future husband, Bob, had known each other slightly since her family moved to Ohio in 1952; in May 1957, they "met" at a Rutland High School reunion, and were married on September 15, 1957. After marriage, the couple moved to Dayton, where Bob was an AF Lt. at WPAFB. Virginia also worked at WPAFB until she started her family in 1961, and made many lifelong personal and professional friends. During the next 9 years she concentrated on being a good parent to her three sons, and took special delight in helping them enjoy many experiences at the Dayton Museum of Natural History (now the Boonshoft), and made sure there was an annual family vacation in which the young family traveled to new places and saw new things.
The people, both family and friends, that know her best see her as a "ringleader", always working to get groups of them together to enjoy each other's company and to just visit, and this is an important part of her legacy. As you would expect, she never met a stranger and always took great delight in having spur of the moment conversations with people she had never seen before.
Virginia is a long term member of Christ United Methodist Church, and over the years has been active in the Women's Society of Christian Service (WSCS) and many other Activities. She has many lifelong friends in the Church.
The Christ United Methodist Church Preschool Program was founded in 1970. Virginia believed in the program as a tremendous force for good in the community, and joined the staff almost at the beginning. She served the program for 16 years, from 1970 to 1986, 10 years of which she was an Assistant Director and one of its strongest advocates.
She left the program to complete her degree, thereby fulfilling a promise she made to her father in 1954 when she went to Washington, D.C. She received her BA degree from Wright State on March 21, 1987.
By 1987, the Denison Family nest had been empty for a while, and Virginia once again had the opportunity to exercise her always adventurous spirit and has traveled widely (mostly with Bob, although she sometimes had to drag him along). By 2021 she (they) had visited all the continents and oceans, including more than 65 countries; nevertheless, she wants you to know that her two favorite places (The Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone National Park) are in the USA.
She loves travel, and recommends it to everyone, as a tool for widening horizons, meeting new people, and building bridges between people everywhere.
Over the years, Virginia became an expert in using photography and themed Picture Books to document the lives of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as the travels that she enjoyed with Bob and all her family. She loved her family deeply, and was deeply loved by them. Her Picture Books are expressions of that love and are important parts of her Legacy.
Virginia is survived by her husband of 65 years, Bob: her three sons, Jeff, Greg (Pat) and Rod (all born at Miami Valley Hospital in the 1960's); her three granddaughters Jamie Schott, Kara Denison and Sophia Denison; her two great grandchildren Elliott and Mia Schott; and her sister Cheryl (Long) Loftin.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to St. Vincent DePaul of Dayton (stvincentdayton.org) 124 West Apple Street, Dayton, OH 45402, Tel 937-222-5555 or any charitable organization of your choice.
A Celebration of Virginia's life will be held at Christ United Methodist Church at 3440 Shroyer Road, Kettering, OH 45429 on Monday March 13, 2023. Visitation will begin at 10 AM, followed by the Main Service at 11 AM, and then lunch and reminiscing. Arrangements by the Westbrock Funeral Home, Kettering.
Funeral Home Information
Westbrock Funeral Home
5980 Bigger Road