Virginia Swope Cherrington, a beloved mother and grandmother, died in Houston, Texas, on Sunday, February 14, 2021. She was born in Perry, Missouri, on July 16, 1927, and moved to the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in 1945 where she resided until 2015 when she moved to Houston to be closer to her children.
Virginia is survived by her daughter, Deborah (Dee) Swope Darby and her husband James of Houston, her son, Jay Mitchell Swope and his wife Julia of Round Rock, and three stepdaughters, Linda Kay Cherrington and her husband John Paul Hershey of Galveston, Janet Cherrington Eakes and her husband Gary of Austin, and Anne Cherrington Culver and her husband Doug of Houston. Virginia was adored by her nine grandchildren; three granddaughters: Scarlett Virginia Darby of Houston, Valerie Susen Jacobs and her husband Larry of Austin, and Ellen Elizabeth Culver of Austin, and six grandsons: Jay Mitchell Swope II of Round Rock, James Patrick Darby II and his wife Lauren of Houston, John Clayton Swope of Dallas, James Cherrington Susen of El Paso, Blaine Cherrington Eakes of Denver, CO, and Kevin Chase Culver and his wife Jordan Sheffield of Houston. She was also the proud great grandmother of three - Brayden Lee Swope, Charlotte Rose Jacobs, and Wesley Ryder Jacobs. Nieces and nephews: Evelyn Elmore Jones, Fort Worth, Texas, John Robert Elmore, Harlingen, Melinda Bonnet Buchanan, Carriere, Mississippi, and Melissa Bonnet, Irving, Texas, and Sister-in-law, Marie Swope Elmore also survive Virginia.
Virginia was a highly respected community and church leader. She was a well-known and successful realtor, serving as president of both the Harlingen Board of Realtors and the Texas State Women’s Council of Realtors. She was also an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Harlingen for 60 years.
Virginia’s interests included family, sewing, reading, and the outdoors including hunting and fishing. She was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. Since retiring in 1990, she devoted much of her energies as a grandmother; focusing on and building close relationships with each grandchild. As a mother and grandmother, she passed on strong principles, a model of integrity, an adventurous love of life, much laughter given her great sense of humor, and many stories and sage advice as the surviving matriarch and “memory” for the collective family.
Virginia was preceded in death by her first husband, A. J. Swope, her second husband F.H. (Bud) Cherrington, her father Roy Lee Smith, her mother Ruth Inez Smith, her sister Barbara Smith Bonnet, and an aunt and uncle, Faye M. and Ray A. Haynes.
Visitation will be at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, San Benito, on Friday, February 26th from 4 to 6 pm. Services will be at Wesley United Methodist Church, Harlingen, on Saturday, February 27th, at 10 am with Bishop Robert Schnase and Rev. Phil Bland officiating. Burial will follow at Mont Meta Memorial Park in San Benito. Pallbearers will be her grandsons.
Virginia was a longtime member and officer of the Chapter BY of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropic educational organization with the goal to support and advance women’s education. P.E.O. Sisterhood owns and operates Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. Memorial contributions may be made to Texas Cottey College Scholarship Fund, information at peotexas.org or the Wesley United Methodist Church Prayer Shawl Ministry, information at wesleyharlingen.org.
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