Shirley Virginia Harrison Cox, 87, of Bland, VA, was called home by the Lord on Friday, September 1, 2023, at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital following a brief illness.
She was born on April 16, 1936, in Coal City, WV. The only child of the late Hallie Farley Harrison and William Henry Harrison. Shirley’s father was tragically crushed in a mining accident when she was 11 months old. Her mother died of leukemia when she was just 13. Orphaned, she lived with an aunt and uncle and their 3 children.
She had a tough life on the farm and grew up knowing what hard work was. It made her determined to make something out of herself, and she did just that. She was a member of the 1954 Concord Training School graduating class. She graduated from Concord College and started teaching in Bradshaw, WV before the family moved to Woodbridge, VA to continue teaching.
She obtained her master’s degree in education at UVA in 1969. She retired from teaching after 40 years in July 1991, with 35 of those years in Virginia. The family moved to Bland, VA in 1976. She was a charter member of Hospice of Southwest Virginia with 32 years of service. She served 12 years with the Bland Co. Rescue Squad as Secretary, First Lieutenant, Chaplain, EMT, and ambulance driver. She served on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Virginia Emergency Medical Services Council representing Bland County. She was a 47-year member of the Chi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society. She served as Treasurer for the Mechanicsburg United Methodist Churches in the early 80’s and taught youth Sunday School. She worked the 1990 and 2000 Census for Bland County. She spearheaded a project to get 10 miles of her community road paved that took her 37 years to see completed. She was the chairperson of the Adopt-A-Highway Kimberling community for 33 years and oversaw the collection of over 5,500 bags of trash. She was a 27-year member of the Bland Tazewell Women’s Auxillary of The Gideon’s. She was a member of the Retired Teachers Association.
She made her profession of faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on March 17, 1974, followed by Baptism on March 24, 1974. She was also Baptized in the Jordan River in Israel on May 19, 1996. She joined Bastian Union Church in 1985. She served as treasurer for 6 years and was the President of the Women’s Ministry and served on the board from 2000 until 2019. She was also a member of the choir and assisted with the children’s sermons for many of those years. She sent birthday cards to every member of the church, with a personal message, for 24 years. In 2014, she received the Community Builder’s Award from the Bland County Masonic Lodge for her end of Bland County. ‘In Recognition of Outstanding Service to the community. This award is given, and heartfelt gratitude is expressed for significant effort toward making the community a better place in which to live’.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband, Charles (Charlie) David Cox. Left to cherish her memory are her loving daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Robert ‘Bob’ Snyder of the home; grandson, James ‘Jim’ Snyder; granddaughter, Cherie Snyder; great grandson, Hunter Snyder; and great granddaughter, Heather Snyder.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, September 11, 2023, in Princeton, WV at the Memorial Funeral Directory on Athens Road. Family visitation is from 4 till 6:45 followed immediately by the Celebration of Life at 7 pm. A personal eulogy will be delivered by her daughter, Kathy, followed by Pastor Jerry Martin and Pastor Tom Maurer officiating.
Graveside service will be Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 10 am in Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Princeton, WV, with Pastor Barry Busby officiating. Serving as pallbearers will be Bob Snyder, Jim Snyder, Hunter Snyder, Josh Harper, Pat Gormley, and Joe Reed.
In lieu of flowers, PLEASE make memorial donations in Shirley’s memory to the Bastian Union Church Building Fund, PO Box 152, Bastian, VA 24314.
Online condolences may be shared with the family via www.memorialfd.com.
The Cox family is being served by the Memorial Funeral Directory and Cremation Center on the Athens Road in Princeton.
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