As today’s “Significant Senior” this icon who hails from Abilene, Texas is a lady of too many “firsts” to mention. We’ve highlighted the ones we feel are most notable:
- On September 22, 1940, she became Abilene’s first female medical doctor. She opened her practice with a specialty of eye, ears, nose and throat. She had an active practice for 42 years.
- Virginia, also known as “Sissy” by family members, was the first female Chief of Staff at Hendrick Medical Center.
- She was the first chairman of the staff at the now-closed St. Ann Hospital.
- She was the first female president of what is now the Taylor-Jones-Haskell-Callahan County Medical Society.
- She served among the first group of women deacons at First Baptist Church in Abilene.
Virginia was born on December 4, 1912, which makes her 106 as of this writing. Over her lifetime she has received countless awards, but some of the most significant are:
- 1988 Pathfinders Award given by the YWCA and the Abilene Reporter-News
- 2009 Legacy Award, Abilene Woman’s Club
- 2011 Virtue Award, Round Table organization at Hardin-Simmons University
- 2004 Pioneer in Medicine Award awarded by the local medical society
Virginia has always been a big supporter of missions and there is a building named after her and her late husband at Hardin-Simmons University. She served on the inaugural boards of Texas Baptist Missions Foundation and Texas Baptists Committed. At one time she participated in a medical mission to Venezuela.
These days her traveling has slowed down, but she loves spending time with family and friends…her greatest treasures. She has one daughter, two granddaughters (they call her “Gammie”) and several great grandchildren who live near her.
Virginia has always been a voracious reader and will usually have a book to recommend when you visit her. She keeps several copies of her favorites on hand, so she can share the ones she feels are most impactful. If you ask her which one is her absolute favorite, she has a hard time nailing one down. However, here are a few of her other favorites:
- favorite food: Cheetos
- favorite color: green and purple
- favorite hymn: Blessed Assurance