Virginia Louise Duffy Whiteside was born on May 2, 1936, in Rutherfordton, North Carolina to the late Norris Louis and Izetta Logan Duffy. She gained her wings and heavenly crown on November 10, 2022. Virginia, known affectionately as “Gin Lou” to her loved ones, exemplified what it meant to be one of God’s good and faithful disciples, caring for and loving all those around her. She joined St. John AME Zion Church at a young age and would eventually become a lifelong, active member of Wells Springs United Methodist Church where she devotedly sang in the choir beside her dear friend Annette Littlejohn and served on several church committees.
She was educated in Rutherford County. As a young girl, Gin Lou met her best friends Shirley Dickey Thompson, Gladys Littlejohn, and Carolyn Burnette Suber, and they have remained friends ever since. Throughout her life, Gin Lou’s intelligence and quick wit were known to everyone around her, and she was NEVER afraid to speak her mind.
Gin Lou was a formidable, hard-working woman. She began her career in manufacturing at Broyhill until she found her true passion as a Special Education Paraprofessional at Carver Center and East Rutherford High School. She spent over two decades in education and, even after retirement, would substitute teach whenever needed.
Although Gin Lou loved to teach, she was at her happiest when surrounded by her family and friends. She met the love of her life, Albert Whiteside, at an early age, and they quickly grew their family of six children. Their house on Foster Street had an open-door to all and was often filled to the brim with love, laughter, good food, and spirited conversation. Additionally, Gin Lou was an avid traveler, often traveling to spend time with her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
In her later years, Gin Lou had many loving caretakers, notably her children and Ms. Phyllis Reed.
Gin Lou was preceded in death by her husband, Albert; her parents, in-law: Mark and Jennie Lee Whiteside; brothers: Robert, Jimmy, and Rimpson Duffy; sister, Patsy Anne Duffy; and children: Monray Whiteside and Randy Whiteside.
Left to carry on Gin Lou’s legacy: her sister, Mildred Duffy; her sister-in-law, Virginia Francis Duffy; her son, Albert Todd (La’Ronda) Whitside of Rutherfordton, N.C.; her daughters: Gail Ragsdale and Shelia Bradley of Tampa, F.L. and Tamera (Bishop Oliver T McCray) of Greenwood, S.C.; and her daughter-in-law, Debra Whiteside of New Jersey; sixteen grandchildren: Rockelle, Wendell, Parris, Brad, Marcus, Shameka, Nicole, Ella, Chawnteat, Kelly, Erica, Sloan, O’Darren, Monet, Kennedy, and Monte; eighteen great-grandchildren; six great great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended families, and friends.
Services will be held at Wells Springs United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 11:00 AM.
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