Virginia Belle Lewis, 86, lost her battle with non small cell lung cancer on June 10, 2019.
Virginia was born in Maywood, Mo., March 9, 1933, to George Wilbur (G.W.) and Rilla Mae (Bondurant) Nesbitt. In the spring of 1938, the family moved to Springfield, Oregon where they lived until returning to a farm near Monticello, Mo., in Jan. 1946. Following graduation in 1951 from Lewistown High School, she entered nurse’s training at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill. In 1954, she became a licensed registered professional nurse. She attended Culver Stockton College in Canton, Missouri and in 1958 received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She also completed a program in Advanced Surgical Nursing in Chicago.
On July 31, 1960, in St. Joseph, Mo., she married Marvin Lewis. They lived on a farm near Ruskin, Nebraska until April, 2014 when they moved to the Good Samaritan Village in Hastings, Neb.
Virginia worked as the school nurse in Superior, Nebraska. In 1962, she began her 46 year career at Brodstone Memorial Hospital where she worked in numerous roles. In addition to her work as a floor nurse, she was the Director of Nurses for a number of years. When the need arose, she became the interim administrator of the hospital. Her absolute favorite role was that of the surgical nurse. In 1991, she was Employee of the Year.
As a newlywed, Virginia was an inexperienced cook. Over the years through trial and error, she became a good cook and enjoyed preparing delicious meals for her family and experimenting with new recipes. She was especially known for her rye bread and coconut cream pies. At the Bethany Lutheran fundraising Lord’s Acre Sale, her coconut cream pies were a popular, highly anticipated item. Virginia also enjoyed spending time crocheting and quilting. Over the years she crocheted many prayer shawls and beautiful afghans. It was important to her that each of her grandchildren receive a quilt created specifically for them upon their high school graduation.
Virginia was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Ruskin and selflessly volunteered many hours for whatever jobs needed to be done. Upon moving to Hastings, she and Marvin became associate members of St. Paul Lutheran Church where she continued to volunteer as she was able.
Virginia is survived by her husband of nearly 59 years Marvin, three children: Letha Kunkel and husband Tom, Avon, Conn., Jerald (Jerry) Lewis and wife JoAnn Lewis, West Point, Neb., and Neal Lewis and wife Marcy, Zionsville, Indiana; six grandchildren: Robert Kunkel, Chicago; Grace Kunkel, Boston; Laura Kunkel,Avon, Conn., Erica Lewis, Lincoln, Neb., Alexandra and Gabriella Lewis, Zionsville, Ind.
Predeceasing her are her parents and brother Hubert Nesbitt.
A celebration of her life was held June 14 at the Good Samaritan Village with graveside services at Spring Creek Cemetery in Ruskin. Donations in Virginia’s memory may be made to the Spring Creek Cemetery Foundation or Brodstone Memorial Hospital.
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