Virginia Cain Whitby, 91, of Bedford, Texas, formerly of Paducah, KY, died Monday, October 31, 2016 at LaDora Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Bedford, TX.
Virginia was born in Jackson, TN on December 13, 1924 to the late Earl and Ona Grissom Cain. As a young child during the Great Depression, Virginia was almost forced to quit her passion-learning to play the piano-but her father would not hear of it. Those piano lessons taken during her formative years yielded a love for teaching and a passion for entertaining that has touched generations of people. However, her first passion was playing gospel music. She began playing music in the church at the age of 11. Virginia quickly learned to improvise standard hymns and accommodate different singing styles with her vast knowledge of music theory and great ear. At the age of 12, she began playing piano for the Hawkins Junior Quartet. Virginia and her late husband, Elmer, were also part of the Kentuckians Quartet, which traveled with such notable groups as the Blackwood Brothers, Happy Goodman Family, Speer Family and many other nationally known quartets. The Kentuckians also broadcast a radio program on WKYB for several years. Virginia played piano at Gospel Mission Church for over forty years and also served as music director for the church. Additionally, she played piano and organ regularly for local funeral homes. Virginia and her husband Elmer also owned and operated Paducah Music Center until around 1975. She was a member of Heartland Worship Center in Paducah, KY.
Her teaching career started while still in high school and extended for over sixty years. It has been estimated that she had over a thousand students, teaching up to 45 classes each week during its height. She taught young children and even an 80-year old beginner, showing equal enthusiasm to anyone who had interest in music education. One of her greatest accomplishments was to instill in children the love for music, a gift that would last their lifetime and future generations.
She is survived by her son, Chuck Whitby (Susan) of Ft. Worth, TX; granddaughters, Robyn Holshouser Shapiro, Shannon Whitby McBrayer (Chris), Rachel Whitby, and grandsons, Gary Holshouser, Jr. (Kelly) and Jason Whitby; eleven great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; brothers, Jack Cain (Edith) and Jerry Cain; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Elmer Whitby; daughter, Carol Rene' Whitby Hoover; and brother, EC Cain.
Graveside services will be held at 1pm Saturday at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens with her son, Rev. Chuck Whitby and her son-in-law, Jerry Hoover, officiating. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 11-12:30 at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah.
Contributions may be made to The Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana Alzheimer's Association, 6100 Dutchmans Lane, Suite 401, Louisville, Ky 40205.
Saturday, November 5th, 2016 1:00pm, Milnor & Orr
Woodlawn Memorial Gardens