In Memory of
January 4, 1917–October 19, 2019
Virginia Kimes Pierce, 102, passed away on October 19, 2019. She was born at home on January 4, 1917, on a farm near Rudy, Arkansas, not far from Van Buren, Arkansas, to Joseph Leander Kimes and Eduth Lavada Boyd. The family moved to California in 1929, and Virginia graduated from Porterville High School in June 1934.
She married Claude Louis Pierce on November 5, 1938, in Hanford, California. Claude farmed, and Virginia worked for the American Automobile Association. Claude served in the army for three years during World War II and was stationed in the United States. Virginia was expecting when Claude was drafted, so she waited until after Patty was born to move to be near Claude. Their second child, James, was born shortly before Claude was discharged following the end of the war. On returning to Hanford, Virginia resumed working at the AAA, and was pleased to see the adoption of a 40-hour work week, down from the 60-hour week she had worked before the war. In 1951, the family moved to Salem, Oregon, and bought a farm on Brush College Road. Virginia went to work for R. L. Elfstrom Co. and was Mr. Elfstrom’s personal secretary for 25 years, including one year during the legislative session when he was a state senator. In addition, she worked part-time for J. Paul Campbell for 20 years, and worked for Bartlett Electric, Inc. for nine years prior to retiring.
Virginia and Claude sold the farm and moved to town in 1976. Claude passed away in February 1979, shortly after Virginia had retired. Later that year, Virginia joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where she was an active member who served in many capacities, including as a missionary in the Iowa Des Moines Mission from July 1982 to July 1983 and as temple worker in the Seattle Washington and Portland Oregon Temples. Virginia remained physically and mentally active into her 90s, learning to play the piano and use the Internet and being a regular participant in water aerobics classes. She was known for her sweet smile and her impeccable handwriting. She strove to “do right and be a good person and a good mother,” and those who knew her can attest to her success in those efforts.
Virginia is survived by her children Pat Brockett (Vic) of Turner, OR, and Jim Pierce (Lori) of Madera, CA, her grandchildren Kristi Brierley (John) of Pleasant Grove, UT, Melinda Carr (Michael) of San Francisco, CA, Slade Brockett (Mary) of Ferndale, WA, Todd Pierce (Rachelle) of Visalia, CA, Bryan Pierce (Lisa) of Vancouver, WA, Sarah Pierce of Palo Alto, CA, Shauna Ward (Jeff) of Bossier City, LA, Kyle Pierce of Madera, CA, and Logan Pierce of Park City, UT, twenty-three great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be on Saturday, October 26, at Salem 1st Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1795 5th St NE, Salem, OR 97303). The viewing will be 1:30-2:15, and the funeral will start at 2:30. Virginia will be interred next to her husband, Claude, at Restlawn Memory Gardens and Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Latter-day Saint Charities, or the charity of your choice.