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Virginia Norris, Oct. 28, 1918 — Feb. 4, 2012, of Columbia

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 | 4:18 p.m. CST; updated 1:04 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 9, 2012

Virginia Norris, 93, of Columbia died at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, at Lenoir Woods. 

Virginia was born October 28, 1918, in Normal, Ill. to H.M. and Helen Taggart Colehower Norris.

She graduated from Normal Community High School, attended Illinois Wesleyan University and graduated cum laude from the University of Illinois in 1941. She was a Carnegie Fellow in Public Administration in 1950 at Harvard University.  She was the first woman to earn a doctorate in Agricultural Education at Ohio State University.

Dr. Norris embarked on her 32-year professional career with the University of Missouri Extension Division in Shelby County. In 1959, she moved to Columbia where she was a member of the 4-H department staff, was a district supervisor, taught graduate classes in adult education and retired in 1973 as Assistant Director of the College of Home Economics for Extension.

After retirement, she was active in the Historical Bethel German Colony and the Columbia Art League. She held memberships in many historical, educational and philanthropic organizations, including chapter GK-PEO of Columbia. Virginia was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia since 1960.

Virginia is survived by a brother, Wallace G. Norris, of Normal, Illinois; two nieces, two nephews, three great-nephews and six great-nieces. A sister died in 1970.

A Memorial Service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 16 Hitt St., in Columbia.

Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Historic Funks Grove Church, south of Bloomington, Ill., with burial in the church cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to the Missouri 4-H Foundation, 211 Whitten Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, or the McLean County Extension Service Foundation, 402 N. Hershey Road, Bloomington, IL 61704. Cards may be sent to Carol N. Evans, 132 W. Rowe Street, Roodhouse, IL 62082.


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