Bethune, Virginia Redhead

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Virginia Anne Redhead Bethune, of Harrisonburg, Va. passed away on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. Mrs. Bethune was born January 3, 1936, in Tampa, Fla. and was the daughter of the late Dr. John A. and Virginia Potts Redhead.

Virginia grew up in Charlotte, N.C. and Greensboro, N.C. She graduated, Phi Beta Kappa, from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga. with a BA in Philosophy. Virginia married Dick Bethune on May 3, 1958, in Greensboro, N.C. As a pianist and organist, she was on the staff of Blacksburg United Methodist Church 1989-2005. Her husband, Richard Engelhardt Bethune, served Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastorates in Virginia 1959-1993 Together, from 1992-99 they traveled extensively to present a short course: A Merrie Heart: Health, Humor and, the Christian Faith to over 2000 folks, after which time Dick and Virginia developed an extensive interest in building and playing harps. Their collaboration with Habitat for Humanity affiliates and musicians in both Blacksburg and Harrisonburg yielded proceeds of $100,000 from various benefit concerts and 9 CDs of harp, vocal, and organ/piano repertoire which helped to provide housing for 3 Habitat families.

Virginia and Dick Bethune provided a loving home for their three children and their children’s friends. Their patience, humor and devotion to each other and to their faith set a strong example for life. Virginia was welcoming and hospitable. She loved to set a beautiful table and to share meals with family and friends. She was an amazing seamstress and was very thrifty. Virginia enjoyed quiet time, being in the mountains, golfing, traveling and family vacations. She liked to wear funny hats and party masks. Her strength and protection as a mother and grandmother was always something to depend on. Virginia was a devoted Christian and citizen. She cared deeply for protecting civil rights and for those who are marginalized.

Her passion for music led her to a career as a church musician and later a certified music practitioner. She learned to play harp after age 60, and later taught others to play. Playing at the bedside of patients at UVA and Sentara hospitals was very important to her. Her most recent dream was to build a consortium of music and medical practitioners to combine music and healing. Virginia’s caring heart was an inspiration to many.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Dick Bethune, and her daughter, Anna Collins.

Survivors include daughter, Julie Boulais and husband, Michael, and grandchildren, Jack Hilton, Rachel Boulais and Jacqueline Boulais; daughter, Mary Jordan, grandchild, Clara Schweiger and husband, Max; son-in-law, Mike Collins and grandchild, Liza Collins and great-grandchild Kaia Nelson, grandchild, Logan Collins and wife, Jess Trapeni and great-grandchildren, Oliver and Jackson Collins. Also surviving are a sister, Julia Redhead Bristol; a brother, John Agrippa Redhead and many nieces and nephews.

A service of Witness to the Resurrection will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 4, 2022, at Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, 701 Church Street, SE, Blacksburg, VA 24060 with the Rev. Sarah Wiles and Chaplain Jeff Carr officiating. Interment will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sunnyside Fellowship Fund, 600 University Boulevard, Suite L, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 or American Climate Partners

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