A bright light dimmed and went out Friday night, November 20, 2009, when Virginia (Pinnell) Hogsett died in her sleep. She was 94 and a resident of Judson Retirement Community in Cleveland, OH.


A bright light dimmed and went out Friday night, November 20, 2009, when Virginia (Pinnell) Hogsett died in her sleep. She was 94 and a resident of Judson Retirement Community in Cleveland, OH.

Ginny, as she was known to everyone, was born in Kansas City, KS, on January 2, 1915, but lived most of her life in Jackson County. Her parents were W.L. Pinnell and Olivia (Beckworth) Pinnell of Cottageville. She was married to Marion Hogsett until his death in 1967.

Throughout her life she was active in 4-H and was a 4-H All Star, West Virginia’s highest 4-H award. While in college at Marshall in the late 1930s, she was a leader at county 4-H camps throughout the state for several years. She was an adult leader of the Busy Beaver 4-H club in Ripley. In 1935, she attended a national 4-H camp in Washington and, while ironing a dress, was photographed with Eleanor Roosevelt—a picture that was published in many newspapers. She returned to Washington for the 25th reunion of the earlier 4-H camp and after President Eisenhower spoke to the group and was walking back to the White House she stopped him and asked if she could take his picture. He agreed! Our world has changed much since then.

She touched the lives of children in Jackson County through her 31 years of teaching. Her first classrooms were one-room schools (Antioch on Cow Run and Romance), and she had to board with parents of the children because the roads became impassable during the winter months. She then taught for a few years in Cottageville Elementary and then as a first and then fourth grade teacher at Ripley Elementary from 1961 until her retirement in 1980. She graduated from Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) after taking many courses on Saturdays while teaching and raising her family. After retiring from teaching, she went back into the classroom as a volunteer in the Jackson County Read Aloud program.

Her energy and willingness to try new things were legendary. After retiring from teaching she tried white water rafting and snow skiing. She once stayed up all night watching the Jerry Lewis telethon and then went boating on the Ohio River the next day with her sister Joanne’s family. She volunteered in the gift shop at Jackson General Hospital for years and had logged over 8,000 hours when she finally gave up volunteering. She was a regular walker at Cedar Lakes for many years. Family and friends knew they would seldom find Ginny at home.

She was an ardent supporter of Ripley High School sports although she had graduated from the long closed Union High School in Cottageville where she played basketball and other sports. She was ambidextrous and would switch the tennis racquet to the other hand to avoid hitting her weaker backhand shots. For years she attended WVU and Marshall football home games and went to several of WVU’s bowl games.

She helped form the Ripley Junior Woman’s Club and was active in the Senior Woman’s Club for many years. She attended several Alpha Delta Kappa, teacher’s sorority, national conventions and was a lifelong member of the Cottageville Eastern Star. She was a member of Epworth United Methodist Church in Ripley and active in its United Methodist Women’s Circle.

She is survived by her daughter Vicky Shorts, a nurse, and her husband Chet, a nuclear engineer, who live in Hummelstown, PA; and her son Bill, a lawyer, and his wife Ann (Snider), a writer, and their son John, who is in retail, all of whom live in Cleveland, OH. Her parents and brothers (Roger and Bill) and sisters (Dude and Joanne) predeceased her, but she is survived by her sisters-in-laws Gail Pinnell of Evergreen Hills and Eunice Pinnell of Ravenswood, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 24, at Casto Funeral Home, Evans, with the Rev. Teresa Deane officiating. Burial will follow in Jackson County Memory Gardens, Cottageville.
Visitation was held from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Monday, November 23, at the funeral home with an Order of Eastern Star service at 8:00 p.m.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers a contribution be made to the WVU Foundation Inc. for a chair for the dining room at Jackson’s Mill. Contributions should be sent to WVU Extension Service, Office of Development, 806 Knapp Hall, PO Box 6031, Morgantown, WV 26506, and indicate they are for the Virginia Hogsett Jackson’s Mill Chair.

Online condolences may be sent to: castofuneralhome@citynet.net.