Katherine Rainey Wingo

Published 6:23 pm Thursday, July 28, 2022

Katherine Rainey Wingo, of Dillwyn, died on July 24, at Hickory Hill Retirement Community in Burkeville. She was 95 years of age.

Mrs. Wingo was born in Curdsville, the daughter of the late Dallas H and Louise Morris Rainey. She was a 1948 graduate of Longwood College in Farmville with a major in Home Economics. She taught Home Economics in Bedford County for two years before returning to Buckingham County where she taught for 25 years.

Mrs. Wingo was a committed professional, proudly an “old school” educator, “strict but fair.” She believed in addressing the whole child, long before it became a popular educational philosophy. She strived to help students develop self-discipline, exceptional character and a strong academic foundation. She faithfully followed her students’ progress after they left her classroom and was proud of their many accomplishments in college, career and family. For many years, she was seldom in public without former students approaching her to express how much she taught them and how much they appreciated her investment in their futures.

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She was a member of Smyrna United Methodist Church and was active at the First Baptist Church in Dillwyn after her marriage in 1950. She was a member of the church choir and served as Chair of the Decorating Committee for many years. The church was known for being beautifully decorated for every season and holiday under her direction. She greatly enjoyed participating in two of her favorite church activities at FBC: supporting Helping Hands, a mission outreach group that helps meet needs within the community, and spoiling Discovery School boys with homemade cookies and fudge. Her fried chicken and cakes brought to church events were legendary.

Mrs. Wingo was a passionate gardener who began planting in early spring every year. Motorists often slowed to admire her front yard filled with flowers of hues of pinks and magenta. She often remarked that she had never met a flower she didn’t admire. She personally tended her gardens and yard until her late 80’s.

She loved to travel and enjoyed her annual “girls’ trips” to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, with her daughter. She spent her 80th birthday in Hawaii, a favorite destination. She also traveled to New England, the New Jersey coast, Biltmore, Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Palm Beach. Going to New York City for lunch and a theater matinee was her favorite way to spend a day.

She was an excellent cook and her special dishes were often requested by her nephews in lieu of traditional birthday gifts. She had a legendary sweet tooth and often experimented with birthday cake and cookie recipes. Many friends clamored to be on her Christmas goody bag list. She also remarked often that she never met a cookie she didn’t adore.

She is survived by loving daughter, Nancy Wingo (Rick, deceased) of Haverford, Pennsylvania and many devoted nieces and nephews, Morris Rainey (Karen, deceased), Steve Rainey (Dianna), Page Morrow (Pete), Fred Rainey, Richard Chapel, Bruce Chapel (Cara) and Mary Lou Scott (Ray). She also had three grandchildren, Erica, Megan, and Cory.

She was predeceased by her parents, Dallas and Louise Rainey; brothers, Marshall and Wallace; sister, Frances and son, John.

She had many “chosen daughters” who loved her and helped with her care: Kathy Ranson, Christy Jamerson Palmore, Charmagne Gunter, Sue Moss, Jennifer Monges, Shannon Tomlin, Patsy Scruggs and Trish Burnett. Special steadfast friends include Eleanor Overstreet, Jimmy and Jane Dunn, Mary Bartee and CT and Phyllis Crowder. The family extends profound gratitude to Hickory Hill Retirement Community owners and staff for their wonderful care over the years.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 29, at 2 p.m., at Dunkum Funeral Home with visitation at 1:30 p.m. Interment following the service will be at Smyrna United Methodist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Helping Hands at First Baptist Church, PO Box 32, Dillwyn, VA 23936.