Virginia Taylor, 92 of Central, was the sixth child of John Edwin Taylor and Hilda Larsen Taylor. Virginia arrived on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1926 in Pima, Arizona. There were 10 children in the Taylor family.
She grew up during a simpler time of life. Her family didn’t have electricity. Light was provided by Aladdin lamps and chimney lamps. The family didn’t own a car and neither of her parents ever drove. Virginia was a hard worker all of her life. Her parents owned an orchard and she helped pick apricots and crab apples by the tubful. It was a hot job so she would get up at daylight and then quit by noon. That is probably why her eyes always popped open when the sun came up. She always loved to have something to do.
Virginia graduated from Pima High School. She met Geral “Chuck” Claridge at age 15 at a church dance. They married April 5, 1946 when she was 19 after he returned from WWII. They remodeled a house on the farm on Palmer Lane and lived there until 1961, when they built their new family home next door. She was the devoted and loving wife of Geral M. Claridge for 29 years until he passed away at age 51. Geral and Virginia farmed all of their lives in two areas of the valley-One in the Thatcher-Central area, and the other in Fort Thomas. To this union three children were born: Connie, Rick, and Linda. They spent their life together in their home on Palmer Lane, raising their three children and enjoying their grandchildren as they came along.
Five years after Chuck’s passing, Virginia attended a Church Special Interest Conference where she met Don Ross. Don had been a widower for 13 years. He was a very spiritual person who was from Cayucos, CA. They were married in 1981. They lived in California and Arizona and enjoyed traveling together to Alaska, Laughlin, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Korea, Hong Kong, China, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico City. Don passed way in 2009 after 27 years of marriage. Virginia was proud to be so independent and lived on her own until the last six weeks of her life.
Virginia was a talented seamstress, quilter, an excellent cook, and loved to garden. She made most of her children’s clothing including dresses, western shirts, and more. She also enjoyed making beautiful quilts. Just a few years back, she made quilts for all of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. Virginia was a great cook and throughout the years often had family over for Sunday dinner. Her grandchildren fondly remember big Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas mornings, and her excellent fudge and divinity. Even as her family continued to grow, she still recognized every birth and every birthday for every single family member.
Virginia was a faithful and active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in various callings. She served in the Primary for 16 years, Relief Society, Young Women, Compassionate Service, and Visiting Teaching. She helped with road shows and dance festivals. Her church friends have been such an important part of Virginia’s life. She loves the gospel and believes in it with all her heart and soul.
Virginia passed away peacefully at home on July 15, 2019, surrounded by her children. Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, John Edwin and Hilda Taylor, her first husband, Geral Marc “Chuck” Claridge then Don Ross. Her siblings she missed terribly are Worth Taylor, Vada Haralson, Edwina Petersen, Flora Adams, Florence Wignall, and Jay Taylor. She is survived by three siblings, Beatrice Powell of Pima, Kenneth and Janell Taylor of Texas, and Carlene and Jim Draper of Mesa. Also surviving are her children, Connie and Neil Layton, Rick and Gayrene Claridge, and Linda Mack. Virginia has 13 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, and 24 great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by many wonderful nieces and nephews.
We are sure going to miss her and appreciate the legacy she left. The countless memories will be forever a part of her family's lives. She was a great example to all. We would like to thank the staff at Eden Hospice, Cassie, BJ and Kristina for the loving care that they gave to Virginia and for their tender words of support to us as a family.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. followed by the funeral services at 10:00 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Central Chapel near the Gila Valley Temple with interment in the Central Cemetery following services.