Virginia Belle ("Ginny Belle") Honeycutt Meador
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant”
Big Stone Gap, Va-Virginia Belle (“Ginny Belle”) Honeycutt Meador died peacefully in her Big Stone Gap home on July 29, 2023, having spent 99 well-lived years among the family and community that she loved.
She was born on March 30, 1924 in the “Cracker’s Neck” section of Big Stone Gap, on the farm of her beloved parents, Nancy Elizabeth Palmer and Grover Cleveland Honeycutt, Sr. Early in her life, the family moved into town where her father practiced dentistry. She and her brother, Grover C. Honeycutt, Jr., had an idyllic childhood attending BSG Elementary School with summers spent back on the farm where she perfected the fine art of pony riding.
In 1942 she graduated from Big Stone Gap High School where she was voted “Most Talented,” was president of the Beta Club, marched as a majorette in “Mrs. Mac’s” band, sang in Jack Gibbs’ first Glee Club, and debated with future Virginia Governor Linwood Holton. In 1946 she graduated from Randolph Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Va. with a degree in Education and Psychology, after which she moved to Annapolis, Maryland where she worked as a teacher and an executive secretary. It was in Annapolis that she met BSG native Harry W. Meador, Jr., who was returning from military service in WWII; they subsequently returned to their hometown, were married in 1949, and, except for a brief period in which they lived in Irwin, PA, she spent the rest of her life in the home of her heart.
In 1978, after her children were raised, she became involved in the successful “Citizens to Save Big Cherry” movement, which led to her election to the Wise County Board of Supervisors where she served for 33 years, the longest of any member to date. From that juncture she dedicated herself to a life of public servanthood, as a member of (among others) the Lonesome Pine Youth Services Board, Frontier Health’s Planning District One, Lenowisco Planning District Commission, MECC Foundation’s Cultural and Humanities Committee, the advisory boards of Clinch Valley College, the Pro-Art Association and Natural Tunnel State Park’s Cove Ridge Center, and was appointed by her fellow debate teammate to be on the State Library Board.
She was also a charter member of the MECC Foundation Board of Directors and the Lonesome Pine Hospital Auxiliary, from which she received the “Auxiliarian of the Year” award in 2001. She was named 2007 “Outstanding Benefactor” by Governor Jerry Baliles, given the 2011 Virginia Community College Leadership Award in Philanthropy, the 2020 Lonesome Pine Office on Youth and Families Service Award and was an MECC Foundation Hall of Honor Inductee. Perhaps her most enduring legacy was as a member of the board responsible for the founding and construction of the C. Bascom Slemp Memorial Library, where she delighted in sharing her love for reading with children.
Taking to heart the Biblical admonition that “to whom much is given, much is required,” Virginia Meador considered volunteer work to be both her avocation and her occupation. Early on, she was a Cub Scout Den Mother at the First Presbyterian Church, where she served as lifetime Elder and Organist for 63 years, and helped with Community Lunches well into her nineties. In addition, she volunteered at the Food Bank, served as a “Pink Lady” at the hospital, and was the accompanist for an untold number of BSG Music Club productions.
In spite of being rooted in her native SW-VA, she was a curious person who loved to travel, and journeys all over the U.S. and Europe with lifetime friends Sarah Collier and her Randolph Macon classmates were among her cherished treasures. She had a lively sense of humor, loved to dance, and was a crossword puzzle virtuoso and a veritable force to be reckoned with at the Bridge table. When asked the secret of her long life, she alluded to the fact that one should eat what one likes, which, for her, was a steady diet of Kit-Kats and Coca-Colas, in the little glass bottles, of course.
Above all, she was a Woman of Faith and Gratitude, thankful for a lifetime of good health and for those who loved and supported her so that she might live a life of service to its fullest.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother and her husband. Those left to be inspired to action with her as the Ultimate Role Model are son Harry W. Meador, III (Andrea), daughter Nancy Jane Giles (Michael); grandsons Harry W. Meador, IV (April), Don Meador (Brittany), Andrew Meador, Zack Collins, Jesse Collins (Erika); great-grandchildren Ella, Avery, Chloe and Brody Meador; nephew Thomas Honeycutt and niece Betsy Palmer (Jerry); caregivers (for whom the family is eternally grateful) Angela Templeton, Amanda Lane and Virginia Caudill; and a host of friends and colleagues.
Visitation will be Wednesday, August 2nd from 5 to 7PM at Gilliam Funeral Home & Crematory. A Witness to the Resurrection service will be conducted by Rev. Paul Helphinstine at the Big Stone Gap Presbyterian Church at 11am on Thursday, August 3rd followed by a graveside service at Glencoe Cemetery. Friends and family members will serve as pallbearers. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to your favorite charity, or choose one of hers: The Big Stone Gap Presbyterian Church, the Food Bank of Wise County, His Ministries, Inc.
Gilliam Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the Meador family.
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