Virginia Lee Kerns Tate Sept. 21, 1930 – Nov. 2, 2017


Virginia Tate passed away November 2, 2017 at Weston County Health Services in Newcastle, WY after a lengthy illness. She was born September 21, 1930 to Pearl and Ila (Boodry) Lawrence at Virginia’s grandparents farm in Angora, NE. She was raised on a farm 13 miles east of Bayard, NE until graduating from high school. She attended eight years at a country school then attended Bayard High School while babysitting for room and board and ushering in a theater until graduation. In 1949, Virginia married Robert Wood and in 1954, they moved to Newcastle. To this union two children were born. After Virginia’s divorce from Robert, she later married Kenneth Kerns in 1956. Together they raised six children. Virginia worked in cafes, flower shops, telegraph office and the Newcastle Schools, starting at the Gertrude Burns then the High School as the Food Services Manager for 19 years. After her retirement, Virginia looked forward to working for her daughter, Jane Rhoades at the Weston County Children’s Center helping with the annual developmental screenings. She did this for 20 years until illness set in.

Virginia lived in Newcastle 43 years, but due to Kenneth’s illness, they moved to Bethany, MO in 1997. Kenneth passed away in 1998. After a “long distance telephone romance,” Virginia married her friend of 42 years, Ron Tate in Bethany, MO, at which time moved back to Newcastle.

Virginia had many hobbies including crocheting, dancing, sewing, doing crafts and writing stories for the News Letter Journal. She served on the Weston County Senior Services Board of Directors from 2007 until her passing. She also volunteered many hours at the Senior Services over the years, occasionally slipping away to Deadwood.

Due to Ron’s ill health, they moved into the Senior Center Apartments in 2007. In February of 2011, she lost her best friend and husband, Ron. In June of 2011, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her spirits were always high and she didn’t let her struggle with cancer get her down. Confirming her love for the Lord and her church, she was baptized in 1995. Always happy, Virginia was known for her smile, her sense of humor and warm hugs. She was an avid football fan and everyone knew she loved the Denver Broncos!

Survivors include her daughter, Jane (Randy) Rhoades Newcastle, sons Ernie Wood Newcastle, Tom (Donna) Kerns Lovell, WY, Bruce (Janeen) Wood Lodi, CA and sister Wanda George, Scottsbluff, NE., 18 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Preceding Virginia in death were husbands, Ron and Kenneth, son Steve Kerns, daughter Debbie Fletchall, her parents, brother Harold Lawrence, sister Lorraine Calvert and an infant son.

The celebration of her life was held November 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm at the Weston County Senior Services with Pastors Dave Parrish and George Keralis officiating. In lieu of flowers memorials have been established to the Weston County Senior Services and the Weston County Children’s Center.

At Virginia’s request, cremation has taken place.


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