HOT SPRINGS — Virginia Lee Dabney Railsback, 93, of Hot Springs passed away March 8, 2014. She was born November 24, 1920 in Valdosta, Georgia to William Joel Dabney and Hazel Land Dabney. In 1924, Virginia and her mother moved to Fayetteville, Ark. Virginia graduated from Fayetteville High School and attended the University of Arkansas where she was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority.
Virginia married Albert Railsback in 1940 and moved to Pine Bluff, Ark. where Albert was a partner in his father’s CPA firm. They were married for 19 years when Albert died suddenly of a heart attack in 1959. Virginia is survived by their four children, Glenn Railsback (Susan), Cynthia Stone (Tom), Joel Railsback, and Jennie Cooper (Fred deceased). She was the beloved Mimi to eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
During her nineteen years of marriage to Albert, Virginia was a “stay-at-home mom” and homemaker. After his death, with four children to raise, she began working outside the home. She had a strong love and talent for sewing, knitting and any project regarding textiles. She has been involved in textiles in one form or another throughout her career. Her children would say “the music in our house was the clicking of Mama’s knitting needles and the hum of her sewing machine.”
During her 55 years in business, Virginia became a very accomplished business woman in Pine Bluff.
Her first venture into the working world she designed and produced handmade children’s clothes. Later she became co-owner of The MaRu, a women and children’s clothing shop.
For fifteen years Virginia owned and operated The Yarn House, a shop specializing in needlepoint, crewel embroidery and knitting.
In 2000 Virginia moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas. She moved into her brand new cottage overlooking Lake Hamilton. While living there Virginia experienced the highlight of her career teaching a sewing class to students with developmental disabilities. She worked with The Arc Arkansas for ten years taking her students from never having held a needle to become highly accomplished artists in needlepoint, latch hook and cross stitch.
Virginia leaves beautiful examples of her artistry with textiles in homes and churches across Arkansas. Many families enjoy these works of art created by her little hands.
Virginia spent her last six months at Pleasant Valley Living Center in Little Rock. The family wishes to thank the caring staff there and Gentiva Hospice.
Graveside services are Monday, March 10, at 11:30 a.m. in Graceland Cemetery in Pine Bluff with Reverend Susan Carter Wiggins officiating. Visitation is Sunday, March 9, from 3- 5 p.m. at Ralph Robinson & Son.
Memorials can be made to The Arc Arkansas, 2004 S. Main, Little Rock, Ark. 72206. Online register: www.ralphrobinsonandson.com.