Virginia Hempstead

Virginia M Hempstead (Mongeon)

Wednesday, August 27th, 1924 - Tuesday, November 10th, 2020
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Virginia Rita (Mongeon) Hempstead

Williston - Virginia Rita Mongeon Hempstead passed peacefully after a long fulfilling life on November 10th, 2020. Virginia was born in Winooski on August 27 th, 1924.

When Virginia was 18 she was offered the opportunity to move to Richmond Virginia, to work for the weather bureau. This was a life-changing decision. Not only did she get the chance to leave Vermont and to experience a big city, but it was here she met Marian Hempstead who introduced her to her brother, Elwood. They married about a year later.

Elwood (Hempy) was a veteran of WWII having fought at Guadalcanal. After they married they moved to the Bronx in New York City where they lived for a year and their first son Douglas was born. She liked living there and once told us when she would take the subway into the city, she marveled at the Italian ladies crocheting lace on their trip.

Hempy wanted to be a "Gentleman Farmer" and enrolled at the University of Vermont to attend their Agricultural school. They moved to Vermont in 1949. Not knowing exactly where they would live, like many veterans, they took advantage of housing benefits and took up residence at Ft. Ethan Allan in Colchester. They moved often for the next few years while Elwood went to school. They purchased their property in Williston in 1951 where she lived until her death. They raised 7 children on the property in Williston and enjoyed their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren there as well.

Virginia did what's impossible to do in this day and age. She worked full time and raised her seven children, maintaining a house as well. She sewed most of her children's clothing, knit sweaters, mittens, and hats. She cooked their meals with many of the items coming from the garden they grew. She canned those vegetables and made jars and jars of pickles and jellies. When one of the kids would say they wanted a snack her response was always "go out to the garden and pick something."

Virginia had several jobs outside the home over the years. Her final being working for Bell Telephone, which became AT&T. She retired from AT&T in 1989.

Virginia enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, and cooking. When she retired she began quilting. Her goal was to make a quilt for each one of her sons and daughters then the grandchildren. She was able to accomplish making well over 15 full-size quilts and several baby quilts.

She could catch her family off guard with funny things she would say: "She's ugly as a fence post" or when questioning if a gentleman was truly a redhead: "tell him to drop his pants!" One of her daughters-in-law asked her one day how she raised 7 children, she said "all I remember is that I was always angry"

Sometimes it was her antics: one morning she was bringing 3 of her children to high school and it had snowed. There were 6 inches of snow on the road. They were going through an "S" curve and did a complete 360 ending up in the direction they needed to continue. Our mother continued the drive and said, "kind of slippery back there!"

Another time she used a double-barrel shotgun to scare birds out of the garden.

Her greatest joy was to be with her family, sons, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Each summer she hosted a "Garden Party" for the opportunity for the family (and extended) to see each other and see her. It was her favorite time of year. She liked to enjoy one beer during the party and then would go take a nap.

She is proceeded in death by her husband, Elwood (Hempy), her daughters, Joan Margaret and Marian Constance as well as her 6 brothers and sisters.

She is survived by 5 remaining children, Doug, Tom, David, Paula, and Roberta, 16 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

Due to Covid-19 services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the care of LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service.
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2 trees have been planted in memory of Virginia M Hempstead (Mongeon)

Roaine Dufresne

Posted at 02:05pm
Paula, and all your family,
My condolences on the passing of your Mother. Sounds like she was a true Vermonter, who had a good, long life.
May God comfort and strengthen you.
Roaine Dufresne [Williston Central School. Grade 5 teacher. 1966-1968]

Josh and Donnie

Posted at 09:03am
Always in our hearts. We love you.
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Virginia Hempstead — Plant a Tree Now

Heidi Hodges

Posted at 08:44am
Grammy, you were kind and loving and I miss you so much.
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Virginia Hempstead — Plant a Tree Now

Terry Shortsleeves

Posted at 04:48pm
Always remember Mrs. Hempstead for her kindness & always had her house on the corner tip top shape. My condolences to all the Hempstead family. May she rest in peace with Mr. Hempstead.

Terry Shortsleeves
Williston, VT

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