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Virginia Faye Pierce

Virginia Faye Pierce was born July 24, 1929, and she was the youngest of the four children of Dr. Charles H. Pierce and Sylvia (Hinds) Pierce in Wadena.

Her mother passed away when she was very young, and Virginia was raised by her stepmother Alfilda Pierce. As a young girl, she spent many summers with relatives on the prairie near Hubbard, Minn.

Virginia graduated from Wadena High School in 1948 and went on to attend Hamline University in Minneapolis. She met her future husband, Dale C. Sheldon, while they were singing together in a church choir. They married on June 29, 1952. The couple first lived in Port Townsend, Wash., while Dale was in the army. In 1953, they moved back to Minnesota where they built their home and raised five children on Lake Jessie near Alexandria.

Virginia lived a life full of music, and was a longtime member of the Congregational Church choir. She was also a cast member of many Alexandria Area Arts musicals, and she sang solos and duets with Dale at weddings and funerals, and led singing at every campfire on the family camping trips. Music, arts and spirituality studies were all a large part of her life.

She returned to College and earned a bachelor's degree in social work from St. Cloud University at the age of 47. Much of her life's work was dedicated to mental health issues.

Virginia loved her family and especially enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Mary Stabile; and brothers, Robert and Samuel Pierce. She is survived by her husband, Dale; brother, Charles Pierce (Jane), Aurora, Colo.; daughters, Brita (Philip) Sailer, Park Rapids, Julia (Robert) Morris, Bailey, Colo., Genevieve (Tim) Poehls, Wolverton, Minn., and Sylvia (Joe) Luetmer; son, Peter Sheldon, Alexandria; as well as 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 2012, at First Congregational United Church of Christ. Honorary Pallbearers were Peter Sheldon, Joseph and Linda Capistrant, Katy Mohabir and Nancy Wirth. Arrangements were with Anderson Funeral Home.