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Virginia Marybelle Woods Obituary

Virginia Marybelle Woods

Virginia Marybelle Woods, 96, of Memphis died Saturday morning, October 16, 2021 at her home.

She was born the daughter of Glen Allen and Helen Modena (Kutzner) Chambers on February 6, 1925 in Scotland County.

Virginia married Emmett Porter Heckethorn, who preceded her in death on October 21, 1994.   They published the Gorin Argus newspaper for many years.

Virginia married Clarence Ivan Woods on April 6, 1997 in Memphis.   He preceded her in death on October 5, 2020.

Virginia was a member of the Cedar Grove Club for 20+ years, loved planting flowers and feeding birds, squirrels, and the neighborhood stray cats.   She was adept at word puzzles and enjoyed going to the nutrition site and visiting with everyone. 

She was an avid reader who never read a book in which she didn’t find something to enjoy about it.  Virginia loved music and had three songs she sang every day: The Old Rugged Cross, One Day At A Time and You Are My Sunshine.

She was preceded in death by her husbands; sons, Omar Edward Heckethorn Sr. and Wesley Ray Heckethorn; and a sister, Marjorie Anita Hatfield.

She is survived by her sisters: Verlee Dauma of Memphis and Glenna Tolliver of St. Peters, MO; daughter-in-law, Phyllis Heckethorn of Memphis; stepchildren: Bonnie Schultz and Gaylene Woods-White, both of Kirksville, James Woods of Arbela, Randy Woods and wife Karen Shippen, Charles Woods and Janette Graham, and Kevin and wife Debbie Woods – all of Memphis, and Hollis and wife Connie Woods of Keokuk; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, step grandchildren, step great grandchildren and step great-great grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Funeral services were October 20 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel, officiated by Leon Buford, pastor of the Pentecostal Church of Memphis.  Anthony Burgess, Shannon Long, David Heckethorn, Lucas Heckethorn, Omar Heckethorn and Jason Guevara served as pallbearers.  Burial was in the Gorin Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to the family of Virginia Woods by signing the online guestbook at

Memorials can be made to the Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.