Virginia Morgan Westlake, 96, died September 2, 2012, at the KC Hospice House in Kansas City, Mo. Virginia was born May 4, 1916, to Gertrude Cruzan Morgan and Roy L. Morgan at the Morgan family farm in Monroe County, Mo. She attended the local one-room school house nearest her home and then continued her high school education in Paris, Mo., while boarding with a local widow. She finished high school in 1934 and, being at the top of her class, had as her goal to attend college. However, due to the Depression, she had to find a method to support herself. So at the age of 18 she was able to secure a position as an elementary school teacher teaching grades 1-8 at a country school similar to the one she herself had attended. Two of her younger brothers, Bob and Dale Morgan were among her first students. Many times she rode her horse to school so her father built a small barn on the school property for her horse and helped her by building a fire to heat the school room in the winter. In order to continue her teaching career she was required to take college courses in the summer and she attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville, Mo., for seven summers. In 1941 she met and married First Lieutenant F. K. “Frank” Westlake and they followed the dictates of his military career before moving to Moberly, Mo., at the end of WWII where they lived for the rest of their lives. Virginia and Frank particularly enjoyed dancing to “Big Band” music and playing bridge. Virginia was active in various Moberly organizations, including Chapter AK PEO, Randolph County League of Women Voters, Sorosis and the Moberly Music Club. She was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Moberly for over 70 years. Although her family was always her first priority, her interests included politics, women’s rights and environmental issues, fitness, health and nutrition. After raising her children she still had the ambition to complete her college education. So when she was in her 60s she went back to college and completed her BS in Education degree at Central Methodist College at Fayette, Mo., and then went on to the University of Missouri-Columbia and earned a Master’s Degree in Learning Disabilities. Afterward, she taught children with learning disabilities in the Clark, Mo., school district for several years before retiring. She was extremely interested in her students and maintained a supportive relationship with some of them for many years. During her later years, as well as her home in Moberly, she maintained an apartment at the Forum in Overland Park, Kan., where she was able to have frequent contact with her extended family, most of whom live in the Kansas City area. She leaves her adoring family with a legacy of unconditional love, and also with a great respect for her sharp intellect and her independent opinions. Virginia is survived by her three children, her daughter, Anne Elsberry and her husband Howard Elsberry of Leawood, Kan., her son, Scott Westlake and his wife Vicki of Leawood, and her son, Richard Westlake and his wife Janice of Hallsville, Mo. Virginia, affectionately called “Gigi” by her family is also survived by nine grandchildren, Shelley Elsberry, Andrea Gonder, Stephen Elsberry, Jennifer Westlake, Lindsay White, Lauren Haake, Brandon Westlake, Leslie Westlake, and Dustin Westlake; 21 great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. Virginia is also survived by her brothers, Bob Morgan and Dale Morgan and his wife June Morgan and their families from Paris, Mo. Virginia was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, F.K. “Frank” Westlake. She was also predeceased by her brother, Charles Morgan, her sister-in- law, Wilma Morgan, and Virginia’s granddaughter, Crystal Pope. Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, in Wesley Covenant Chapel at The Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Avenue, Leawood. Services will also be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in the Wesley Covenant Chapel. Following the services, there will be a luncheon reception at Hallbrook Country Club, 11200 Overbrook Rd, Leawood, KS 66211. Graveside services will be at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at Oakland Cemetery in Moberly, followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall, Trinity United Methodist Church, 101 South Fourth Street, Moberly. The family wishes to thank Inge Fry, Natalie Drybread, Hazel Haskins, Era Brown, and Kathleen Baker for their loving care of Virginia. Memorial contributions may be sent to The Salvation Army, PO Box 412577, Kansas City, MO 64141-2577 c/o Alexandra Kuebler; Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, 9221 Ward Parkway Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64114; or Trinity United Methodist Church, 101 South Fourth St., Moberly, MO 65270. Arr.: Signature Funerals, 8019 State Line Rd., Kansas City, MO 64114 (816) 214- 5174. S
Published in Kansas City Star on September 5, 2012