Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Virginia Viola Whitlock Kimzey


May 23, 2017

Virginia Viola Whitlock Kimzey, 100, passed away on May 19, 2017 at the Worland Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

Virginia was born on March 12, 1917 in Otto, Wyoming to Andrew and Ludina (Anderson) Whitlock. She was the oldest of 6 children. Virginia learned early in life to work hard and help wherever and whenever she was needed. Service was instilled at a young age as she would attend to neighbors with Grandma Anderson in a horse and buggy. There were 5 years between her and her next sibling, so she became a second mother to her brothers and later her baby sister. She not only cared for them, but held them accountable to do their responsibilities in the family home. At age 12 she began working in Otto Menger's variety store, earning $1.00 per day. She diligently saved those dollars to buy Christmas gifts for the family. She graduated from Washakie County High School in 1934. Soon after that she met Les Kimzey, since he didn't own a car, the couple walked everywhere they went on dates. On June 18, 1935 they were married in Thermopolis. Since the current LDS Bishop was a Dr. they recited their marriage vows in one of the patient rooms over an exam table. They soon started their family, with Denise (Denny), Scott and Bruce joining the couple. After Bruce was born, Virginia went to work for Washakie Trading for the next 14 years. Owen Everett came to her and asked if she would like a job as his secretary at Washakie Abstract. She willingly took the job and continued to work there until her early 80's, typing documents in triplicate with little to no mistakes on the manual typewriter. "Working all those years kept me alert and young at heart" she would quip.

Church service was second nature to Virginia. She served as one of the first five Relief Society Presidents for the Worland Ward. Much time and talent went into making money to build a church here in Worland. She and Les would bake, craft, cook and serve dinners as their part in contributing to the building fund. While doing this, she also sewed her families clothing and Les would grow a large garden and together they would put up produce for the winter months.

She and Les also loved to travel. Before his death, they would travel to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. For many, many years Virginia had a craft booth at the Homemaker's Hobby Days, where she would sell her wares that she created the previous year. Afghan's, ribbon embroidered shirts and jackets, place mats, latch hook items were just a few of her wares. She and Les worked on making wood items for yard and home. Christmas time was always a grand surprise for children and grandchildren as they would get a sample of her latest craft item. If she wasn't creating a treasure, she could be found with her nose in a book. Her love for reading has had generational effects, even down to her 10-year-old great-great granddaughter. Her life has been one of selfless sacrifice and love of her family. She made each grandchild and great-grandchild feel special. Her favorite thing to say to each of them was, "You're a good kid, I think we'll keep you!"

In her later years the daily outing for lunch was very important. For many years you could find the trio of Virginia, Denny and Carmeen at one of the local eateries during the lunch hour. In 2014 she moved into her daughter's home and resided there until fall of 2016 when a stroke made it necessary for her to move to Worland Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Les in 1996, brothers Glen in 1979 and Ira in February, sister, Sharon in 2012, grandson, Stephen, and great-grandson, Mark James Bryant.

Survivors include her daughter, Denny Bryant, sons, Scott (Pat) Kimzey of Snowflake, Arizona and Bruce (Judy) Kimzey of Phoenix, Arizona; grandchildren: Robert A. (Carla) Bryant III, Don (Robyn) Bryant, Mike (Yvonne) Bryant; David (Nancy) Kimzey, Jalaire Brinegar, Sharilyn (Jose) Dastas, Devon Kimzey; Kelly Howell, Kerry (Kim) Kimzey, Kyle (Nicole) Kimzey, Kristy (Kemp) Sawtelle), Kory (Marsh) Slight, and Keith (Tonya) Kimzey, 43 great-grandchildren; 30 great-great grandchildren; brothers, Gene (Charlotte) Whitlock of Worland and Jerry Whitlock of Sykesville, Maryland and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Virginia often commented, "I just don't know what people do without family!" As she is enjoying the reunion with her beloved husband, parents, brothers and sister, we will celebrate her life in a reunion of family and friends at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2017 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Bishop Jerry Kienlen officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Visitation for family and friends will be held one hour prior to services at the church. Memorial donations can be made to Special Olympics (Washakie County) in care of Bryant Funeral Home, PO Box 524, Worland, WY 82401. Online condolences may be made at


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