1926 - 2023
Virginia Rollins, of Winchester VA, died peacefully on August 15, 2023, two weeks shy of her 97th birthday.
Born Vergenia Francesca Elizabeth on September 1, 1926, to Antonio and Maria Lavinia DiGregorio of Wappingers Falls, New York, she was the youngest of four children and graduated from Wappingers High School in 1943. She graduated from SUNY Albany in 1947 with her bachelor's degree in Language, and from Middlebury College in VT where she obtained her master's degree in Spanish, attending summer classes over a period of about three years.
She began her teaching career in Red Hook, Duchess County, NY, then in Highland Falls, NY, near West Point in 1947, and in 1949 was invited to teach at Manhasset High School (MHS) by her long-time mentor, Dr. Raymond L. Collins, then Chair of the Language Department at MHS, and formerly of Wappingers Falls. Mom taught at MHS over a period of more than 30 years, retiring in 1985. During her early years she was affectionately known as “Miss D” (for DiGregorio).
She met her future husband Dwight on a blind date in 1953 while she was teaching at MHS and living in Mrs. Wilkin’s boarding house near Onderdonk Avenue in Manhasset. Dwight was home visiting his parents in Manhasset while working for American Viscose Corporation as a salesman. They were married in 1954 in Poughkeepsie, New York, and had four children: David, Carla, Patricia, and Michael.
Mom devoted herself to her husband and children, and secondly to her teaching career, taking a hiatus from teaching to raise the children and afterwards returning to MHS. She was voted by both students and faculty to provide the commencement address during MHS graduation ceremonies in 1985.
If Dad was the head of the family, Mom was the heart and soul. She brought her husband to the Catholic faith and saw to it that the children were raised in the faith. Mom was the encourager, the motivator, the communicator. She was blessed with the gift of listening and discerning – she could learn the life story of anyone she met in minutes, simply by asking insightful questions and listening with her whole heart.
After Mom and Dad’s retirement they relocated to The Governor’s Land at Two Rivers, Williamsburg, VA. Several years later, they moved to Haymarket, VA, and finally to Westminster Canterbury Independent Living facility in Winchester, VA, where she lived happily with Dad until his passing at the age of 93. They had been married 66 years.
Mom and Dad loved to travel, visiting Spain, Italy, and Ireland over the course of several trips, accumulating many new friends and happy memories. She kept memories of our childhoods close to her heart and recounted those happy stories as we got older. Over a period of some years Mom wrote down the memories of her own childhood growing up in an immigrant Italian home in the small upstate town of Wappingers Falls – her family history spanning two World Wars and the Great Depression – thus creating a family heirloom.
Mom took up golf so she could play with Dad on the local par 3. She took up photography so together they could take and develop award-winning photographs in the darkroom Dad built in the basement bathroom. Together they learned pottery so she could create beautiful ceramic ladies with long flowing dresses and dainty feathered hats and fire them at home in her own kiln. Mom loved her garden and she loved Cervantes and Don Quixote. She wrote poetry and loved Emily Dickinson. She especially loved to write letters to her children – always encouraging, always motivating, but most of all she loved to be with Dad. She was a wonderful wife and mother and will be so dearly missed.
Virginia is survived by son David and wife Rebecca of Keller TX, daughter Carla and husband Mark Villarreal of Winchester VA, daughter Patricia and husband Dave Skiffington of Richmond, VA, son Michael and wife Gigi of Charleston SC, 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
A Mass will be held on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Wappingers Falls, NY. There will be a family burial for both Dwight and Virginia Rollins at St. Mary’s Church in Wappinger Falls, New York on that same date.
Special thanks to all the loving and caring employees at Shenandoah Valley
Westminster Canterbury who tended to both Mom and Dad since 2015 and with
particular gratitude to all the staff at Blue Ridge Hall who consistently gave of
themselves daily to improve the lives of those under their care.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury
Memory Support Fund, 300 Westminster Canterbury Dr, Winchester, VA 22603, or
on-line at svwc.org/donate-now (indicate Memory Support Fund: Virginia Rollins),
would be greatly appreciated.
Please view obituaries and tribute wall at www.ompsfuneralhome.com
Wednesday, August 30
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Delehanty Funeral Home
64 East Main Street, Wappingers Falls, NY
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
Thursday, August 31
St. Mary R.C. Church
11 Clinton Street, Wappingers Falls, NY
St. Mary's Cemetery
19 Clinton Street, Wappingers Falls, NY