Celebrating the life of Virginia Ruth Stinnett Cain
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Obituary for Virginia Ruth Stinnett Cain
Virginia Ruth Stinnett Cain passed peacefully away on August 27, 2014 in Livingston, Montana. Virginia embraced every minute of her life and lived it on her own terms. She was creative, passionate, stubborn, motivational, and kind to everyone she touched (unless you didn't pass her the right cards). Born in Chico, Montana to Charles and Dorothy Mercier Stinnett on June 14, 1921, she was dealt a hard blow when her mother died a few months later. Her Daddy maintained close ties with his in-laws, and when Virginia was nine, he married her Aunt Ruth Mercier. Virginia was delighted to have a "real mother" just like everyone else. Virginia grew up living on the Mercier Ranch on the Park Road across from Guthrie Lane south of Livingston. She graduated as Salutatorian from Park County High School in 1939, and received her "life certificate" as a teacher from the Normal School at Dillon, Montana in 1941. Her first teaching job was at Reed Point, where she met Glenn Cain, the "handsomest man she ever saw." They were engaged to be married in the fall of 1942 shortly before Glenn left for basic training and Virginia started teaching at Winnett. As WWII was ending, Virginia took a job teaching at Big Timber. Virginia married Glenn Cain on December 31, 1945. In 1950 they bought the ranch south of Reed Point. A few years of ranching led them to discover that it was economically challenging to run the ranch and have enough left to feed the family. Virginia got a job teaching at Lockwood School east of Billings to supplement the ranch income. Although Virginia was an extraordinarily talented musician and artist, her real passion was teaching. The happiest years of her life were the ones she spent teaching. She remembered the names of every student, from the students at the one room school at Deer Creek, to the crowded classes at Lockwood. Each child in her classroom was taught on an individual basis at his or her own learning ability. She recognized the importance of education, not only encouraging her students and children to further their education, but also acquiring her B.A. from Eastern Montana College when she was 48 years old, taking summer school classes and correspondence classes while teaching full time at Lockwood. Virginia retired from teaching in 1976 and then spent the next 15 years adventuring with Glenn. Together they attended fly-ins, country dances, music fests and parties. They fished in oceans, rivers, and little creeks. They played pinochle, cribbage, and hand-n-foot. Virginia played music and practical jokes, painted landscapes, made ceramics, sweaters, baby blankets, and dinosaurs. But most of all she loved her family, her friends, and her seven grandchildren. When Glenn died in 1997, she was devastated, but was determined to build a new, positive life. She moved from her home in Billings to the Senior Citizens Center in Livingston, where she knew everyone and all of their families. She lived there very independently for many years, providing piano concerts at the "Center" every day before lunch. Virginia was able to play piano, by ear, until the last few weeks of her life. She loved to travel with her children, going to Hawaii, New Orleans, Washington DC, on adventures, and to Reno, Tucson, Austin, and Denver to visit family. At the age of 91, she went for her first hot-air balloon ride. She was fearless. Most recently, Virginia has been living at Anderson's "Seeds of Love" residential care home in Livingston. At Seeds of Love she was treated with absolute love, respect, tenderness, and humor. Virginia is survived by her three children, Dorothy (Bill Wilkis), Candi (Dave Payne), and Bruce (Marian) Cain, her seven grandchildren, Heidi, Brannon, Steffanie, Shawn, Gwenny, Bryan, and Adam, and her ten great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Glenn and by her great-grandson, Hunter Simmons.
2:00 P.M. Tuesday
September 2, 2014
Reed Point Cemetery
5:00 - 9:00 P.M. Monday
September 1, 2014
Stenberg Funeral Home
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