On Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, Virginia McLain Diggs went to be with the Lord. Virginia was born in Augsburg, Germany, on Nov. 7, 1950.
A few weeks later, she was adopted by Capt. Russell and Margaret McLain and moved with her military family to Okinawa, Japan, and then later to the USA at the age of 10. In her childhood, Virginia loved riding bicycles with her friends and was on the basketball team. She graduated from Blevins High School in 1968, and headed to Henderson State University, where she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and earned her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 1974 before meeting her future husband, Lewis, the next year.
Virginia adored children and lived this out by teaching school for 29 years. The majority of that time was spent teaching Kindergarten in Hope and Nashville. She really found her niche in Nashville, where together with her colleagues, they became the “Sandpile Crew” of Kindergarten teachers. Virginia always found the childlike magic in things, which made her such a wonderful teacher! Not only could she relate to children, her classroom bulletin boards and home décor were competitively decked out for every holiday. Most of all, she loved her students; so much so that she would often spend her own resources to help any child who needed it. As successful adults, her former students would often return to thank her for the love and foundation she provided them so early in life.
Virginia fiercely loved animals and enjoyed her gardens. An excellent self-taught cook, she enjoyed preserving vegetables and stayed busy – whether it was frying squash and okra picked fresh from her garden, gifting her famous gingerbread cookies around Christmas time, or staying up countless nights to help her son with school projects.
With the latest novel in tow – mysteries and thrillers were her favorite – she spent many years chasing her husband and son as they coached and played youth basketball around the country. Virginia became a team mom and a second mother to many; her family grew larger by a number of the players who loved her dearly.
Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, Russell and Margaret McLain, and her brother, James McLain. She is survived by her loving husband, Lewis Diggs; beloved son, Bradley Diggs; sister-in-law, Norma McLain, of Hot Springs, Ark.; nephews Russ McLain (wife Marsha) of Stanton, Texas, and Jeff McLain (wife Dawn) of Alexander, Ark.; and her students and extended basketball family.
Pallbearers will be Tavarous Moore, Jeffrey Smith, Charles Green, Dontea Norton, George Green, and Dennis Thornton. Honorary Pallbearers are Dr. Fred Divers, Dr. Manish Joshi, Josh Milholen, Ricky Norton, Luke Terrell, and the Arkansas Diamonds youth basketball team. The family also wishes to thank the countless other doctors, nurses, friends, and family that have been by her side.
Visitation with the family will be on Thursday, Oct. 10th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Davis-Smith Funeral Home, 2205 Airport Rd (Hwy 70), Hot Springs. Funeral services will be held on Friday, Oct. 11th at 2:00 p.m. at the same location. Interment will be at Howton Cemetery immediately following the funeral.