Virgie Elizabeth Stewart Prather was born to Richard H. Stewart and Rachel Posey Stewart on January 23, 1926 in Stewarttown, Maryland. She died quietly and peacefully at her residence on May 22, 2019, after a beautiful day of sunshine and refreshing air.
Virgie was the 7th of 10 children and lived all of her 93 years in Montgomery County, Maryland. She attended Stewarttown Elementary School, and graduated from Lincoln High School in Rockville, MD in 1944. At Lincoln High, Virgie excelled in many areas and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Lincoln High Chorus. She was Lincoln’s 1944 “May Queen”, was Assistant Editor of the school newspaper, and was a standout softball player. Virgie also wrote the Class Poem for her graduating class.
As a youth, Virgie joined Stewarttown Methodist Episcopal Church, which later became Stewarttown United Methodist Church, and is now Goshen United Methodist Church. She was very active and involved in her church all of her life and over the years has served in many capacities. She sang in the original Wings Over Maryland Choir which became the Wesleyan Choir and is now the Goshen Mass Choir. Her love of music and beautiful alto voice are well known. She sang in the choir until she was 91 years old; she always knew every word of every song and could stand and ‘rock and sway’ along with the younger members of the choir.
In July 1945 Virgie married Stanley Prather. They were the first couple to get married in the original Stewarttown Methodist Church. Stanley said that Virgie first caught his eye when he was playing in the old Charlie Ross Band. He would bicycle from Laytonsville to Stewarttown Road to court her, and they became inseparable. They were blessed with five children, and life was never a dull moment for any of them.
Virgie enjoyed writing letters to local military servicemen and supported various Veterans organizations. She was very patriotic, especially because 5 of her 6 brothers and one of her aunts served in the military during the war years. While still in high school she penned a poem titled “Old Glory” about the symbolism of the United States flag and liberty, which was published in the school’s “The Lincoln News’,
Virgie Prather lost her beloved Stanley in 2011. She leaves to cherish her life her devoted children, Dorita McKinney, Sylvia Smith, Denise Prather and Michael Prather (her son, Stanley Jr., predeceased her in 1984.). She also leaves her loving and devoted brother Richard “Buzz” Stewart. (Her siblings Walter, Almeida, Bernetta, William, James, Harry, Phyllis, and Donald predeceased her). She further leaves her most devoted and caring grandchildren Victor Young (Sherie), Chevon Prather, Tanya Moxley (Mike), Carmen Thomas (George) , Shantae Birton (John), Stannelle Prather, Tanzania Neal (Ted), Dwight McKinney II (Tiffany), Jeremy Smith (Dawn), Norman Smith, Jr. (Darya), and Saturia Davenport (Warren); 29 adoring great grandchildren and 1 “well” on the way; 11 adorable great-great grandchildren; a devoted son-in-law, Dwight McKinney, Sr; 2 special sisters-in-law, Marjorie Johnson and Jestina Stewart; 1 brother-in-law, Benjamin Jackson; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many, many friends.
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us – one by one - the chain will link again……