Virginia Harvard McAllister passed away suddenly July 07, 2019 at Baptist South, Mandarin.
She is survived by her two children, Michael S. Burns and Lisa B. Wood, and a son-in-law, Gene B. Wood and two grandchildren, Jordan B. Wood (Roki) and Jarrod B. Wood and her nephew, Adam H. McCrimmon.
Virginia was born in Americus, Georgia to Grover C. Harvard and Florence M. Harvard in 1938. G. C. was a Craftsman carpenter his entire life and has done the pews, alters, doors and woodwork for many churches all across Jacksonville and Georgia. A contribution from their family consisting of a library and other assets actually changed the name of ‘New College’ to ‘Harvard University’ in 1639, Cambridge, Massachusetts. By the age of eight, she had already lost a brother and sister. Her baby sister, two years old, having fallen out of the car, to her death, on a family picnic. These incidents would shape her and mold her into the strong woman she became later in life.
She graduated from Lee High School in 1956 and attended the University of Florida before marrying Marshall A. Burns. While married to Marshall in their early years, while he was attending medical school in New Orleans at Tulane, she became a mother of two and taught disabled and handicapped children. While she was establishing her home and family in New Orleans, she used her excellent seamstress/sewing skills that her Grandmother, Mom-Mom taught her and she often sewed matching outfits for her son and husband. They later moved to Ohio where Marshall was in the Air Force and she tended to the house and grew a magnificent garden. Later they moved to Jacksonville, Florida and she became a doting wife, floral arranger, interior decorator, all while being a room mother for both children and cooking gourmet meals for her family and entertaining her husbands colleagues. She and Marshall were married for 16 years.
She loved to cook good food and discuss recipes with her son-in-law on the telephone. Sometimes they would talk for over an hour about how to per•fect a recipe. They both loved good food.
After her marriage ended, she went back to school and earned her master’s degree from UNF. She worked as a Systems Coordinator Analysis for Charter Oil Company until they dissolved the company.
Later she remarried Robert C. McAllister, of whom owned & operated ‘Toy Parade’ at Lakewood in Jacksonville. He was in the toy business for decades. He passed away two years after their marriage.
She leaves a legacy to her children for being a strong, frugal, loving, kind, independent woman.
She studied many, many languages in her life and almost became fluent in the Korean language. She also taught legal immigrants how to get situated in America. Finding them jobs, furniture, housing etc in the 80’s.
In the 90’s she went on to teach illiterate Americans how to read and write.
She also leaves behind her two adoring best friends, Charles and Yutiko Deming. Of whom she was so close to- since 1985. They were devestated upon hearing about her death. Calling her, “An angel!”
Forever she will be missed by Michael and Lisa and Adam. No mother/aunt could have been loved and adored more. Our loss is heavens gain…
She had a private burial upon her wishes at Evergreen Cemetery where she was laid to rest upon her beloved mother…
RIP Mommy. Gene and I are taking care of everything you told me to do. We miss you with all of our hearts. Life will never be the same again. I love you so much. Love, Lisa
Thank you for being a wonderful grandmother and person, and the memories you’ve given us that will be cherished forever. Rest in peace. We love you.
RIP granny. We miss you so much. You will always be in our hearts.
I miss you every minute of the day. RIP Mom. I know you are and I just know we will be together again .