Monday, May 29, 2023

Virginia L. Bean

Virginia L. (Graves) Bean, age 94 years, a resident of Vienna and a former resident of Belknap, passed away Sunday evening, May 29, 2022, at 11:47 PM at Hillview Healthcare Center in Vienna, where she had made her home for the past 18 years.

Virginia was born December 6, 1927 in the Green Briar community in Johnson County Illinois. She was the daughter of John Ervin Graves and Lillian (Richards) Graves.

On August 10, 1952, Virginia was united in marriage to Carroll Bean at the Belknap United Methodist Church.  He preceded her in death on January 25, 1978.

Virginia is survived by:  her children – Karen (Bob) Brumley of Joliet and Mark (Kelly) Bean of Vienna; 4 grandchildren – Alex Brumley of Lemont, Shannon (Jamie) Kerley of Vienna, Stacy (Timothy Crosby) Bean of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Allison (Sean) Stramm of Vienna; 2 great grandchildren – Anna Rene’ Kerley and Jackson Ray Kerley; 2 sisters-in-law – Margaret Graves and Myrna Graves both of Vienna; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

In addition to her parents and husband, Virginia was preceded in death by: an infant son – Steven Carroll Bean; 3 sisters – Barbara Duvall, Norma Vaughn, and her twin sister Catherine Moore; 2 brothers – Johnny Bob Graves and Paul Graves; an infant brother – William James Graves; and 2 brothers-in-law – Ed Vaughn and Robert J. “Bob” Moore.

Virginia attended the Belknap Grade School.  She began her working career at Hodge’s Store in Belknap.  She later was employed at Ned’s Shed in Vienna, the Good Luck Glove Factory in Metropolis, and the Coast-to-Coast hardware store in Vienna.  Later, Virginia was employed as a mental health technician at the Choate Mental Health Center in Anna, prior to her retirement.

Virginia also served as an independent Avon cosmetics representative.

Virginia was a member of the Belknap branch of the Johnson County Homemaker’s Extension.  She was a member of the Belknap United Methodist Church.  Virginia was a 50+ year member of the Order of the Eastern Star.  She joined the order at Belknap Chapter # 1012 O.E.S. and served as Worthy Matron.  Later, the chapter merged with Grand Chain Chapter # 710 O.E.S. and finally Caledonia Chapter # 587 O.E.S.  Virginia enjoyed attended Eastern Star functions and particularly enjoyed attending Grand Chapter.

Virginia loved life and enjoyed many activities and pastimes, including – knitting, quilting, reading, completing word search puzzles, and baking.

Virginia cherished time spent with her family.  Sunday “get-togethers” were a weekly occurrence when Virginia, her siblings and all their families would gather at Mr. and Mrs. Graves’ home for the day.  “2 meals and homemade ice cream” made for a good day spent together.  When Virginia was blessed with the birth of her first grandchild, Alex, in 1981, she would often travel by bus or train to Joliet.  Her son-in-law Bob would pick her up at the station and she would enjoy extended visits.  Later, as Mark and Kelly’s family expanded to welcome their three daughters, Virginia enjoyed attending many activities, school functions and countless sporting events.  She was fondly referred to as “Granny Bean” by the softball team members.  Later, her great grandchildren, “the twins” became the light of her life and she spent many happy hours with them.  Her extended family included members of her daughter-in-law Kelly’s family.  She especially cherished time spent with Rhudell Pearce, Bob and Kim Collins, Jack and Shirley Jones.

During her residency at Hillview Healthcare Center, Virginia was a great source of encouragement, information, and enjoyment.  She is remembered as a fierce and competitive Bingo player.  Even as she began to slow down physically, Virginia remained mentally sharp and alert until almost the end of her life.  She continued to enjoy frequent telephone calls with Rosemary Hook, Ann Lawrence, and her nieces Barbara Jeffress and Sharon Moore, among others.  Virginia is remembered for her love of visiting and socializing.  She never met a stranger and her beautiful smile and personality has endeared her to many.

A service honoring the life Virginia L. Bean will be conducted Friday morning, June 3, 2022, at 11 AM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.  Pastor Larry Gilbert will officiate.  Burial will be in the Belknap Masonic Cemetery.

Visitation will be conducted Thursday evening, June 2, 2022, from 5 PM – 8 PM at Bailey Funeral Home.  Eastern Star rites will be accorded Wednesday evening at 8 PM at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to the Belknap United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 167, Belknap, Illinois 62908 or the Belknap Masonic Cemetery, c/o Janet Hester, 305 West Main St., Belknap, Illinois 62908.

To share a memory of Virginia or to leave an online message of condolence for her family, please visit

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.