Virginia Ruth Taber Gravel, age, 80, passed away on Friday, July 18th at her home in Wauankee.

She was born on March 9, 1934 in Cortland, New York to Cecil and Marjorie Taber. Virginia received her Master of Arts from the University of Michigan in 1958 and PhD from the University of Missouri in Higher and Adult Education with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology in 1985. Virginia felt the call to serve God and was ordained as a United Methodist minister in 1994; during her tenure she ministered to several rural parishes in north central Missouri.

A consummate lover of art, music and unmitigated creativity, Virginia was deeply spiritual and thrived nowhere more than in the world of nature. As a child growing up in the hills of upstate New York she picked blueberries and camped amid the pines of the Adirondacks as a girl scout. With a green thumb and a penchant for vivid colors, Virginia's creativity was outstripped only by her passion for helping others. She was a strong advocate for social justice, marching in support of Dr. Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement. Never afraid to speak up on behalf of those in need, Virginia was one of those rare people who practiced daily the virtues of compassion and optimism she so deeply felt. Virginia was a tireless donor of her time and energy, always on the move and learning new things; this included serving as an ESL tutor and learning Braille to help translate books for the blind.

A member of the Waunakee Crossroads United Methodist Church for over ten years, she loved her many friends and church community. Virginia loved the Grandfriends program, singing in the church choir and the many, many trips she made with friends to the symphony, theater, and the Lodi farmers' market.

Virginia is survived by her three children, Anne Gravel Sullivan (Dan) of Belleville, WI; Eric G. Gravel of Winfield, IL; and Marc E. Gravel (Karin) of Normal, IL as well as two grandchildren, Jordan and MacKenna Gravel. Virginia was preceded in death by her father and mother, Cecil and Marjorie Taber (nee Corey) and sister, Gertrude Taber.

A Memorial service will be held on Sat. July 26, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Crossroads United Methodist Church, 5901 Hogan Rd. Waunakee. Rev Kristen Lowe will preside. Friends may call on Sat. at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services.

Winn-Cress Funeral Home
5785 Hwy Q
Waunakee, WI