Saturday, July 1, 2017
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
For Virginia Caswell, life wasn’t about the clothes she wore, the house she lived in, the car she drove or places traveled. For Virginia, life revolved around the family she loved. A loving and kind soul, Virginia was ever dedicated and devoted. Although quiet in nature, her sweet, easygoing personality made her a favorite of everyone. Dearly missed, she will be fondly remembered.
Virginia’s story began during a time of economic prosperity as industry and the need for consumer goods rose to new levels. While Gershwin and Berlin dominated the music scene, men in their pan hats strolled along with swank and swagger, and were quite a match for the belles of the infamous Roaring Twenties, the flapper. At the same time, Ellis Island closed its doors as an immigration entry point leaving behind numerous memories of promises for better tomorrows. Amidst these exciting times, the lives of Russell and Sarah (Bradford) Wiley were filled with excitement as they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Virginia, born on April 3, 1926.
Virginia was born in Flowerfield Township in Michigan’s St. Joseph County. The oldest of the two Wiley children, she was later joined by her younger sister, Betty. During her youth, Virginia’s parents moved to Portage where Virginia was very active in school. Beginning there at Portage Central, her graduating class was the very first class to graduate at what is now the Chennery Auditorium.
Following high school, Virginia worked in nearby Kalamazoo. It was also during this time when she met the young man who would forever hold her heart, Lyle Caswell. Virginia was merely 20 years, and she soon discovered Lyle had lied about his age at first. He told her he was also 20, when in fact he was only 18. On their very first date, Lyle took Virginia to his family home to introduce her to his family. When his two sisters saw them outside by Lyle’s car they were ceaseless in teasing him just to get him mad, relentlessly hollering out the window, “Is that Mary? Is that Betty?" Deeply in love, the two were married on December 31, 1946, at Virginia's parents house in Portage.
Eventually settling in the community of Vicksburg, It was then Virginia and Lyle soon began a family of their own with the births of their five children, Lyle Robert Jr., Russell Charles, Virginia Lynn, Dennis Jeffery, and Joanne Marie.
Camping was an activity enjoyed as a family. One time while camping with Lyle’s sister, Velda near the Mackinaw Bridge, all the kids slept in the station wagon while the adults slept outside on the ground. With the ladies in the middle, they awoke to find all girls hugging and hogging every one of the blankets. Once they acquired campers they often went to Ludington State Park with Velda and her husband. Along with the usual campfire delicacies, Virginia and Velda cooked the meals on two pressure cookers. Fun and enjoyable times were always shared there snowmobiling, horseback riding, and swimming, yet so typical of Virginia, she always stayed behind to watch over the babies.
Virginia and Lyle owned and operated Lyle’s Boats in Vicksburg. They began the store from the ground up, and Lyle put his skills to good use building wooden boats. They made it a family affair as Virginia’s parents helped get it started by framing, blocking and building the structure. Lyle and Virginia even lived in the basement of the house while it was still being completed.
Always on the move, Virginia could always be found doing something and it usually included work over leisure. She loved to cook and was known for her one-dish dinner everyone loved of which Joanne stills makes to this day. Virginia was always very close to Lyle’s family, especially Velda and Harm. She and Velda shared much time in the kitchen canning salmon Lyle and Harm caught, and they went mushroom hunting with them all the time, too. In addition to cooking, Virginia so enjoyed times spent camping in addition to sewing and canning.
More than anything, Virginia was quite content caring for and loving her family with all that she had. Once her children were grown with families of their own grandchildren brought her the greatest joy. Bruce, Shawn, Matthew, Annie, Chad, Sarah, Frank, and Nick were and continued to be the delight of Virginia’s life. She was also blessed beyond compare with nine wonderful great-grandchildren, Zachery, Savannah, Brooke, Bradley, Brandon, Jennifer, Jeffrey, Camila Isabella, and Angelina Sofia. She loved visiting with the grandkids.
In later years, Virginia filled her time knitting and reading. She even began teaching ceramics in the basement of the farm house, but once she broke her ankle, Virginia decided to quit for a time. After her beloved Lyle passed away in 1985, Virginia took up teaching ceramics once again, only this time turning the boat store into her ceramics shop, and she absolutely loved it! Her favorite canine companion included Skipper, a loving little Cocker Spaniel, and she loved watching old game shows from the seventies. Her favorite actor was none other than John Wayne, and a huge fan of Doris Day as well as Rock Hudson. When it came to music, she preferred the sounds of the forties, the Gaithers, and Garth Brooks. Virginia also had the habit of watching a recorded movie, “Cats and Dogs” every day.
Virginia was known for her kind spirit and willingness to help those around her. And as long as she had her family by her side, Virginia Caswell was her happiest. There was never a more loving and kind woman, and she filled the days of those she loved and cared about with smiles and sweet gestures. A cheerful woman, Virginia took teasing very well, and all in innocent fun. Throughout her 91 years, Virginia possessed a quiet grace which won the hearts of all who knew and loved her. She saw many changes in the world around her, yet with every breath, Virginia’s warmth truly conveyed her giving heart and love of family, which was all she ever needed. Her legacy lives on in the hearts of those who follow her.
Virginia Caswell, age 91, of Vicksburg passed away June 27, 2017 in the comfort of her home. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Saturday, July 1, 2017 from 9-10am at the Life Story Funeral Home, Vicksburg; 409 S. Main St. (649-1697). A funeral service will follow at the same location. Left to cherish her memory are her children: Lyle Robert Caswell Jr., and Joan (Jerry) De Young-Bush; grandchildren: Bruce (Peggy) Verwey, Shawn (Chris) Teayue, Matthew (Laurens) Caswell, Chad Caswell, Sarah (Raj) Selvaraj, Frank De Young, and Nick (Virginie) Terry of France; great-grandchildren: Zachery, Savannah, Brooke, Bradley, Brandon, Jennifer, Jeffrey, Camila Isabella, and Angelina Sofia; her sister, Betty Terry; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Lyle Sr.; children: Russell Caswell, Virginia “Ginny” Munn, Dennis Caswell; and granddaughter, Annie Loucks. Please visit Virginia’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of SW Michigan.