Virginia Sue Cockrell
Virginia Sue Cockrell
January 16, 1944 - July 26, 2021
Virginia "Ginny" Cockrell, age 77, joined God's choir in Heaven on July 26, 2021 in Lindale, Texas, surrounded by her family at home. She was born on January 16, 1944 in Centralia, Illinois to Roger and Margie Shaw. At the age of three months, she finally got to Texas when her parents relocated to New London with her two older brothers, Bob and Jim.
She spent her childhood days being a "tomboy," going to the picture show every Saturday to see Roy Rogers (her hero) and helping in the family's garden. Ginny accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of eight and served the Lord at London Baptist Church. As her family grew, she became a big sister and babysitter to Eileen and Kathy. She graduated third in the Class of 1962 from London High School (now called West Rusk). During her teen years, she continued to grow in her faith. She was active in the church choir, was a drummer in the high school band, reigned as Harvest Queen of London High, and served on the student council. Her first job was making hamburgers (her all-time favorite meal, by the way!) in her parents' grocery store.
After high school, she attended Lillie Jolly School of Nursing in Houston. While earning her degree there, she enjoyed many fun times with her forever friend, Marie Henry. After graduating in 1965, Ginny married John Cockrell on July 17 of that same year. During their marriage, they lived in several cities in Texas and Louisiana, including Denton, Bossier City, El Campo, and Broaddus.
Ginny worked as a registered nurse for 46 years, and God used her to touch many lives in varying capacities. These included surgery, recovery room, home health, and hospice. During her working years she was also a devoted mother, guide, and confidante to her daughters, never missing a chance to cheer them on at school and church events, sports, or other activities.
Her other passions included singing in the choir, golfing, fishing, yard work, and caring for her dogs. She retired in 2011 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and grandchildren became her next full-time job! She cherished life at the lake, dressing up for family at themed birthday parties, working in Vacation Bible School, and enjoying life in general.
After her husband passed away in 2017, Ginny moved to Lindale to live with Jonna's family. She joined Mount Sylvan Baptist Church, where, to no one's surprise, she enjoyed singing in the choir. She also participated in Sunday school outings and other activities. She especially enjoyed the weekly meetings of the Terrific Tuesday Club, sponsored by the Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County. God blessed her with JOY, high energy, good health, an infectious laugh and smile, and a willingness to help and serve others.
In June of this year, her health began to decline quickly, and she was found to have lymphoma. Thankfully, she did not have to endure prolonged pain, and she was well cared for during the time she spent in hospice. Her life ended as she would have wished it to. She was enveloped by a sense of compassion and calmness, with those whom she loved most surrounding her.
Ginny was preceded in death by her husband, John Cockrell, her parents, Roger and Margie Shaw, and her brothers Robert (Bob) Shaw and Jim Shaw. She is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Bethany and Rob Hardcastle of Houston, and Jonna and Mark McDonald of Lindale; grandchildren Trent McDonald, Joshua McDonald, Brynn Hardcastle, and Dalton Hardcastle; sisters Eileen Scott of Arlington, Kathy Herron of New London and their families; and many other nieces, nephews, and "greats."
A "Celebration of Life" memorial service will be held on Friday, July 30th at 3:00 pm at Mt. Sylvan Baptist Church (13073 Hwy 110 N, Tyler, Texas).
The family would appreciate donations to:
Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County, 211 Winchester Drive, Tyler, TX 75701 www.alzalliance.org
The Hospice of East Texas, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, TX 75701 www.hospiceofeasttexas.org