Cover photo for Virginia Havens's Obituary
Virginia Havens Profile Photo
1925 Virginia 2020

Virginia Havens

October 13, 1925 — April 16, 2020

Virginia C. Havens was successful in all the diverse aspects of her productive life - as a student, wife, mother, teacher, gourmet cook, quilter, bird watcher, bird bander, non­ profit volunteer, hostess, world traveler and a strong advocate for civic improvement.

She was the loving wife and life-long partner to George N. Havens and daughter of William and Bernice Councell . Virginia is survived by her sister, Cathy Moll of Sheboygan, WI and sons Peter Noble Havens, Hunter Scott Havens, Fraser Clark Havens, eight grandchildren and one great grandson.

Virginia grew up in East Cleveland and graduated from Shaw High School in 1943. There she met George N. Havens and a lifelong romance ensued. They were married on January 31, 1948 at the East Cleveland Congregational Church and recently celebrated their 71st anniversary together.

Virginia was a true renaissance woman. Born 7 years after WW1, she earned both an Undergraduate (University of Michigan) and Masters (Case Western Reserve University) degrees. She then taught for 20 years in the inner-city schools of Cleveland (Collinwood and Hough) where she was recognized for her teaching excellence. Starting in 1986, she served as a volunteer and board member at Towards Employment training ex-felons to re-enter the workforce.  She was deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and took her sons to hear the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak.

Together with George, they explored the great cities of Europe and Asia; experienced the famed orchestras and cathedrals of the world; and enjoyed sharing gourmet dinners with great friends.

With her family she enjoyed many outdoor experiences of camping and backpacking in 15 states and several overseas countries, including a 100-mile trek on the Camino pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, a 50-mile walk on the Cornish coast, and hiking the length of Hadrian's Roman Wall across England.

Virginia also lived in Montana where she worked as a federally licensed bird bander helping to monitor and band bluebirds out of some 450 rural boxes. An avid quilter she sewed handsome quilts for all three of her sons and eight grandchildren.

She and George moved to University Circle in 2009 where she audited classes at Case Western Reserve University, took piano lessons and worked tirelessly to improve the Rockefeller Park and University Circle areas. The City of Cleveland honored her efforts by naming the park across from Judson Manor, the Virginia Havens Park. An avid lifelong reader, her two, favorite books were Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Mont­Saint Michel and Chartres by Henry Adams.


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