Virginia Cargle was born on June 3, 1931, in Wheelright, Kentucky, to Henry Lee Deadwiler (1903-1975; b. Alabama) and Reva Louise Deadwiler (1913-2003; b. Bristol, VA, parents Ruthea Duff and Sam Bowens). Virginia departed this earthly life on November 12, 2020. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Sidney J. Cargle Sr., and her cherished sisters Elizabeth Deadwiler and Henrietta Deadwiler.
Virginia’s parents settled in Weeksbury, Kentucky, a coal mining town where her father sustained employment for decades as a miner. She was the first-born child in a family that grew in size to nine children. She graduated from the Palmer-Dunbar Colored High School in Wheelright, receiving her early education before the integration of public schools. She had an especially close relationship with her grandmother Ruthea who was influential to the family and community as a health worker and entrepreneur. Soon after high school she moved to Osaka, Virginia, to live briefly with her great Aunt Mattie (Duff) and there gave birth to her first born Richard.
Virginia was curious about the opportunities that she heard existed in the larger northern cities. She permanently left eastern Kentucky when she was a young adult in the 1950’s, moving to Pittsburgh for a few years where she opened the door for her younger sister Ruth to join her. While in Pittsburgh she lived in the Hill District and acquired an Associate Degree in Accounting from the Grace Martin Business College.
Hearing the job market was even stronger in Cleveland, she went there for a weekend with intentions of just checking out the city but within a matter of days had received a job offer and was on her way to relocating to Cleveland — a move that changed the life direction of her entire family. In 1957, Sidney Cargle met Virginia Deadwiler while playing a game of tennis at Wade Park. He marveled at her shapely legs, so he loved to tell people, and she had her eye on his shiny new car. They were a gorgeous couple who enjoyed the exciting nightlife that helped define Cleveland during that time. They were united in marriage on June 28, 1958, soon after starting a family together with the birth of their daughter Sharon, followed by Sidney Jr. and Spencer, in total embracing their five children with son Richard and daughter Linda.
Virginia supported her husband in the many political roles that he filled and pursued through his lifelong activism, as well as business enterprises. In 1960, Sidney and Virginia established their first dry cleaning business called Green Stamp Cleaners, expanding the business with two additional sites before selling the business in 1965. That same year Sidney was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Cuyahoga County. They believed deeply in community and political participation.
Virginia worked at Women’s General Hospital for twenty years, moving up to the position of Office Manager before leaving. She was then employed by the State of Ohio as a Personnel Officer and Payroll Officer.
Virginia and Sidney shared a rich life together. Her reserved, loving, quiet strength and intellect was the foundation behind his more visible, colorful persona. For decades they were members of the Kouples’ Klub, a social club that met monthly, filling homes with laughter and entertainment. Virginia, well-known for her signature dishes, was an unwavering sports fan who spent many of her weekends rooting for her beloved Cleveland sports teams in the company of friends and family. She also received great enjoyment from travel, trying out new restaurants and planting her favorite flowers, geraniums.
Virginia was a devout member of Lane Metropolitan C.M.E, holding positions on the Steward Board as a member and Secretary. She was a woman of great faith and deep integrity.
Virginia’s brothers and sisters credit her as the pioneer of the family who created pathways for them that changed their lives forever. The courage she modeled as a young adult to seek opportunities beyond her hometown planted ideas for what was possible for her siblings. Over years she actively supported the relocation of most of her siblings and her mother and father to Cleveland. In her final years she was selflessly cared for by her daughter Sharon.
Virginia leaves to cherish her memory, her children Richard Stacy, Sharon Cargle Hoyett (Darryl), Sidney J. Cargle Jr., Spencer F. Cargle, and her step-daughter Linda A. Cargle; three sisters, Ruth Stewart (Dewitt, deceased), Maggie Christburg (Walter), Mattie Evans; three brothers, James Deadwiler (Dorothy, deceased), Henry Deadwiler Jr., Oscar Deadwiler (Annie); 10 grandchildren (Kobie Click who preceded her in death), 7 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and many friends.
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