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home : obituaries : obituaries July 25, 2017

Harley Funeral Home

Parker White Pruitt Funeral

7/13/2017 8:25:00 AM
Virginia Colby - Greenwood

Virginia Fisk Colby, 97, of Greenwood, SC, passed away on July 2, 2017.

Born in Flushing, NY, on December 17, 1919, to Charles and Cara Lane Fisk, Virginia was known to family and friends as Ginny or Vee.  She graduated in 1942 from Radcliffe College – now part of Harvard University – and worked as a teacher during WWII at the Cathedral School in Washington, DC.  Near the end of the war, she returned to Flushing to work at a nearby hospital helping with the care of wounded veterans.

Virginia married Whitney C. Colby in 1948, a widower with five children including one that had been killed in action in Europe in 1945.  They had first met in Piseco, a favorite vacation spot for both their families in the Adirondack Mountains.  Virginia returned there almost every year from 1931 through 2011.

As a young wife she moved to Whitney’s home in Montclair, NJ, starting their own family of two sons, Chuck and Tony.  In the late 1950s she returned to teaching, first in the Montclair school system and later in nearby Verona working as a reading specialist. Widowed suddenly in 1963, Virginia became a single parent as she continued her teaching career.

Virginia was married again in 1977, to Robert Cambreleng, and they made their home together in Montclair until Bob’s death in 1986.  After retiring from teaching, Virginia moved to Greenwood, SC, to be close to her eldest son, Chuck, and his family.  She spent the remainder of her life in Greenwood, including the last six years among friends at Sterling House, an assisted living facility.

Some of Virginia’s fondest memories centered around her early life in Flushing, where she was surrounded by a large, loving extended family-- her parents and older sister, assorted aunts and uncles and numerous cousins with whom she shared many adventures and good times.  Like so many of her generation, Virginia was shaped  by both the Great Depression and World War II which spurred an abiding spirituality, patriotism and sense of service and sacrifice that steered her life.   In both Montclair and Greenwood she volunteered her time and energy to various causes, ranging from literacy to feeding the hungry.  Motivated by a deep faith in God, she was active in the church all of her life.

In addition to her two husbands, Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Winifred, and her son, Dr. Charles Colby, as well as all the dear cousins she grew up with as a child.

She is survived by a son, LTC (Ret.) Anthony Colby (Winkie) of Birmingham, AL, and Piseco, NY, three grandchildren – Dr. Garrett Colby (Elaine) of Birmingham, AL; Christina Colby of Greenwood, SC; and Sarah Normandia (Erich) of Greenwood, SC; four great–grandchildren; and  her devoted daughter-in-law, Maureen Colby, whose love and support were unfailing.  In addition she is mourned by a beloved niece, Jennifer Justice (Michael) of the Wales, UK, a dear nephew, Stephen Courtney (Lisa) of Connecticut, a very special step-son, Mason Colby (Pat) of Naples, FL, and numerous great nieces, nephews, and other family and friends.

A funeral service in Virginia’s honor will be held at the Church of the Resurrection in Greenwood, SC, on Sunday, July 23, 2017, at 2pm, followed by a reception in the Parish House.  In accordance with her wishes, there will be a private burial in the Adirondacks.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Church of the Resurrection, 700 Main St., Greenwood, SC 29646, or the Greenwood Soup Kitchen, 929 Phoenix St., Greenwood, SC 29646.

For online condolences please visit            

Blyth Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the Colby family.

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