Virginia Howell Yancy
November 14, 1921 – March 7, 2018
Virginia Howell Goldman Yancy, age 96, passed away Tuesday, March 7, 2018. Virginia (or “Ginia” as her five grandchildren called her) was born November 14, 1921 in Burnet County, Texas, to minister and public school superintendent Silas Stuart Howell and wife, Willie Pearson Howell. A fifth-generation Texan, she was the granddaughter of Dr. Asa Howell and Mary Elizabeth Warner Howell of Burnet, where she was raised.
Virginia, a smart, beautiful Lampasas High School homecoming queen, caught the eye of Charles Kay Goldman, a dashing Army Air Force fighter pilot. They were married in Wichita Falls, Texas on July 30, 1943 and raised their three children in Austin. Virginia’s greatest love and dedication was homemaking and childrearing. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with Honors, earning a degree in homemaking (human development and family sciences) and served as president of the homemaking honor society, (Kappa) Omicron Nu.
Virginia married James Watson Yancy Jr., an attorney and former Texas state representative, on July 28, 1980. They shared a love of European travel and a passion for genealogy. During many trips to the British Isles and France, she researched and traced her ancestors from England to the Virginia Colony in the early 1600s, the settlements of Jamestown and Williamsburg, and on to Texas in the 1830s when her great, great grandfather served under General Sam Houston. The Clayton Library in Houston and the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City were favorite genealogical research haunts. Virginia’s lifelong interests also included gardening, flower arranging, home decoration, sewing, knitting, bridge, sudoko and crossword puzzles. But it was Virginia’s love of history and avid quest to know her ancestors, though, that led to documented membership in twelve hereditary organizations, including Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, Jamestowne Society, Magna Charta Dames, Colonial Dames, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Ligon-Lygon Family Association. She often visited Madresfield Court, the English country home of the Lygons for six centuries, and was particularly enthused to have descended from Col. Thomas Lygon, a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Lygon’s nameplate graces a pew in the Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg. Virginia had also been a member of several service and philanthropic organizations including the Austin Junior Woman’s Club, the Helping Hand Society, and she was a PEO Golden Girl.
Survivors include Nancy (Jon) Esber of Dallas, William Goldmann, and Christopher (Lisa) Goldmann, both of Austin; grandchildren Lydia (Nick) McCutchen of Santa Monica, California; Clayton (Lacy) Sands and Julia Sands, both of Dallas; Christoper Carl Goldmann and Kurt Goldmann, both of Austin; greatgrandchildren Jack, Palmer, Davy and William; a sister, Nancy Howell Green of Austin; and two nieces and one nephew. Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Jim; son-in-law, David Sands; brother and sister-in-law, Pearson and Ruth; brother-in-law, Clair; and two nieces.
All who knew Virginia will remember her as sweet, cheerful, loving, nonjudgmental and unpretentious. She was recently described as “the most positive person ever, with a sunny outlook, even when having a rainy day”. Strictly biding by the Golden Rule all her life, Virginia’s other favored wisdoms included “This too shall pass”, “Look on the bright side” and more recently, she added “Getting old is not for sissies!”, always delivered with a radiant smile and a giggle. She pressed on cheerfully and bravely through the challenges of aging until she “moved to a better address” with Jesus and her many deceased loved ones.
Virginia’s family wishes to thank all the staff at Brookdale Westlake Hills for their excellent, nurturing care and for greatly easing her recent passage. A graveside service will be held this week in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin with her nephew, Minister Mark Howell, officiating.
Virginia Howell Yancy is survived by Nancy (Jon) Esber of Dallas, William Goldmann, and Christopher (Lisa) Goldmann, both of Austin; grandchildren Lydia (Nick) McCutchen of Santa Monica, California; Clayton (Lacy) Sands and Julia Sands, both of Dallas; Christoper Carl Goldmann and Kurt Goldmann, both of Austin; greatgrandchildren Jack, Palmer, Davy and William; a sister, Nancy Howell Green of Austin; and two nieces and one nephew.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Jim; son-in-law, David Sands; brother and sister-in-law, Pearson and Ruth; brother-in-law, Clair; and two nieces.