Virginia Irene Williamson, 89

It is with great sadness that our family has to announce the passing of our mother/grandmother Virginia Irene Williamson. She was the matriarch of our family and meant everything to us and many others.
Virginia was born Sept. 12, 1932, to Rufus and Maime Catlett. She was the third child born out of seven of the Catlett children.

In 1940, the Catlett family was struggling financially due to the Dust Bowl and Depression issues that were facing many families from that time period, and decided to migrate west from Oklahoma, when Virginia was eight years old.

It was a rough trip and the family had to stop in Arizona and pick cotton; back then even the kids had to help, including little Virginia. Everyone had to pitch in so they could get the money to make it to California.

They were heading to Modesto, CA, but Maime Catlett’s sisters were in Oak View, so they stopped there and ended up buying a house on Oak View Ave. That is where Virginia and all her siblings were raised.

She graduated from Ventura High School in 1950, and shortly thereafter, married Ira L. Williamson, another longtime Oak View resident, on March 10, 1951.

They bought their first house on Calle Cinco De Mayo in Oak View in 1951. They then welcomed their first daughter Sherri Darlene Williamson in 1953, then they had their second daughter Deanna Lynn Williamson in 1956.

Their little family was growing and they decided to purchase the property next door to Ira’s parents and build a house.

In 1957, they moved into the home that they would raise all of their children in. This is the home they welcomed their first son Darryl Lee Williamson, born in 1964, and then their last child Darren Kelly Williamson, born in 1972.

Virginia worked briefly outside of the home at JCPenney, but for most of her life she was a homemaker. She took excellent care of her family and was extremely good with handling the money. She was so poor when she was little that she was determined to make sure her family never wanted for anything. She always had a beautiful home and yard; she loved her rose garden. She also took in foster girls back when her girls were younger, and maintained some very loving relationships with a few of them for the rest of her life.

Virginia was an amazing woman. She was a little firecracker, she was always playing jokes on everyone, she was so witty and sassy. She made everybody laugh. Her family was always so important to her and she was truly the most treasured grandmother to her grandkids. If you were to ask her grandkids, they would tell you that she had such an important influence on their lives. Her siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews were always dropping in for a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea, maybe a card game or just to chat. We have endless memories of her sitting around the table playing cards with her brother James, her cousin Wee Wee, and various others that would rotate in for their weekly card game. Her door was always open and the love from her was always there. I wish I could list all of the family members that adored her and how special each of them was to her, but then I would literally have to write a book.

Virginia is preceded in death by her parents, Rufus and Maime Catlett, all of her siblings, ex-husband Ira L. Williamson, longtime partner Ernie Thornsberry, her son Duane Williamson, and grandson Zachary Williamson.

She is survived by her children Sherrie Williamson, Deanna (Frank) Carriger Flores, Darryl (Traci) Williamson, Darren Williamson. Grandkids Angie Tafoya, Carol Tafoya, Duane (Shanna) Carriger, Johnnie Carriger, Jenifer (Billy) Schell, Jeana Carriger, Janita Carriger, Hannah (Jason)
Carriger, Brandon (Darren) Carriger, Monique (Daniel)
Robertson, Mark Williamson, Kayla (George) Flores, Dillan (Lisa) Flores, and Darryl Williamson.

She is survived by 29 great-grandkids and 11 great-great-grandkids.

 Obit Williamson photo

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