Annette Booker McGhee of Richmond, departed this world on Friday, April 22, 2016, in the arms of her adoring husband.
Born in Gloucester, Virginia, daughter of Calvin R. Booker and Carrie E. Booker, she is survived by her husband, Craig A. McGhee; brothers, Calvin and Al Booker; niece, Tabitha; nephew, Roane; godchildren, Kathy Penkiunas and Reid Oetting, and youngest friend, Jason Wang.
A brilliant and sensitive woman with an exceptional breadth of knowledge, Annette was a Fulbright Scholar to India, a Fulbright Scholar to China, a Kettering Fellow, and a White House Fellow, in which capacity she participated in the SALT II discussions at the White House during the Carter administration.
With refined aesthetic sensibilities and expertise in fine arts, antiques, design, music and drama, Annette was a tireless volunteer in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations. She served for six years as one of 30 nationwide members of the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras. She was a member of the Board of Directors for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra League (past-president), and chaired both the Designer House and the Designer House Auction committees. She served on the Council of VMFA (Travel Committee) and as committee chair for Fine Arts and Flowers. She was a Dress Circle member of Theater Virginia, a member of the Woman’s Club (Program Committee) and the Tuckahoe Woman’s Club, and served on the committee for the Heart Ball. She was past-president of the Westham Ridge Civic Association and also of the Mooreland West Civic Association, which she co-founded. As a member of the Friendship Force, she chaired both a trip to Korea and the Host Committee from Newcastle, England. A graduate of Hollins College (B.A. in economics, member of Freya) and of the University of Virginia (Master of Education), Annette toured Europe with Hollins Abroad and was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and Delta Kappa Gamma (Beta Chapter past-president). After college she took an extended, self-guided trip around the world, to Canada, Puerto Rico, Nassau, Haiti, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, the South Pacific, Hong Kong and Japan. Her early travels also included Friendship Force Exchanges to Korea and Costa Rica.
Annette began her career in education as an elementary school teacher in Arlington, Virginia, and then taught in Henrico County, where she quickly advanced to Assistant Principal, then to Elementary School Supervisor for Henrico. Still in her twenties, she was invited by the Virginia Department of Education to serve as their Assistant Supervisor and Project Director for Volunteer and Business Partnerships. She was proclaimed a “Kentucky Colonel” by the governor of Kentucky for her work in promoting literacy. She maintained her commercial truck driver’s license. With her charming wit, irreverent sense of humor and enthusiasm for life, Annette attracted many suitors along the way, but she said “No” to all. And then, along came Craig, who matched her wit and humor and shared her joy of living. Craig worked on “Yes” for seven years and was the man she finally embraced, for once and ever, as “the love of my life.” For 28 years, they savored life and love and traveled the world, recently venturing even into the high Himalayas with Annette in a wheelchair!
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 29, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6000 Grove Avenue, Richmond, Virginia. Annette will be interred at her family gravesite in Gloucester.
In lieu of flowers, and in recognition of Annette’s many years of hosting fabulous tailgate parties and enjoying football games at UVA, please consider contributions to the Virginia Athletics Foundation (Football), P.O. Box 400833, Charlottesville, Va. 22904.