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Vivian Shipley Abernathy was born on Jan. 2, 1933 to Vinton Vivian Shipley and Florence Hudgins Shipley in Blakes, Virginia. She left this life on Aug. 10, 2022. She graduated from Mathews High School in 1951 where she was an avid basketball and softball player, holding many school records. In 1954, she graduated from the Johnston-Willis Hospital School of Nursing. She began in the hospital, moved to an office of cardiologists, served in the public health department, was a school nurse, and taught the certified nursing assistant program until retiring at 86 years of age in 2019. She loved all her patients as if they were members of her own family. She believed in hard work, spending time with family, and loved taking care of her yard and home in Cobbs Creek on the Piankatank River. Vivian will always be remembered for her strong will and determination.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Lewis Abernathy; her parents, and sister, Lillie Shipley Bass.

She is survived by daughters, Faye Abernathy Daniel and Matty Abernathy Land (Clarke); four grandchildren, Amy Elizabeth Daniel, Jason Lewis Daniel (Danielle), Emma Abernathy Land, and Nicholas Clarke Land. She leaves five sisters, Helen Shipley Talman, Evelyn Shipley Edwards (Thomas), Elizabeth Shipley Wallace, Doris Ann Shipley Pritchett, and Bunnie Shipley Fernald (Bill), and many nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. in Mathews Chapel United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mathews Rescue Squad; Mathews Volunteer Fire Department; or her home church, Mathews Chapel.


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