Virginia Exa Chestnut Mays

Posted: Mon 10:16 AM, Apr 15, 2013
Funeral Home: Pat H. Foley & Company
January 8, 1934 - April 6, 2013

Virginia Exa Chesnut Mays, 79, of Houston, Texas, passed away on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Born on Monday, January 8, 1934 in Jacksonville, Texas, she was the daughter of Randolph Holland Chesnut and Dezzie Massingill Chesnut.

Virginia is survived by her husband of 57 years, Russell Ray Mays, of Houston; two daughters, Randi Carol Mays-Knapp and her husband Averyt Snowwhite Knapp, Jr. of College Station, and Susan Mays of Houston; two siblings, June Crosby of Jacksonville, and Joe Chesnut of Beaumont; three granddaughters, Taylor Knapp of Houston, Sterling Knapp of College Station, and Holland Knapp of Waco; and her beloved "Little Friend," Frederick the feline. Sweet Virginia was preceded in death by two siblings, Billy and Sarah Jane Chesnut.

Many honors, awards and distinctions were bestowed upon Sweet Virginia as a fightin' Indian at Jacksonville High. After graduation, Virginia attended first, North Texas State in Denton, and second, the University of Texas in Austin. It was there that she was introduced to Russell Mays of Houston, who was playing ball for the Austin Pioneers. After a courtship, they were married on March 17, 1956, in the chapel of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Texas.

Mr. and Mrs. Russell Mays made their home in Houston and affiliated with the Methodist Church, in which they were both active for many years, particularly with the Lay Witness Mission movement during the 1970s. At the time of her passing, Virginia was a member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church and the Randy Smith Bible Study Sunday School Class.

In 1966, Virginia returned to college, attending the University of Houston, where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in December 1972. Virginia loved the touch of a 10-key and worked for decades as an Accountant. She loved to read, garden, sew and travel. Her favorite occupation, however, was "Mommy," her favorite destination was the Farm, and her favorite scripture was Romans 8:28.

A Memorial Service will be held Monday, April 15, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. The service will be preceded by a 10:30 a.m. visitation, and followed by a Reception. All will be held at Pat H. Foley & Company. The service will be officiated by the Reverend Leonard Negrin and the Reverend Bill Stell. A more detailed obituary is available at

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