(July 7, 2015)

Centenary mourns lifetime trustee Virginia Shehee

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee '43 '02H, businesswoman, philanthropist, and loyal supporter of Centenary College, passed away in Shreveport on Monday, July 6. Born in Houston, Texas in 1923, Shehee was days away from celebrating her 92nd birthday on July 12.

Virginia Shehee L to R: Dr. Nancy Carruth '82DHL, Judge Eugene Bryson, Jr. '63, Hoyt Bain '63, Dr. Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee '43 '02H

"The Centenary community mourns the passing of a truly remarkable woman and celebrates her immensely influential life's work in business, politics, and philanthropy," said Centenary president David Rowe. "Virginia and her family have generously supported many interests and causes in our community, from education to the arts to civic culture and social services. She counted her alma mater among these interests for seven decades, leaving a legacy of love and loyalty for which I am both grateful and proud."

Shehee graduated from Centenary in 1943 and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the College in 2002. She was elected to the Centenary Board of Trustees in 1972 and was awarded Life Member status in 2005. Shehee was inducted into the College's Alumni Hall of Fame in 1973, and was the inaugural recipient of Centenary's George D. Nelson, Sr. Lifetime Service Award in 2012. Centenary's Shehee Stadium, home of the Gents baseball team, was dedicated in 2001 in honor of Shehee's late husband, William Peyton Shehee, Jr. '40. An enthusiastic supporter of Centenary athletics, Dr. Shehee was in attendance at the stadium on May 1 to see the Gents blast Southwestern 10-0 in the first game of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships.

In addition to her many contributions to Centenary College, Shehee enriched her city and state through a lifetime spent in business and public service. In 1971 she became president and CEO of Kilpatrick Life Insurance Company and Rose-Neath Funeral Homes, successfully guiding these two family businesses for many subsequent years. Shehee served from 1976 to 1980 as the state senator for District 38 in Caddo and DeSoto Parishes, becoming the first woman elected to the Louisiana Senate without succeeding a husband.

Shehee is survived by three daughters, Ann Shane Shehee, Nell Elizabeth Shehee Kramer '78 and her husband Graham Kramer, and Margaret Shehee Cole '85 and her husband, David Cole '80, and a son, Centenary trustee Andrew Michael "Andy" Shehee '77. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Ryan Goodwin '06 and Cory Goodwin '08.

Visitation for Virginia Shehee will be 4-8pm on Thursday, July 9th at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall Street, with services scheduled for 11am Friday, July 10th at St. Paul Episcopal Church, 275 Southfield Road. Please keep the entire Shehee family in your thoughts and prayers during this time.