Funeral services for Virginia Purdy, 95 year old Buffalo woman who passed away Monday morning at the Amie Holt Care Center, will be held Thursday, April 12th at 11:00 a.m. from the Adams Funeral Home Chapel in Buffalo with Bishop Vernon Strickland officiating. Visitation will be held from the Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Donations in Virginia’s memory may be made to the National Wildlife Federation or the Lawrence University in care of Adams Funeral Home 351 North Adams Avenue, Buffalo, Wyoming. Burial will be in Willow Grove Cemetery with graveside services to follow the funeral.
Virginia was born on July 12, 1916 in Appleton, Wisconsin to Walter and Clara Steffensen. She grew up and attended school in Appleton. At ten years of age she was already riding fast Thoroughbred race horses. Upon entering high school, Virginia challenged herself to join most of the athletic games offered including volleyball and hockey. She then started on a musical journey that came thru playing the French horn. Virginia was editor of the high school yearbook “the Clarion” and literary editor of the high school newspaper. She graduated from Appleton High School with two scholarships to Lawrence University, one for journalism and another to the Conservatory of Music. After college, Virginia was employed by B.B.D.&O, an advertising research firm. In 1942 she was married to Fred Bailey and they lived in Illinois where he served as a Federal Security Agent for The Bureau of Mines. The couple also worked in the Springfield, Illinois Legislature showing the safety merits of CO2 as opposed to black powder and the Anti Black Blasting rule is still in law in Illinois. Unfortunately a massive heart attack took the life of Fred. Travels then took her to Buffalo, Wyoming where she decided it would be more fun to sit horseback and move cows than be a Wisconsin Dairy Maid. In 1955 she married Robert Purdy a long time friend. Robert and Virginia lived on the ranch on Billy Creek where they started an import program bringing new bloodlines of cattle into the United States. The couple had one son, Jim Purdy. Sadly in April of 1976 Robert was killed in an electrical accident. Virginia and Jim continued to run the ranch. Virginia had a love for conservation. Working with natural resources, Virginia worked with many Government offices and her interest in politics began. Virginia was a successful candidate for City Council Person (first time for a woman). She then went on to serve as Mayor of Buffalo. Virginia was an 18 year trustee to Lawrence University, retiring just recently because of her eyesight. She continued to live in Buffalo until the time of her death.
Virginia served on numerous boards and committees throughout Wyoming, and the United States, she was a past president of the Johnson County Cattle Women, Wyoming Quarter Horse Association, Congressional Award Committee, Alaska Conservation Alliance, and Defenders of Wildlife, to name a few.
She is survived by her son Jim Purdy of Buffalo; two grand children Kevin and Kimberly Purdy. She was preceded in death by her parents and two husbands.