Virginia Leah Piland
Soldotna resident Virginia Leah Piland died after a brief illness Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008 surrounded by her family at Central Peninsula Hospital. She was 73.
A celebration of her life will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, 2008 at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center.
Mrs. Piland was Nov. 4, 1934 in Rockport, Texas to Burney Lloyd and Ellyn Tedford. Of five children, she was the only girl, with four of the best brothers a girl could have.
Mrs. Piland was married to Harold W. Piland Sr., at the home of the groom's parents on May 21, 1954. After the ceremony the couple made their home in Santa Paula, Calif. In 1972, the entire family took up stakes in Kenai.
The couple was married for 53 years, and received special recognition at the 50-year mark by the President and Mrs. Bush.
"As most Tedfords, Virginia was proud to be a descendant of Gen. Sam Houston.
"It was Virginia's wish to leave us all with these words: 'Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight of ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. But when you waken in the mornings hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft star that shines at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die,'" her family said.
Mrs. Piland was preceded in death by her parents and her eldest son, Allen.
She is survived by her husband; daughters and sons-in-law, Pamela and David Elkins of Kenai, and Dana and J.D. Megchelsen of Nikiski; son and daughter-in-law, Harold W. and Pam Piland of Anchorage; brothers and sisters-in-law, Johhnie L. and Rita Tedford of England, Robert "Dickie" Dixon and Lois Tedford of Texas, Bobbie Dean and Marge Tedford of California, and Jackie Wayne and Loretta Tedford of Arkansas; grandchildren, Donn A. "Buddy" Way and his wife, La Tasha, of Kenai, Alan R. Davis, currently in Iraq, and his wife, Hanna, of Utah, Amanda R. "Mandy" Elkins of Sterling, and Steven D. Davis, Kelsey N. Megchelsen and Wesley Piland, all of Nikiski; great-grandchild Liam Everett Way; several nieces and nephews, including David and Teri Birchfield and Janet McLaren of Soldotna; and longtime friends, Melba Roberts of Kenai and Houston, Texas and Carolyn Burke of Ventura, Calif.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial donations be sent to First Choice Home Health and Hospice, 159 E. Redoubt Ave., Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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