Virginia Peters Birchenough

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  • "Because I grew up in San Diego far from my aunt Virginia..."
    - Valerie Coots
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    - Scott Christianson
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    - Jim Longley
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BELFAST - Virginia Peters Birchenough, a resident of Belfast since 2005, and Slingerlands, N.Y., from 1945 to 2005, died Dec. 26, 2012. She was born Oct. 30, 1920, in Bloomfield, N.J., daughter of Mabel and Clyde Chamberlin, a chemist/inventor; a pioneer in the production of Bakelite, the precursor to modern day plastics.

Virginia graduated from Syracuse University in 1941, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and while there she was selected as "Freshman Beauty Queen" by Walter Winchell and was also a cheerleader; and Buffalo General Hospital in 1942 as a medical technologist. Virginia received a Master of Arts degree in elementary education from Russell Sage College in 1965, and taught in Bethlehem, N.Y., schools as a reading teacher, retiring in 1986. She was a Den Mother for a Cub Scout troop, former member of The Junior League of Albany and The Women's Council of The Albany Institute of History and Art, and a member of The Slingerlands Community Methodist Church and The Garden Study Club, Albany, N.Y.

She was predeceased by her husbands, Irving H. Peters and Robert H. Birchenough. She is survived by five children, Susan C. Blanchard of Whittier, Calif., Jeffrey S. Peters of Belfast, Steven E. Peters of San Mateo, Calif., Christopher S. Peters of East Lansing, Mich., and Bruce K. Peters of North Hollywood, Calif.; two stepsons, Dr. Robert H. Birchenough of Cleverdale, N.Y., and David Birchenough of Nelson, N.H.; 12 grandchildren, Meredith Torres, Patrick Cariaga, Brendan Cariaga, Rachel Conley, Mark Peters, Clayton Peters, Rosamond Peters, Natasha Peters, Kendra Peters, Caroline Peters, Samuel Peters and Charlie Peters; three stepgrandchildren, Pamela Kilpadi, John Birchenough and Sandra Rabeno; seven great-grandchildren, Sarah Conley, Elizabeth Conley, Katherine Conley, Zoe Peters, Mia Torres, Ellie Torres and Angus Mitchell; and six great-stepgrandchildren, Ryan Kilpadi, Joseph Rabeno, Emily Rabeno, Sara Rabeno, Leo Birchenough and Annalee Birchenough.

Her remains will be buried at Albany Rural Cemetery, Albany, N.Y., and Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to The Nursing Scholarship Fund at Waldo County General Hospital, "In Loving Memory Of Virginia Peters Birchenough," P.O. Box 287, Belfast, ME 04915, 207-338-2500 or visit
Published in BDN Maine on Jan. 5, 2013
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