Virginia Loveless, 91, of West Stockbridge
Virginia Loveless, 91, of West Stockbridge died peacefully at home Sunday, July 21, surrounded by her children. She had just had three happiest days with two of her grandchildren and their families, including the newest additions, her two great-grandsons. She will be greatly missed.
Born Virginia Margaret Neufeld March 6, 1928, in Riverside, California, she was the daughter of William Neufeld, an athlete and coach who threw the javelin in the 1924 Paris Olympics, and Katharine Boardman, a teacher and mother of four who tragically died when Virginia was only 7.
Virginia’s devotion to family and homemaking was evident early and became her lifelong focus. She and her sister Harriet cared for their two younger brothers and were embraced by their large, extended family. Her father’s parents and seven siblings immigrated to California in 1911, coming from the Molotschna Mennonite Colony in Halbstadt, Ukraine, Russia. A family of intellectuals, they settled and farmed in Reedley. Virginia’s mother was one of five daughters of a much-loved Congregational minister and educator in Riverside. Virginia’s father, grandparents and the many aunts, uncles and cousins were foundational and remained dear to her throughout her life.
Virginia enrolled in University of California, Berkeley, her father and mother’s alma mater, then transferred to California College of Arts and Crafts, where she shown as an artist in ceramics and textiles. During this time she met and married David Loveless of Warren, Ohio, and they pursued their artwork and made a family, settling in Stockbridge, where David developed and directed the arts and crafts program at Austin Riggs Center. Her Victorian farmhouse home of 60 years in Stockbridge became her canvas and she transformed it to a place of beauty. She had a stunning aesthetic sense which profoundly influenced her three children. A great mother, she stopped at nothing to support their diverse interests, allowing sparrow hawks, rabbits and a goat to live in the house at times; her children to sleep summers in a bed in the hayfield, ride a donkey and horses bareback far and wide; and devoting the dining room to art projects and the living room to motorcycle mechanics for years at a time. She was a gourmet cook and baker—apple strudel from scratch the length of the kitchen table, baking whole grain breads sourcing healthy ingredients by mail, hunting morels and wild asparagus with the family, bottling gallons of tomato juice from the garden. And she was thrilled to see the arts carried on by her children and grandchildren—chefs, designer builders, jewelers, architects, weavers and jazz trumpet musicians.
She threw herself into her various jobs, including teaching grammar and English at Berkshire Country Day School, arts and crafts at Stockbridge School, making soup at the Stock Pot, and cooking and caring for Molly and Norman Rockwell for the last 10 years of their lives.
She is survived by her children: Keith Loveless and wife Lorelei of Arroyo Seco, New Mexico, Barbara T. Postel of Richmond, California, and Amy K. Loveless of West Stockbridge; grandchildren Sam Postel, Teresa Loveless, Rafael Postel and Tyler Loveless; great-grandchildren Elsada Rae Barry, Shohei Postel and Yuji Postel; brother Peter B. Neufeld of Emeryville, California; and sister Mary Johnson of Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Besides her parents, Mrs. Loveless was predeceased by infant son Kevin, and siblings Harriet Williams and Bill Neufeld.
To honor her lifelong passions for literature and wildlands preservation, in lieu of flowers, donations in Virginia’s memory may be made to the Stockbridge Library Association or the Laurel Hill Association in care of the Roche Funeral Home, 120 Main St., Lenox, MA 01240.