Virle Tweed Clary

September 3, 2019

 

CHARLOTTE- Family and friends are invited to celebrate the life of Virle Tweed Clary on Saturday, September 14th at Sharon Baptist Church, 6411 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC.   

Though her passing on September 3, 2019 brings profound sadness to all who knew and loved her, it is her life, one lived with faith, courage and humor, that will be celebrated at the place she considered home, Sharon Baptist Church.

Virle was born on December 20, 1935 in Spartanburg, South Carolina to loving parents, Mabel (Poteat) and George Tweed. Raised for most of her young life as their only child, at age 14, Virle’s sister, Sharon was born and from then, she was blessed with living a life that included a sister.  With 14 years between them, Virle often remarked that although she missed out on having a playmate, she appreciated the early immersion training in motherhood. 

Virle was an accomplished student from elementary school through high school. During her senior year, the Admissions Department and Scholarship Committee at Converse College recognized Virle’s achievements and extended a full scholarship with an invitation to become a Converse Woman. And that she did, graduating with honors in 1958 with a degree in English. While studying at Converse, Virle felt the pull of Christian mission work. Allowing her faith to guide her, she made plans to begin a missionary assignment after graduation. 

Her plans though, were interrupted by His plans-and for that her adoring husband, Moodye Clary, is forever grateful. The two met in the fall of 1957 and married on July 12, 1959. 

Together, Moodye and Virle set out on what would become a 60-year adventure that included stints of living in North Augusta, Ga and Dallas, Tx, before permanently settling in Charlotte in 1965.

After teaching high school English, Virle left the classroom when their first son, Russell, was born.  Their second son, Craig arrived just a few short years later.  Though her boys were close in age and often mistaken for twins, Virle relished their uniqueness and truly celebrated their individuality.

She adored her boys and relied on their unpredictability as much as their predictability, to bring her the daily dose of laughter that only living with a house full of men, brings.  She dedicated herself tirelessly to the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system through her volunteer efforts. Virle was most proud of her work with Project Aries, an organization that proved instrumental in the desegregation of Charlotte public schools.

In 1970, her faith called and Virle listened. Need and interest existed in Southeast Charlotte, for a new Baptist church.  What began with an informal meeting in an old farmhouse to discuss the possibility of starting a church, would prove, for Virle, to become far more than a place of worship.  Over the five decades that followed that meeting, Sharon Baptist became Virle’s community, her connection, her employer, her mission and most certainly, her sanctuary. “Miss Virle”, as she became known, has left her imprint on Sharon, just as it did on her.

Virle was a lifelong student with a passion for learning. As her boys left for college, so did she. Undaunted by tension and dissension within the Baptist Church at the time, Virle entered the seminary, eventually earning her Masters in Divinity Studies from Southeastern Seminary in 1989. 

When most were entering retirement, Virle reentered the workforce.  She accepted an invitation to teach the Three-Year-Old class at Sharon Baptist Weekday School. She considered it a privilege to be included on the earliest part of a child’s lifelong journey of learning.  Her passing on Tuesday, coinciding with the first day of Weekday School, was no coincidence.  She described her years teaching at the Weekday school as joyous and rejuvenating. To her students and their families, she is eternally grateful.

Though she made living an accomplished life look easy, Virle faced her share adversity. She survived three Cancer diagnoses of her own and stood strong through the Cancer diagnoses (and recoveries) of both Moodye and Craig.  It was her strength through her son Russell’s diagnosis and eventual passing of ALS, that was unparalleled.  Virle, with her quiet and unimposing presence, managed to set aside her own grief in order to provide the kind comfort and love that only a mother can.   

Though she loved to read, Virle would often ask for the “Reader’s Digest” version — With a nod to her need for the shortened version, here it is: Virle loved animals and children, good music and lively debate.  She derived peace from books, NPR and prayer.  She adored her husband, but more importantly, she understood him.  Russell and Craig were her sun, moon & stars - she loved them unconditionally, challenged them regularly and inspired them eternally.  She was a model mother in law who never ever made a surprise visit or inserted her opinion on child rearing.  She’d remind us to read more,vote and mind our own business.

“Mama Virle” is how Kathryn, Margot and Alex, her three beloved grandchildren, referred to her.  Smart, faithful, brave and wickedly funny is how they will remember her. 

She is survived by her husband, Moodye Clary, son, Craig Clary, Daughter in Law, Katie Clary, sister, Sharon Wilborn (Larry), sister-in-law, Barbara McMaster (David), grandchildren, Kathryn Clary, Margot Clary, Alex Clary and many nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved and admired. 

Gifts in memory of Virle may be made to Sharon Baptist Church.

Please join in celebrating her life at 1:00 PM at Sharon Baptist Church on Saturday September 14, 2019, 6411 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

 

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  • Karla Murphy

    My heartfelt sympathies to Mr. Clary, Craig and family. I was a close friend, of her son Russell, and have many lovely memories during high school years spent at the Clary house. Mrs. Clary was always kind and loving to her family and friends. She will be missed.

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  • Marie McBride

    I knew Virle for many years at Sharon Baptist and enjoyed a close friendship...Russell, spent much time at my house during his high-school years....

    I wish peace and solace to Moodye and the family...

    Marie

  • Cindy Zedaker Eulitt

    My earliest memories, although they don't come easy anymore, are from carpooling to pre kindergarten and kindergarten with Craig and Mrs Clary. I remember her as a sweet and kind woman, and the statement about her loving children and instilling knowledge in them are so true. I can't remember which year it was, but I remember us being late to school because Mrs Clary took us back to her house to watch a space rocket launch. It was history, and she wanted us to see it. That may not be much, but it is definitely burnt in my memory. She will be sorely missed, and I know that she and Mr Clary raised 2 wonderful sons. My thoughts and prayers are with Mr Clary and Craig during this sad time, and I love you both.

  • Taryn Hager

    Losing a Mother is one of the deepest sorrows a heart can know, but her goodness, caring and wisdom live on like a legacy of love that will always be with you. May that love surround you now and bring you peace.

  • Steve and Cheryl (Prince) Verrico

    Our heartfelt sympathies are with the Clary family. What a wonderful tribute to a very beautiful, special and inspiring lady! She will live on in the numerous hearts she touched - that is for certain. Sending our love and prayers your way.

    Steve and Cheryl

  • Mary Lynne Berg

    With heartfelt sympathies and love to the entire family. Mr. & Mrs. Edward Berg, Larissa, Lily and David