Juanita Goode Kornegay

D480 (4)Juanita Goode Kornegay, 81, passed away on January 2, 2015. Mother, advocate for children, avid United Methodist, and accomplished traveler. She was known for her wit; political interest and love of the news; sense of humor; way of making people feel at ease; hospitality; high energy – and of course her love for her family. She could talk to anyone and was never afraid to start a conversation, especially with children.

Mrs. Kornegay was born in Wayne County, N.C., on Dec.13, 1933, to Richard Whitfield and Frances Barfield Goode. She was the only sister of three brothers. She graduated from The Women’s College of the University of North Carolina in June 1956 with a B.S. and a teacher’s certificate. In August of 1956 she and Ervin Thaddeus (E.T.) Kornegay were married at Smith Chapel United Methodist Church in Mount Olive, N.C. They lived in Michigan as well as New Jersey – and in both places they were part of university communities. They moved to Blacksburg in 1967, when her husband, Dr. Kornegay, took a professorship at Virginia Tech.

One of Mrs. Kornegay’s most significant achievements was being a teacher then director of the Blacksburg Methodist Preschool for 23 years. Children now grown (as well as their parents) still recall her unique ability to connect with and understand children.

In addition to being a dedicated member of the Blacksburg United Methodist Church, she was active over the years in many organizations, frequently holding leadership positions in these groups: United Methodist Women, 4-H, PEO, New River Valley Association for Education of Young Children, Faculty Women’s Club, and church circles.

She and her husband also served as host family for many foreign exchange students over the years. Mrs. Kornegay and her husband also traveled extensively worldwide, including England, Germany, Spain, Italy, China, Tibet, Japan, Canada, others parts of Europe, Australia.

Mrs. Kornegay was a 45-year resident of Blacksburg, Virginia, before moving to McLean, Va., and at the end of November 2012 where she remained until the end.
Mrs. Kornegay is survived by daughters Susan K. Henson of Ashburn, Va., Cindy K. Waters of Burlington, N.C., and Jennifer K. Smith of Arlington, Va.; sister-in-law Judy Goode; and brothers-in-law Nick Kornegay and Kenneth Kornegay. She also has seven grandchildren, ranging in age from 9 to 28 and two great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her three brothers: Richard W. Goode, John B. Goode, and William Goode.

A memorial service with reception following will be held at the Blacksburg United Methodist Church on Jan. 10 at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Us Against Alzheimer’s ( or the “Juanita Kornegay Preschool Scholarship Fund” (c/o Blacksburg United Methodist Church, PO Box 931, Blacksburg, VA, 24063).

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