Originally created 06/02/06

Virginia Hallman (AUGUSTA, Ga.)



AUGUSTA, Ga. - Miss Virginia Hallman, who taught two generations of Augustans to read and write at the Monte Sano School, died Tuesday after a brief illness. She was 89 years old. Miss Hallman was born in Augusta and lived her entire life at her family's home on Walker Street. She graduated from the Tubman School, then a high school for girls; and Augusta College. She began teaching at John Milledge Elementary School in 1938. There, she came to the attention of the Monte Sano School's legendary principal, Josie Bodecker. Miss Hallman transferred to Monte Sano in the fall of 1940, teaching third and fourth grade from a second-floor classroom adjacent to the school auditorium. She would remain a fixture at the school for the next 38 years. Miss Hallman never married. She considered the thousand-plus students who passed through her classroom between 1938 and 1978 as "her children", and those former students would continue to recognize and greet her for decades after her retirement. Miss Hallman would serve under seven principals at Monte Sano, and her classroom was an island of tranquility through cluster schools, integration, and the school funding crises of the 1970s. When the Monte Sano School was rebuilt and re-dedicated in 2005, Miss Hallman was a guest of honor at the school's open house, where she was recognized as the school's longest-serving and oldest retired teacher. Her picture appeared in the following day's Augusta Chronicle. Miss Hallman was a lifelong communicant at Christ Episcopal Church, and worked Saturdays in the church's soup kitchen until a few years before her death. A Requiem Mass will be said for Miss Hallman on Friday, June 2, at 10:00 a.m. at the church. The Mass will be led by retired Rev. Theodore Atwood, who was Miss Hallman's student at Monte Sano in 1948-49. Interment will follow at Westover Cemetery. She is survived by a niece, Beverly Archer, of Gainesville, Florida; a nephew, Neal Sanders, of Medfield, Massachusetts, and first cousins Connie Mills of Augusta and Nancy Weeks of Waynesboro. Platt's Funeral Home, 721 Crawford Avenue, Augusta, Georgia 30904

The Augusta Chronicle-June 2, 2006