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School 14


Virginia Carol Hanlin-Felts

August 9, 1923 ~ August 26, 2018 (age 95)

Virginia Carol Felts, age 95, passed away on Sunday, August 26, 2018 at Otterbein SeniorLife Care in Franklin.  She was born in Greene Township on August 9, 1923 to   Raymond & Vesta Juillerat.  The first of four children, she is survived by her brother Jon Juillerat and sister Jean Schemenaur of Portland as well as her sister Mary Helen Moore of Fort Wayne.

In 1942, she married Frederick W. Hanlin who was killed in the Korean War in September of 1950.  In 1956, she married Manon W. Felts who became the publisher of the Portland Commercial-Review and the Dunkirk News and Sun.  He died in October of 2010.  She is survived by two sons, Don Hanlin of Indianapolis and Hugh Hanlin of Plainfield, as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She attended Center School and graduated from Portland High School in 1941 and from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1959 and a master’s degree in library science in 1963.  While a teenager, she took piano lessons and once participated in a program featuring 150 baby grand pianos in Indianapolis.   As a 4H member, she attended a leadership camp at Purdue University.  She also worked at the Home Cafe and, after graduating from high school, at Weiler’s Department Store.  When her first husband joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, she continued to work including a time as an elevator operator in a Texas department store.   After graduating from BSU, she was the first professional librarian at Portland Junior High School and in 1969 catalogued and organized all the public school libraries in Jay County.  She also consolidated all the local high school libraries into one at Jay County High School and served as its first librarian.

In 1976, while at an Inland Daily Press Association convention with her second husband, she attended a White House reception with President General Ford.  When she and her husband retired, they traveled the country in various RV’s and often wintered in Florida or Texas.  As a member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association, she became a freelance travel writer contributing stories to many RV magazines and some newspapers including the Chicago Tribune.   In 1989, at the Oral History Center in Harlingen Texas, she recorded a description of her life as the wife a WWII and Korean War officer and pilot.

For much of her life she was an active member of West Walnut Street Church of Christ playing piano, organizing programs, and teaching classes.  In the 1950’s, she worked at the Lake James Christian Assembly church camp including one summer as the head cook.  Interested in music, art, library services, and the card game bridge, she was a member of various Portland civic groups.  She was elected president of the Portland Arts Council in 1980.   

Visitation will be held on Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at Williamson-Spencer and Penrod Funeral Home in Portland. 

Funeral services will be held on Friday at 2 p.m. at Williamson-Spencer and Penrod Funeral Home in Portland.  Burial will follow in Green Park Cemetery in Portland.

Memorial donations may be made to the Felts-Hanlin Scholarship Fund of the Portland Foundation.

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