Virginia L. Moore, 61, passed away on Derby Day, Saturday, May 6, 2023, after an extended stay in the hospital for heart surgery and complications with her lungs and kidneys. Virginia was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 16, 1962, and was raised in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She was born to the late Embry Richard Moore and Anna Virginia (Dillion) Moore. In addition to her parents, Virginia was preceded in death by her eldest sister, Patricia Ann Ellis, and numerous pets whom she loved and adored.
Virginia is survived by “her person” as she called her loving spouse, Rowena “Row” Holloway, and her remaining siblings, Richard “Dick” (Doreen) Moore, Linda (Mike) Bisig, and Karen (Mike) Henry. She is also survived by 20 nieces and nephews and 12 great nieces and nephews. Virginia leaves behind her beloved “adopted” sisters, Vicki (Lonnie Cooper) Carmichael, Jill (Tom) Phillips, and Lori (Rondle Shields) Carmichael-Shields, her “adopted” brother, Randy (Alana) Carmichael, and her “adopted” mother, Shirley Carmichael, many beloved friends, and her very special sisters/friends in Willisburg, Kentucky. Her dogs, Teddy Bear and Georgia, also mourn her passing as well as many other dogs who loved her over her lifetime.
Born into a primarily deaf family, her work ethic and values were shaped by the community’s culture, and American Sign Language became her first language. Virginia attended Michigan State University, but after the death of her father graduated from Indiana University Southeast with a BA. She holds the highest level of interpreter certification from the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), as well as the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) National Interpreter Certification, and served as Governor Beshear’s interpreter, working side by side with him during the pandemic, which heightened her popularity with the public locally, nationally, and internationally.
Virginia has received numerous awards, including Communicator of the Year, the Virginia Moore Access Award from First Lady Brittney Beshear, Jeffersonville High School Alumni of the Year, 2022 Pegasus Parade grand marshal, and she was named a Kentucky Colonel, the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky. She had not one, but two, Bobbleheads produced in her honor, as well as her own ice cream “Virginia S’Mores,” t-shirts, beer and wine, and bumper stickers.
As a professional interpreter, she provided services for the USA Deaf Sports Federation, the United States Deaflympic Committee, the Kellogg Foundation, and she enjoyed doing theatrical interpreting all over the state. She interpreted for Prince Charles, now King, during a visit to Louisville. Her career also provided her with many opportunities for travel, all over the United States and abroad, which she spoke of often, endearing her in the hearts of thousands of people.
Virginia has served the deaf and hard of hearing community since 1995 at the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) in Frankfort and held many roles during her 28-year tenure. As the current Executive Director, she was instrumental in getting legislation passed to improve the lives of the 750,000 deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and speech impaired citizens of the Commonwealth by providing specialized telecommunications equipment and expanding programs, such as the Access Center, to coordinate interpreter and CART services for all state agencies. DeaFestival-KY was a favorite program of hers, allowing her to give talented young and old deaf and hard of hearing performers and visual artists a space to demonstrate their skills while developing a lifelong career, many of whom are now famous. Her passion also included the education of all deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind children by providing language acquisition from the beginning of life, so they may participate in school equally with their peers. All KCDHH programs will continue to be carried out by her loyal and dedicated staff, colleagues, and the exceptional board of Commissioners, who are all mourning the loss of their leader, mentor, coworker, and friend.
Virginia will be missed by many who knew and loved her and by thousands who fell in love with her during the pandemic. Somehow, “We will get through this (losing her), we will get through this together.” Fly high dear Virginia. We will continue our Leadership in LOVE in your honor and memory.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, June 11, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM in View Pointe Hall on the top level of the Muhammad Ali Center located at 144 North Sixth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to:
KSD Jacob’s Hall Museum
Kentucky School for the Deaf
303 South Second Street
Danville, KY 40422
Knowledge Center on Deafness
P.O. Box 618
Frankfort, KY 40602
Memories of Virginia, and messages of support for the family may be shared at:
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