Virginia Shehee

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Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee
Louisiana State Senator from District 38 (Caddo and DeSoto parishes)
In office
1976–1980
Preceded by Cecil K. Carter, Jr.
Succeeded by Richard G. Neeson
Personal details
Born (1923-07-12) July 12, 1923 (age 91)
Houston, Texas, USA
Political party Democratic Party / later Republican
Spouse(s) (1) John Guy

(2) William Peyton Shehee, Jr. (died 2004)

Children From first marriage:

Ann Shane Shehee
Andrew Michael Shehee
Nell Elizabeth Shehee Kramer
From second marriage:
Margaret Scott Shehee Cole

Residence Shreveport
Caddo Parish
Louisiana
Alma mater Stephens College

Centenary College of Louisiana

Occupation Insurance and funeral home businesswoman
Religion United Methodist

Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee (born July 12, 1923[1]) is a civic leader in Shreveport, Louisiana, who served from 1976 to 1980 as the state senator from District 38 in Caddo and DeSoto parishes. Shehee won her seat in the 1975 general election by twenty-three votes over incumbent fellow Democrat, the late Cecil K. Carter, Jr.[2][3] She was defeated in 1979 by Democrat, Richard G. Neeson, who retained the seat until 1992.

Sheehee is the first woman elected to the Louisiana Senate without succeeding a husband. In May 1936, Doris Lindsey Holland Rhodes of Greensburg in St. Helena Parish in southeastern Louisiana, was appointed to the state Senate upon the death of her husband, Thomas Myers Holland. Thereafter, Doris Holland then won a special election for the seat. In 1940, she switched to the Louisiana House of Representatives and remained in that position until 1948.[4]

In 2014, Shehee is listed by the Louisiana secretary of state's office in Baton Rouge as a registered Republican.[5]

Business success[edit]

Kilpatrick Life Insurance Co. building on Marshall Street in Shreveport

Upon the death of her mother, Nellie Peters (1901–1971), Shehee became president and CEO of Kilpatrick Life Insurance Company and the family-owned Rose-Neath Funeral Homes, founded in 1936 by her father, Lonnie Benjamin Kilpatrick, a personal friend of Governor Jimmie Davis, who often visited in the Kirkpatrick home and took a special interest in Virginia. In later years, Shehee was heavily involved in the Davis birthday celebrations, which culminated with the last one in 2000, when he turned 101.[4]

Shehee was a partner with the pediatricians, Dr. Thomas E. Strain, Sr., and his son, Dr. Jimmy Strain, a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1968 to 1972, in the development of the Fountain Towers on Fairfield Avenue in Shreveport.[6]

Shehee is chair-emeritus of the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, which was renamed in her honor in 1996.[7] She was a member of the American Council of Life Insurance and chair of the Louisiana Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association.[8]

"First Woman" designations[edit]

Service and philanthropy[edit]

Shee served on the Louisiana Committee of 100 (for economic development), Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal, and the Louisiana Board of Regents Foundation. She graduated from C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport and attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and the United Methodist]-affiliated Centenary College in Shreveport, of which she has served as a trustee.[9] She is a former chair of the orchestra board of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and worked to restore the historic Strand Theatre and other downtown renewal projects.[9]

Family[edit]

Shehee Stadium at Centenary College in Shreveport is named for William Peyton Shehee, Jr.

From her first marriage to John Guy, she had three children: Ann Shane Shehee, Andrew Michael Shehee, and Nell Elizabeth Shehee Kramer. She is the widow of William Peyton Shehee, Jr. (1919–2004), with whom she had a daughter, Margaret Scott Shehee Cole.[11]

Shehee's sister, Ann Kilpatrick Peters (1937–2011) was co-owner and a director of both Kilpatrick Life Insurance Company and Rose-Neath Funeral Homes.

Shehee's self-published biography, Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee: First Lady of Shreveport was released in 2010 through Sarah Hudson-Pierce's Ritz Publications.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shehee, Virginia kilpatrick. "United States Public Records, 1970-2009". familysearch. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". lapoliticalmuseum.com. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2008". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "James Ronald Skains, Political Hall of Fame induction in Winnfield will honor eight, January 2004". The Piney Woods. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Plug in Virginia Shehee, July 1923". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Dr. Thomas Everett Strain, Sr.". findagrave.com. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana". biomed.org. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee". people.forbes.com. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee". sos.louisiana.gov. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  10. ^ ""Louisiana Center for Women and Government" – Past Inductees". Nicholls.edu. Retrieved September 6, 2009. 
  11. ^ Obituary of Ann Kilpatrick Peters, Shreveport Times, December 5, 2011
  12. ^ Sarah Hudson-Pierce, Ritz Publications of Shreveport: Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee: First Lady of Shreveport, 2010, 200p., ISBN 1-886032-10-6
Political offices
Preceded by
Cecil K. Carter, Jr.
Louisiana State Senator from District 38 (Caddo and DeSoto parishes)

Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee
1976–1980

Succeeded by
Richard G. Neeson