Photography

Virgil Dennis Pack

March 4, 1931 ~ September 25, 2022 (age 91)

Obituary

Virgil Dennis Pack, 91, of Beckley, WV, gained his wings on Sunday, September 25 after a short illness. He is preceded in death by his Grandson, Daniel James Franklin Pack, and his Mother, Alvia and Father James, 7 brothers, Aubrey, James, Elmer, Melvin, Donald, Fred and Baby Boy Pack and 1 sister, Anne McGlohon Murdock.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and a great-great grandfather. He last worked for the National Mine Health and Safety Academy as a shipping clerk. He drove for several meat packing services, Peerless Packing and Buzz Foods, but his last job was by far the one he wished he would have had all his life. He loved the people he worked with there and loved what he was doing!
Virgil is survived by his loving wife of 72 years, Margaret Ann Daniel Pack, five children, Danny Pack and wife, Joan, Diana Bennett and husband Wayne, Donna Reed and husband Greg, Drema Davis and husband Mike, Dorenna Robinson and husband, Chris. Grandchildren: Deborah ( Ronnie) Hage, Nicole(Daniel) Pack, John (Rhonda) Bennett, Jeremy(Christina)Bennett, Amanda Robinson Smith, Russel Robinson,II; Dustin(Brittany Macintyre) Robinson and Seth Robinson. Great Grandchildren, Ashleigh Pack, Danny Pack, Rebecca Vaughn, Rachael McDonald( Alec), Grace Ayres, Gabriella Hage, RJ Hage; Chase and Ian Bennett; Jesse, Kassi, and Kayleigh Bennett, Juniper Stuart, Lynzie and Lillie Robinson Ewing, Sadie, Lochlan and Cyrus Robinson; Great-Great Grandchildren: Declan Vaughn, Addison, William and Emmaleigh McDonald.
In addition to his family he is survived by his sister whom he loved dearly, Mary Orren, special friends, Rev. F D Sexton, Tommy Cooper, Tom Voloski, Jerry Taylor, Dave Adkins, Cassie Corbin and Billie Payne and a host of nieces and nephews.
He loved playing music having been in several bands throughout his long life, entering car shows and parades with his Classic 1963 Volkswagen, spending time with family and friends and mowing his grass and helping many neighbors mow theirs. He loved a good story, especially his own which he would share with anyone who would listen. He will be missed beyond measure.
He was a member of the Beckley Church of God and was part of their music department for many years. There will be a committal service on Friday, September 30th, at 1:00 pm at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens with Rev FD Sexton conducting the service. The family will be receiving friends from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Those wishing to attend the committal services are asked to be at the mortuary by 12:30 pm.



I never knew what a gig was until I met my future father-in-law, Virgil Dennis Pack, over 50 years ago. A gig was a slang term for a musical job and it was a word I would become very familiar with thanks to him. He started playing the guitar after watching and listening to Ricky Nelson back in the 1950s. Most of us Old-Timers will remember Nelson as part of the Ozzie and Harriet Show that appeared on the old black and white TVs on a weekly basis.
Dennis went out and bought his first guitar for $17.50 and when questioned by his wife, Margaret, he stated, “I'm going to learn to play it.” That he did. He was self-taught and would often sit in with a couple of relatives and friends who got together regularly on Sunday afternoon.
He started playing a few gigs with this group and was eventually pursued by another band to play the bass guitar. The bass guitar became his love. His large hands (inherited from his dad)made it easy for him to excel at playing this four stringed instrument.
As time went by he formed his own groups playing a little Rock and Roll and a little Country. Funny thing, one band was called The Cool Breeze and another was Jade East, named after shaving lotions. I guess Old Spice never made the cut.
During his years entertaining, he also encouraged his kids to play music. Lessons and instruments sometimes stretched the family budget but he supported them 100%. All five of his children played music and got really good at it.
Dennis was never shy around attention. He liked it! Besides his music, he entered his Classic 1963 Volkswagen in every car show, car cruise and parade around the area. He also loved to joke, laugh and tell funny stories to anybody who would listen. He was definitely a people person. As years went by he played with groups like The Swinging Orbitz and Darnell Miller's Virginia All Stars. He also was a regular musician at church with his daughters, Dorenna, Diana and son-in-law, Chris.
As a classic country music fan, I could talk with him for hours about the big Stars from years before or the local guys who had passed through. He would always say in praise, “Wayne knows everybody.” We definitely had a connection.
As time progressed it seemed like he got a second wind. At age 91, he and his good friends, David and Jerry, formed the new band, The Southern Three” and started taking on new gigs. I can imagine a club owner's surprise when a 91 year old guy handed you a card and asked to play music at your establishment. However, the band was good and the gigs started coming in. Even when his strength and hearing were failing and his hands crippled from gout, he still wanted to play music.
He really loved it when singing artist and friend, Billy Payne, would sit in with the group for a few songs.
Sadly, time caught up with Dennis. Before he died, he told me he loved me and I told him I loved him. That was enough. Fortunately, he lived long enough to witness and receive the amazing love from his entire family and multitude of friends.
As I wrote this, I couldn’t help but think he has crossed Heaven's Gates, met up with some old friends and family and has busied himself with forming a new band. Maybe, just maybe, he will be opening up or playing with his hero- Ricky Nelson. Whatever the case, I'm sure he is well, happily and carefully planning for his next gig.
His Proud Son-in-law, A. Wayne Bennett





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