Virginia “Jenny” Sue Gibson James

Virginia “Jenny” Sue Gibson James

Virginia (“Jenny”) Sue Gibson James, 73, of Salisbury, died peacefully Wednesday May 10, 2017 at her home in Salisbury, NC. She was born August 20th, 1943 in Lumberton, NC to the late Walter Legrand Gibson and Sue Earl Dalton.

Jenny grew up on the large family farm in Red Springs, NC, and graduated from Hoke County High School in 1961. She then attended High Point College where she received her BA in Education in 1965. After college, she taught elementary school in Chase City, VA and Lexington, NC. Then, after teaching 6 years, Jenny adjusted her focus and went to work for the Department of Social Services in Lexington where she worked in the child welfare department. From there, and in conjunction with a move back to farm life in Claudville, VA, Jenny worked an additional 20 years for Northern Hospital of Surry County as a social worker.

Jenny was a gentle soul who made friends easily and without prejudice. She was a devoted and loving wife and mother, and had a special gift for conversation. As a Christian she felt she best showed her faith by how she lived, and found comfort in her favorite verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Stephen (Steve) A. James, and her two brothers Bobby and David Gibson.

Survivors include her sons, Shane Manuel and wife Debbie of Salisbury, NC, and Judd Manuel and wife Amy of Thorne Bay, Alaska; a step-son, Brian James and wife Wendy of Wilmington, NC; a step-daughter, Elizabeth (Beth) Norris and husband Brian of High Point, NC; grandchildren, Josh Hulin and fiancé Allie Ioannides, Ashley Thompson and her husband Michael, Brandon Morris, Benjamin James, Noah James, Callie Norris, and Owen Norris; sister-in-laws, Shirley Gibson (Bobby’s wife),and Melba Gibson (David’s wife).

A Gathering of Friends and Family will be held on Saturday May 13, 2017 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the home of Virginia James.

Those wishing to honor Jenny’s memory are welcomed to make donations in her honor to: Rowan Helping Ministries (226 N. Long Street, Salisbury, NC 28144, (704) 637-6838).

Carolina Cremation of Salisbury and Charlotte is serving the James family. Online condolences may be made to

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  1. Karen Springer says:

    She was such a great lady.Always had a smile.I know she will be deeply missed.Love to Shane,Debbie and family.Blaine and I send our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Amelia Biesecker says:

    Sue and I shared many wonderful years of friendship together beginning as college roommates at High Point College. We shared great times together after I moved to Lexington. We worked together in later years at DSS and then unfortunately after her move to Claudville, Va we lost touch after Steve’s death. I regret us not reconnecting because we shared so many good times together when we were young. Shane and Judd, I have always counted your mom as one of my dearest friends. To you and all your family please know that I have you in my thoughts and prayers. I shall remember her always with great affection as “Little Bit”

  3. Regina Kennedy Barbour says:

    I was so sad to hear about Jenny. I worked with her from about 1998 to 1995 at the hospital and at home care. She was there for the birth of all three of my children. She was so good to me and I am sad to hear about her passing.
    She was a very funny lady to work with and I have funny memories about her. One time, Steve bought her into work on a snow day and we both had clients to visit, so she decided me and her could go visit the clients with me as the driver. I had a broken leg! What a pair we made. I told her that this must look pretty funny to people we were visiting with me as her driver with a broken leg. It was so icy, we skated in to the houses.
    Jenny and I both loved tomato sandwiches. We would meet back at the office in the summer with our fresh tomatoes, potato chips, and bread, and she always insisted on Hellman’s (though she never convinced me). I think about her every time I bite into a sloppy ‘mater sandwich.
    I learned a lot from her too. She was a great social worker. I would listen to her and practice her catch phrases. She was great at calming people who were angry or upset, and I hope I have inherited some of her gift.
    She had a lot of common sense knowledge too. She looked at people’s shoes- that’s how you can tell, she said if they really have the money they say they do. I still do this, though I can’t really tell the difference like she could.
    Jenny’s husband Steve once took us out to eat for supper to celebrate. Our department (consisting of just the two of us at the time) got 100 per cent on a client survey for satisfaction. Since he was in personnel, he said he knew that never happens, so we should celebrate, and we did. He was a good man too.
    She talked all the time about Shane and Judd. She was a proud mama. I just want you both to know that she was a mama to me too, and I will miss her.I will be thinking of you and your family, and this summer when I am eating a tomato sandwich, I’ll make one for her too.