Bernard Lewis McGinnis "Bernie", 91, passed away peacefully at his home, Tall Poplars, in Shipman, Virginia, on Tuesday, April 23. 2019. He lived his life honorably as a dedicated servant to his family, to God and the Episcopal Church, to his beloved Nelson County, to Virginia Tech, and to the Democratic Party of Virginia. Bernard Lewis was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, on August 2, 1927, to Bernard Watson McGinnis and Meriwether Gantt Lewis McGinnis. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 52 years, Kate Cobb McGinnis; a son, Bernard Lewis McGinnis II; a grandson, Thomas Meriwether Schultz; his brother and only sibling, Charles Meriwether McGinnis; and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles, among them Miles and Doris McGinnis who he held as dearly in his heart as he held his parents. He is survived by his daughter, Mary Cobb McGinnis Schultz and her husband, John, and their sons, William Loesch Schultz and Benjamin McGinnis Schultz, all of Winston Salem, North Carolina; a cousin, John McGinnis and his wife, Susan, of Keene, New Hampshire; and a cousin, Robert Lewis Baber of Richmond. Bernie spent his early years in Shipman, Virginia, where he attended the elementary grades at Shipman School. He attended seventh and eighth grades at Lee Junior High School in Roanoke, Virginia, and returned to Shipman where he attended Lovingston High School. Upon graduation, Bernard Lewis enlisted and served in the United States Navy. After fulfilling his service in the Navy, he attended Virginia Tech where he proudly served in the Corps of Cadets. Bernie fondly remembered and often talked about his years at Virginia Tech where he developed many close friendships which continued throughout his life. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Mr. McGinnis was employed by the Esso Company in Richmond, Virginia, where he began his long, successful career as a salesman and businessman. He went on to work for Wilson Sporting Goods Company for ten years before forming the Bernie McGinnis Company, a wholesale sporting goods company based in Shipman in 1958. Bernie developed a loyal customer base of retailers and schools throughout the Southeast. He served as President of the Sporting Goods Agents Association from 1993 to 1994. Bernie married Kate Lee Cobb, formerly of Four Square in Smithfield, Virginia on June 25, 1966. Soon after, Bernie and Kate built their home, Tall Poplars, overlooking the village of Shipman, the site of Bernie's childhood home. They lived happily together at Tall Poplars for 52 years until Kate's untimely death in June, 2018. Bernie and Kate lived their lives with dedication and commitment to service and good work within their community. Bernie served on the Board of Visitors at Virginia Tech from 1984 to 1988 and was a dedicated supporter of its academic programs and athletic teams. He chaired the Nelson County Democratic Committee for many years and was proud of the numerous Democratic Party election victories won within Nelson County during the time of his leadership. He attended the National Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968 as a Virginia delegate. In 2007, Bernie was honored by the Nelson County Democratic Party and by the Democratic Party of Virginia for his 50 plus years of service to the Democratic Party. In 1987, Bernie was honored by the Nelson County Chamber of Commerce as "Mr. Nelson County" for his years of dedication and service to Nelson County. Bernie and Kate gave much time and energy to the Nelson County Historical Society. Bernie served as President, as Vice President, and was a member of the Society Board which established Oakland Museum as the Society's permanent home. Bernie was a valued and respected member of his and Kate's beloved Trinity Episcopal Church in Arrington, Virginia where he served many times on the Vestry and various other Church committees. Funeral and burial services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, Arrington, Virginia, at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019. Following the service, family and friends are invited to a reception at Tall Poplars in Shipman. The family would like to thank the Hospice of the Piedmont in Charlottesville, especially Angie and the other members of Mr. McGinnis's care team for their valuable assistance during this difficult time. The family would especially like to give heartfelt thanks to Mr. McGinnis's caretakers, Candace, Lucy, Susan, Samantha, Jesse, Kayla, and Charnelle for the loving care that they provided for him each day. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 475 Oak Ridge Road, Arrington, VA 22922, or to the Nelson County Historical Society, 5365 Thomas Nelson Highway, Arrington, VA 22922. Arrangements by Wells/Sheffield Funeral Chapel, Lovingston (434) 263-4097.

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