Virginia Brown Pepper

Virginia Brown "Ginger" Pepper, 73, of Cleveland,  passed away September 18,  peacefully at her home.

A celebration of life service was held September 20 at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Will Wilkerson officiating. Interment was in North Cleveland Cemetery.

Virginia Brown Pepper, known as "Ginger" to her many friends, was born May 10, 1945, in Colorado Springs. She was the only child of Julian Hamilton Brown and Virginia Thomas Brown, both now deceased.

She grew up in Jackson,  and was graduated from Provine High School in 1963. At Provine, she served as co-editor of the "Rambler," the student newspaper and as editor of the "Palladium," a literary periodical. Her biggest scoop as a writer was an interview with Eudora Welty in her home.

In addition, she was selected as a class favorite and a member of the National Honor Society during her senior year. She was a proud "Rams" supporter her entire life.

She continued her education at the University of Mississippi receiving a bachelor’s degree in education in 1967. At Ole Miss, she was a member of the University Dancers, the staff of the Daily Mississippian, and the Panhellenic Council. She was also a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. It was at Ole Miss that she met her future husband, Allen Pepper. On August 24, 1967, they married at Jackson's Alta Woods United Methodist Church, which was organized in her parents' home and of which she was a charter member.

After a year in Oxford,  where her husband completed his law degree, they moved to Cleveland, where they made their home. During this time, Mrs. Pepper furthered her education by receiving a master of arts in education from Delta State University in 1972.

As an educator, she taught in the Cleveland Public Schools and the Presbyterian Day School for a number of years. Always an advocate of early childhood education, she served as chairman of the kindergarten board of the First United Methodist Church and as an organizer of its Mother's Morning Out Program.

In the community, she pursued her interest in children's issues by serving in the Cleveland Junior Auxiliary, of which she was a lifetime member.

Mrs. Pepper was on the Delta State University Foundation board and was the first woman elected as president of the University of Mississippi Bolivar county Chapter of the Alumni Association. She has been president of the Delta Home and Garden Club, the Cleveland Woman's Club, Bolivar County Friends of the Library System and the Kappa Delta Alumni Association.

An active member of First United Methodist Church of Cleveland, she sang in the choir for 50 years and was a member of various service committees of the church. She was especially gratified to have been a member of the renovation committee that oversaw the restoration and transformation of the 1915 sanctuary.

She enjoyed bridge and snow skiing with her family in Colorado. She was a lifelong dog lover. Her last dog, "Bark Twain," lived almost 15 years and was burled in her backyard marked by a tombstone.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Federal District Judge William Allen Pepper Jr., and her parents. Ginger was the proud mother of a son, Will Pepper.

Ginger is survived by her son Dr. William Allen Pepper Ill and his wife, Samantha, of Oxford; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Louanne and George Payne Cossar of Charleston, and their children and grandchildren.

Pallbearers were Dr. Butch Caston, Mike Sanders, Beau Gregory, Mayor Billy Nowell, Dr. Kent Wyatt, Dr. Jim Steen, and Billy Hardin.

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church or a charity of choice.


The University of Mississippi recently released the Fall 2018 Dean’s List. Students must earn a semester GPA of 3.50 to 3.74 to be listed on the Dean’s List.