Virginia Ellen Faircloth Hester passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at her home in Monroe, Georgia. She was 76 years old.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 4, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Monroe. Visitation was Tuesday, May 3 at Meadows Funeral Home in Monroe.

A graveside service was held on Thursday, May 5, at Greenwood Cemetery in Cairo, Georgia.

Ellen was born in Cairo on September 4, 1946, to Clara Jean Johnson Faircloth and Earl Faircloth. Ellen graduated from Cairo High School earned her Masters Degree from Mercer University.

Ellen was known for her love of entertaining, both on stage and around her kitchen table. Ellen traveled extensively throughout the region as a motivational speaker. Casting herself in one of her trademark characters, Ellen inspired her audiences to develop a positive mental attitude and to always strive to reach their fullest potential. She also loved to share her wonderful cooking and was a generous hostess. Ellen was a bicycle enthusiast. She completed a bicycle ride across the United States as well as numerous rides across her home state of Georgia. She was an insatiable reader of books, a writer, a calligrapher and a cutthroat Scrabble player. Ellen was a devoted church member and a gifted teacher of the Scripture. Ellen put her whole heart into all she did and her passion for life was contagious. Her bright light will continue to shine in the countless many lives that she touched.

Ellen is survived by her husband, Chuck Leathery of Monroe, Georgia; daughters, Martha Hester Poppell (Gary) and Mary Kathryn Hester Chason (Kevin); grandchildren, Kathryn Prince McElvy (Josh), Kelly Prince Mixon (Tim), Sarah Chason, Phillip Chason, Anna Hester and Alli Hester, one great-grandchild, Lane Mixon, all of Grady County, Georgia; Brother, Harry Faircloth (Laurie) of Juliette, Georgia; sister-in-law JoAnn Henry (Dean) of York Pennsylvania.

Ellen is preceded in death by her parents and her son, Richard Samuel “Sam” Hester.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to:

•Team Up Mentoring

(www.teamupmentoring.org/donate)

•First Baptist Church of Monroe

(fbcmonroe.com)

•St. Jude Hospital

(www.stjude.org/)