Virginia Daniels – A Memorable Life
Virginia Daniels left behind many treasured memories for her loving family and countless friends during her passing.
Daniels lost his starting spot to Kedon Slovis this past season and entered the transfer portal, looking to make an impressionful impactful statement at Rice as it prepares to join the American Athletic Conference (AAC).
Early Life and Education
Slow Fuse of the Possible: A Memoir of Poetry and Psychoanalysis by Daniels provides insight into her own struggle with depression. Drawing upon her experience with psychoanalytic treatment during which she filled notebooks with transcriptions and reflections.
The book comes out just as tensions across the nation increase. One school in Keene, N.H. will reopen as a preschool, featuring one archway dedicated to Daniels as well as a memorial courtyard.
Daniels helped establish Vanderbilt’s MFA program and served as an invaluable mentor for its students. She went the extra mile by providing them with funds to attend Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference; Daniels leaves behind both a son and granddaughter in her wake.
She currently works as a personal trainer and sports performance trainer specialist, servicing professional footballers, college All-Americans and high school athletes as clients. In addition, she has provided services for professional soccer players and PGA golfers.
Daniels specializes in providing personal training services to athletes, working with NFL star Eddie Royal and former Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon among many others. She boasts 15+ years of experience and holds several certifications including Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist status.
Tiana Clark, MFA ’12, recalls how Daniels would go above and beyond to provide opportunities for her students to broaden their horizons outside the classroom. Daniels helped establish Vanderbilt’s highly esteemed MFA creative writing program.
Achievement and Honors
SGM Daniels is a distinguished veteran who earned numerous medals of distinction during her service: Legion of Merit (2nd OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (6th OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3rd OLC), Army Achievement Medal (8th OLC) and Good Conduct Medal (10th award). Additionally, she completed Engineer Officer Basic and Military Intelligence Officer Basic/Advanced courses.
In 2019, she made history as the first African-American female graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Pit Crew program to serve on a pit crew during the DAYTONA 500 race. Since then, she has become an invaluable coach and mentor for budding NASCAR pit crew members.
Larry Thorpe, whom she raised alongside Oza Mae Jenkins; two dedicated close friends named Nannie Thorpe and Uwanda Broadway; as well as many cherished family and friends are left to mourn her passing.
Virginia Daniels was an outstanding mother, grandmother and friend. As a member of Ledge Rock Missionary Baptist Church and as an expert teacher and usher of Sunday school classes for children at all age levels. Virginia also was known for her sewing abilities and excellent culinary expertise – she was affectionately known by her grandchildren as Memaw (Grandmother).
She has also made a name for herself as an author, publishing a memoir that examines the inner lives of both herself and others. Her latest work, Slow Fuse of the Possible, draws from her experience of psychoanalytic treatment.
Daniels is survived by her devoted son/nephew Larry D. Thorpe as well as many cherished family members including Otis Landis and his wife Sue; Oza Mae Jenkins (sister-in-law); dear friend Lousie Lyons; as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Shephard boasts an impressive resume, including a bachelor of mechanical engineering with a concentration in motor sports, as well as extensive late model stock car racing experience. He currently serves as race engineer for Hendrick Motorsports where he supports champion driver Jimmie Johnson on his No. 48 Chevrolet.
Shephard hails from Smithfield, Virginia where he spent much of his youth playing baseball and tinkering with stock cars in his family garage. This love for motorsports eventually led him into professional stock car racing with RAB Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing before working as a freelance race commentator and analyst for Fox News Channel.