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Virginia Paula Peiris

October 4, 1932 - September 28, 2019

Virginia Paula Peiris was born October 4, 1932, in Virginia, to Lem Stidham and Nora Couch. In High School, Virginia was on the gymnastics team. Her family lived in the coal mining camp where her father worked.

In August of 1971, Virginia met her husband and love of her life – Malalage Tilakasiri Peiris in a restaurant. They have been together ever since. Virginia was always determined to help the world by becoming a psychiatric nurse. Caring for others was Virginia’s calling – she helped anyone who needed it and when her mother needed her, Virginia was by her side every step of the way. Her family fondly recalls her sense of humor, her dedication to her loved ones and especially that she was a kind, caring mother and a wonderful, loving wife.

One of Virginia’s hobbies was bird watching – it was always cause for celebration when the birds in her birdhouse laid their eggs. Virginia was also a devoted dog mom to 3 adorable Pekingese dogs. Her favorite thing to do was go to Pennsylvania with her husband to see shows at the Lion’s Den. Virginia also enjoyed seeing the Amish Country to enjoy their crafts and sweets. On their return trips, Virginia liked to stop to get a host of fresh vegetables and fruits at roadside stands. One of Mr. Peiris’ fondest memories is when he and Virginia went to see some puppies but decided to wait on getting one. They left to go see a movie, but about half-way through the movie, Virginia stood up and declared that she had to go. She left to go adopt the dog she saw earlier. Virginia’s kind and caring nature couldn’t bear to let the puppy sit and wait until after the movie was over.

Virginia has gone to be with her daughter, Sherry Whitt Gurley; parents, Lem Stidham and Nora Couch; and her brothers, Loel and James Stidham.

She is survived by her husband, Malalage Tilakasiri Peiris; son, Steve Whitt (Grace Stakile); her nieces, Lisa Inge, Malalage Nicole Peiris and Therese Lovell; her grandchildren, James Eric Gurley, Shawn Roy Zeb Whitt, and Kathryn Gurley Oakley (Michael); and her great grandchildren, Shawn Lee Whitt, Mikayla Oakley, Alyssa Oakley and Jimmy Oakley; and a host of cousins, family and friends.

The Peiris family would also like to thank neighbors and friends for their kindness during this time.

Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Altmeyer Funeral Home – Riverside Chapel

7415 River Road
Newport News, VA 23607

Close family and friends to attend a visitation in the evening hours.

Service Information

Date: Friday, October 4, 2019

Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Altmeyer Funeral Home – Riverside Chapel

7415 River Road
Newport News, VA 23607

Please join this family in honoring the life of Virginia Paula Peiris.


A repast is to follow the service.

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What our families say...

Altmeyer has handled all of my family for years but when my husband passed away My funeral director Nick was amazing! He really went above and beyond for my and my children. I recommend him for all your funeral needs!!!!


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