Eleanor Virginia Cuthbertson, 95 — loving mother, respected community leader and nationally recognized teacher — died peacefully at her home with family by her side Jan. 10, 2018, at Putnam Farm Assisted Living.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Virginia grew up in Cincinnati with her parents, John Bertram Loos and Eleanor Hartinger Loos, and her two younger sisters, Marjorie Loos (Boling) and Marilyn Loos (Heidenreich). Virginia attended Norwood Public Schools and the University of Cincinnati in1943, followed by Columbia University Teacher’s College in New York, where she received her master’s degree in education.

One of the great highlights of Virginia’s life was receiving the “Most Promising Teacher of the Year” award in 1951 in a nationwide contest sponsored by the “Quiz Kids” radio program. Virginia was nominated by one of her second-grade students, Linda McKinley, who wrote in her nomination letter, “She has helped me to like school and to find out that it can be fun and happy. The best thing we have is Miss Loos and her nice way. I love her and thank her for making me feel at home at school.”

Following a stringent evaluation process, including principal and superintendent recommendations, as well as in-person evaluations of her classroom teaching, Virginia was selected from a pool of 33,000 teachers; she was the first elementary school teacher ever to receive this distinction, which awarded her with an appearance on the “Quiz Kids” show in Chicago and a scholarship that allowed her to pursue graduate study.

Virginia was married to James Walter Oakman in 1955 and gave birth to John C. Oakman in 1956 and Margaret Loos Oakman in 1959. Walter Oakman succumbed to nephritis in 1968 and Virginia was blessed with a remarriage to William H. Cuthbertson in 1969, gaining three more children: Susan C. Cuthbertson, James H. Cuthbertson and Stephen K. Cuthbertson. Bill, an executive in charge of worldwide quality control for NCR, and Ginny raised their family together in Dayton, Ohio.

Bill and Ginny’s life together was filled with community involvements and volunteer commitments in and around the Dayton area. They were active members of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, serving as trustees and on several church boards, and Virginia especially valued her membership in the Garden Club of America, Friday Afternoon Club, Investment Club and Dayton Country Club. Following retirement, Bill and Ginny moved to Rockport, where they enjoyed living along the shores of Penobscot Bay and regularly gathered children and grandchildren for family reunions.

Virginia was a gifted gardener, talented decorator and generous hostess. Her children, grandchildren and many lifelong friends will miss her wise counsel, steady presence, and loving and generous spirit.

Virginia is survived by her children and their spouses: Margaret O. Smith and Scott R. Smith of Wenham, Mass., John C. Oakman and Elizabeth B. Oakman of St. Paul, Minn., James H. Cuthbertson and Katherine B. Cuthbertson of Thomaston and Stephen K. Cuthbertson and Tammy Cuthbertson of St. Paul, Minn. She is also survived by her 11 grandchildren: Abigail B. Cuthbertson, Emily R. Cuthbertson, Shea Cuthbertson, William H. Cuthbertson, Samuel W. Crossan, Eleanor O. Crossan, Sarah M. Crossan, Carter Benjamin Smith, Reed I. A. Smith, Eleanor A. Oakman and Ann E. Oakman.

A service in Virginia’s memory will be held in Dayton, Ohio, at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations in Virginia’s name may be made to Westminister Presbyterian Church, 125 N Wilkinson St, Dayton, OH 45402.