Eleanor’s earthly journey began February 25, 1938, in Gaffney, South Carolina, and ended February 1, 2022, in Louisa, Virginia. She was the daughter of the late J.C. Humphries, Sr., and Edith Harrill Humphries. Eleanor was an RN who trained at South Carolina Baptist Hospital. She subsequently worked at the North Carolina Baptist Hospital (where she was working when she met Charles on a blind date), Virginia Baptist Hospital (where Angie and Donna were born), University of Virginia Hospital, Martha Jefferson Hospital (where she worked more than 20 years and Laura was born), and Mary Washington Hospital. She completed her nursing career as a school nurse in Spotsylvania County Public Schools.
In her 83 years, Eleanor taught her friends and family many things. She had a deep love for cooking and eating food, especially desserts. She found joy in and excelled at sewing and needlework, making clothes, Christmas ornaments and stockings, and even knitting one sweater for Donna. She loved watching birds at the feeders outside her window. She was known for her kindness and sense of humor. She was most happy finding little shapes and faces in seashells on Topsail Island with her grandchildren. She delighted in all children and spent her retirement years tutoring in the local school system. Eleanor was always a force to be reckoned with. She cared for her loved ones and patients fiercely, always putting their needs first. The light and compassion she brought to the nursing profession was unparalleled. It is hard to imagine life without her laughter, silliness, and wit. Even though dementia took much from her, she never lost her love of family.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her devoted husband of 62 years, Charles N. Dempsey, and daughters Angie Dempsey of Richmond, Donna Dempsey of Charlottesville, and Laura Sechler (Jeremy) of Troy, six grandchildren, Tom Brannock of Washington, D.C., Morgan Brannock of Crozet, Becca Brannock of Charlottesville, Andrew Dempsey of Palmyra, Ellie Sechler and Kate Sechler of Troy. Her beloved sister Elaine Dobbins (Donnie) and brother J.C. Humphries, Jr. (Gail), both reside in her hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina. In addition to her parents, she was pre-deceased by three sisters Doris H. Painter, Gwendolyn H. Osment, and JoAnn Humphries, as well as two infant brothers Jerry Humphries and Ronald Humphries.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff of Hospice of the Piedmont for their compassionate care of Eleanor and her family. They give special thanks to two people who started as Eleanor’s caregivers and became like family, Cathi Gibson and Lorraine Lewis.
A celebration of life is planned for May 2022. Details will be provided at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to purchase library books for Livingston Elementary School at 6057 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22551, Hospice of the Piedmont, or the Alzheimer’s Association.