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Virginia Yarborough: 'Extremely generous and humble'


“Virginia Yarborough was, like her mother, extremely generous and very humble. She had a great sense of humor, and she made people around her feel so welcome,” says Mary Holmes, executive director of Cumberland Community Foundation. “She was an old-school philanthropist who didn’t want credit for what she was doing. She supported so many causes and helped so many people who will never even know. She was lovely. Very lovely .”Virginia Lilly Yarborough, who died Dec. 5 at age 86, upheld her family’s legacy of journalistic trailblazing. Her father, Richard M. Lilly, was former president of the Fayetteville Publishing Company, parent company of The Fayetteville Observer. Her mother, Ashton W. Lilly, was former chairman of the company’s board, and Mrs. Yarborough served on the board of directors. She also was involved in a variety of other community causes. Her husband Ramon was the longtime publisher at Fayetteville Publishing Company. “We had 60 happy years together,” Ramon Yarborough said.