In Memoriam – Virginia Wheatley Cartner

Virginia Wheatley Cartner, 74, passed away peacefully on June 20, 2022 surrounded by her family after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer.

Virginia Cartner

She was the wife of David W. Cartner, the proud mother of Mara Cartner Morrison asnd David Wheatley Cartner, and loving grandmother of Mary Grace and Eleanor Morrison. 

The only daughter of Mary and Norman Wheatley, Ginny was born and raised in Houston, Texas with her younger brother, Norman, affectionately known as Woody. For three generations the Wheatley family manufactured check valves for oil and gas wells. Although the company was sold in 1981, the Tom Wheatley valve is still considered an industry standard.

Ginny was complex and fascinating. During her early years Ginny spent many Saturdays with her Grandmother Wheatley who taught her extraordinary shopping skills in downtown Houston and sparked in her a love of fashion and all things feminine.  She was a fast study and practiced “Gudgie’s” lessons throughout her lifetime.  As a teenager Ginny loved reading and surfing the South Texas beaches.

A brilliant mind and avid student, Ginny was the salutatorian at Westbury High School and continued her studies at the University of Texas at Austin graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. Returning home to Houston she performed experiments and research on lunar specimens in the lunar laboratory at NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Continuing her studies, she obtained a second Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Houston. Ginny then matriculated to South Texas College of Law where she obtained a Juris Doctorate degree.  While in law school, she met her husband David and they were married in the First Presbyterian Church of Galveston, Texas in 1981.

After the arrival of their second child David, the family moved to Marshall in the piney woods of East Texas. Here Ginny was extensively involved in family and community activities, including her love of teaching as an associate professor in Legal Assistant program at East Texas Baptist University.

The expansion of Cartner Christmas Tree Farm necessitated the family move again; this time to Western North Carolina. For a native Texan to move out of the State of Texas was a heart wrenching experience. However, when their daughter Mara was accepted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the move became more palatable and Ginny chose Asheville as the new family residence.

Ginny grew to love Asheville, the mountains, the tree farm and the people of Western North Carolina.  She served as President of the Asheville Symphony Guild; and chaired the fundraising and publicity committees of Randolph Magnet School, Asheville Middle School, and the Parent-Teacher Organization at Asheville High School. Additionally she served as Secretary of the Asheville Parent-Teacher Council and volunteered as Chairwoman of the Education Committee at the Asheville Junior League. 

Ginny was the director of the Legal Assistant program at Cecil (South) College. After many years of teaching law she decided to practice it.  She and David formed Cartner & Cartner Law Firm P.A. and they practiced together for 20 years in downtown Asheville. She was beloved by her clients, her colleagues and especially the ladies in the Buncombe County Probate office.

Every November David would move to Newland (65 miles north of Asheville) to oversee the wholesale Christmas tree harvest. During his absence Ginny maintained the law office and on the weekends she, along with her son David and mother-in-law Margaret, ran the Christmas Tree Choose & Cut Farm.  After Margaret’s death in 2008 she continued to manage the business until her death.

Professionally, Ginny was a member of the Buncombe County Democratic Club, North Carolina State Bar, Texas State Bar, Buncombe County Bar Association, and the UNC-Chapel Hill Parents Association. She was recognized as “Who’s Who in Law,” “Who’s Who in America,” and “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”

In addition to her numerous educational, community and service accomplishments, Ginny’s favorite role was that of mother and grandmother. Affectionately known as GG, she was adored by her children and granddaughters. The grandmother children dreamed about, GG’s home was a place of joy and celebration. She never missed a holiday, birthday or life celebration and always made those she loved feel special and appreciated. Her incredible crafting skills and creativity brought the magic of childhood to life.

Ginny survived by her husband, David W. Cartner of Asheville; her daughter, Dr. Mara C. Morrison of Atlanta GA; her son, David Wheatley Cartner (Dr. Melany B. Atkins) of Arlington VA; granddaughters Mary G. Morrison and Eleanor E. Morrison of Atlanta GA. Her nieces and nephews include Cole Woodson Wheatley (Renae); Hunter Wheatley; Samuel M. Cartner; Andrew H. Cartner; Margaret M. Cartner; Jim P. Cartner, Jr; Ben C. Cartner and Mary Bruce C. Stallard (Parker). Her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Jim and Jane Cartner and Sam and Agnes Cartner.  She is preceded in death by her parents, her younger brother Norman Woodson Wheatley, nephew Jason E. Wheatley and son-in-law Dr. Thomas J. Morrison, III.  Ginny’s entire family will cherish the loving support and guidance she provided to them throughout her life.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2002 at 2 pm in the Chapel of H.M Patterson & Son, 173 Allen Road, Sandy Springs, Georgia. A graveside service will immediately follow at Arlington Memorial Cemetery, 201 Mount Vernon Highway, NW, Atlanta Georgia. 

An online memorial register is available at H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel