Obituaries » Virginia O'Brien

Virginia O'Brien

November 18, 1932 - September 21, 2020

A family service and a Celebration of Ginger’s Life for friends are being planned for later dates. To make a lasting gift in Ginger’s memory you are invited to contribute to Senior Services of Southwest Michigan, Kalamazoo Animal Rescue or any charity of one’s choice, c/o the funeral home. The family would like to thank New Friends staff and Care Friends for giving Ginger the best care possible during these trying times.

Age 87, passed away after a brief illness on Monday, September 21, 2020. Her special friend of 37 years, Pat Ysais was by her side. Ginger was born on November 18, 1932, to James and Georgia O’Brien in Benton Harbor, MI. Ginger graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1950. Ginger came to Kalamazoo to attend Kalamazoo College from which she graduated in 1954 with a major in physical education. She became a teacher, teaching at South Junior High for 3 years. She next worked as a ticket agent for Lake Central Airlines in Chicago and Indianapolis, before moving into a career as a travel agent. Ginger worked at Ermisch Travel in Kalamazoo, followed by International Travel in Portage, enjoying the perks of international travel for many years before retiring in 1994. In her retirement Ginger volunteered for meals on Wheels for 23 years, delivering meals and companionship in the Kalamazoo community. Ginger loved softball and was a third base coach for Menace in 1984, and Pandora in 1995. Ginger and Pat had Super Bowl parties for 20 years. Ginger was the only one that watched the game – the others just ate. She also loved gardening and spending time with her friends at her cottage on Lake 21 in Delton. Her friends did all the grilling – she hated to cook. Another love Ginger had was her summers spent at Camp Nicolet for Girls, as a counselor from 1954 -1959. For about 20 years, the counselors were together for many reunions at different locations. They jokingly called themselves L.O.O.N.S, aka Ladies Of Old Nicolet. As the LOONS aged they looked for places close to urgent care. Ginger had a beautiful singing voice and could write poetry until dementia took over the last few years of her life. Ginger was preceded in death by her parents and her niece, Anne O’Brien. Ginger is survived by her brother George D. O’Brien of El Paso, TX; nephew, George D. O’Brien Jr. of Fairview, TX; nieces, Mary Ellen O’Brien and Carolyn O’Brien of Tempe, AZ. Ginger is also survived by many friends in Michigan and others in California that she loved dearly and referred to as family. They called her family too.