The grandchildren always looked forward to “Nanny’s” peanut butter eggs, and her cakes and pies were family favorites.
“It didn’t matter what it was, she cooked for an army,” Sarah said.
Known for going overboard with Christmas gifts for the grandchildren, the family put Ginger on a budget one year and went shopping with her to limit her spending. They arrived at Dave and Shirley’s home to find the living room covered with gifts as in the past, learning that Ginger had sneaked out on her own to do more shopping.
Ginger was always involved in her children’s and grandchildren’s activities. The last high school football game she went to was at Martinsburg High School this fall to see one of her oldest grandsons on senior night.
“She was always with us, no matter what we wanted to do,” Sonya said.
“You could call her about anything, especially with these grandkids,” Sarah said.
Ginger loved visits to family members that lasted overnight or longer. She’d cook and clean for her children, often in the middle of the night, even when they asked her to relax instead.
Edie said an overnight visit from Ginger meant lots of conversation and sharing secrets.
“Even when she was little, you could tell her a secret and she’d never tell,” Edie said.
It was for all these reasons that the family nominated Ginger for WHAG’s Mother of the Year 2012. Thanks to a Facebook campaign by her family, Ginger won the honor.
“She was surprised until she read the teleprompter,” said son Michael Shirley of Hagerstown.
“She started bawling,” Sonya said.
Without explanation, the Easter lily Ginger had planted in the yard of their Big Pool home bloomed out of season on the day she died, Sonya said.
Editor’s note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail runs “A Life Remembered.” Each story in this continuing series takes a look back — through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others — at a member of the community who died recently. Today’s “A Life Remembered” is about Virginia K. Shirley who died Nov. 9 at the age of 57. Her obituary was published in the Nov. 11 edition of The Herald-Mail.