Obituaries » Virginia 'Ginny' A. O'Neill
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September 3, 1931 - November 21, 2019
Virginia (Ginny) O’Neill, 88, passed away on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at ProMedica Ebeid Hospice peacefully surrounded by her family. Ginny was born in Erie, MI, September 3, 1931. She lived in the “Ravary neighborhood” in Erie her entire life surrounded by all of her siblings and their families. Ginny met the love of her life, Jim O’Neill, in 1952 at his cousin’s wedding while he was on leave from the Korean War and they married in 1953. She was married to her soulmate until his death in 2008. Jim loved to spoil her and never said no to her requests. They built a beautiful and loving family together in the neighborhood in which Ginny grew up.
Ginny graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in 1949. She worked for Toledo Scales following graduation until she and Jim started their family. She subsequently returned to work at Mason Elementary School from 1974 until 1991. She was a dedicated Catholic (but preferred Mary to God) and a member of St. Joseph Catholic parish in Erie her entire life. She was also quite the athlete, a fact that’s unknown to many. She played softball for both St. Mary’s Academy and the Toledo Scales, known affectionately as a Pepper pot – “a player who possesses great speed and quickness as well as the ability to mix it up at times with a bodycheck or rough play.” She even coached her daughter, Debbie’s team! A family tradition for years was playing softball on Mother’s Day.
Ginny was a remarkable cook who loved to entertain everyone who entered her home. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were the luckiest recipients of her fabulous meals with some of her known specialties chicken and sliders, Christmas cookies with anise, stuffing, and her cherished molasses cookies; recipes that are coveted by the family. She always hosted birthday dinners that included your preferred meal and your special cake, pie or bread – lasagna for Crystal, noodles for Devin, German Chocolate Cake for Debbie, and the list continues. Everyone loved her Ginny Noodles and the grand and great grandkids could finish off a crockpot full with ease. You never left the house without candy (often peanut M&Ms) or a stick of gum from the goodie cupboard, a treat bag, and cake if you were lucky. Chocolate peanut butter ice cream was her favorite, but the freezer was always full of the newest brands and flavors. Chocolate became her love late in life, but she always enjoyed her wine. A conversation with a stranger was just a wine glass away.
Not only the consummate cook, Ginny was a tremendous gardener. Her family enjoyed her proud tomatoes and cucumbers from the sprawling Ravary garden that was shared by her entire extended family. From summer through fall, you never left the house without fresh vegetables!
In addition to her passions for cooking and gardening, Ginny loved a good garage sale and finding hidden gems. She also enjoyed shopping for her favorite bargains at the Dollar Tree, Meijer’s, Elder Beermans, and Menards. She traveled because Jim enjoyed traveling. In retirement and before Jim passed, they had a very active social life that included Navy reunions, Shriner dances, and spending time with dear friends, such as the Nort’s, Perry’s, McGaffey’s, and Burgeise’s.
Life was always better looking through Ginny Goggles. Ginny had an unbelievably optimistic view of life. She ALWAYS had a smile on her face, and her
favorite activity was clearly celebrating family gatherings. Christmas Eve in the basement was a particularly cherished and huge event. She was always the last to open her gifts because she said it was a joy to watch others, but we secretly knew she loved all eyes on her after the chaos had ceased. Ginny was the beloved and cherished matriarch for the past eleven years. Her playful spirit will be deeply missed by her family.
Ginny is survived by her three children, daughter Debbie, son Kenny (Bethan), son Denny (Renee), daughter-in-law, Michelle O’Neill, eight grandchildren, Amy Kincaid (Erin), Mandy Irwin (Phil), Brittany Stucker (Mike), Lindsay Stiles (Joe), Devin O’Neill (Sarah), Erin O’Neill, Casey O’Neill (Jim), Crystal O’Neill, great grandchildren, Ava, Aiden, Addison, Beckett, Simon, Allie, Grayson, Maddox, Harper, Mykayla, and Pamela. She is also survived by brother Bud Ravary and sister Theresa Miller. She is preceded in death by her husband Jim, son David, and sister Lori Beutler.
In celebration of Ginny’s life, there will be visitation from 3-8 pm, Saturday, November 23, 2019, at the Michael W. Pawlak Funeral Home, 1640 Smith Rd. (at Jackman) Temperance, MI, where the rosary will be prayed Saturday at 7:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, November 25, 2019, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 2214 Manhattan Street, Erie, MI. THERE WILL BE NO VISITATION ON SUNDAY. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. The family of Ginny would like to thank Ebeid Hospice Residence for their excellent and compassionate care during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Erie Library or St. Joseph School Scholarship Fund.