Virginia Coonelly

Virginia Ann “Ginger” Thompson Coonelly

B. April 14, 1946 Chicago, Illinois

D. April 18, 2015 Sequim, Washington

Ginger’s father, John E. Thompson, a U.S. Army Air Corps pilot was missing ?in action in 1952 during the Korean Conflict. Her mother, Jean M. Hicks was a student nurse.

Like most military families the Thompson’s mov?ed frequently. In 1952 she and her brother, Richard and her Mom moved to Florida where her Mom met and eventually married George D. Hicks, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Her younger brother, Michael ?was born in 1954.

As a young girl Ginger continued her world travels crossing the Pacific Ocean by ship to live in Japan with her family, crossing the Atlantic Ocean twice by ship for European assignments and back to the United States to Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

As a young woman she was active in the Girl Scouts and Youth Association and volunteered as a “Candy Striper” at the Base hospitals where her family was stationed.

She attended High School in Clarksville, Kentucky and graduated from Frankfurt American High School in 1964 after which she enrolled at the University of Maryland, Munich campus.

In 1965 Ginger met and married Captain Thomas F. Coonelly Jr. after a whirlwind courtship lasting 3 1/2 months!

In early 1966 CPT Coonelly was deployed to Vietnam and Ginger went to live with her new in-laws in New Jersey. During that time their first son, Thomas III was born.

The family lived in Virginia for several years and was then transferred to Seoul, Korea as part of the U.S. Military Mission. It was there that their second son, Michael and their daughter Kimberly Ann were born.

Ginger managed a large International Gift Shop during that tour.

Sadly Kimberly Ann died accidentally in Korea.

After several additional moves the family settled in Cheney, Washington where Ginger continued her studies at Eastern Washington University, earning a Bachelors Degree with honors and a Masters Degree in History.

Upon graduation she was honored by the History Department for her original research in Western History.

Ginger taught undergraduate History classes at EWU and worked with students in the foreign students program.

After their retirement from the U.S. Army the family remained in Cheney for several years where Ginger completed Hospice Training.

They then moved to Kennewick where she trained for and was certified as a Washington State Master Gardener. They finally settled in Sequim, WA.

Ginger loved gardening and plants of all kinds. She loved to experiment with different plants and flowers and her gardens were always colorful and unique.

A voracious reader she ‘consumed’ books favoring histories as well as mysteries.

She was a wonderful cook famous for her meatloaf and fried chicken but her first love in the kitchen was baking and her Christmas cookies were unsurpassed.

She loved ‘antiquing’ and amassed an enviable collection of pottery and ceramic deer.

Ginger loved the ocean and led her family on a years long odyssey to beach comb the Pacific Coast from the northern tip of Washington to the California / Oregon border.

A gifted artist she perfected a new technique to paint and decorate miniature houses. These and her needlework are a tribute to her artistic talent.

Although plagued by a debilitating disease from an early age she never lost her energy, her sense of humor and her loving spirit. Ginger was a devoted wife and mother and a true friend.

She is survived by her mother, Mrs. George D. Hicks; her husband of 49 1/2 years Tom; her two sons Tommy and Michael; her daughter in law Diana; two beautiful grandchildren, Aidan and Noelle; and many, many close family members and friends.

A memorial Service will be held to celebrate her life in June.