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Virginia Irwin

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Virginia Irwin Obituary
Virginia B. Irwin

1919-2013 BENNINGTON Virginia B. Irwin passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at the age of 93, surrounded by her loving family.

Born in Orange, New Jersey on November 2, 1919, she was the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Harry L. and Bertha Watson Bowlby. Ginny was a resident of Bennington for 23 years, living in her home on Pine Circle until 2007, and for the last 6 years residing at Emeritus (the Village) at Fillmore Pond. She grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, graduated with a B.A. from Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 1941, and married Merle Scott Irwin, a Chaplain in the U.S. Navy on June 21, 1944. Her life as a homemaker and minister's wife was complete, beginning in Westfield, New Jersey, and moving to Poughkeepsie, New York, where Merle had a senior pastorate from 1952-1966 at the First Presbyterian Church where they raised their family. In 1966 they moved to Bloomfield, New Jersey, where he became the pastor of the Bloomfield Presbyterian Church on the Green, the only U.S. protestant church resulting from the merger of four individual parishes. After retiring back to Poughkeepsie in 1982, they moved to Bennington in 1990 to be near their daughter. Merle died in November, 1991.

Ginny soon became very involved in her new community, joining the Second Congregational Church where she served on the Board of Deacons, rang in the Hand Bell choir with granddaughter Jennifer, and was active in the Women's Fellowship of the church. She was a board member of Church Women United for several years and enjoyed volunteering for RSVP, as well as serving as a Red Cross Volunteer ("Gray Lady") at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, earning her 15-year pin in 2006. Ginny became a charter member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, Chapter I, in Manchester, Vermont in 1995, and was loved by all who came in contact with her. She was a loving mother and grandmother, who took great pride in the accomplishments of her entire family. She thoroughly enjoyed following national tennis tournaments on TV, but especially loved watching Merle play and umpire in major tournaments in the Northeast, as well as watching her son, David, and Merle win many father-son doubles tournaments, which resulted in national rankings. Ginny also enjoyed playing bridge with friends, taking long walks at the Vermont Veterans Home, and cherished time spent with her family and four grandchildren. Her life at Fillmore Pond was enriched by so many who cared for her and who truly made a difference in the quality of her life. The many special nurses, aides, wait staff, and administration will always be remembered by Ginny's family for their kindness and love. The family also deeply acknowledges the nurses and volunteers from Hospice, who also made a tremendous impact on Ginny's comfort in her last days.

Ginny is survived by her daughter, Barbara "Bonnie" I. Holden, of Williamstown, Massachusetts and her partner, Thomas G. Elder, her son, David D. Irwin and daughter-in-law, Shirley-Ann Irwin, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and four grandchildren: grandson Scott Irwin Holden and his wife Meagan Lansdale Holden of San Francisco, California; granddaughter Jennifer Lee Holden, of Charlestown, Massachusetts; grandson Sean David Irwin of Stratford, Connecticut; and grandson Kyle Douglas Irwin of Stratford, Connecticut. She was pre-deceased by a daughter, Cynthia Jane Irwin, who died on September 27, 1957, at age 3, and her beloved husband, Merle, who died on November 8, 1991 at age 74.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at the Second Congregational Church on Hillside Street in Bennington, Vermont at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Mary Lee-Clark officiating. Should friends desire, memorial gifts may be made to the Second Congregational Church c/o Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Homes, P.O. Box 957 Bennington, Vermont 05201. To send the family personal email condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

Graveside services will be at the convenience of the family at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, Poughkeepsie, New York.

The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Hanson-Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home 213 West Main Street Bennington, Vermont.



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Published in Bennington Banner on July 25, 2013
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