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West Newton, MA 02465
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TAPLIN, Virginia Baldwin Long-Time Newton Resident, Dies at 97, a resident of Newton for nearly three-quarters of a century, died on Tuesday afternoon the fifth of July at the Stone Institute in Newton Upper Falls, where she had been convalescing after a fall. Born in Newtonville, Ginny moved with her family to Wellesley at age four. She attended Wellesley College and in 1939 married John, a recent MIT graduate. Because he was recruited by the government to work on highly sensitive war related projects, the young couple relocated to New Jersey. In 1945, however, they returned and soon bought the house in West Newton that was their home until John's death. From the very first, the hallmark of their life in Newton was Ginny's abiding belief in and commitment to serving the community. United Way of Massachusetts Bay, citing her as one of only twelve individuals, companies and groups recognized in the 1990s as "Champions of Change," wrote, "Virginia Taplin of West Newton is a community champion who, for thirty-five years, has spearheaded neighborhood programs and touched the lives of young and old? She has actively supported many initiatives related to families, children and housing." Among the numerous institutions and groups named in the citation were: Head Start, which she helped pioneer in the 1970s; the NCSC, the first child care center in Newton; an Adult Day Health Center for the elderly; the Council on Aging in Newton. Of Newton Community Service Centers (now called Family Access), where she served on the board and was intimately involved for thirty-eight years, this citation noted, "Last year, Taplin's efforts helped NCSC provide services to more than 9,000 people from 3 months to 98 years of age." Other community organizations to which Ginny was dedicated and in which she volunteered included: the Women's Lunch Program, where she regularly served hot meals; the Boston Public Schools, where she helped in under-served communities; the Newton Public Library, where she shelved books and contributed in many other ways; Newton-Wellesley Hospital, at which she sat on the Board; the First Unitarian Society of Newton, which she and John actively supported for over three decades. As a couple, Ginny and John also identified and supported through philanthropic giving many Boston-area educational and medical programs. She was a member of the Newton Reading Club and an enthusiastic bird watcher. Virginia Taplin was predeceased by her husband of sixty-nine years, John Ferguson Taplin. She is survived by her five children: Marjorie Fletcher of Berkeley, CA, Thomas Taplin of Amesbury, MA, Emily Gibbons of Summerville, SC, Helen Taplin of Newton, MA, and Carl Taplin of Watertown, MA; by six grandchildren: Lucas Houk of Brattleboro, VT, Damon Houk of Gorham, ME, Lisa Murray of Bass Harbor, ME, Rebecca Taplin of Melrose, MA, Kyle Gibbons of Summerville, SC, and Megan Araya of Summerville, SC; and by seven great-grandchildren. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, July 23rd at two P.M. at the First Unitarian Society in West Newton, MA. Memorial donations may be made to Family Access, 492 Waltham Street, West Newton, MA 02465.

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Published in The Boston Globe from July 7 to July 10, 2016
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