Born in London, Ontario, Canada, on December 8, 1934, she passed the morning of Friday, January 18, 2013, at Nazareth House up the hill from Mission San Diego de Alcala with her sons, Edward and Christopher at her side.|
Raised an only child in Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada, by George and Dora Chambers, Virginia was the Valedictorian of her graduating Class in 1952 from Ursuline College Chatham (AKA The Pines, UCC) a Catholic secondary school in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada. She then received her Bachelor of Arts from The University of Western Ontario's Brescia College in 1956 and lived abroad in the late 50s and early 60s for two years in Vienna studying at its famed Music Conservatory and three years in Florence studying the arts and music, where she performed a piano recital for former United States President Harry S. Truman and met and had an audience with Pope Pius XII.
She returned to the United States to receive a Masters of Arts and Masters of Music from Indiana University's renowned School of Music where she met her future husband, Dr. Jaroslav J. S. Mracek, distinguished Professor of Music at SDSU (who predeceased her in April, 1999), whom she married on August 5, 1963, and they moved to new jobs at then San Diego State College in 1965 and raised two sons in the College Area.
Virginia taught Italian at SDSU from the mid/late 60s through early 70s, took a break to be a mother of two growing boys and then went back to teach at SDSU's English as a Second Language program (ESL) in the late 70s through the early 80s and taught numerous students from Japan and The Middle East and finished up her academic career at The San Diego Community College District teaching Humanities / Western Civilization at Grossmont and City College as well as at USMC's MCRD, The U.S. Navy's Sub base at Ballast Point and the 32nd Street Navy Terminal.
In the mid-1990s she became a naturalized American citizen and voted in every election including November 2012.
She converted to Catholicism in 2004 and was a Parishioner at Mission San Diego de Alcala after having been raised an Anglican by her English-Canadian parents. She was a San Diego Opera devotee from year one and with her late husband also supported the San Diego Symphony, then La Jolla Chamber Music Society, San Diego Museum of Art and the Friends of Czech Music. An avid reader of Hollywood biographies, she was a real cinemaphile and twice won the "James Bond" trivia contest at The Ken Cinema. A voracious reader, she also loved CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, JEOPARDY and enjoyed boogie boarding at Torrey Pines State Beach, Gator Beach by the Navy SEALs base and South Carlsbad State Park Beach.
Blessed with an operatic voice, great piano ability, a photographic memory and multiple language skills she touched many a life in the Greater San Diego area and will be dearly missed by her two sons and extended family and relatives in Canada and the East Coast.
A Catholic funeral Mass will be held on Friday, February 1, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. at Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala. A viewing will be held Thursday, January 31, 2013, from 5:30–7:30 pm at Greenwood Memorial Park, 4300 Imperial Ave., San Diego, CA 92113.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made upon her behalf to: Mission Basilica San Diego Alcala, Parish Office, 10818 San Diego Mission Road, San Diego, CA 92108-2429; San Diego Opera, 18th Floor, Civic Center Plaza, 1200 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101-411; or Dr. Jaroslav Mracek Memorial Fund, noted on check: payable to "The Campanile Foundation", Attn: Gift Administration, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-1968.
Published in La Jolla Light on Jan. 24, 2013