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Virginia Heath Coster, 97, died Sunday, February 24, 2013, at Harbour Pointe Retirement Center in Mukilteo, WA.
Virginia Heath Coster
Mary Virginia "Ginny" was born September 26, 1915 in St. Paul, MN as the only child of Margaret Mary Egan and Arthur Theodore Hausler. As a young girl, she also lived in Jamestown, NY, and Chicago, Il.
Virginia attended convent schools, including St. Margaret's Academy in Minneapolis, MN. In 1932, Virginia moved to North Weymouth, MA, to live with her father, Arthur Theodore, and her stepmother, Velma Collier Ford. She was enrolled in Lasell Junior College in Newton, MA, where she finished her high school years and completed the two year collegiate program, graduating in 1936. She was a leader at Lasell, serving as vice president of the Freshman Class, and treasurer of the Sophomore Class, and was on the May Fete Court throughout her years at Lasell.
It was during her years at Lasell that Ginny met her future husband, Gilbert Lloyd Heath, who was a student at Penn State. Their respective fathers were business associates with Barbour Asphalt Comany. Gil and Ginny were married May, 14, 1938 in Minneapolis, MN after Gil had graduated from Penn State and had joined Scott Paper Company in Chester, PA, where he worked until his death in 1969.
Virginia's often nomadic life in her young years prepared her well to adapt to new environments as a corporate wife whose husband had continual transfers within the Scott Paper Company organization. At various times, they lived in Media, Lansdowne and Wallingford, PA; Glens Falls, NY; Oconto Falls, WI; Shorne, Kent, England; and finally Everett, WA in 1962.
Wherever she lived, Ginny quickly established a home for her husband and children and absorbed herself in community activities. She dove into PTAs, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts on behalf of her children and assumed leadership positions in those organizations. She easily made friends wherever she went and these lifelong friendships were enduring because she was a good and loyal friend who seldom forgot to remember a birthday or other important events in the lives of those she cared about. This connection to friends and family lasted up to her death.
In 1962, Ginny and Gil arrived in Everett, after a few years of living in Shorne, Kent, England, and extensive travel abroad. They continued to indulge their love of travel and she again immersed herself in community activities with her typical enthusiasm. Both also loved to play bridge and golf.
Tragedy struck Ginny with the sudden, unexpected loss of Gil August 2, 1969. Not a day passed during her very long life that she did not miss him. She did, however, remarry June 8, 1972 to William (Nils F.) Coster, another Scott Paper Company executive. He died in May, 1979.
Ginny had boundless energy. She loved to entertain and did a lot of it. She was an accomplished hostess who loved to plan a party. She loved the outdoors and dogs, particularly dachshunds. She became a familiar sight in her neighborhood walking her little dogs, at one time numbering three, every morning. More than once, she adopted the orphaned pets of departed friends.
Ginny also was a skilled seamstress making clothes for her children and grandchildren and then turning that skill toward helping her community as a member of Group XVI of Everett General Hospital. She made more than 100 originally designed Christmas stockings for the hospital's benefit.
She had a life-long thirst for knowledge which led to her joining the Friends of the Mukilteo Library. Her homes were always filled with books, with her preference being non-fiction.
Following Gil's death, she joined Our Savior's Lutheran Church and was a member of the Martha Circle as well as doing other volunteer activities for the church.
Over the years, among the other organizations Ginny was a member of were: Everett Golf and Country Club, Everett Yacht Club, Everett Garden Club, Chapter Q, PEO; and the Attic Fanatics.
Virginia is survived by three children, Mary Susan Stewart of Vancouver, WA, Gilbert Lloyd Heath Jr. of Portland, OR, and Arthur John Heath of Pound Ridge, NY and Stateburg, SC; her son-in-law, William Stewart; and daughter-in-law, Susan Heath. Also surviving are five grandchildren and their families, Marc and Monique Stewart of Coeur d'Alene, ID; Jill Stewart and Nick Currie of Vancouver, WA; Marcelle Heath and Mark Berrettini of Portland, OR; Andrea Heath and John Kim of Corvallis, OR; Jenny and Nicolaas Judson of Pound Ridge, NY; Andrew Heath of Pound Ridge, NY; and Katherine Heath of Charleston, SC. She had five great-grandchildren: Aidan and Joshua Stewart, Chase Currie, Renate Heath and Oskar Kim.
Burial services will be held Friday, March 8, 2013 at Evergreen Cemetery at 10 a.m. followed by a memorial service at Our Savior's Lutheran Church at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Virginia Heath Coster to Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Everett and to the Friends of the Mukilteo Library.
Published in The Herald (Everett) on Mar. 6, 2013