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Age 85, of St. Paul, Minnesota and Charlottesville, Virginia passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in her home at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge. Born in Granite Falls, Minnesota, on May 1, 1928, she was the daughter of Stanley Dahleen and Sophie Flaten Dahleen. She attended school in Sacred Heart, Minnesota, and then studied for a year at St. Olaf College before receiving her teacher training through Miss Woods School at Macalester College in St. Paul. She enjoyed teaching kindergarten and first grade in Wisconsin for several years before deciding to join Northwest Orient Airlines as a stewardess. Her airline career gave her the chance to travel, an opportunity she relished all her life. In 1957, she met and married Edward Brooks, Jr. of St. Paul. A handsome Harvard graduate with a wonderful sense of humor, Ted was a great catch but more importantly, proved to be a devoted and loving husband through their 46 years of marriage. While she was pregnant with their first of two daughters, Ginny completed her undergraduate degree at Macalester College, where Ted would eventually become a professor of Classics. Ginny and Ted led a happy life in St. Paul, raising their daughters and engaging fully in the community. Ginny's natural leadership found expression in her many civic involvements. In every organization she joined, she always became a board member and often the chair. She loved her years of service in the Junior League, Planned Parenthood, House of Hope Presbyterian Church, the St. Paul Foundation, Macalester College, St. John's University, and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Ginny excelled at friendship. She nurtured her relationships with various circles of friends, including those from Sacred Heart, Miss Woods, Northwest Airlines, the Junior League and Gull Lake. In addition, she enjoyed many happy hours throughout her life on the tennis court and at the bridge table where her social connections gave her immense pleasure. In the 1970's she became fascinated by genealogy. Along with her beloved sister-in-law, Marney Brooks, she spent several years researching the history of the Brooks family; their work resulted in a beautiful book entitled "Turning the Leaves." In addition, she created several smaller books tracing her Swedish and Norwegian ancestry. The familial connections she so skillfully documented will be treasured for generations among the Brooks, Dahleen and Flaten families. When Ted died in 2004, Ginny moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, to live at Westminster-Canterbury, a short drive from the home of her older daughter. She had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a few years earlier, so in her practical way she decided to move to a place that would provide her with the care she would eventually need. Once there, she met a whole new circle of friends who enriched the last chapter of her life enormously. The family wishes to express its deep gratitude to Dr. Fred Wooten and Dr. Carol Manning at UVA Neurology for their superb care of our mother over the past few years. In addition, we are grateful for the loving support provided by Irma Page, Matilda Foster, Jo Reeder, Shawnee West, Valeria Niehaus, and Fran Brown. And finally, we are forever indebted to Mrs. Susan Thornton, our mother's primary caregiver, companion and friend, whose extraordinary skill and kindness made her final few years as comfortable and happy as possible. She is survived by her two daughters, Katherine Brooks of Charlottesville, Virginia, and Julie Zelle of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition, she leaves behind two sons-in-law, Dr. George Beller and Charles Zelle, four adoring grandchildren, Charlotte and Nicholas Zelle, and Sophie and Anna Gibson, a sister and brother-in-law, Katherine and Dr. Myron Erickson, numerous nephew and nieces, and friends too numerous to count. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 22 at 1:00 p.m. at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, 797 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. A reception at the church will follow. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul Academy and Summit School or to Macalester College. Read Obituary
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