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Virginia GARCIA

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Virginia GARCIA Obituary

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GARCIA, Virginia May, 94, died on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Virginia was born in Dayton, Ohio April 28, 1919, the only child of Beatrice Jeremiah (Johns) and Austin Talmadge Jeremiah. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1937 and Otterbein College in 1941. Virginia taught school in Dayton, in New Jersey, and at Walter Shade and Harry Russell Elementary Schools in West Carrollton. All her life Virginia stood up for basic principles: devotion to family, education and reading, civil rights, love of nature and kindness to animals, and enjoyment of the performing arts. A woman ahead of her time, Virginia was banished from her church because she invited a local black gospel group to perform for her church youth group. She shocked her family by first marrying a Jew, and then a Mexican. During the War years, she almost lost a job with the Wisconsin Power and Light when she suggested office workers should join the lineman's union, since they received the same raises the union bargained for. She was thrilled she lived to see an African-American elected president. Virginia's lifelong passion was theater. She saw some of the greatest performers of the 20th century, including Lionel, Ethel and John Barrymore, William Powell, Tallulah Bankhead and Katherine Cornell, not to mention Gypsy Rose Lee and Sally Rand. She saw Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen and José Ferrer in Othello, and Marlon Brando in Streetcar. Even more than watching theater, Virginia loved to perform. She cried the first time for not being cast in a part she coveted, in kindergarten. She performed on stage in high school and college, and delighted Dayton audiences for many years in community theater. She was inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame in 2002. Virginia is survived by two children, Ricardo Garcia (wife, Isabel) of Bellbrook, and Leslie Garcia (partner, Douglas Seibert) of Spring Valley, and two ex-husbands, Carl Djerassi of Palo Alto, CA and Rodrigo Garcia of Dayton. The family will receive friends on Sunday, July 7th from 2:00-5:00 p.m.at Reis Legacy Center Meyer-Boehmer Chapel, 6661 Clyo Rd., Centerville. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Virginia's memory to Humane Society of Greater Dayton, 1661 Nicholas Rd., Dayton, OH 45417. Words of encouragement may be sent to www.reislegacycenter.com. And now a final bow, the curtain falls, but applause still echoes...

Published in Dayton Daily News on July 4, 2013
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