Gina Lynn Hrinko passed away June 20, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska, after her battle with ovarian cancer. She was born Aug. 27, 1968, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is survived by her husband, Bill, and their two daughters, Olivia and Madison.
After reluctantly following her husband to Fairbanks, Alaska, she and her husband created a wonderful life for themselves and their two daughters. She made many friends with her enthusiastic personality and her love of sharing stories. Those that knew her knew that they would be thoroughly entertained either by her recent escapades or a story from her past. During her stay at the hospital though, the tables were turned. The friends and family that came to visit were the ones telling the stories. She just laid there with her eyes closed taking it all in, and occasionally a smile would come across her face, or she would speak a slight anecdote to embellish the story just that much more.
Her childhood years were spent growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated high school in 1986 and then proceeded to the University of Cincinnati to study elementary education. It was at the University of Cincinnati that she met her future husband, Bill. She did not remain in Cincinnati but transferred to the University of Toledo where she graduated with her teaching degree. Though physically apart, Bill and Gina stayed together and were married on Sept. 19, 1992. They started their married life together in Dayton, Ohio, before moving to Fairbanks in 1996. Gina found a job at the Yukon Koyukuk School District in 1999, where she was teacher, principal, grant writer, state and federal programs coordinator and director, assistant superintendent, and much, much more, which she continued right to the very end.
In March 2017, an incessant cough sent her to the doctor's office. After an upper body X-ray and biopsy of the fluid in her chest, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. For four years she was treated by a caring and outstanding team of doctors. She never gave up and was always positive knowing everyone was fighting for her as much as she was fighting for herself.
In the end, she was surround by family and the friends she made over the years, as she passed from this life to the next. There were tears and sadness, but also more love than the room, or hospital, or all of Anchorage could contain.
There was too much life that happened between the dash between dates to put into words. So much still lives on in her friends' and families' hearts and will continue to be a part of their lives as they are occasionally reminded of her through a scent of a flower, the vibrant colors of a morning sunrise, the sound of friends' laughter, the taste of a hot chocolate, a hand scribbled message on a sticky note, the rush of air on their face while riding a bike, the courage and tenacity of someone not willing to give up, as their own lives continue on.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 2 p.m. July 17, 2021, at Georgeson Botanical Garden, 2180 West Tanana Dr. on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, where more stories can be shared. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her name to Let Every Woman Know a nonprofit organization supporting women with gynecological cancer, leteverywomanknow.org.
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Published by Daily News-Miner on Jul. 7, 2021.