Virginia Shaw Henningsen
1928 - 2021
Virginia Shaw Henningsen

Virginia Shaw Henningsen lived a life filled with love and blessings from March 24, 1928 - June 18, 2021.

Virginia was born in Elko, Nevada on March 24, 1928 to Dr. William A. and Ruth L. Shaw. The youngest of three children and the only daughter, she idolized her older brothers Bill and Jac. When she was three years old, the family traveled to Europe for a year and upon returning, purchased a 10-acre piece of ground in Reno, Nevada. This new home on Arlington Avenue quickly became a mini ranch, and it was here that Virginia learned the love of animals, working the land and volunteering for community activities. She was active in July 4th Parade, Reno Rodeo, U.S.O., Campfire Girls and Rainbow for Girls.

Virginia graduated from Reno High School and attended the University of Nevada Reno where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. While at UNR, she met the love of her life and future husband, John Henningsen. After graduation in 1950, they started an agricultural life together on the 240-acre farm in the center of Carson Valley that had been in his family since 1875. They began a dairy operation aptly named Jovi (Jo for John, vi for Virginia) Holsteins that would develop into a large Holstein cow herd, a Grade-A barn, haying, irrigating, raising calves and all that makes a family ranching enterprise. Their family would grow to include four sons and one daughter. In addition to being a 4-H leader, classroom volunteer, den mother, chauffer, and Sunday school teacher, she played a tremendous role in the success of the ranch. She could always be found feeding calves, doctoring animals, registering livestock, bookkeeping as well as gardening and driving improvements and decisions for the business. John and family were her first love - the ranch was most definitely her second.

In 1978 with the children more self-reliant, she would return to school and receive a nursing degree. She worked at Carson Tahoe Hospital for nearly ten years.

Community involvement was a way of life for Virginia. She was an active Farm Bureau member and director for beginning a local fair, chairman of several agricultural tours, president of the Douglas County Republican Women, member of Carson Valley Literary club and served on the Douglas County Planning Commission as well as the board of directors for the Northern Nevada Dairymen Association.

Virginia's faith played an enormous role in all she did. She was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, served on the church council as well as other numerous committees throughout the years. She once wrote: "As I enter the final phase of life, I am exceedingly grateful for my parent's values, our children, a strong happy marriage and this beautiful valley with Jobs Peak towering in the distance. I look to that mountain for strength as God has blessed every step of my life. I give God the credit for any accomplishments I may have achieved."

Virginia was preceded in death by her parents Dr. William and Ruth Shaw and brothers Bill and Jac.

She is survived by her loving husband of 71 years, John C. Henningsen, sons Daniel (Jo) Henningsen of Twin Falls, Idaho, Robert (Susan) Henningsen, Marshall (Mandy) Henningsen, Michael (Barbara) Henningsen, daughter Caroline (Donald) Frensdorff, grandchildren Chris Henningsen, Matt Henningsen, Laura Fassler, Adriane Wacker, Adam Henningsen, Ben Henningsen, Sara McRae, Jeremy Henningsen, Griffin Frensdorff, Grady Frensdorff, as well as 16 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1480 Douglas Avenue in Gardnerville, Nevada on Saturday July 10, 2021 at 11:00 am.

Published by The Reno Gazette Journal and Lyon County News Leader from Jun. 30 to Jul. 4, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial service
Trinity Lutheran Church
1480 Douglas Avenue, Gardnerville, NV
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I am so sorry to have missed Nin´s service today. She is truly a hero of mine, and the servant of the Lord, used by Him to change my life and especially the life of my wife, Diane, who is dancing with her in Glory right now! I have never known a more REAL follower of Christ, nor a more loving ambassador for Him! Thank you, Nin, and John as well, for all that you spoke into our life. I love you both! Dave
David Gamble
July 10, 2021
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