Sitting in the courtyard together, there was a slight breeze to cool us. Ginny crossed her legs and stretched her arms out to welcome the sun’s rays. Then, she looked to the side, thought for a minute and started to share with me tidbits about her life. This, together with information shared by her daughter, Suzette, and grandson, Chris, create a portrait of a woman who loves. Throughout her narrative is a love for family, a love for life and experiencing its joys, and a love for the little things, like days at the beach and the affection of a pet dog. This is just a snapshot of her life story.
Virginia “Ginny” Greider was born in Michigan on May 20th, 1927 to parents, Lorena and Luther Greider. From a young age, she showed a very active, social and energetic spirit. She spent time with her best friend from the 3rd grade, Virginia Pleasa, and went to finishing school with her. Ginny participated in a variety of sports, like tennis and golf, and later was able to play at the college level. At one point, she even sprained both of her ankles playing basketball with the boys. This upbeat energy came with her when the family moved to Santa Barbara, California.
Ginny spent days waiting on tables at work and hanging out at the beach in her free time. One day, while walking to work, she saw a bank billboard with an image of an Army man handing out donuts to war torn families. Little did she know that she’d go on to not only meet this man and dance with him at a beach party, but also become his wife. His name was William Fred and Ginny loved everything about him. He was a quieter person, but very loving and handsome. He was a war photographer in World War II and spent time overseas in combat areas, documenting the events that forever changed the history of the world. He and Ginny married near the end of the war and Fred was honorably discharged, receiving a Bronze Service Arrowhead for his service.
Ginny and Fred spent time together after his service and raised their family, always having a dog or cat as company as well. Fred worked for a mortgage company and critiqued for the Air Force at Lookout Mountain. He’d surprise Ginny, taking her to Sherman Oaks to outfit her in beautiful, handmade dresses. One day, he was trimming a tree in front of their home, when the branch that he was standing on broke, causing him to fall and become paralyzed from the waist down. Ginny cared for him lovingly and helped him to do as much as possible for the rest of their marriage.
Despite the challenges of daily life, Ginny and Fred remained active and never lost their spirit of adventure. After some years of marriage, Ginny reconnected with her childhood best friend, Virginia. Virginia had gone out to lunch in Van Nuys with a co-worker who told her that she reminded her of Ginny Greider. Shocked, Virginia realized that she finally found her long lost friend and contacted her. Ginny and Virginia, along with their husbands, spent time together from then on twice a year, traveling to beautiful places like the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Kanab Utah, where they had a home that they cherished.
Ginny and Fred enjoyed a happy marriage of humor, laughter, learning and loving before Fred passed away several years ago. Ginny has some quieter days now but has never lost a spark of adventure in her eyes. At any mention of her family, sports and pets, her smile lights up. Grandma Ginny is so incredibly special to us. She is a tremendous woman who has lived a life of love and we cherish the honor of caring for her each day.
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