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Virginia T. Wilson

 

Last updated 8/10/2018 at 9:56am

Virginia T. Wilson (nee Doris Gladys Virginia Tevit), succumbing to the effects of dementia, left this world for her heavenly reward on July 14, 2018, at the Regency Fallbrook where she had been a resident for six years. She was preceded in death by her parents, Hilda Olsen and Earl LaVoy Tevit, former husband Maj. William Earle Wilson Jr., USMC (ret), and her brothers Kenneth, Howard, Gordon, Ralph, Fritz and James.

Virginia was born March 29, 1930, into an Illinois dairy farm family where she sang to the cows when bringing them from pasture to barn, wore her older brother's clothes, and lived the Great Depression first hand. It may be those times that gave her an inner strength and adaptability.

She left home at age 15 to be a nanny for a family who supported her singing gift while she auditioned and trained at the Music Conservatory of Chicago and sang as soloist for the Episcopal Church in Mundelein, Ill. She would tell her family of how exciting it was for her to be working as a clerk at Von Lengerke & Antoinne (VL&A) in Chicago, which outfitted the serious sportsman.

While working in Chicago, Virginia met a young marine, William Earle Wilson Jr. going to Lake Forest College; they were married on New Year's Eve 1951. Their marriage lasted 22 years.

Through her marriage Virginia experienced a life of travel and a growing family. Her son Bill was born in 1952 and Tom in 1956. Wanting the best for their family, the boys were taken by the hand to church and were lovingly told Bible stories. Virginia possessed imagination, curiosity, energy, and a courageous sense of justice.

Her family greatly benefited from William's parade of duty stations (California, North Carolina, Florida, and New Hampshire), which offered various local opportunities. Happy memories of those days include family outings at Southern California attractions, growing avocados on an orchard in Fallbrook, exploring New England and the Canadian Maritimes, and weekend visits to Washington DC.

Wherever the family might be, mom would turn any available patch of earth into a well-cared-for garden, and the home would be graced by her lovely singing voice.

After her divorce, she earned a BA in social ecology from UC Irvine in 1978. She then relocated to San Francisco, where she did graduate studies in social work and adult education at San Francisco State University. Virginia's sensitivity to those in need was evident when she was employed as a Senior Escort by the City of San Francisco. There she advocated for elderly San Franciscans and helped organize their medical appointments and shopping trips.

During her San Francisco years, Virginia took pleasure in being a board member of the American Decorative Arts Forum of Northern California and the San Francisco Chapter American Association of University Women, as well as a member of the Mechanics Institute of San Francisco. She held positions as executive director of Mary Elizabeth Inn and as resident manager of apartment building in the Marina and Pacific Heights neighborhoods.

As an apartment manager, her residents took pleasure in her pocket gardens, and she even surreptitiously watered neglected store-front planters near her apartment. She increasingly incorporated her decorative arts calling into decorating the building lobbies for the season and holidays. Her San Francisco years were broken by a four-year position as a nanny for Sammy and Mollie in Cockeysville, Md.

Throughout life she was an outstanding example of her generation, uninhibited in her optimistic patriotism and engaged in the betterment of civil society. Some of the organizations she participated in as a volunteer include the Navy Relief Society, American Red Cross, League of Woman Voters, and the American Association of University Women.

The arrival of Virginia's grandchildren brought great joy to Virginia, and she was always looking for ways to share love and new experiences with them. Virginia's decline offered her family the opportunity to express their unconditional love, which was rewarded with her wonderful smile and singing.

Virginia is survived by two sons, William E. of San Diego and Thomas S. of Fallbrook, as well as daughter-in-law Janette of Fallbrook; grandsons Mark and Scott; and her long-time companion Jerome Tarshis, of San Francisco. A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, August 25, 2018, at the SonRise Christian Fellowship at 463 South Stage Coach Lane in Fallbrook.

 

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