Virginia went to be with our Lord and Savior on Sep. 7, 2017. She was born Nov. 17, 1922, in St. Louis, Miss., to Ondus and Florence (Myles) Hill. She graduated from school in Torrence, Calif., and went on to receive a 2-year degree in the field of fashion design. After college and during WWII, Ginger worked in an aircraft factory as an airplane riveter, working 6 days a week, 12 hour days. Her diminutive stature of 4 feet, 9 inches, prevented her from joining the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots, but she still learned to pilot an airplane, beginning in an open cockpit biwing. Being too short to reach the rudder paddles, she had to have wooden “extensions” fashioned to fit over the foot pedals. She was fond of saying she flew until she ran out of money to buy fuel. She was awarded Honorary Life Member status of the Air Defense Team for her voluntary service in the Ground Observer Corps.
Ginger met George Green in California at a wartime dance. They married in 1946 and moved to Thompson Falls, Mont., George’s home town. While following George in his Air Force career to Texas and California, they had 3 daughters, Georgeanne, Germaine and Jannine. The family returned to Montana after George’s military service ended.
Ginger was an active member of her church community, participating in all women’s groups, teaching Sunday School and Bible School. She was the leader of Campfire Girls and cheerleader chaperone for all three daughters. A gifted artist, she favored colored pencil or charcoal drawings in addition to her skills as an accomplished seamstress. She would sew “designer clothing” for her family, often creating gowns seen in popular fashion magazines. She frequently made matching outfits for her daughters and their dolls. Ginger designed and created cheerleader outfits for all three daughters’ junior high and high school cheerleader squads as well as created costumes for musicals and stage reviews at Billings West High School from 1969 to 1971. Ginger was supervisor of the Hart Albin Custom Drapery Department for many years.
The family moved to Billings, Mont., in 1968. Ginger was a member of the New Comers Club, which then became the Graduates, for over 45 years. She was a long-time member of The Big Sky Dollers doll collecting club. Ginger enjoyed an active lifestyle. She had been a square dancer in Thompson Falls in the 1960’s and in Billings she was the oldest member of the Golden Dancers, where she performed dance routines that included costume changes, throughout the Billings area for years. She played piano well, surprising many people with her jazz tunes. Ginger was an avid roller skater, beginning in her youth and continuing into her late 80’s. Another popular motto for her was “I’d rather be roller skating!” After taking a tumble in her early 80’s and breaking her wrist, she finally agreed to stop trying to do “tricks” on her skates. She taught many children the joy of skating, preferring to stay with her 4-wheeled shoe skates rather than switching to in-lines. She reluctantly gave up roller skating when she could no longer find a partner to drive her to the rink every week.
Starting in WWII, Virginia began donating her blood, a service she continued faithfully throughout her lifetime, donating well over 55 GALLONS.
She loved flowers, telling family members she would “come back to haunt us” if we waited until her funeral to give her flowers – we’d better give them to her now. We always complied, sending bouquets and corsages frequently.
Ginger was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Billings since 1968. Even after George’s death in 2016, she choose to stay in Billings surrounded by her many friends and acquaintances from the church and Westpark Village.
Virginia was preceded in death by her brother, John Hill, parents Ondus and Florence Hill, and her husband George. She leaves behind her three daughters: Georgeanne (Warren) Brassel, Germaine Bradley and Jannine (Danny) Ishler; three grandchildren, Rachel Brassel, Jared Brassel and Joel Ishler; and 5 great-grandchildren, Jaela, Ethan and Shyanne Cruz, Elysse and Emily Brassel.
A memorial service will be held for Ginger at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct., 10, at First Presbyterian Church in Billings.