Virginia "Ginny" LeMaster
August 17, 1923 - May 13, 2019
Virginia “Ginny” LeMaster
Ginny was born in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation where her father was the local government Indian agent. When she was 12, she earned a provisionary driver license that allowed her to drive her mother, a local schoolteacher to work. Ginny attended Government School from 1st through 10th grade. Then, in 1938 at the age of 15, she and her family moved to White Swan, WA to the Yakama Indian reservation. She was proud of the fact she graduated high school on a Thursday in 1941 and moved away from home the following day. It was the first opportunity to exercise her strong sense of independence. Ginny’s first full-time job was at a creamery, working 8 hrs a day, 7 days a week for the hefty sum of $15 per week. She later worked at the prestigious restaurant, “the Percolator,” known as the best restaurant in Yakima at that time. During her employment there, World War II broke out.
In 1942, she moved to Vancouver, WA and worked for the Alcoa Company. In 1944, she moved to Louisiana and in 1946 she moved onto Jacksonville, FL where she met her husband Bob Provost at the local USO. They married in 1947 in NJ, and in 1948 Bob and Ginny rode from Trenton, NJ to Yakima, WA to visit family. She enjoyed telling the story of how she shared the back of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle, where she rode the seat while Bob had to ride the gas tank for the 3000+ miles. For eye protection they wore welder’s masks and had to be careful to keep their faces into the wind to prevent the masks from catching the wind and flying off. They returned to Trenton and in 1949, welcomed their first child Roberta “Robbi” into the world. Bob and Ginny decided they wanted to raise their family in Yakima and Peggy was born there in 1951. To pursue his glazier career Bob moved the family to Wenatchee and later, in 1954 settled in the north end of Seattle. After Bob passed away of cancer in 1979, Ginny began her world travels. At the time, it was unusual for women to do much traveling alone, yet she loved exploring new places, camping in her own motor home, and cruising the world. In 1985, she met Don C. LeMaster while square dancing; was it love at first sight? Apparently so, as they were married the next year and moved to his home in Marysville, WA. They were active in square dancing, Masons, and Eastern Star and enjoyed time with friends and family. They shared activities together, worked together, and even regularly volunteered for the 3am shift at the local highway rest stop where they served coffee to travelers. Bundled with her marriage to Don, came the addition of their daughter-in-law Deb Henry. A highlight of Ginny’s life was a skydive with Deb for her 75th birthday.
Ginny was widowed for a second time in 2004, after eighteen happy years with Don. She lived independently until 2017 when she moved to Grandview Village in Marysville. She appreciated the care and consideration the staff provided and felt safe and loved in that community. She passed peacefully after a beautiful Mother’s Day celebration and tea party singalong with family and friends. Her last hymn was “I Come to the Garden” which also happened to be the same hymn her mother would sing to Ginny and her girls over many years. It was a beautiful culmination of a long and happy life. She was preceded in death by first husband Bob Provost, second husband Donald C. LeMaster, son-in-law Birger Solberg and daughter Peggy Gray. Ginny is survived by her daughter Robbi (Bill) Winter, son-in-law Scott (Laurie Staley) Gray, daughter-in-law Deb Henry, her sister Jean Kosik of Yakima, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, one great-great grandson and numerous nieces and nephews
A celebration of Ginny and her life will be held at a future date in Marysville. As she would say, “bye for now.”