VIRGINIA M. ZWETZIG
Virginia Mae Zwetzig passed away quietly in her sleep on May 22, 2019 at the age of 90. She was born to Ralph Shirkey & Opal Mullikin Shirkey of Richland Iowa where she grew up on the family farm. An Iowa farm girl at heart, she attended a one-room schoolhouse through High School then went on to get her degree from pParsons College in Fairfield Iowa where she graduated with honors.
She met her first husband, Charles "Don" Johnson of New Sweden in Fairfield, Ia. The young family including their first born (Chuck) then moved to California where they welcomed the birth of Susan and then Carla. Virginia was enjoying being a "stay at home mom" until Don's sudden death in 1966. Virginia remarried to Gerald Zwetzig in 1971 who also had three children (John, Karla & Mary). This now meant that she had five teenagers under one roof.
To provide for the young family during the time between the passing of Don and marrying Jerry, she managed to get her California Teaching credential as a Librarian. It was in this capacity that she worked tirelessly to see to it that the students had access to a wide range of books, covering many sides of a subject. She was always proud of the fact that she refused to censor many novels that in their day may have seemed risqué but today are considered classics.
Virginia had a lifelong love of art (an artist in her own right) and travel. She got the travel bug at the early age of nine when her entire family (mother, father, brother, uncle, aunt, grandmother who was prone to "spells," and a cousin-Melvin Mullikin) piled into her uncle's new 1937 sedan. Besides the eight people, clothes and camping gear there was a cured pig strapped to the back bumper for their road trip to Yosemite, the unfinished Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills.
This would be the only family vacation of her childhood, but it was a start to many life adventures. Virginia and Jerry traveled extensively by Air, Land & Sea to nearly every continent. They were even one of the early visitors to China when it first opened to the outside world. Other things she enjoyed were Ikebana (again, she loved to create) and of course she was very active in her church.
She is survived by her son Chuck, her daughter Susan, as well as her two stepdaughters Karla & Mary, her stepson John and her daughter in law Anna.
Virginia is also survived by 5-grandchildren and 4-great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held in Oakland, in July. She will be cremated then interred next to her first husband, Don and in the same cemetery as her second husband Jerry and his first wife (Oakwood Memorial in Chatsworth, CA). It was her wish that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Alzheimer's Research or Church of membership.