Virginia R. Zelazny (nee Wagner), 92, resident of Denville, NJ, died Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at her home. Virginia (aka “Ginny” to all her friends) was born on December 8, 1928 in Exeter, PA and grew up in the area, moving to North Arlington, NJ after college. Virginia graduated from Exeter High School and served as the class valedictorian – Virginia was the first of her 11 siblings (6 boys and 5 girls) to attend and graduate from college – Misericordia. She was a favorite high school Math and English teacher first in Bogota and later in Springfield.
Virginia met her husband, Gene, when he drove by the house down the road from his parents’ home in North Arlington, NJ – Gene drove by because he knew many girls were living at that house. Fate brought them together for over 50 years – they were married in November 1953 and were together until his death in October 2006.
While raising her daughters, Virginia was involved in many pursuits – attending all school functions including many band concerts and sporting events, teaching CCD and volunteering her time as a lector and eucharistic minister at St. Teresa of Avila church, participating in many local Summit charitable organizations, and returning home to cook gourmet meals. She was an avid crossword puzzle solver – in pen, no less – and she took no prisoners in Scrabble.
After the girls moved out, Ginny and Gene took up golf – playing many rounds at Canoe Brook Country Club and in Sarasota, FL. She had 2 teams – the NY Yankees and the NY Giants – through the good times as well as the bad times. They were lucky enough to attend the NY Giants first ever Superbowl win (XXI) in Pasadena, CA. And they even played a round of golf with NY Giants’ great, OJ Anderson – OJ even called her “Mom”. Ginny and Gene traveled throughout the USA and abroad – one of their most memorable trips was to Poland to explore and visit with family – Ginny was a sport and even downed a shot of vodka when having dinner at the family farm.
Virginia loved being the matriarch of her family – always willing to give advice, say a prayer, share her brutally honest opinions, or join you in drinking a glass of wine.
Ginny is pre-deceased by her husband, Eugene. She is survived by her two daughters, Jane Zelazny-Belz (Ken Belz) and Mary Rydstrom (Chris) and the grandchildren loves of her life – Nathan and Sara Rydstrom; two sisters, Arline Ragland and Eleanor Leising, and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2020, at 9:30 am at St. Teresa of Avila Church. Interment St. Teresa’s Cemetery, Summit, NJ. Visiting hours, Monday, January 18th, 3 pm to 7 pm at the Bradley Brough & Dangler Funeral Home, 299 Morris Ave. Summit, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ginny’s name may be made to: Loaves & Fishes, c/o St. Teresa of Avila Church, 306 Morris Ave. Summit, NJ 07901