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Virginia D. (Davis)'s Story

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Virginia “Ginnie” (Davis) McGlynn, age 92, died Friday, February 3, 2017, at the VA Hospital in Bedford. The eldest daughter of the late Louis Davis and Priscilla (Twombly) Davis, Virginia grew up in Reading. She attended Reading High School, where she was one of the first two women on a high school golf team in the state. Virginia went on to Colby Junior College, now Colby Sawyer College, and by the time she graduated, World War II was waging. After losing two former classmates to the war and wanting to help in the war effort, Virginia enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon completion of basic training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Virginia went to the Naval Aircraft School in Norman, Oklahoma. Trained as a draftsman, Virginia was stationed at Quantico Bay, Virginia, where she updated aeronautical maps.
After serving, Virginia attended Vesper George School of Art in Boston, where she met her husband, the late Walter J. McGlynn. The two settled in Walter’s hometown of Beverly, where they raised their eight children. Virginia and Walter spent their spare time volunteering in the community and at their children’s schools and their church. Virginia was a longtime member of Sea Path, Beverly, a group dedicated to preserving historic pathways to the sea, Community Oriented Policing, the Beverly Police Department’s community outreach program, Friends of the Beverly Library, and the Republican City Committee. She was also an active participant in the Women’s Health Initiative, which was established in 1991 to address the most common causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women. Virginia served with great enthusiasm and dedication for 10 years as the Ward Four City Councilor in Beverly after winning the seat once held by Walter who died in 1988. Virginia painstakingly prepared for each and every vote she took on the council and was known to show up at constituents’ homes to shovel snow or move barrels in response to their calls. Virginia was among the 267 women named by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts for 2007.
A lifelong knitter, Virginia purchased the Abbott Yarn Shoppe in Beverly in 1973. She often told the story of how aghast she and Walter were when the bank officer suggested that she go home and get her husband to sign for her small business loan. After signing for the loan herself, Virginia owned and operated the yarn store for 38 years, retiring at age 86. “The Shoppe” was a cozy place for both knitters and locals looking to chat about politics and current events. Virginia taught knitting classes at the shop and through adult education programs throughout the North Shore. She also published four instructional books on knitting that were illustrated by Walter, a commercial artist.
Throughout her life, Virginia was active and enjoyed the outdoors. She walked daily and would think nothing of taking an eight mile walk well into her late 80s. A prolific reader, Virginia’s most cherished and well read books were A Guide to Field Identification Birds of North America and the Bible. A member of the Saint Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Virginia embraced all other faiths. She frequently attended services at various houses of worship in the area and read through the Old and New Testaments many times. Virginia loved politics, swimming in the ocean, coffee, jazz music, sports, exploring nature, gardening, museums, dancing, deeply breathing in fresh sea air, learning and laughing with her family and friends. Cooking was not a forte but her “cowboy cookies” were legendary. In her retirement, Virginia would often head out on a whim leaving a quick note on her kitchen table that might read “Took train in to Celtics game!” “Went for a swim!” or “Walked to Salem!” She embraced differences and approached life with a sense of openness, kindness and wonderment. One of her most sincere and often used phrases was “Huh! That is so interesting!”
Virginia is survived by her sister, Louise Corrette of Fitzwilliam N.H.; and her children, Jeannie Dabbs of Beverly, Beverly Hobbs and husband, Davis of Eastham, Katherine McGlynn and husband, Ian Smit of Montclair, N.J., John McGlynn of Georgetown, Ann Tricca and husband, Steven of Newburyport, Elizabeth Hollesen and husband, Kai of Beverly, and Virginia Martin and husband, Phil of Hampton, Va.; thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her daughter, Louise McGlynn and by her sister, Priscilla Clark.
Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, February 8, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. with a funeral service on Thursday, February 9, 2017, at 1 p.m. at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly. Burial will be at Central Cemetery, Beverly. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Virginia’s memory to one of her longtime favorite charities, St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, MT 59004. St. Labre provides quality education which celebrates Catholic faith and embraces Native American cultures, primarily the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Tribes, so that Native American individuals and communities of Southeastern Montana are empowered to attain self-sufficiency.
Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.
Published on  February 7, 2017
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