Virginia Ann (Ginny) Fegley Mercy, 94, of Yakima, WA passed away Thursday, July 3, 2014 at Summitview Living Care Center with her four children next to her.
Ginny was born February 23, 1920, in Withrow, WA to Walter and Amy Fegley. The family moved to Bellingham when she was 3. Ginny graduated from Bellingham High School in 1937 and continued on to the University of Washington earning a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Business.
Ginny was exceptionally talented in many areas. Academically as a young girl, she attended programs at Western Washington University (then known as Bellingham State Normal School) for gifted children. She was an exceptional athlete as a downhill skier, west coast tennis champion, a life guard and an endurance swimmer, swimming across Bellingham Bay to Lummi Island. She was talented musically earning a seat in the Seattle Symphony as a violinist.
Following the University, she moved to southern California where she free dove for lobsters and abalone, selling to local restaurants, worked at Bullocks and was a pinup during WWII. She returned to the northwest around 1950 and moved to Yakima, WA taking a job at KIMA radio station. She was assigned to spend a year in Yakima learning all aspects of a radio station with the goal to return to California in the job of Executive Secretary to the first Vice President of CBS. However, while in Yakima, she met Paul F. Mercy and they married in 1952.
Ginny was a thoughtful and generous woman. While raising four children who never felt lacking for her attention and love, she also gave much time to volunteer efforts. She was an active and sustaining member of The Junior League of Yakima. She taught mentally challenged students and supported local funding efforts for education. Following in her own mothers interest she was a strong advocate for women. She was a member of the American Association of University Women as well as a leader in the Camp Fire Girls program. Having been a member herself as a child she felt it was a way to develop strong independent women as well as share her love of hiking. As a child in Bellingham she spent many years hiking throughout the North Cascades with her father.
She also volunteered with the Yakima Allied Arts Council, the Yakima Community Theatre, St. Timothy's Church and United Good Neighbors. "People like you give me faith in humanity," wrote Cy Cochran from UGN in 1966. Active in the Parent Teacher Student Association at both the county and state levels she was awarded the Golden Acorn award in recognition of service to children and youth.
Her love and talent for music were utilized as the Central and Eastern Washington regional representative for The National Council of the Metropolitan Opera. Ginny was once quoted in the Yakima paper saying, "The purpose of the auditions was to help discover new operatic talent and to make it possible for young singers in all parts of the country to be heard and aided in their careers." She was a supportive and caring person to many of all ages.
Ginny is survived by her sister Geraldine Dunn of Pasadena, CA, daughters, Deborah Mercy of Anchorage, AK, Amy Mercy and son-in-law Eddie Johnson of Battle Ground, WA, sons Matthew Mercy and daughter-in-law Kitty Mercy of Bellingham, WA and Forbes Mercy of Yakima, WA; six grandchildren, Brittney Mercy, Portland, OR, Tatiana Mercy, Ellenwood, GA, Christopher Mercy, Yakima, WA, Taylor Mercy, Bellingham, WA, Dylan Baker and Graham Baker, Anchorage, AK. She is preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Paul F. Mercy.
A memorial for Ginny will be held at Tahoma Cemetery Mausoleum on July 14, 2014 at 2 pm.
The family asks for those interested in making donations, please give to Living Care Retirement Community, Circle of Friends Resident Assistance Fund at 3801 Summitview Ave., Yakima, WA 98902. The staff's care given to both of our parents was truly exceptional and we will always be grateful to them.
To share a memory of Virginia visit www.keithandkeith.com.