VIRGINIA "GINNY" MARIE ALDAGVirginia “Ginny” Marie Aldag, 61, of Duluth, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 after a 16- month battle with cancer.
Virginia “Ginny” Marie Aldag, 61, of Duluth, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 after a 16- month battle with cancer.
She was surrounded by the love of her family when she took her last breath - a fighter to the end. The world has lost a beautiful and kind human being; her husband his soulmate; her children their guiding light; her friends and colleagues a faithful and honest companion.
Ginny was the second of eight children born to Joseph and Cordelia (“Cordy”) Weber on Oct. 8, 1950 in Chicago, Ill.
She is survived by her mother Cordy; her brothers Carl and Paul; and her sisters Terry, Dorothy, Janet, and Mary Jo.
She is preceded in death by her father Joe (2001) and her sister Barbara (2010).
Through her marriage to John Eldon Aldag in 1973, she bore two children John Matthew (“Matt”, 1976) and Anne Cordelia (1979). After divorcing in 1992, she remarried James Duane Miller in 2002 and became stepmother to Jay Edward Miller (1991) and Samuel William Miller (1995). Ginny graduated from Bollingbrook High School, Villa Park, Ill., in 1968. In 1972, she received a B.S. degree in education from Eastern Illinois University. Her illustrious career as an elementary teacher began in 1972 as a fourth-grade teacher in East Dubuque, Iowa and as a third-grade teacher at St. Patrick’s School in Rolla, Mo., from 1973 to 1978.
With a move to Ponca City, Okla., in 1978, she transitioned to a stay-at-home mom for the next eight years to raise her two young children. In 1982, the family of four moved to Minneapolis, and then to Chanhassen, Minn., in 1985. Ginny reentered the teaching profession as a substitute teacher in the Minnetonka and Eden Prairie public schools in 1985 and, in the following year, she enrolled in the Masters program for Gifted Studies at St. Thomas College in St. Paul. After completion of her thesis entitled “Taking Chances: Risk Taking as a Function of Females’ Participation in Mathematics”, she received her MA degree in 1989. In 1988, she returned to teaching full-time and embarked on a 15-year career teaching third-, fifth-, but mostly fourth-graders at The Blake School’s Highcroft Campus in Wayzata, Minn. In 2002, Ginny married Jim Miller and moved to Duluth. Between 2002 and 2004, she was hired by the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Department of Education to teach an elementary math methods course. Then in 2005, she was recruited to be a student teacher supervisor – a job she loved as much as teaching fourth-graders and continued until the spring of 2012 while in the throes of battling cancer.
Ginny had an incredible intellect and a passionate and caring soul. Her favorite pastimes were of the quiet, cerebral sort - she was a voracious reader of mystery and period novels, a volunteer at the Duluth Public Library, a master player of Scrabble and all sorts of thinking games and puzzles, an accomplished knitter, quilter, and seamstress, a masterful gardener, an avid baker, a lover of walks, a collector of agates, and a watcher of anything on Masterpiece Theater. Her humanity and compassion for others, especially the less fortunate among us, led her to be a vocal advocate for progressive causes. Thanks to the influence of her husband Jim and her children, she also learned to become an ardent fan of the Twins, Vikings, Gophers, and Bulldogs. More than anything, however, Ginny was passionately devoted to her family and friends. She worried, cajoled, congratulated, sympathized, and freely gave her considered advice to all whom she cared deeply about.
She never forgot birthdays or anniversaries and sent out hundreds of hand-written messages over the years. She celebrated in our successes and had a warm hug or kind word when we were down in the dumps. Her humanity and caring that sustained so many will be sorely missed.
As a memorial to this beautiful, passionate, and kind person who has touched and enriched so many lives, her family is erecting a memorial bench on Duluth’s Lakewalk near 32nd Ave East. A plaque on the bench will read: “In loving memory of Ginny Aldag – Wife, Mother, Step-mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, and Teacher to Us All”.
In addition, a scholarship fund in Ginny’s name has been established at UMD to support student teachers with financial needs during their field experience. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, please contact the College of Education’s Development Director, Bob Sherman (email@example.com; 218-726-6692).
MEMORIAL SERVICE: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Griggs Center on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. Please contact Anne Aldag (firstname.lastname@example.org; 952-200-9807) by Wednesday, Oct. 3, if you would like to attend. In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family asks that you consider contributing to the student teacher scholarship fund mentioned above.
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