Cover photo for Virginia "Ginner" Jefferds's Obituary
Virginia "Ginner" Jefferds Profile Photo
1926 Virginia 2023

Virginia "Ginner" Jefferds

November 23, 1926 — December 5, 2023

Madison, WI

Virginia (Ginner) Craig Jefferds was born in Washington Court House, Ohio, to Florence and Robert A. Craig. She was a Denison University graduate, where she was a member of Mortar Board, Delta Gamma Sorority, and the president of the Women’s Athletic Association.

She was a commissioned ensign in the US Navy, stationed at the Great Lakes Headquarters. She organized and coached softball and basketball programs for the enlisted women. In 1950, she married John (Jack) G. Jefferds. Upon her release from the Navy, she moved to Madison where she started her new life with Jack.

Ginner taught physical education in the public schools and was employed by the Madison recreation department. She was a 67-year active member in her PEO Chapter, and spent years volunteering for Attic Angels, Meals on Wheels, Children’s Museum, and Prevent Blindness of Wisconsin. She was the recipient of the Rotary Club’s Senior Award and was a longstanding member of the First United Methodist Church. 

Ginner is preceded in death by her husband Jack, her sister, Mareta Browell, and brother, Bob Craig. Ginner is survived by her daughters and their spouses, Dr. Ann Jefferds (John), Jenny Jefferds (Rick) and her sons, John (Michelle) and Craig (Sarah), 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

It was common to see her throwing softballs to her kids, shooting hoops, swinging golf clubs, playing volleyball, dancing, and teaching the waltz or foxtrot, allowing all sorts of animals in the house, and hosting back yard carnivals. She set a high bar for paying it forward and was an incredible role model that you could be on a volleyball team into your 80’s, and zipline over the treetops in Costa Rica at 89. 

Ginner was grateful for her lifelong friends, her fabulous neighbors and supportive PEO sisters. She often said it was not the house that kept her on Bayfield Terrace. “I have the best neighbors I could ever ask for.”

A private celebration of her life will be held with the immediate family. Memorials in her name can be made to the Salvation Army, PO Box 8455, Madison, Wis. 53708 or a charity of choice.

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