Virginia (Ginger) King passed away August 14, 2019 in Klamath Falls, OR. She was attended by family, her caregivers and friends in her last hours.
Ginger was born on November 22, 1931 in Oakland, California to Angelina (Pregno) and Walter Lee Spencer. Her father was an architect and died of a stroke in January 1932, when Ginger was 6 weeks old. She attended schools in Oakland and Lafayette, CA, graduating from Acalanes High School in 1949. She worked as a receptionist in Lafayette before she married Frank King on November 1, 1952. She and Frank honeymooned in Santa Barbara, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Death Valley Nat’l Monument before settling on Frank’s homestead in Coppock Bay near Newell, CA. Living on the homestead was a significant adjustment for Ginger coming from the city. She dug in with determination and later described herself as a “ranch wife” because of the myriad of tasks she could perform. She and Frank raised three children on the homestead along with crops of hay, grain, sheep and cattle. Ginger was very involved in her childrens’ lives which included 4-H horse and sheep clubs, school sports and snow skiing. Ginger worked at Macy’s Flying Service when the children were older.
In September of 2000 she and Frank moved from the ranch to a home in Klamath Falls. She loved being within minutes of a grocery store and able to participate in Klamath Chorale. She also was no longer subject to speeding tickets driving through Merrill on the way to Klamath. Ginger stayed active by cycling or walking along the OC&E trail, swimming, or doing water aerobics and hiking with her beloved black lab Henri.
Ginger lived valiantly through the past 9 years, having suffered a devasting stroke in October of 2010, which left her unable to ambulate or put audible words to her still active mind. She spent months working with physical, occupational, and speech therapists, to regain her ability to walk with assistance, and speak. Her favorite phrase was “I love you.” She danced with Frank at her oldest daughter’s wedding. She saw three of her grandchildren married, held her first great granddaughter and met her second great granddaughter born a few days before she passed.
She is survived by her husband Frank of 67 years, daughters and sons-in-laws, Holly King and Steve Runyan of Bakersfield, CA, Laurie and Roger Piepenbrink of Henderson, NV, son and daughter-in-law, David and Robin King of Malin, OR, grandchildren Amy Piepenbrink, Angelina King, Evan (Nicole) Piepenbrink, Cameron (Amy) King, Whitney (Jason) Cantrell and two great-granddaughters, Blake and Tana King.
A celebration of life will be held on November 8, 2019 at 11:00 am at Running Y Lodge. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Guide Dogs for the Blind at www.guidedogs.com or mailed to PO Box 151200, San Rafael, CA 94915-1200.
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