Virginia Louise "Gini" Flueger Atkinson, 92
Virginia "Gini" Atkinson, 92, passed away July 29, 2017, peacefully in her sleep at her residence in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Gini lived a full life, was well travelled and successful. Her heart was strong but she could not overcome the rapid advance of a large meningioma tumor in her skull causing some bodily systems to shut down.
Born to Barney and Gertrude (Brown) Flueger in Red Wing, Minn., Gini was raised on Pinecrest Farm in Hay Creek Township just outside of Red Wing. Gini was the fourth child, following John, Betty, and Dale, and preceding her younger sister Barbara. It was planned for Gini to be given to her mother's twin sister, a common practice of the day, but when her father looked into her beautiful brown eyes he said she was to stay with her mom and dad.
Growing up she was active with the local 4H club, including winning the Minnesota State Champion honors for the State Health Queen in the 1939 State Fair, also winning a trip to Chicago to compete in the National 4H Health Competition.
After finishing high school, Gini traveled to New York along with her mother and younger sister Barbara to help care for an elderly grandmother, Flora Morgan Euin Brown. Upon return to Red Wing, she attended college at the local school completing a two year degree.
In 1947, Gini met and later married Marc D. Atkinson Jr. They had two sons, James Fremont born in December of 1948, and Jess David born in September of 1956. She went to work for Northwest Airlines to help Marc finish his Masters Degree in hospital administration at the University of Minnesota. After several transitions, they settled in Flagstaff, Arizona, where Marc became the Administrator of the local hospital. Gini loved bowling and participated in local leagues as well as many state championships. She was also active in fundraising efforts for the hospital including the inaugural Turquoise Ball.
Then came California and soon after in 1968, she lost Marc to heart disease and was left raising her two sons on her own. And that same year she returned to work in the airline industry for British Overseas Airline Corporation (BA).
She raised her boys to love sailing and the sea, and was ultimately installed as Commodore of the South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club, one of the first female Commodores of the Southern California Yachting Association. She enjoyed playing golf, bridge, and cribbage, as well as just spending time on her own sailboat including trips to Catalina with friends and family. She was also quite a competitive sailor including races to Ensenada, as well as winning Women's National Championship in her Coronado 25, the "Kwinyao", named for a Hopi Indian Kachina.
She also enjoyed traveling, and was able to complete 2 trips around the world with her older brother John, and several trips to various destinations with her younger sister Barbara.
Upon retirement she relocated to Temecula, Calif., and became involved with the local Episcopal Church Guild and thrift shop. She made several bridge playing friends and organized groups to play bridge several times per month with multiple tables and occasionally playing Duplicate Bridge among those groups.
Gini is predeceased by her older siblings John, Betty (Gisslen), and Dale.
She is survived by her younger sister Barbara Jackson (Carl) of Woodbury, Minn. She is also survived by her two sons, Jim (Debbie) of Costa Mesa Calif., Jess (Tanya) of Alameda, Calif., and grandchildren, Marc Atkinson and Rosie Atkinson.
Private services are to be at a later date with family and close friends.
According to her wishes, she will be buried at sea along with the ashes of her late husband Marc. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to Saint Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church, 44651 Avenida de Missiones, Temecula, CA, 92592