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Virginia Petty Douglass, age 74, of Richmond and Zanoni, passed away quietly on July 4, 2018, after three weeks in the hospital for cardiac arrest, heart valve replacement, and abdominal surgery.

Ginny was a native of Virginia Beach, and was predeceased by her parents, Vivian Tripp Petty and Albert Worth Petty, and is survived by her husband of 53 years, W. Birch Douglass III. She is also survived by her brother, William W. Petty (Aileen) of Virginia Beach; her brother-in-law, Charles M. Douglass (Mary Lynn) of Richmond; nieces, Hayley Muse Rupersburg (Bob) of Richmond, Kate Brooks Dahlgren (Bob) of Fredonia, New York, and Mary Scott Broaddus of Richmond; nephew, Kenneth Scott Broaddus Jr. (Sarah) of Austin, Texas, and numerous Tripp and Hinton cousins.

After graduating from Longwood College and while Birch was in law school, Ginny taught English and journalism at J.R. Tucker High School. After that, she became, in her words, “a kept woman.” 

For the last 40 years she enjoyed spending much of her time at her cottage on Wilson Creek at Zanoni in Gloucester County watching the waterfowl, working crossword puzzles, and cooking when not away on foreign travel or cruising on the Chesapeake Bay.  

Ginny was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church (where she taught Bible Circle for many years), The Woman’s Club, Willow Oaks Country Club, Farmington Country Club, and Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority.

Ginny’s spirit and enthusiasm were unsurpassed as were her intellectual skills and interest in etymology, literature, and the arts. She was her usual cheerful self until the end, keeping all the nurses and staff at St. Mary’s Hospital entertained with her stories and knowledge of all things esoteric and proving why she was known as the “walking encyclopedia” and “raconteur par excellence.”  Her attending nurse commented that it was no surprise that Ginny went out on July 4 with a bang while all the fireworks were going off around town.

A memorial and celebration service will be held in September.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in Ginny’s memory to Hampden-Sydney College (College Advancement, Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Va. 23943) or to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation (200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, Va.  23220).