Virginia “Ginny” Whitehill Southard, 85, of Laurel, IA, passed away peacefully Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the State Center Nursing and Rehab Center in State Center. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 18, 2014, at the First Congregational Church in Marshalltown. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, January, 17, 2014 at the Main St. Chapel of the Anderson Funeral Homes. Online condolences may be sent to www.andersonfhs.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions may be directed to either Iowa River Hospice or the Marshalltown YWCA.
Ginny was born in Marshalltown, IA on December 31, 1928 to Joe and Verna (Fisher) Whitehill, she attended Marshalltown schools. Ginny became involved in swimming and diving while young. She graduated from Marshalltown High School. Ginny attended Iowa State University. On December 28, 1948, she married Thomas J. Southard, Jr. Together they raised 3 children, Thomas (III), Ceryl, and Peter, on the family farm just north of Laurel, IA.
Once the children were in school, Ginny returned to college and earned her BA from Iowa State University. She taught at Marshalltown High school for nearly 20 years. While teaching, she earned a Master’s Degree from Iowa State University and did doctoral work there. She taught Home Economics and was proud to have developed the Bachelor Living courses at MHS. A dedicated and loving teacher she was adored by her students. She loved learning and passed that love on to both her children and students.
Ginny was an active community member working with youth at the Marshalltown YWCA (serving on the Y board), bridge clubs, glass club, book club, and volunteering at the Laurel Library. A member of the First Congregational Church in Marshalltown, she providing pre- marital counseling at the church and was a member of the Amity circle. Ginny was a dedicated member of PEO and was recognized as a 50 year member in 2010.
Ginny had many passions. She was a talented seamstress, knitter, and artist. She was well known for the beautiful sweaters that she knit and she also gave knitting lessons. Her travels always took her to the local yarn shop where she would buy vast skeins of yarn to be stored away for future projects. Her grand- children were the light of her life and she delighted in making hand-made sweaters and other articles for them and teaching them the skills to make their own.
Ginny is survived by her husband of 65 years, Tom, and 3 children, Thomas (Patrice Lierley) Southard, Ceryl Southard and Peter (Cheryl Landhuis) Southard, and 4 grandchildren, Jessica, Emily, Kathryn and Christopher. She is also survived by her brother, Dr. W. Ben Whitehill and his wife Carolyn, a niece, Julie Whitehill,and many cousins.