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Virginia S. (Ginger) Ereshena

February 6, 1949 April 29, 2018
Virginia S. (Ginger) Ereshena
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Obituary for Virginia S. (Ginger) Ereshena
Virginia S. Ereshena (Ginger), 69, of Willimantic, CT, passed away on April 29, 2018 at Hartford Hospital after an illness.

Ginger was born at Willimantic Hospital on February 6, 1949 to Stanley James and Simone Vallee Ereshena. She is survived by Joseph (Sam) Martin, her husband of 27 years. She and Sam were married on Friday, April 13, 1991 at the Woodstock Inn by an Irish Justice of the Peace. She is also survived by a dear niece, Patricia Lewitz of Bozrah. Her extended family includes her Uncle Ed and Grace Nowak and Paul and John Ereshena, her stepdaughter Laura, stepson Douglas, his wife Kelly and her two step grandchildren, Zoe and Sam. She will be missed by her life-long friends Charlotte Handel and Jacqueline Stack, as well as the Anderson, Poulin and Roy families.

Ginger grew up in Chaplin, CT and attended grammar school at Chaplin Elementary School and then Windham High School. She attended Eastern Connecticut State University, where she received a BA and MA. She taught Social Studies for 33 years in Windham Middle Schools; first at Kramer Middle School and then at Windham Middle. Known as Ms. Ereshena to generations of students, she was a legendary teacher, who formed close and lasting relationships with many of her students. She brought authentic lessons into her classroom on a daily basis and at times brought those lessons out to the sidewalk. She honored Willimantic's history by taking her students on walking tours of the mills and architecture of the city. She often volunteered as a docent at the Windham Textile and History Museum, sharing her passion for history with tour groups.

Throughout her life, Ginger set a high example of civic responsibility. She was the Vice President of the Windham Federation of Teachers for four years and active in many educational organizations. Ginger was a member of the Willimantic Lions Club for 20 years and supported all their charitable work. She was named an Ambassador of Sight, a Loyal Shepherd Fellow and spearheaded the Lions International Peace Poster Contest. She was also recognized as Lion of the Year in 2008. Ginger was also a prolific runner. She was a member of the Mohegan Striders racing team from 1981–1995. “Ginnie” will be remembered as a supportive teammate with an impressive record and a fierce competitor.

Ginger was always active and enthusiastic about traveling – both near and far. As a young woman she was an adventurous traveler, visiting various parts of Europe and exploring Cuba on her own. She loved the “quiet corner” of her home state, as well as the further reaches of New England. She and Sam often kayaked on the Fenton River or cross-country skied at Mansfield Hollow State Park. She loved music and attending live performances, rarely missing a 3rd Thursday Street Fest in Willimantic. She and Sam most enjoyed their frequent trips to Maine, both up the coast as well as Greenville. They regularly traveled to Rhode Island to root for the PawSox and take in the local flavor. Ginger was fondly known for her ability to engage with fellow travelers and meet new people easily. Many friends and loved ones will happily remember receiving one of Ginger’s hand-written postcards, complete with notes about a local legend or a funny story of hers and Sam’s travels.

Ginger was an avid reader and often gave books as presents. She enjoyed taking time to inscribe a thoughtful message or a quote from her one her favorite author’s such as Louisa May Alcott. She will be remembered for her colorful style, always wearing hats and bows in her hair. She brought fun and cheer with her matching socks, kind heart and generous spirit. She was one of a kind and will be missed dearly. Ginger touched many lives and leaves behind a host of friends, too many to mention individually. She will forever be in our hearts and always remembered with a smile.

A private service will be held. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to causes close to Ginger’s heart; the Willimantic Lions Club, PO Box 512, Willimantic, CT 06226, or the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, c/o Max Amoh, Treasurer, 10 Clark Street, New Haven, CT 060511
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