Virginia Barsalou Corrick
It is with great love and deep sorrow that I announce the passing of our beloved mother, Virginia Corrick. She made her peaceful transition, at age 94, on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, 2017, which was totally fitting for the way that she lived her life...filled with joy and gratitude for each and every day that she was gifted with.
For most of 2017, my mother had the remarkable experience of receiving in-home hospice care as a result of an end-stage congestive heart failure condition. Her physical and medical needs were met, which allowed her the freedom to live life to the fullest in the time she had left. Special thanks to her primary caregivers, Adriene Angeland Barb Farstad for their expert, loving care and friendship during this time; to the staff at Allina Hospice and to all Mom’s family and friends who have loved, supported, laughed and cried with us during this challenging, yet glorious last year of our mother’s conscious dying experience.
There’s much that can and will be said about Gini Corrick’s remarkable life. She was a mother of 5, a wife to Bill, a grandmother and great-grandmother, a passionate Democrat (after Bill’s passing 🙂), a lover of gardens, a friend to many and yes...a fabulous textile artist. But beyond all that, the legacy that my mother leaves is this: Rejoice always! Live every moment of your life with love and joy! You can see it in her smile, in her sparkling eyes and certainly in her expressive sense of style and fashion.
Mom, you will be greatly missed, but your spirit will live on.
Gini Corrick’s Celebration of Life info:
When: Saturday, December 16th, 1pm
Where: Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community, 2201 First Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Donations: Textile Center of Minnesota, textilecentermn.org
Virginia (Barsalou) Corrick was born May 1, 1923 to Roy and Anna Barsalou n Burlington Iowa. She always felt she was an Iowa girl at heart. She grew up during the depression but she remembered her youth fondly. She talked with delight, remembering her childhood activities. Swimming in the Mississippi river with her brothers and sisters (Bob, Frank and Mary Lee) stood out in her mind. It was from her father Roy, who was a forest ranger where she found her love of nature
After she graduated from high School in 1941. She attended Drake University studying journalism. She interrupted her studies and married Bill in 1946 . Soon thereafter, she jumped into what she called “the Alice and Wonderland world of family life.” Early during her marriage, she and Bill lived in a log cabin way out in the wilderness in a little town called Excelsior. There in the woods, they raised their 5 children: Bob, Molly, Rose, Patrick and Kim. Virginia’s deep dish pizza and parker house rolls that she prepared for the family as they were growing up, are still legend to this day.
Over the years she became active in gardening and canning and managing mayhem of a household of 5 children. Eventually, the family moved to New Hope where she became involved in political activism and a girl scout leader. Those who knew her were astounded by her joie de vivre, her love of life. What she did, she always did with gusto. She became a landscaper extraordinaire. She was known to shovel the dirt and haul a ton of rock in her bikini in her middle age. Gini graduated from Metro State University in her 50s. Bill and Virginia marked their retirement by moving to Crosslake, MN where again she was able to revel in nature. A little known fact about her was that she was able to identify trees and plants by their common and scientific names. She had an adventurous retirement and travelled all over the world in their Air Stream trailer. At this time, she took her sewing and creative skills to the next level and began to quilt. After her husband died in 1999, she moved to Kenwood Isles and was a resident there for 18 years. She co-founded a group called WAM (Wearable art Midwest). She became a heralded textile designer and artist in the thriving Minneapolis Fiber arts community. She won national acclaim for many of her hand-dyed wearable art garments. Virginia was awarded the prestigious Spun Gold award by the Textile Center of Minnesota for her significant contribution to the textile community. She was a voracious reader and a member of the Kenwood Isle book club as well as the garden club and on the Art and Design committee. Virginia, was a fierce scrabble and upwards player and played at least once weekly with her daughter Molly. She was an excited and devoted member of the Spirit of St. Stephens in her later years and spoke of deeply imbibing it’s message of love and forgiveness.
Life is a choice. Virginia Corrick Barsalou chose to live it vigorously and vibrantly. In the last year of her life, she literally chose life, because she loved it. In that last year, she would wake up with her whole body in pain. She saw it as a choice to either say, “to heck with it” and throw in the towel, or to choose to live. She always chose life.
Truman Capote once said, “life is a moderately good play with a badly written 3rd act. That’s one way to look at it. The way mom looked at aging and life was the potential for wisdom, wholeness and authenticity. Her life is a testimony to that. She had a magnificent 3rd act.
30 years ago, mom told me that she was afraid that when she died that no one would come to her funeral. Boy, was she wrong!
18 years ago, after dad died, she moved to Minneapolis. For the last 18 years, she lived a choice to live a life of her own design…regardless of her circumstances. Some of the qualities behind all the activities that she participated in, like the fiber arts, scrabble, gardening and reading were passion, gusto, leadership and creativity.
But she was so much more than that.
Once, I asked her, how she made the magic. She was always a wonderful person, but in these last 18 years a special shift happened. How did she make the magic? She replied,
“Honey, I learned how to forgive myself.”
On another occasion, legend has it, mom was admitted into the hospital. Hospital staff such as doctors and nurses were crowding her room asking questions such as, “Mrs. Corrick, how do you stay so young?”. “Mrs. Corrick, what is your secret to life?” She answered simply, “Love”. Ahhhh, so love and forgiveness and her enthusiasm for life created a third act that was so inspiring to myself and others.
Earlier this year, she surprised me. Mom said she had a regret. She felt if she had to do it all over again, she wouldn’t have wasted so much time after dad died. I had never noticed that she wasted any time.
Mom had a series of setbacks and comebacks with her health in the last year. A couple of months before she died, after her last setback, she sat in her wheelchair with her O2 in her nose and in a very fragile state. She said to me, “I have so much more to give. I am running out of time. You must help me with my mission of love and compassion.” She called out not just to me, but to all the hearts that will hear to carry on her mission. What is your way to respond to her invitation?
-Helping others through your special skills and passion?
-Listening deeply to someone who is lonely?
-Forgiving yourself today?
-Smiling to others?
Whatever way you do it, Gini Corrick will be smiling. One thing is for sure, Gini Corrick loved life. She chose love. She had a great 3rd act. - Kim Corrick
I so regret not being able to attend your mom's service today. You are all in my thoughts and I send my deepest sympathy to you all. I got to know your mom and all of you through working in your dad's law office for many years. Your mom occasionally filled in at the office and was always such a joy to work with on whatever project she was doing. No job was ever too big for her.
At the time you called me, Kim, I was working on Christmas cards and I would have written out one to her that evening. Over the years I always enjoyed receiving her holiday card. She had such a great talent with fabrics, sewing, quilting and design. I will always cherish fond memories of your mom.
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*questions like: Which St. Stephen's church or which parking lot should I use. Spirit of St. Stephens is located on the same campus as MCAD MFA (Mpls. College of Design) so it has the same address. The church parking lot is on the north end of the campus which is located closer to the intersection of 1st Ave. So. and E 22nd St. The church's number is 612-767-4530