Virginia Lee Zipp’s family was not able to be by her side, hold her hand and speak softly to her when she passed. We know we are not the only ones unable to be by a loved one’s side in these are unprecedented times. And there will be no immediate public Memorial to celebrate her life where we can reminisce, hug and be a comfort to one another. No family will be there with her as she is laid to rest next to her husband which breaks her family’s heart. And so, we will remember and honor her in the best way we can by sharing these details and written tributes along with a video of her life. I hope, wherever you are at, you will take a moment to read about Virginia Zipp and watch the 10 minute video https://vimeo.com/412391520 about her life. In this way we can perhaps still celebrate her the way she so deserved with sending overwhelming loving thoughts of Virginia to the heavens.
Virginia Lee Zipp, (Ginny) was born in Shawnee Kansas on October 5, 1928 to Amalia Sophie and Rene’ Geysels. She was the youngest of Amalia and Rene’s 3 children with sisters Irene Lillian Gardner and Olive Lucille Stempel. Virginia departed her long and full life after a prolonged illness at the age of 91 on April 27th 2020 in Granada Hills California in Los Angeles County. Previously, she lived in Kansas City area with her husband for the majority of her life. She was the beloved and cherished wife of Wilbur Zipp, married April 2nd, 1948. Virginia and Wilbur’s amazing love affair lasted 63 years until Wilbur’s passing in 2011. Virginia Lee Zipp is survived by her two children who loved her dearly: Deborah Lee and Cary Lynn Zipp and their respective spouses, Michael Murray Horton of Los Angeles CA and Irma Tiscareno Zipp of Stephenville, Texas. Always a romantic, Virginia named her children after Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant from the movie “A Love Affair to Remember”. She is also survived by her nieces; Penny Ann Grecni, daughter to sister, Irene and her husband Francis Gardner and Jan Elaine Wood and Karen Sue Jacobsen, daughters to sister Lucille and her husband, Marvin Stempel. Virginia was blessed with 8 grandchildren that she was so proud of: Cali Zipp Horton, Trevor Zipp Horton, Charles Lynn Zipp and his wife Aidai, Ashley Lynn Zipp, Devin Cade Zipp, Wyatt Cole Zipp and Ethan Alexander Gonzalez. She is also survived by her 4 great grandchildren; Ayana Lynn Zipp and Adina Lorraine Zipp, daughters of Charles and Aidai Zipp. Kimber Jane Ramos and Lucy Lane Sanchez, daughters of Ashley Zipp. In lieu of flowers, please give to “Best Friends Animal Society” https://bestfriends.org/ if you would like to make a donation in honor of Virginia Zipp.
Tribute to My Mom from Debbie Zipp her daughter
Virginia Lee Geysels Zipp, my Mother, was a gem of a human being and was a supreme survivor. She struggled and fought so hard to live during the last few months of her life, even though there was no hope she would. Her life force and her strength during the final days of her bed ridden life boggled everyone’s mind. Through her entire life my Mother was a tough woman who survived all the challenges and overcame whatever life threw at her. I would say my Mother found the biggest joy and the greatest source of her happiness when my Dad, Wilbur Eugene Zipp stepped into her life. My Dad loved my Mother the minute he saw her crossing the street in his car with his brother after the war. He told his brother Claude, “I’m going to marry her”. And he did! Wilbur was her everything to her. He was her soul mate, her protector, her knight in shining armor. Virginia loved him beyond all measure and was deeply dedicated to him as he was to her. It was the kind of love affair they write movies about and that love affair lasted 63 years. My father once said, “that he only loved her more with each day.” That kind of love between partners in life is only to be cherished and admired. My mother and father were so lucky in the love department with each other and with the 2 wonderful children they raised that adored and admired them. After a lifetime of sharing their lives together, Wilbur, my father, passed away in 2011. After my Dad’s death, Virginia had to give up her home and move to a new state to be with me so I could take care of her. This move took a tremendous amount of strength and courage to survive. But, as I said, my Mother was one tough and strong person. So, she forged a new life in CA with me and my husband, Mike, my kids, my friends and my dogs.
Virginia was always a stunningly beautiful lady…Movie star beautiful. Despite the scars from her childhood, my Mother was full of compassion, sweet charm, with a wonderfully contagious smile and at all times she was one classy and great Lady with a capital L. She loved the little things. The small treasures in life we sometimes take for granted. Her joy for the simple gifts’ life offers, like watching the bunny’s scurry, the cardinals, the meadow larks and the blue jays light on a branch, in the yards of wherever we lived in the Kansas City area, were true sources of happiness and wonder for her. When she visited the ocean, touched an orange hanging on a fruit tree or saw a palm tree swaying with the wind, here in CA, she’d go positively giddy. It was a truly touching thing to watch her reaction. And it was contagious. Her appreciation for the little things in life taught me a great deal and so I, too, became a fan of the simple treasures and blessings in life. I owe that to her as well as my love for animals. Her love for animals knew no bounds, she loved and adored all creatures great and small, especially her and my Dad’s doggie, Schnoodles. In CA, my Mother turned her great love for animals to her grand doggies and they loved her back with all their hearts. Her open deep love and dedication to her children, myself and my brother, Cary, was profound. We could always feel how she cherished us. Her other great passion was…Hallmark Greeting Cards (I kid you not) and sending the perfect card with just the right message to a loved one. Yes, it’s true. She scrutinized the Hallmark Cards like a wine or art aficionado. The hours she would spend in a Hallmark Card Shop perusing each and every card…or so it seemed at the time… tickled me pink.
I have memories of such good times and, yes, a few bad ones, but we made it through, her and I, with the bond of a Mother and daughter’s love intact and I celebrate that today. As Paula Finn says, “I will focus on all the great memories. I will always reflect, with smiles and grateful tears, on our moments together. As with every Mother and her child, the child eventually grows up and you walk side by side bonded forever as friends and equals. And eventually the roles reverse as the child becomes the caregiver.” That was how it was for me and her.
There are too many memories and stories to share now, so I hope the video I created, in honor of my Mother, will give my family and friends and those who knew and loved her a glimpse of entirety of her 91 years of life. I hope you will take 5 minutes to watch.
I truly believe she is with all of us today in some way. Not the way we want her to be, but her sweet & lovely spirit is in our hearts and she is surrounding us with love and comfort. Virginia Lee Zipp had a very long and full life. Besides her 2 children, myself and Cary, she had 7 amazing grandchildren and 4 super great grandchildren. And… after an entire life without a true best friend, she finally found a best friend and a new soulmate with “Patty” in Memory Care. They held hands, always sat together , laughed together and simply adored one another. It was such a long overdue and miraculous gift for my Mother that I am so grateful for.
Mother, you will always be a part of me and in my heart. I will love you forever. You deserve to finally rest in peace and be without pain of any kind. Your memory will live in your family’s heart and the hearts all those who are lucky enough to have known you and love you. I remember what Helen Keller said: “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
As my Mother embarks on a new journey, she takes all the love she has known with her. I know she is surrounded by the love of God and finally is in the arms of my Daddy, her precious husband. She is whole and happy and free and enjoying the company, once again, of her mother, father, sisters, sister in laws, brother in laws, her beloved dog Schnoodles and my dogs Petey, Porshee, Vinnie, Fido and Essie. I like to think of my Mother being reunited with all her loved ones, from the whole Geysels and Zipp clan, sitting together in their recliners watching a Kansas City Royals game and eating lots of vanilla ice cream with Hershey’s chocolate sauce. I Love You Mother. You were a great wife, mother, friend and a really truly great Lady and you will be greatly missed.