Virginia “Ginny” Garrett, beloved mother, grandmother, friend, and teacher, died suddenly at home on 10/11/16 in New Bern, NC at the age of 76. Ginny was a tireless educator and literacy advocate during her career which spanned over forty years. A graduate of Randolph-Macon Women’s College, Ginny earned her Master’s in Education at Case Western Reserve and began her career teaching at an inner city elementary school in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1960s. By the mid-1970s, she had moved to Plymouth, North Carolina where she initially taught as a Title I literacy specialist at Plymouth High School, but went on to teach Basic and College Prep English during her 13 year tenure at PHS. Ginny was also an Athletic Trainer at PHS for a number of those years. Her passion for teaching, love of reading, and tireless devotion to her students was well known. Many students remember diagramming sentences in her class and also looking forward to the comments she wrote to her students in their black and white composition books. After her children left home, Ginny sought out new challenges and moved to Dayton, Ohio in 1988 where she became a professor and reading instructor at Sinclair Community College. She took great joy in working with students of many different ages and from many different cultures. She remained at Sinclair until she retired and moved to New Bern in 2008. Even after retirement, Ginny stayed active teaching classes through Craven Community College and volunteering as a tutor for the Craven County Literacy Council.
Right up until her death, Ginny remained outspoken, witty, and unconventional. After beating cancer in 2003, Ginny vowed that when she finished chemo and her hair grew back, she would dye it purple. She kept her word, sporting vibrant purple hair up until the end. Ginny leaves behind her three children and their families: Catherine, Dwayne, Claire, and Taylor Alligood; Liz, David, Catherine, and Caroline Fowle; Garrett, Mary Hsieh, and Jay Stanley; and her godson, Otis Anderson. In keeping with her request, the family will hold a private memorial service. Arrangements are with Kahlert Funerals and Cremations. Those wishing to honor Ginny’s memory are encouraged to share the joy of reading with a child, to make a contribution of time or money to a literacy council, and perhaps most of all, to practice patience and kindness with all people we encounter in this life.