After 95 years, Mary Virginia “Ginger” (Fritsch) Thorpe died Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.
GInger was born in Sebastopol on Oct. 14, 1922. She lived in one of Sebastopol's Victorian homes, filled with beautiful treasures. Despite her refined upbringing, Ginger liked a good joke and was a spitfire. In 1940 she graduated from Sebastopol's Analy High School, then attended a business college in San Francisco. There she met and married U.S. Navy Ensign Dick Thorpe.
After WWII, the Thorpes moved to Los Angeles to start a radio and television business. They had two sons, “Ricky and Davey.” Home was Sunland on a hilltop near Tujunga Canyon. Every Christmas the Thorpes decorated a 40-foot redwood tree, visible for miles around. That tree became a holiday tradition in Sunland. Ginger worked as a physical therapy aide at Kaiser Hospital. She loved taking off with friends on trips to Europe, Hawaii and throughout the Continental U.S.
After her husband died, Ginger moved to Tuolumne County where her sons and their children lived. She joined St. James Episcopal and became active at The Red Church. Ginger loved the mountains, changing seasons and being with her grandkids. Many times she'd organize family picnics to Pinecrest Lake. Her scrumptious holiday feasts always brought family together. She spent time crocheting, gardening, cooking, and reading. She also created an ancestors' photo gallery in her home. Ginger was observant and funny, often at the same time.
Passing before are her husband, William Richard Thorpe II; son, William Richard Thorpe III; sister, Barbara Jean (Fritsch) Andrews; and parents, Mae Irene (Hodgson) and Walter Mecham Fritsch. Her surviving family includes her brother, Walter Mecham Fritsch, Jr.; her son,David Mecham Thorpe; three grandchildren, Willow Rebecca Thorpe, Wren Elizabeth Thorpe Zuccaro, and Bodie Forrest Thorpe; six great-grandchildren, Alex Preston Richard Phillips, Jasmine Lianne Phillips, Sage Nil Zuccaro, Jacob William Zuccaro, Emilee Elizabeth Lankow, and Mark Richard Thorpe; four daughters-in-law; and devoted family and friends.
Simply put, Ginger was a “good egg.” Friends and family will gather at The Red Church in Sonora at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, for communion and a memorial service. Immediately after the service, the Thorpe family invites all to the Parish Hall for refreshments.
Memorial donations can be made to The Red Church's Restoration Project (checks made payable to St. James Episcopal), 42 Snell St., Sonora, CA 95370, or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (www.jdrf.org.)