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6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 14, 2023
12 to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 15, 2023
Location: Hastings United Methodist Church
2 p.m. Saturday, April 15, 2023
Virginia “Ginny” Routch, 90, of Hastings, PA, stepped into Heaven on March 27, 2023, just five months after the death of her beloved husband, Wendell. It was fitting for them to pass so close together as they shared in a long and beautiful life and 70 years of marriage.
Her family benefitted greatly from her selflessness and love. This includes children: Patricia (Russell) Stiles, of Rehoboth Beach, DE; Mark (Nancy) Routch of Boiling Springs, PA; the late Kris (Linda) Routch of Imperial, PA; and Jill (Rick) Berardi of Pittsburgh, PA; as well as grandchildren: Jordan (Carrie) Routch; Allison (Ralph) Canterbury; Sean, Megan, and Liam Routch; and Maya and Kate Berardi; and great-grandchildren: Timmy, Charlie and Wesley Routch; and Owen and Abram Canterbury. Also included are many nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
She is survived by her older sister, Helen Madis, of Olmstead Township, OH. She is preceded in death by her parents, Carrie and Robert Ferry, and her “sweetheart”, Wendell, and her cherished son, Kris.
Born in Armagh, PA, Virginia lived most of her life in Hastings. A graduate of Hastings High School, she was a homemaker and busy mother and a cafeteria worker at Cambria Heights High School for 26 years, retiring in 2001.
As a life-long member of the Hastings United Methodist Church, Virginia devoted so much to its care and members. She was Secretary of the Women’s Group; Secretary and Treasurer of S.A. Kuhn Sunday School; Secretary of the Administrative Church Council; Member of the Worship Committee; and the Communion Steward. A talented vocalist, she sang in the church choir for 64 years, occupying the same front row corner seat for decades and often delivering solos for church services, weddings, and countless other events.
Virginia and Wendell were married on the live television program, “Bride and Groom,” on March 10, 1952, after she wrote CBS-TV a letter about their love story. Earlier this year, on their 70th anniversary, they renewed their vows with all 24 family members present – a special memory as it would be the last time all were together.
Virginia loved decorating elaborately for Christmas and would begin the process each year in September. For 15 years, she and Wendell opened their home every night from November through January so people could see their “House of 18 Themed Trees”. They entertained hundreds of guests each season with desserts and tours – many who “came as strangers but left as friends,” she would say. Her Christmas tours were nationally recognized in the media.
She hosted her grandchildren every summer for week-long vacations from the time they were infants until teenagers – and then provided them with a photo album and video from each visit.
Some of Virginia’s hobbies included meticulously decorating and caring for her home and creating and hosting theme dinners. She loved reading and relaxing in her gazebo (one of her favorite places). She also enjoyed riding ATVs at their Clearfield family camp; attending Altoona Curve games (where she threw out the first pitch on her 85th birthday); and treasuring every minute with her children and their spouses, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
She cared deeply for those in her community – showing her love through meals, visits, phone calls, cards and in following up on meaningful details in their lives. She was known for her non-stop energy, her talkativeness, and her attention to fashion and style.
She said her greatest joy came from everyday moments in her roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother and friend.
Friends and family will be received at Hastings United Methodist Church, 4th Ave & Spangler St. There will be a visitation on Friday, April 14th from 6-9 pm and also on Saturday, April 15th from 12-2 pm. The funeral service will be Saturday, April 15th at 2 pm at the church, followed by burial at Union Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Virginia’s special causes: The Union Cemetery Chapel (c/o Cemetery Fund, Hastings United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 492, Hastings, PA 16646) as Virginia was proud to have led its renovation and revitalization. Other causes include Shriners Hospital for Children and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, two organizations she supported because of her love of children.