ForeverMissed
This memorial website has been created in memory of our beloved friend, Mom, Grandma, sister and aunt.  Ginnie Stevens (January 23, 1942 - January 2, 2021) had a deep impact on many throughout her wonderful and full life.  One of Ginnie’s greatest joys was finding connections between people. She enjoyed exploring and sharing stories that linked people together.  Ginnie believed in people and found ways for them to use their gifts in positive and meaningful ways.

Please click on "LIFE" above to view Ginnie's obituary.

Please share how Ginnie has touched you.  This is an interactive website that will constantly evolve over time. We invite you to (1) click on "Leave a TRIBUTE"  to Ginnie and/or a message to her family, (2) post pictures or videos and (3) click on "STORIES" to share a special story or memory about Ginnie.

Thank you for being a valued part of Ginnie's life, and we hope you will come back and visit this site often to remember our dearest friend, mom, grandma, and sister.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be to one of two projects (Guatemalan Microloan Project and Malawi Ebenezer Institute of Learning) that Ginnie has been actively involved with through the Presbytery of Western North Carolina.

Posted by Bill Wolcott on January 18, 2021
Ginnie had a huge impact on my spiritual journey that I carry in my heart and memory to this day. Many years ago she was leading mission trips to Mexico with the Puentes de Cristo program. I remember that every year for about 3 years she would approach me and try to recruit me for the annual mission trip. I turned her down the first two years for reasons I don't recall now, but that third year she again pulled me aside and convinced me that I needed to join the mission group. Her words were so powerful to me that I truly felt a call to join the mission team, which I did. The experience of living and working among such impoverished people was life changing for me and gave me a new appreciation for working here to alleviate poverty and injustice. To this day I still see Ginnie's wonderful smile and know that she was at that time for me God's messenger. She's an angel in my eyes!
Posted by Jan Brunk on January 17, 2021
I have known your family for many years. Back in the day your Mom and John and I worked with Bob and me to find creative ways to educate our young children. Ginny and I spoke of her work with John in the Mossbauer days. She was so loyal to him and your family. I have reconnected with Ginny at GCPC in recent years.  She was so grateful to her children for their attention to her. It was lovely that she cleared out things here and moved to Decatur to be closer to family. Ginny was a kind and generous person. a gentle soul who graced this earth. All the best to you, Shel, John and Rob.
Posted by Mary Williamson on January 16, 2021
When I think of Ginnie two things come to mind, her sincere love for others and her dedication to serving others. These attributes make her an excellent example of a true servant of God. Ginnie knew my husband and I and our two boys through Grace Covenant Presbyeran and as time went on and they became young men she never failed to ask about them. She was instrumental in convincing our older son to participate in mission trips that the church sponsored and these were life changing for him. You couldn't help but love Ginnie in return and I was sad when she decided to move to Georgia but knowing how much her children meant to her it was a good decision. She's now in the presence of unfathomable love, a perfect place for her.
Posted by Deborah McEachran on January 15, 2021
I am grateful to Ginnie for her example of how to build relationships of integrity and transparency across cultural, political and theological divides. May each member of her family continue her legacy as you care about others wherever you live.
Posted by Susan Presson on January 15, 2021
When I think of Ginnie, I automatically think of SERVICE. She had such compassion and empathy for everyone and everything. I was blessed to go to Grace Covenant Presbyterian church and serve on a number of committees and go on mission trips with Ginnie. She had energy, especially if it was to help someone else. The world is a better place thanks to Ginnie.
Posted by Debbie Horne on January 15, 2021
There are people who, even if you haven’t had years to hang out with them, you know your life would be less full without them. Ginnie was one of those treasures for us.
Love,
Harry and Debbie Horne
Posted by Barbara McLean on January 15, 2021
Ginny was a church friend, a neighbor, and a Presbytery friend. She was devoted to her church, mission, and her family. We were at a lot of Presbytery meetings together - rode together and planned together. I was fortunate to be able to talk to her at Bobbi White's retirement party. Those few minutes and so many other things will forever be in my heart. Thanks, Ginnie, for a life well lived.
Posted by Marylyn Huff on January 14, 2021
Ginnie was our first friend when Olson and I moved to Asheville in 1980. We met at Grace Covenant and watched our children grow up. Ginnie was full of life and love. Although she worked in science for many years, she had a true heart for mission. She developed the mission program for the Presbytery of WNC, helping folks from this presbytery receive and learn from the people they served. I was glad to visit with Ginnie in Decatur in Sept 2019. Always caring for others, she was connecting people on her hall with a directory. Her family was her joy. She especially enjoyed keeping up with her grandchildren - their interests and activities. Shelly, John G. and Rob, she was so proud of you and loved your spouses. Thank you, John G. and Stacey for being her daily support in Decatur. This is a beautiful website. Enjoyed the pictures! She gave us all so much. I miss her.
Posted by Douglas Michael on January 10, 2021
Might there have been a creation story for Ginnie, decades ago, with a dialogue running something like this?


Father: All is arranged for the birth tomorrow?

Son: Yes, mostly. The Spirit is brooding over south Jersey, and the family is waiting. But a question has arisen over what special gift might accompany this child, and what We might call her.

Father: Ah, yes. Let's see. I'm remembering that parable you offered your disciples those many years ago. Let us give this baby girl the gift of sowing seeds. She will plant and cast seeds widely, and she and her crops will bear much fruit. "Sembradora fiel." Yes, “Faithful planter” – that would be good, very good.

And, it was so.
Posted by Ellen Dozier on January 6, 2021
When I read the following from Inward Outward, a publication of the Church of th Savior in Washing DC, I thought of Ginnie on this Epiphany Day
“Epiphany marks the beginning of a new year, and I am grateful for small things here at home: a plate of cookies from across the hall; a phone call to say that a friend is safely admitted to the infirmary where they can monitor her spiking blood pressure; last year’s Christmas letter sent again by my nephew, with red-pen corrections to describe their circumscribed activities this year. These personal gestures of love and local caring are the warp threads of human community.
The weft is gaudy and bright, loud and obvious. It’s the big public story of political turmoil and pandemic heartbreak. One can hear overtones of our public story in the words of King Herod telling the wise men to let him know where the newborn king was, so he could also pay homage to the child.* It rings of deceit, subterfuge, and barely concealed threats.
But, being warned in a dream, the three kings went home “by another way.” They were wise enough to listen and learn, and to sidestep open conflict with Herod. That, of course, did not curb his hatred and fear, but for the newborn child, it was enough. The holy family was safe, and saved for a hopeful future.
And in that small quiet ending of this Epiphany story, I hear a blessing and see light beginning to break on the horizon”.

Ginnie was the “warp.” She lived her life as a servant. Her greatest joy was in being a blessing for someone. That blessing usually took the form of a small act of kindness, a meal shared with a neighbor, time spent with a friend to help them discover their gifts, staying up late at night to finish plans for a mission trip so others would be blessed by the trip, a St. Nicholas gift given in secret, listening late into the evening to the stories someone needed to share, finding a way to include someone left out, encouraging people to see beyond themselves.
Ginnie taught me so much. I think one of the greatest lessons is that the abundant life Jesus lived and spoke of has little to do with the number of our possessions and everything to do with all people on this earth having enough. 
I know we need the weft,” the gaudy and bright, the loud and obvious” to hold the fabric of our lives together and sometimes we get caught up to the weft and we want to be the person who is “bright and obvious.” I don’t think Ginnie ever wanted that. She was at peace being the quiet. faithful one who in so many ways reflected the light we celebrate on Epiphany
Ellen Dozier
Posted by Gwen Gibson on January 5, 2021
We've missed Ginnie Stevens for years. As Associate for Mission in the Presbytery of WNC, Ginnie visited all the churches small and large to encourage the faith community in their mission efforts. She was a friendly soul you could always count on. She set the standard for Presbytery staff, and  I'm proud of our PWNC for their mission focus.
United Presbyterian Church, Lenoir NC
Posted by Bex Yo on January 5, 2021
Ginnie loved life and loved all of God's children, equally and passionately. What a saint. So privileged to have shared this planet with her for a brief time. She certainly made it a much better place, and modeled for those around her how to do so as well. Thanks be to God!
Posted by Judith Nebrig on January 4, 2021
A part of Ginnie’s legacy:
Ginnie introduced me, and others, to what it means to be in mission through partnership.
She reminded us that it was important to meet our partners with “empty hands”, rather than trying to solve their problems for them; and with open hearts, to receive what they have to offer us.
She often urged us to “live with the questions”
She modeled the importance of being in a mutual relationship with our siblings in Guatemala.

Even more important than what Ginnie did, is who Ginnie is to me:
Anam Cara is a Celtic phrase that means “soul friend”.
Ginnie is my Anam Cara: with her I could share my innermost self, my mind, my heart.
I was understood as I am without mask or pretention.
Some say time, distance, even death can’t part Anam Cara;
I believe that.

Judy Nebrig

Posted by Harry and Janny Meinema on January 4, 2021
Harry and Janny Meinema, Leusden, The Netherlands

We have precious memories on the friendship and hospitality Ginnie showed to us over so many years
We met her for the first time in 1978 in Nijmegen/Dukenburg and a close relationship grew after our family was invited to stay with hers in Asheville in spring 1979. We and daughter Mariënte and sun Arjen still have vivid memories of that stay. 
Through all the years we have been in touch with each other. So did Ginnie visit us, once with Shelly and Sophia and later on her own in spring 2011. We stayed with her in Asheville on a weekend in the summer of 2010 where she showed us around in the town and the Cherokee Indian Reservation.
Besides, each year we had e-mail contacts on the occasion of each other’s birthdays. Thereby Ginnie proudly informed us about the experiences of her families and the progress made by her grandchildren in school, sports, soccer, and ballet.
The last couple of years she informed us that she had serious health problems. Already in 2018, to our regret, she informed us that she had to cancel her, what she called, Final Trip to her friends in the Netherlands.
Now that she has passed away memories will remain, so that we will not forget her.
Posted by Meliss Whitman on January 3, 2021
“Grandma Nut” was such a genuine, kind, and bright woman. I always looked forward to seeing her, and she added so much to all experiences I had with her. I watched her as a wonderful mother, mother in law, and grandmother to her children, my sister and nieces. Love and Light.
Posted by Peter Glover on January 3, 2021
She was my connection to Montreat and Western NC. I always enjoyed getting the latest information from her on this area. She was a calm soul and will be missed.
Posted by Elaine Stevens on January 3, 2021
So sorry.  Many years of memories both at Christmas and in the summer. I’ll always cherish our visit in Holland. Jim and I extend our condolences to the entire family.
Posted by Helen Glover on January 3, 2021
She was/is a jewel. Very sad to hear. John, your Mom was my “family gathering” friend.
xoxoxo

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Bill Wolcott on January 18, 2021
Ginnie had a huge impact on my spiritual journey that I carry in my heart and memory to this day. Many years ago she was leading mission trips to Mexico with the Puentes de Cristo program. I remember that every year for about 3 years she would approach me and try to recruit me for the annual mission trip. I turned her down the first two years for reasons I don't recall now, but that third year she again pulled me aside and convinced me that I needed to join the mission group. Her words were so powerful to me that I truly felt a call to join the mission team, which I did. The experience of living and working among such impoverished people was life changing for me and gave me a new appreciation for working here to alleviate poverty and injustice. To this day I still see Ginnie's wonderful smile and know that she was at that time for me God's messenger. She's an angel in my eyes!
Posted by Jan Brunk on January 17, 2021
I have known your family for many years. Back in the day your Mom and John and I worked with Bob and me to find creative ways to educate our young children. Ginny and I spoke of her work with John in the Mossbauer days. She was so loyal to him and your family. I have reconnected with Ginny at GCPC in recent years.  She was so grateful to her children for their attention to her. It was lovely that she cleared out things here and moved to Decatur to be closer to family. Ginny was a kind and generous person. a gentle soul who graced this earth. All the best to you, Shel, John and Rob.
Posted by Mary Williamson on January 16, 2021
When I think of Ginnie two things come to mind, her sincere love for others and her dedication to serving others. These attributes make her an excellent example of a true servant of God. Ginnie knew my husband and I and our two boys through Grace Covenant Presbyeran and as time went on and they became young men she never failed to ask about them. She was instrumental in convincing our older son to participate in mission trips that the church sponsored and these were life changing for him. You couldn't help but love Ginnie in return and I was sad when she decided to move to Georgia but knowing how much her children meant to her it was a good decision. She's now in the presence of unfathomable love, a perfect place for her.
her Life

A life well lived

On Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, Virginia (Ginnie) Stevens, loving mother of three children and grandmother of seven children, passed away at age 78 in Decatur, Georgia.

Ginnie was born on January 23, 1942 in Indian Mills, NJ to James and Eleanor Entwistle. Raised on a poultry farm, she was the oldest of seven children. As an avid reader, she always wanted to be a teacher. In 1963, she graduated from The King’s College with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. In 1963, she married John G. Stevens and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where she taught for a few years before starting a family. She and John raised one daughter, Sybil (Shelly), and two sons, Robert and John in Asheville, North Carolina.

Starting in the late 1960’s, Ginnie joined John and others in developing the Mossbauer Effect Data Center where they compiled an international scientific database that is still in use today. Ginnie lived briefly in the Netherlands and traveled extensively throughout Europe. In the early 1980’s she began working for the Western North Carolina Presbytery, where she led mission trips to Central America, developed programs around alternative giving, and was instrumental in developing ongoing partnerships with Guatemala and Malawi communities. Throughout her work and travels, Ginnie made lifelong friends from many corners of the world.

Ginnie’s greatest joy was finding ties between people. She enjoyed exploring and sharing stories that connected people together. Ginnie believed in people and found ways for them to use their gifts in positive and meaningful ways.

In her later years, she enjoyed spending time with her family - driving or flying across the country to watch a sporting event or musical performance, setting up extended family vacations, and helping her three children and their families.

Recent stories

A memory from Ineke Calis-van Ginkel

Shared by Rob Stevens on January 18, 2021
      We, Gijs and I, met the Stevens family in spring 1977, when Gijs started working on the University of Nijmegen in the Mösssbauer Spectroscopy group of Jan Trooster, where he met John Stevens. John was in The Netherlands for 1 year and lived with his family in Wychen. Gijs invited John and family to visit us in our house in Molenhoek to eat pancakes.  For me that was the first contact with John, Ginnie, Shelly, Rob and John G.

     In the summer holiday of 1978 Ginnie asked me to accompany her and the kids to the Openluchtmuseum in Arnhem. I took two 12 year old girls with me. She were our guests.  Four kids had a lot of fun in the garden and Ginnie, Shelly and I enjoyed the sculptures in the garden and the paintings of Vincent van Gogh in the museum.

     In 1979 we went to a Mössbauer conference in Portoroz (former Yugoslavia), where we met John and Ginnie again. It was amazing to see how many people Ginnie reconized by name and what she knew about them concerning their publcations in the Mössbauer field.  That all had to do with her work for the Mössbauer Effect Data Center. And how quick she could understand things that people tried to tell her in their different languages.  She had a very good  linguistic feeling and was a great networker.

     The Edinburgh Mössbauer conference in 1980 brought us again together. We climbed Arthur's Seat where on top of the hill we were eating filled potatoes and listened to Ginnie's story about her visit with the kids to the London Dungeons. She was interested in history,  history of her own country and of the countries she visited.

     After Jan Trooster died in 1981 John Stevens became Gijs' supervisor for his Ph. D. : "A Mössbauer study on dynamic electron spin behaviour".

John invited Gijs and me to come to Asheville (NC) to make progress in finishing the thesis. We were guests in the Stevens house on Woodbury Road. Ginnie showed us around on the Blue Ridge Parkway, to Cherokee Indian Reservation and to Biltmore House and Gardens. A good alternation of work and leisure-time.

The Ph.D. ceremony was on June 24 and John came, together with Shelly, to attend the graduation. They stayed with us and that was a lot of fun.  Shelly playing the flute in the middle of the night (thanks to the time difference) an John trying to pronounce the Dutch   "Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen". Ginnie would have loved it to be with us to attend the Ph.D. ceremony.

     From Oktober 1981 until the end of January 1982 we lived in Asheville, NC where Ginnie had found two rooms for us in an old colonial house on Pearson Drive. Gijs worked, together with Li Zhe, a physicist from Beijing (PRC),  on the Mössbauer Department of the UNCA, to build a Mössbauer measurement apparatus. The Stevens family, Li Zhe, Gijs and I did a lot of things together.  We went for the autumn-walk of the university, picking apples in an orchard, Gijs gave a performance as Sinterklaas with Rob and John G. as Black Peters, we attended church ceremonies and Li Zhe, Gijs and I went to Disney (Fl) as Ginnie advised us. And on New Yearsday we were swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks to Ginnie we had a great time that four months.

     The years after we saw each other now and then. We went to the USA,  or John and Ginnie came to The Netherlands to see their friends and for biking.  On a city trip to Maastricht (15 km from our house in Hulsberg) we attended a very special puppet-theater, without puppets. Children of the audience had to play the story the director told them. It was amazing to see how it all worked and it gave us all a lot of pleasure, laughing and hilarity.

     In 1992 we met the Stevens family on the San Juan Islands in the Pudget Sound. Ginnie told me about her study Theology and the preaching she did in the mountainous area around Asheville. She made a very enthusiastic impression on me. It seemed she did not miss her job for the Mössbauer Effect Data Center, although she had done that for a very long time.

     2004 was our last time in the USA, seeing each other there.

     In 2010 Gijs was diagnosted for Alzheimer. Ginnie, who was afraid Gijs would not recognize her when she waited too long to come, came in 2011.  Happily Gijs recognized her immediately on the railway platform and was very glad to see Ginnie as was Ginnie. We enjoyed her stay with us and travelled with her to Marguerite and Paul in Mook, from were she went to Gudrun in Doesburg and Harry and Jannie in Leusden. It was Ginnie's last trip to the Netherlands. She has sent us the pictures of her visit.

Two other trips she planned for 2017 and 2018 had to be canceled and that was a great pity for her.

     The latest years, we contacted each other by mail and some telephone calls. Ginnie wrote about her moving to the surroundings of Atlanta , about physical problems and all what had to do with that. Her passing away was not unexpected for me. I will miss her.

     I (Gijs died in May 2017) will remember Ginnie as an active friend, interested in people, sympathizing her Dutch friends, enjoying travelling, get to know new people, new things, loving  nature and culture,  her hospitality. And the mother she was and the love she had for her children and her grandchildren and her love for us, her Dutch friends Gijs and I.

That is the friend I will keep in mind.

-Ineke Calis-van Ginkel

Guatemala Ties

Shared by Deborah McEachran on January 15, 2021
Ginnie spearheaded our Presbytery's Guatemala partnership for many years.  It would not have flourished without her steadfast, loving persistence to continually invite new people to experience relationships with our Guatemalan brothers and sisters (either in NC or in Guatemala) or her commitment to keeping up the ties between the two communities. 
I recently quoted one of her foundational teachings for traveling to visit our Guatemalan partners in a sermon.  Ginnie taught us that when we travel to another culture/country, we should travel with empty hands.  When we travel with hands full of stuff to give, we cause harm to the relationship we have or want to have with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we travel with empty hands, we are so much more ready for a hug, a handshake, the chance to work side by side, to play a game with the children, and much more. Ginnie was so, so wise, and I am very grateful that I could learn from her.
Shared by Marguerite Trooster on January 15, 2021
Dear Shelly, Rob and John,

Our friendship with Ginnie was a golden friendship. Not only because it lasted over 50 years, but also because it was so precious to my family.
In 1967 my husband Jan Trooster, a physicist at the University of Nijmegen finished his thesis on the Mössbauer Effect. He got a 2-year grant to work at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. So we moved to New Brunswick with Steven and Rose, who were 5 and 4 years old at that time. 
In 1971 and 1972 we returned to Rutgers for the summer.
As John and Ginnie were also involved in the Mössbauer community, we came to meet each other and our families.
In 1977 Ginnie and John and their children came to Nijmegen. John and Jan worked together at the  Research Institute for Materials of the Department of Physical Chemistry.
We found them a home, next to Piet and Gudrun, and a school for their children. And Ginnie learned Dutch, so she could communicate with Dutch people.
Our families shared the same passions: bicycling, sailing and camping.
Ginnie and her family returned for shorter stays to Nijmegen . One time their home was a very primitive house on the grounds of an apple farm. There was no furniture, so we had to borrow and improvise to make it liveable. But Ginnie loved it. Even on an antique stove she could do wonders.
In 1978 Jan returned to Rutgers for another year. In the spring of 1980 he became terminally ill. In November Ginnie came over to Nijmegen to help us and to say goodbye to Jan. For days she stood in the kitchen preparing meals and baking bread. After she left , we had the freezer filled with delicious food. 
In 1982 Steven graduated from High School and he was invited to stay with John and Ginnie in Asheville for 3 weeks. 
Steven, Paul and I were invited to Rob and Katia’s wedding. Ginnie had planned an international buffet, and we had brought cheese from France and Belgium.
After the wedding we were invited to stay at the beach with her for a week. Shelly was there too with her baby. The house was a dream and the crabcakes delicious.
Later Ginnie visited us several times. One time she brought Shelly and Sophia with her to stay with us in Mook. It was great to have our families together.  
Ginnie was always interested in our family and kept us up to date of the (sportive) performances and wellbeing of her grandchildren and children.
We will miss her dearly.

Marguerite, Paul, Steven and Rose Trooster