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1931 Ginny 2023

Virginia Donaldson Giffen

February 23, 1931 — January 8, 2023

Mt. Pleasant

Virginia Louise Donaldson Giffen, age 91 of Mt. Pleasant, SC passed away on January 8, 2022.

Virginia (Ginny) Giffen was born in Pittsburgh, PA on February 23, 1931, the second daughter of Wilbur and Myrtle Donaldson.

She and her sister Eleanor grew up in suburban Pittsburgh during the Great Depression and World War II (she saved her war ration cards!). She was a smart cookie, skipping second grade, and in 1948 she went off to Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio to study economics and music. While there, she met the love of her life, Dick Giffen. After graduation, Ginny and Dick had a beautiful summer wedding in Ginny’s parents’ backyard. The newlyweds shared a little bitty apartment in Pittsburgh while Dick slogged through Pittsburgh seminary and Ginny worked a great job with US Steel. Ginny had many occupations through her long life – librarian, commercial researcher, personnel consultant, preschool teacher, and salesperson. But most of her energy was focused on raising their three daughters Tina, Karen and Carol and helping Dick serve communities of faith in Gibsonia, Ellwood City, Butler and Tyrone, PA and then in Canton, OH and Elizabeth Presbytery in New Jersey. She sewed the girls’ clothes and knew how to keep track of the pennies and to pinch them when necessary. Always attracted to music, Ginny played the piano, organ and clarinet. She had a great alto voice and just loved to sing. She was an excellent cook and ventured far beyond the meat and potato meals of her youth. Each of her daughters consider an often-used, tattered book of Ginny’s recipes one of their most prized possessions. And one of her very favorite things to do is make delicious Yum-Yums with her beloved granddaughters Virginia, Anna and Kate. This past Christmas, just a few weeks ago, Ginny was overjoyed to hold her first great grandchild, Garrett. She was a voracious reader, an accomplished crossword and sudoku puzzler, bridge player, jeopardy watcher and zumba-ist. A passionate world traveler, she and Dick have a map with push pins that reflect the many places they visited across five continents. Ginny and Dick were blessed again in 1995 when they found forever friends at the Hidden Lakes neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant. Ginny committed fully to Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian as a deacon, choir member, Connect 3 Sunday school member, and was among the first class of its Stephen Ministry. Ginny was also deeply committed to giving back to her communities. She participated in iBeam, Meals on Wheels, MPPC home bound visitation, and Senior Ride Charleston. Recently, she and Dick were welcomed into the wonderful Franke retirement community.

Ginny is survived by her beloved husband, Dick; daughters, Tina Garrett, Karen (Karen Jane) Giffen and Carol (Nick) Giffen; son-in-law ML Garrett; granddaughters Virginia (Chris) Trusk, Anna (Nalbi) Erdogan and Kate Montano; great grandson Garrett Trusk; and nieces and nephews, Joe (Gina) Weiner, Jim (Cindy) Weiner, and Cindy Williams. She is also survived by her extended family and so many friends of the heart.

All are invited to a celebration of Ginny’s life at Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church (303 Hibben Street, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464) at 2:00 pm on Thursday, January 12, 2023. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall.

 In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church.

 The McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, 1520 Rifle Range Rd. Mt. Pleasant, SC has been entrusted with arrangements



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Virginia Donaldson Giffen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, January 12, 2023

2:00 - 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

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