Former longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident Virginia “Ginger” Alice Clarkson passed away suddenly at home in Surprise, Arizona, on October 20, 2021, at the age of 85.
Ginger was born on Valentine’s Day in 1936 to parents Carl and Alice Johnson in Denver, Colorado, and moved to Phoenix as a young girl. She attended the University of Arizona, where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Ginger was president of the Mortar Board honor society, a Phi Beta Kappa, and was selected Desert Queen at the U of A. She graduated with a B.A. in education, and won the Merrill Freeman Medal as the outstanding female graduate at the university.
After teaching elementary school for two years, Ginger put her career on hold to raise her family. As a single parent, she raised three sons, all attending La Cañada schools.
In the early 1970s, she rejoined the workforce by becoming one of the first female management trainees at United California Bank, which subsequently merged with First Interstate Bank and then Wells Fargo Bank. Ginger was a vice president and regional commercial loan officer in the bank’s Glendale branch. She was known for her exceptional customer service, and was the personal banker for several members of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff during the 1990s.
After retiring from the bank, Ginger worked as the receptionist at JSB Motors in La Cañada Flintridge. She had a knack for making people “hear her smile” through the phone.
In 2001, she retired for good and returned to Arizona where she thoroughly enjoyed her new life, spending time with her extended family and many new friends.
Ginger was a kind, compassionate and spiritual person, who had been a member of the Lutheran Church in the Foothills.
Ginger is survived by her three sons and spouses (Tom, Barry and Debra, and Chris and Christie), her seven grandchildren (Danee, Katie, Will, Kendall, Emily, Lilly and Sophie), her two great-grandchildren (Asher and Jett), her brother and sister-in-law (Bob and Jayne), and her many nieces and nephews and their spouses and children.
Ginger will be greatly missed by her loving family and close friends. A Celebration of Life will be held at Surprise Funeral Care on Saturday, November 13, at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to American Lung Association in her honor. To sign the guestbook online, share memories, and send condolences and well-wishes to the family, please visit, surprisefuneralcare.com.