Virginia Ann Tronc "Ginger" Williams passed away peacefully Friday, May 1, 2015. Service: 11 a.m. Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church, Grapevine. Interment: at a later date in Chenoa Cemetery in Chenoa, Ill. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Lucas Funeral Home, Grapevine. Memorials: The family requests memorials go to The Fort Worth Chapter MOWW Youth Leadership Fund, mail to Lt. Col. James R. Anderson, 5817 Carolyn Drive, North Richland Hills, Texas 76180. Virginia was the daughter of Helen and Wesley Tronc of Pontiac, Ill. She grew up in the small farming community of Chenoa, Ill., on Route 66, south of Chicago. She graduated from Chenoa High School in 1954. From ages 8 to 18, she worked alongside her father, who was a pharmacist and owned Tronc's Rexall Store in Chenoa. She was able to dispense cough syrup or medications as easily as she served milk shakes and malts, or cherry and vanilla ice cream sodas and green rivers at the soda fountain. In high school she was a member of the Chenoa Red Birds Marching Band and played the clarinet. Fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse, she attended St. Luke's School of Nursing in Chicago, Ill., receiving her RN in 1957. This started a nursing career, which was to span over 33 years, and included helping to start one of the first intensive care units in central Illinois outside of Chicago. She counted the saving of more than a dozen lives in the first year of operation as one of the highlights of her nursing career. While working at Burnham City Hospital in Champaign, Ill., she met fellow nurse Charlotte Golden who became her lifelong friend for more than 40 years. Their friendship included skiing in Colorado and traveling to many places around the world. Many years later, while living in the United Kingdom, she and her husband were attending the Royal Ascot Horse Race. She heard the ominous croaking sound coming from someone nearby. Without hesitating, she hopped up from her picnic lunch, hitched up her dress, jumped over several people and administered the Heimlich maneuver to a lady choking. She later received the British Royal Life Saving Society Gold Medal for her prompt actions. In 1957, she married Robert Lee Creek, son of Xen L. Creek, editor of the Chenoa Clipper Times and Lexington Unit Journal. They adopted their newborn son, Wesley Robert Creek, in 1965. She and Robert Creek were later divorced. In 1978, while visiting her brother, Lee Ritter, a captain in the United States Air Force, stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Ill., Lee introduced her to Robert J. Williams of Fremont, Neb., also a captain who also worked as an instructor in the Maintenance Officer's School. Two weeks later, Virginia and Robert were married on Dec. 2, 1978. As part of this marriage, she also adopted Robert's son, Michael Christopher, whom he had adopted while stationed in Thailand. Michael later earned his Boy Scout Eagle rank. Following several assignments at Offutt AFB in Nebraska, RAF in Mildenhall, United Kingdom, and Minot AFB in North Dakota, Robert and Virginia retired from the Air Force in December 1988. In March 1989, after being hired by FlightSafety International, Robert and Virginia moved to Grapevine. In Texas she became known as "Ginger," recognized by the many hats she wore, both literally and figuratively. Almost immediately after arriving in Texas, she joined the fledgling Irving Community Band as a charter member. Two years later, she became a charter member of the Lake Cities Community Band-later the name changed to Southlake Community Band. She continued to play with both bands for over 25 years until her illness prevented her from playing. Prior to coming to Texas, she had played with two community bands in Minot, N.D. She credits Mr. Hichard Heflick, Chenoa High School Band leader, and Mrs. Norma Eash for developing her strong interest in music and playing in bands. After retiring from her lengthy and varied nursing career, she changed pace and worked as a travel agent for five years. Later she called upon her experiences as a soda jerk in her father's soda fountain and helped open the "Scoop In Time" old-fashioned soda shop in downtown Grapevine. Her varied interests including snow skiing which she introduced to her husband almost immediately after they were married. Most of her 40 years of skiing was done on the slopes in Aspen, Colo., though she did have a chance to ski the mountains in St. Johann, Austria, during a vacation there. Aspen is where she also developed her love for the music of John Denver, and after she retired from skiing, she continued to go to Aspen for the annual John Denver Music Celebrations each October. Her love of music and activities associated with the two community bands in Texas, led her to join the Texas International Community Band during their overseas tours. As a member of the band she has played in the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and at the American Cemetery near Normandy Beach in France on the Fourth of July. She also joined the band on trips to Spain and Italy. During the Italy tour, at a concert in a small mountain village just outside of Rome, the mayor of the village made an announcement during intermission. He said that "these Americans gave us our freedom from the Germans on this same date, 70 years ago today, July 13,1944." That brought out the villagers waving both Italian and American flags. During their 36 years of marriage, Ginger and Robert have been ardent travelers. She was able to fulfill her "bucket list," which included seeing the pyramids on the Nile and holding and petting a koala bear at a wild life park in Australia. In 1985, she took a trip to Japan to meet the man to whom she had been writing as a pen pal since 1946. Upon meeting him, she discovered that despite the fact his letters had been in perfect English, he was unable to speak or understand a single word of spoken English. They continued to converse by writing notes back and forth during their visit. Besides playing in the two community bands, Ginger volunteered to work first in the ticket booth and later in the festival store for both of Grapevine's Main Street Days and Grapefest festivals for over 20 years. Her longtime friend, Charlotte, usually traveled from Illinois to join in helping during the festivals. In addition to the city festivals, for several years she and Robert ran the Grapevine High School Band Concession Stand during football games. In 2006, Ginger joined her husband as a hereditary perpetual Companion of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW). The MOWW is the second oldest veterans' support organization in the nation. As Robert fulfilled his duties in various elected positions, at the local, region and national conventions in Baltimore, Md., Atlanta, Ga., El Paso, San Diego, Calif., and Bozeman, Mont., she also had the opportunity to attend the Veterans' Day celebrations at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Survivors: Ginger is survived by her loving husband, Robert of Grapevine; sons, Eagle Scout Michael Williams of Fort Worth and Wesley Creek of Medford, Okla.; granddaughter, Samantha Thi Nguyen-Williams of Carrollton; brother, Lee Ritter of Dayton, Tenn.; sister, Nancy Jones of Bradenton, Fla.; as well as many other family members and friends.
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