Virginia Eileen (Gallaway) Ricci, 88, Logansport, passed away peacefully at home on April 25, 2020. She was born July 23, 1931 to Merle and Effie (Sprowl) Gallaway in Logansport.
On October 20, 1956 Virginia married Nicholas Ricci at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Logansport. He preceded her in death on February 7, 2010.
Virginia is survived by her five children – Ramona McWilliams (Monty) of Fort Wayne; Carmella Cole (Keith), Suzanne Quinn, Nicholas Ricci, Jr., and Joseph Ricci (partner Holly Hurlburt) all of Logansport; seven grandchildren – Katie, Kyle, and Clay McWilliams, Tyler Cole (Sarah), Brittany Burke (Nick), Maggie Quinn, and Bailee Ricci (fiancé Mervin Reed); and two great-grandchildren – Cooper and Tucker Cole.
Also surviving are brothers and sisters-in-law John Donato, Dominic Ricci, Leonard and Sandra Ricci, Phyllis Pickens all of Logansport; and Ron and Barbara Kiser, Kokomo; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death was granddaughter Allyson Ricci, brother-in-law Kenny Pickens, and her ten siblings -- sisters Rosella Mayhill, Eleanor Scagnoli, Clara Bridenbaugh, Norma Jean Hines, Marjorie Donato, Joan Hopper, Carol Abston, Judith Drummond and brothers Donald and Richard Gallaway.
While quiet in nature, growing up in a very large family made Virginia a strong and stoic woman who could work, cook, and sew with boundless energy. In addition to raising her own family, she also worked at RBM and later as a cook at Logansport High School.
Virginia possessed a wonderful green thumb, and had the uncanny ability to grow anything from just a pinch. Everything from the garden was either canned or put in the freezer. Her favorite flowers to grow were yellow roses, hydrangeas, and peonies.
Having married into an Italian family, Virginia naturally learned to cook all of their tasty dishes, breads, and cookies. She was known for her delicious cream pies and was always trying out new recipes. During the holidays she would have trays and trays of different kinds of cookies for the family to enjoy. She passed this love of cooking and traditions to all her children, grandchildren, and the many other family and friends who stopped by for coffee and either joined in with the baking or simply watched and created memories.
When not cooking or gardening, Virginia was an avid reader. Professing to be a speed-reader, she often joked that there was almost nothing in the local library she hadn’t read and always thanked those who dropped off sacks of books for her to enjoy. If it was a good one, it was finished in a day.
Other talents Virginia had that surprised many were her assault on bowling pins and her ability to play the piano by ear. When her children were young, they would all watch The Lawrence Welk Show together and afterwards she would sit at the old player piano and play the favorites she’d heard that night. She especially enjoyed Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and had a particular hankering for Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino.
Virginia possessed a wickedly sharp brain and wit, and was always up for a good joke. In her later years she was proud to say she was a two-time cancer survivor – breast and colon.
But even though she enjoyed cooking, reading, and her flowers, Virginia’s greatest loves were her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She told them not to live a life of regret, because from all the books, she knew there was a big, beautiful world out there to see and adventures to experience.
Virginia felt that her richest blessing was the love and kindness she received from everyone. A memorial visitation will be held at a later date. Contributions can be made to the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, or simply by remembering her as you plant your spring flowers.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Rans Funeral Homes & Crematory, Marocco Chapel, 119 E. Market St., Logansport, IN. Condolences can be shared, and photo collection viewed, at www.ransfuneralhomes.com.
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