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Memories & Candles

“what a shining example Ginger was of mercy and grace. I will treasure our speaker tapes of her shares online and fond memories of her delightful...Read More »
1 of 48 | Posted by: dee in california (Cheryl dianne carlson) - CA

“I can't imagine the online meetings without you, you always had such positive, uplifting, and inspirational things to say and were a joy to spend...Read More »
2 of 48 | Posted by: RebekahJ - Little Rock, AR

“You helped me a great deal over the years and I have fond memories of our long conversations. Thank you for being you. God Bless Lee x ”
3 of 48 | Posted by: Lee (Wizwaz70) - Friend

“Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only...Read More »
4 of 48 | Posted by: Janelle R - L.A., CA - friend

“Oh My Dear Ginger: I waited for your next call and talk...but it never happened. I never knew why til tonight....I am so sorry to hear of your...Read More »
5 of 48 | Posted by: Susan A - MS

“We'll remember you forever---sorry we couldn't come to the services but we couldn't find a place to park. Anyway, God speed. Karon & Larry ”
6 of 48 | Posted by: Karon & Larry Gram - Waterloo, IA

“Deny, Dusty and Jacquie, We were so sorry to hear about your Sister/Mother. You will miss her so much but she is in heaven now and God is taking...Read More »
7 of 48 | Posted by: Betty (Sanders) Tatum

“"The peace of God that surpasses all understanding" is what overcame me when I first heard that the Lord called you home ... to that place called...Read More »
8 of 48 | Posted by: Jack - B.C., Canada - friend

“FIRST,MY CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY,RELATIVES,FRIENDS & ALL LOVED ONES WHO GOT TO EXPERIENCE & ENJOY THE ADVENTUROUS LOVING SPIRIT THAT...Read More »
9 of 48 | Posted by: TOMCAT...AKA;...deepndark

“Dusty, Know that you're in my thoughts. ”
10 of 48 | Posted by: Patty Beiner - Waterloo, IA

“Tina and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I only had the chance to meet Ginger one time and she was very pleasant.. You are in our thoughts...Read More »
11 of 48 | Posted by: Tammy Thompson - Des Moines, IA

“We all will miss her Happy go lucky spirit. Maggie and Joe Harn ”
12 of 48 | Posted by: Maggie Harn - Waterloo, IA

“Ginger's storehouse of experience, abundance of compasion, and incredible personality made her a useful, happy part of hundreds of lives.She lit up a...Read More »
13 of 48 | Posted by: Varrel Wilcox - Evansdale, IA

“When, in desperation, I phoned the AA phone number in 1984, Ginger's face appeared at my door. Such a great surprise, because we also knew each...Read More »
14 of 48 | Posted by: Barb Draper - waterloo, IA

“My thoughts and prayers are with Ginger's family. It was such a shock learning that Ginger had passed, hard to believe. Both she and Russ remain...Read More »
15 of 48 | Posted by: Karin - Ottawa - friend

“Dear Ginger I will miss you always you ware a great friend. Your heart was open to the whole world. Eddie Halford 16 Elm Park, Kildare Town Co....Read More »
16 of 48 | Posted by: Eddie Halford - Ireland

“Ginger.. well done baby! Live life on a spiritual plan doing gods plan. when we are finished, we will be called home. If we did it right, it will...Read More »
17 of 48 | Posted by: TheJaywalker(Bill) Bill Schell - NY

“I know you are with Russ and your baby grandson. I will miss you! Thank you Mercy N Grace for all you have done for us, in service to Him. ”
18 of 48 | Posted by: Laurie Parisi - Niskayuna, NY

“Oh Ginger, I am going to miss you so much. Yet I know that you are with the Lord whom you loved. So many times we talked and you always blesswed me...Read More »
19 of 48 | Posted by: Joyce kama - Reading, PA - Friend

“Oh Ging..... I know I know, leave the boys alone!!!! :) I am very sad to know you are gone from the physical part of life, however I hold you very...Read More »
20 of 48 | Posted by: Tabbetha - New Hampton, IA

“MOM OUR LIFE WAS DIFFICULT TOGETHER ,BUT ICAN'T LOVE YOU MORE IWILLL ALWAYS LOVE YOU YOUR STRENGTH WAS MY HOPE ILOVE YOU ALWAYSI WILL CONTINUE...Read More »
21 of 48 | Posted by: JACQUIE TATUM - WATERLOO,IA, IA

“ginger was a special lady and helped so many people she will be missed alot. ”
22 of 48 | Posted by: brad dubois - waterloo, IA

“(((Ging))) when you came into Paltalk and visited our OZAustralia group, you were like a breath of fresh air. Always the mediator and loving and...Read More »
23 of 48 | Posted by: Inez and Barry J aka dutch_aussie1956 and noreservations - AL

“I am shocked, sad & miss you dearly. You LOVED everyone where they where at. You always hugged me soooo tight and told me what a great mom I was. ...Read More »
24 of 48 | Posted by: Stacie Fager - DUNKERTON, IA

“THANK YOU GINGER,FOR ALL THE WISDOM YOU SHOWED ME,AND ALL THE PATIENCE,LOVE,AND KINDNESS. ALSO TO YOU DEAR I HAVE THE FINAL WORDS "BITE ME" WHICH U...Read More »
25 of 48 | Posted by: George Lines - LIMA, OH

“I will say "GOOD NIGHT" but not "GOOD-BYE" for we WILL MEET again on that BEAUTIFUL SHORE... Your positiveness saw me thru...alot of "junk" and your...Read More »
26 of 48 | Posted by: Jane Romano aka janero7 - Oneonta, NY

“Huggs Ginger, Love your kind non judgmental ways, you cared so much, say G'day to Russ for me. xoxoxoxox's Love Juddy ”
27 of 48 | Posted by: Judd - Brisbane Australia

“Just talked with her on friday we had alot of laughs and shared alot. What a great person she was, she will be greatly missed. But I also know that...Read More »
28 of 48 | Posted by: Robin Rhodes - athol, MA - friend

“I'm so sad, I'm gonna Miss her so much, well she's with Russ now, I spent many hours talking to her online an on the phone, she will be missed, ”
29 of 48 | Posted by: Doug Butler (ak Doug530) - CO

“Ginger, my love, you just emailed me 4 days ago, and sent me a picture of you i will cherish forever. I love you, now you and Russ can once again...Read More »
30 of 48 | Posted by: Dienna Butler - Colorado Springs, CO

“I will remember the lightness of your spirit, the beauty of your voice, the infectiousness of your laughter. I admired your strength through...Read More »
31 of 48 | Posted by: Joyce Prince - Oceanside, CA

“thank you ginger ”
32 of 48 | Posted by: gavin - scotland united kingdom

“I loved you the day I met you over 12 years ago. I came to love Russ (to me Wussle with a "w") too as an extension of you. I will love you always...Read More »
33 of 48 | Posted by: Marla - Enumclaw, WA

“Your message of hope will continue to live on among the many that knew and loved u Ginger. I was drawn to your passion for recovery and the...Read More »
34 of 48 | Posted by: Lisa Ish Galindo aka Turtle Woman - NV

“You were one of the first Members I met online around 12 years ago,and you made me feel right at home and comfortable in the new medium for our...Read More »
35 of 48 | Posted by: Singer Jim - Edinburgh Scotland

“Desiderata Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on...Read More »
36 of 48 | Posted by: LEONARD - Calgary Alberta Canada

“You will be very sadly missed Ginger. Thanks for your love and encouragement over the years..over the pond..in skype. Both u and Russ were a big...Read More »
37 of 48 | Posted by: Paul - England - friend

“ginger will miss you on line in AA, rooms we know that you are in gods hands and will be looking over us and guide us thanks for all you good words...Read More »
38 of 48 | Posted by: dwight caldwell

“Ginger was one of the first to greet me on a private message. She asked my name and I said " You can call me Angelkitcat or Ruth. After that she...Read More »
39 of 48 | Posted by: Ruth Shultz - AA online friend

“She use to tease me for my Boston Accent because it would come out Gingaa when I said her name so it would be a joke in the room..she will be fondly...Read More »
40 of 48 | Posted by: Sandy - Lynn, MA

“Ginger was one of the original group back when I stumbled into Paltalk - mere words cannot describe how much she's helped me - and I will miss her,...Read More »
41 of 48 | Posted by: Lise Brady Silk - Bloomington, MN

“REST IN PEACE IN GODS KINGDOM XXXX. ”
42 of 48 | Posted by: ALAN IN IRELAND - CORK

“Virginia hated being called "Virginia" and preferred to be called Ginger.... Well she used to always call me David, thus I would call her Virginia......Read More »
43 of 48 | Posted by: David (Old Man Roo) - AA online

“I Love You Ginger, you inspired me and continue to do so, thank you for your wisdom and wise words, Love Tracy. ”
44 of 48 | Posted by: Tracy - Im in England

“MAY THE LORD KEEP HER SAFE IN THE HEAVEN,S ABOVE A SPECIAL LADY ( MY FIRST ONLINE SPONSOR IN 2002) ”
45 of 48 | Posted by: chris - west branch, MI

“Thank you for all your service , love and dedication. your light will shine on amongst our anonymous group.. we love you and I am grateful to...Read More »
46 of 48 | Posted by: Maryann - bubbliebrunnette - NY

“Ginger you will always be remembered by me for your love and life, people and music. May you sing always and be at peace in the arms of God. ”
47 of 48 | Posted by: MaryJ - Pt Elliot - Australia

“Ginger always had a loving and open heart. She shared of herself, her life and her experience. She will be greatly missed and always remembered in...Read More »
48 of 48 | Posted by: Bobbi - Perth, Australia


Virginia "Ginger" Lee Lavenz, 63, of Evansdale was born on December 17, 1947 in Waterloo. She was the daughter of Frank and Jacquie McMillian Smith. Ginger attended school in Waterloo and graduated from West High School in 1966. She married Russell Lavenz on May 7, 1994 and he preceded her in death on January 23, 2010. Ginger had a long career of helping others including working as a recovery counselor at Schoitz Hospital and she also worked at Pearl Vision Center, waitressed at Garfield's and in Hudson, worked in the floral department at Hobby Lobby and was a self-employed floral designer. Ginger was a member of Countryside Vineyard Church in Evansdale and a 33 year member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Ginger's passion in life was to reach as many of God's children as she could to help them to find peace with their addictions. Ginger served her Lord by helping others overcoming addictions. She started a program at her church: Overcoming Addiction Though Christ. She enjoyed riding Harley Davidson motorcycles and floral designing.

Ginger died at her home on Sunday, October 16, 2011 from natural causes. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and a great-grandson, Nash Anousis. She is survived by a son, Dustin Stone of Waterloo; 2 daughters, Jacquie Tatum of Waterloo and Tina (Don) Britt of Des Moines, a step-son, Brian Lavenz of Newton; a step daughter, Dana (Jerry) Meyer of Evansdale, 6 grandchildren, 2 step-grandchildren, a great-grandchild and a brother, Denny (Kathy) Smith of Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be directed to Countryside Vineyard Church in Evansdale.