Virginia Louise “Ginny” Jacobson was a Twin Cities teacher, outdoors enthusiast and an avid volunteer for organizations including the Linden Hills Co-op and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
She worked in elementary education for 15 years, including as a classroom teacher at Centennial Elementary School in Richfield and a tutor in Minneapolis Public Schools.
She was a longtime member of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church where she was an active volunteer, including for the Dignity Center, an interfaith project supporting the homeless.
Jacobson, 83, died Aug. 24 of COVID-19.
“It wasn’t so much about what Ginny did, but who Ginny was,” said the Rev. Sally Howell Johnson, retired minister of Hennepin Avenue UMC. “Ginny was the embodiment of kindness — the kind of person we need more of now.”
Jacobson cared deeply about her community, said her daughter Christina Jacobson of Minneapolis.
“What brought her the most happiness in life was being around other people, which is evidenced by her love of friends, family and volunteerism,” her daughter said.
Jacobson was one of four children of Virginia and Grant Christenson. She graduated from Washburn High School in 1954 and earned a degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota. She married William Jacobson in 1968 and raised two children. The couple later divorced.
Jacobson stayed home to raise her children and then taught in public schools and worked as a legal secretary. She was a founding member of the Linden Hills Co-op in the 1970s and on the planning committee for rebuilding the Lake Harriet Band Shell in the 1980s, Christina Jacobson said.
Ginny Jacobson enjoyed biking, walking, cross-country skiing and nature, her daughter said. She embraced religion and spirituality and was an “avid writer of letters, journals and stories.” She loved people.
“She was incredibly outgoing,” Christina Jacobson said. “She would introduce me to everyone she met.”
Howell Johnson said Jacobson was a thoughtful presence at meetings and had a “twinkle in her eyes when she laughed.”
In recent years, Jacobson lived in Episcopal Church Home in St. Paul. Her daughter said the hardest part about COVID-19 was not being able to be present as her mom died.
“I had one hour with her … it was special, but not enough,” her daughter said.
Other survivors include son Robert Jacobson of Seattle, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.