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Virginia Kelly Luisada, 73, of Alexandria, VA died in Georgetown Hospital, Washington, DC on September 8 following a long illness. Known as Ginger to family and friends, she was born in Carbondale on November 25, 1944, daughter of the late Joseph and Virginia Gallagher Kelly; great granddaughter of Carbondale Mayor John Kelly (1885-1889) and niece of Mayor Frank Kelly (1952-1960).
Local residents knew the family best through the family pharmacy, Kelly the Druggist. She graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School, class of 1962, with special recognition as Class Poet, and from Marywood College, Scranton, where she received both bachelor and master degrees in English. Her greatest passions in life were British literature, nature-both animal and flora-and traveling.
Ginger was beloved by family and friends. She was a woman of many accomplishments and passionate about injustice. She began her career as an English teacher in Honesdale, later teaching in Chicago, Illinois, and Fairfax County, VA where she shared her great love of literature and poetry with students. At Herndon High School she was head of the English Department. Later she joined Fairfax County Public School's Human Relations team in the Office of Equity and Compliance. There she was an investigator and later a counselor with EASE, the Employee Assistance Program until retirement. For the last sixteen years she worked at the Northern Virginia Institute of Psychiatry in Springfield, VA and helped her husband's patients obtain insurance benefits denied by insurance as well as tending to a wide-range of patient concerns.
She made countless friends over the years and her travels took her around the globe to Ireland, China, Japan, and safari in Africa. She rode next to lions and rhinos, was able to pet a cheetah and an eagle, and walked on the Great Wall.
She is survived by her husband Dr. Paul V. Luisada of Alexandria, a daughter Elizabeth Luisada and her husband Scott Willis, and grandson Ian Bright Willis, all of Crystal Lake;, two sisters, Ellen Kelly Holland of Alexandria and Marion Kelly of Mason Neck, VA, four nieces and nephews, Kelly Elizabeth Cramer, Watertown, MA, John Kevin Cramer, Alexandria, VA, Kathleen Ellen Hedberg, Washington, DC, David Thompson, Washington, DC, and three grand nieces and a grand nephew. The Luisadas have resided for the last 48 years in Alexandria, VA.
Graveside services will be held Wednesday at 2 pm in Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, Finch Hill. Arrangements by the Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Inc., 55 Lincoln Ave., Carbondale.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to WETA UK at weta.org under Memorial Gifts, or by phone at 703-998-2724.
Condolences may be sent to Dr. Paul Luisada, 2616 Sherwood Hall Lane, #206, Alexandria, VA 22306.