Saturday, February 11, 2023

Virginia Ann Ciszek Felter: 1946-2023

Posted By on Sat, Feb 11, 2023 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Virginia Ann Ciszek Felter, December 1946 to January 2023.
  • Virginia Ann Ciszek Felter, December 1946 to January 2023.

Virginia Ann Ciszek Felter, "Ginny," was born at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and grew up in a Marine family. Most of her youth was in southern California during the surf and car culture days but horses were always her love. She got her first horse as young teen and she and a friend would pack lunches and ride way out into the hills. Occasionally her horse would open the gate latch to visit the horses at the ranch down the lane. She’d hear the latch click so would have to walk down in her nightgown to bring him home.

She always loved animals and started working for a veterinarian. That led to getting her license as a registered veterinary technician. Horses became a secondary career, both in raising and jumping. Heaps of prize ribbons remain, along with plates and bowls around the house commemorating Hunter and Jumper events that she was in across the region. In the ’90s she became the head of the Equine Division of the Helen Woodward Animal Hospital.

Her dad was a Marine WW2 war hero and a tough father to grow up under. Her older brother never satisfied dad’s expectations so Ginny would step in and try to fill her brother’s shoes. An example is when brother Bob had no interest in the family airplane, Ginny took up flying and soloed. She paid attention to her dad’s business savvy and began a portfolio at a young age.

Bob met Ginny when she asked him to do some remodeling on her condo. She had a wonderful location with a great view to the beach and down onto the Del Mar Racetrack. Only you could hardly see the view since she’d coerce the tree trimmers to skip past the fast-growing Coral trees in front. Instead of a view she had a grove full of life with chirping birds right out her windows. Bob did the work for her and one thing led to another. Our first camping trip together sometime in ’97 would be easy to date because that weekend we could see the Hale Bopp comet as the sun came on the desert horizon both in the morning and evening.

Anxious to leave rapidly growing San Diego, we took a trip for a week or two each Christmas. After a number of adventures, we came through Arcata and liked it. We put a realtor on task to find a home or property and we bought an empty field with full sun and a view to the horizon. We built a house together and have been involved with Humboldt’s community since. Ginny helped at Planned Parenthood, loved the Humboldt Crabs and was always in the midst of house plants, the orchard and garden, parakeets and our corgi.

In about 2014 Ginny, started making occasional bonehead decisions. When we went to her physician, she said, “I have to report her to DMV.” Ginny passed her driving test but DMV doesn’t forget and the next year she got a notice to come in for the written test. No matter how many times we took the online tests, she just couldn’t do it, so in 2016 the DMV tested her and took her license. It’s been a gradual process but in time the diagnosis was Alzheimer’s and she slowly lost her interests and abilities. It’s been a long, sad journey, not without good times but the disease won. If inclined. please send monetary donations to either the Alzheimer’s fund or to Hospice of Humboldt.
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