Barbara Z. Wilson, better known as “Ginger,” passed away at home in Ojai on March 5, 2013 from metastatic melanoma. She was 84.
She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 28, 1929, the youngest of three children. She was preceded in death by her parents, Edna Eickelberg Ziegler and Bernhard Carl Ziegler; a brother, Bernhard Carl Ziegler II; John, her husband of 64 years; and a grandson, Nate Revelle Wilson. She is survived by her brother, R. Douglas Ziegler of West Bend, Wisconsin, and her family, including son Scott (Christine) and children Eli and Marika; daughter Dede Pitruzzelli (Bill) and children Joseph and Stefan; daughter Gracia “Gay” Hopcia (Dave) and children Abby and Aiden; son Doug (Dina) and children Tyler, Haley, Sadie and Amanda; and son Clint (Yi) and children Rebecca, Sydney and Homer. Tyler and Christin blessed Ginger with two great-grandchildren, Ryder and Parker.
Ginger was raised in the small town of West Bend, Wisconsin. After high school she attended Northwestern University, where she earned a degree in English. During her freshman year, she met her future husband, John. They were married in 1948 and lived first in San Antonio, Texas. In 1952, John accepted a position with Standard Oil of California and the couple moved to Ojai, where they raised their five children.
As a young child, Ginger always dreamed of growing up to be a missionary. Life took her in a different direction and she did not end up overseas, but she lived a life of service in her local community. Over the years, Ginger was active in several community organizations: Children’s Home Society of California, the Ventura County Symphony League, Ojai Valley Garden Club, HELP of Ojai, Ojai Valley Hospital Auxiliary and the Ojai Valley Museum. She was a longtime member of Ojai Presbyterian Church, serving as Elder, Chancel Choir member, director of the Children’s Choir, docent for the Biblical Garden and member of the Columbarium Task Force. In addition to cherishing family time, Ginger enjoyed bridge, golf and all things musical. Her shining spirit and generous soul will be dearly missed.
There will be a public service and celebration of Ginger’s life at Ojai Presbyterian Church, 304 N. Foothill Road, at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17. Light refreshments will follow in the social hall and patio. There will be a private family inurnment in the church Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to the Ojai Valley Museum or Ojai Presbyterian Church.
Psalms 16:7-9,11 — “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel ... Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; My body also dwells secure. Thou dost show me the path of life; In thy presence there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures forever more.”