Virginia Sawin
Virginia Sawin
Virginia Sawin
Virginia Sawin
Virginia Sawin

Obituary of Virginia May Sawin

Virginia May Sawin, 49, of Salem, Oregon, passed away on July 4th after losing
her battle with cancer.
She was known by many names: Gin, Ginia, Maginia Friend, Aunt Burglar, and
Buttons the Clown are a few of these. She was known well by people of many
communities: Joseph, Oregon, where she grew up; Sheridan, and Amity, Oregon, where
she attended church; Salem, and McMinnville, Oregon, where she resided over the
years. In her professional life she used her pleasant speaking voice to work at various
call- and service centers. She was also known for her passion in serving others:
Special Olympics, the houseless community, the LGBTQ+ community, and youth in her
Gin was always one to tread her own path, often with Bear riding along in her
backpack. She delighted in wearing silly hats for every occasion, and wearing bells on
her shoes during the advent season. She loved geocaching and collecting all things
Wizard of Oz. She was an inveterate reader and collector of books, particularly Hardy
Boys, Nancy Drew, the Three Investigators, and books on theology. Gin was often
found designing and hand-sewing a quilt as a gift for someone in her life. Her collection
of stuffed animals was prodigious. She liked to say that she’d never grown up.
Virginia was preceded in death by her older brother, Bruce Sawin, and her
father, Peter Sawin, in 2018. She is survived by her mother, Kay Sawin; sisters Michele
Sawin and Beth (Vic) Downs; brother Jason Sawin (Heather Bandeen); her nieces,
Gaby Sawin and Morgan Sawin, and nephews Victor Downs and Zane Downs. She
also leaves behind many friends of all ages, whom she loved dearly.
Gin was very clear in her last wishes: she did not want a memorial service. She
wanted people who knew and loved her to embody her zaniness and humor. She said,
“When I’m gone, get together to do something FUN. Go to the Enchanted Forest and
laugh. Float down a river and splash each other. Go to a Pride event and hand out
hugs and balloons. Do a quilting bee. Randomly lick someone’s hand and say, ‘You
DO taste like chicken.’ Cry to your heart’s content, but make sure there is some random
craziness mixed in there too. And for God’s sake...if there is something you’ve thought
about doing, get off your ass and do it now before you’re looking at months to complete

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