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Virginia Vincent

Virginia Vincent

Monday, August 10th, 2020
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Obituary

Virginia H. “Ginny” Vincent passed away on August 10, 2020 following a fall at Pearl Garden Memory Care at Village Senior Living. Born in Evanston, Ill. September 25, 1930 to Lewis A. and Amy (Blumann) Vincent the family moved to Upper Montclair, New Jersey in 1933 where she was educated, with the exception of the WWII years which were spent in Washington, D.C. Virginia graduated from University of Vermont with a degree in zoology, attended Cornell University’s ornithology summer program, worked as a research assistant at Princeton University before accepting a position at the University of Montana’s natural history department in 1956.

When antidiscrimination laws were enacted ensuring women equal rights with men in employment Ginny (as she was often known) applied for a fire lookout position out of Nine Mile Ranger district. For the ensuing 39 summers Ginny resided atop 7,100 foot high Stark Mountain west of Missoula. From “her” lookout tower she kept watch over her beloved forests and Missoula/Nine Mile valley.

Ginny was well known in the Missoula area for her devotion to all aspects of nature; leading Audubon bird hikes, understanding and protecting native plants as a founding member of the Montana Native Plant Society, working at the U.M. Herbarium, even doing small rodent research in the Yukon. She was passionate about her hobbies as a member of the Garden City Stamp Club, attending student concerts at the University, painting figurines for the former Nine Mile School House Shop, assisting in operations and teaching at the former Marshall Ski Hill, photography, and world travel from Australia to Scandinavia and all 50 states.

She was a well-known and meticulous chronicler of all she surveyed especially on Stark Mt. Ginny would delight in sharing her discoveries with all who ventured up the rocky toad to the lookout tower. Her expertise in fire spotting was highlighted in Montana’s PBS Back Roads of Montana program and in the July 2001 issue of National Geographic.

Ginny is survived by her only sibling, Roberta V. Shupe and husband Dick of New Hampshire and three nephews: Gregg of Massachusetts, Scott of Utah and Jeff of New Hampshire. Ginny’s request to be cremated has been honored. Due to the restrictions of the current pandemic may we suggest when you hear a bird singing and see a field of wildflowers you pause in remembrance of Ginny.
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From: Tom and Merideth Graham

Posted at 10:54am
With loving memories of "Virginia Vincent",
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