Virginia L. "Ginny" Smith
1948 - 2017
Ginny passed peacefully at home in the arms of loving family at sunrise October 15 after a valiant fight with breast cancer. She was born March 17, 1948 in Pasadena, CA to Bruce and Andrea Smith. She graduated from Monrovia High School, attended Citrus College, and graduated with a degree in biology from Cal Poly, Pomona.
Ginny became a respiratory therapist in Los Angeles before moving to Goleta, where she worked for the Institute of Environmental Stress at UCSB. Concurrently she took nursing classes and earned a degree through the SBCC Nursing Program, all while raising her two sons, whom she adored.
In 1989, Ginny started her RN career in the operating room at St. Francis Hospital. She loved the pace, challenge, and camaraderie of the O.R. and dedicated her nursing life to that specialty. She assisted in surgeries at Cottage Outpatient Surgery until this past July, when her illness no longer allowed her to work.
With great passion for the outdoors, Ginny loved hiking and backpacked many segments of the John Muir Trail. Some of her happiest times were spent huddled with friends and family around the camp stove. Ginny enjoyed road trips and travel, and spent this March driving with husband Bill from Santiago, Chile to Tierra del Fuego via Argentina and Patagonia. Ginny was a great adventurer, never shied from a challenge, and inspired those around her to try to keep up.
Ginny was a natural caregiver. She consistently put the care of others first, and her acts of kindness and hospitality were limited only by the number of hours in the day. Ginny treasured family and friends as well as animals, playing "mom" to many dogs, cats, and, at one point, a herd of thirty alpacas. With her nursing training, she was able to handle most veterinary duties and successfully helped deliver baby alpacas when the need arose. Every little creature gave her great joy.
She is survived by her husband Bill, sons Mike (Alina) and Dave (Sarah), mother Andrea, brother Eric (Martha), and sister Nancy (Vince). We thank all the doctors, nurses, and technicians who extended Ginny's last days and made them rewarding and comfortable. Friends are encouraged to donate in her name to their favorite charity, the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Hospice of Santa Barbara, or Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.