On January 12, 2022 at the age of 95, Virginia May “Ginny” Hallacher of Londonderry Village in Palmyra, PA, left this world for new adventures. The daughter of Millard F. and Kathleen C. (Schappel) Fegley, she was born on November 18, 1926, in Park Place, Pennsylvania. When she was six, her family moved to the village of Quakake where she grew up. The second of six children, she was nicknamed "Sis" by her father. To this day, her siblings and their children still refer to her as “Aunt Sis.”
The daughter of a coal miner, she loved to tell stories of her childhood. Favorites included memories of summertime berry picking and swimming; walking miles to school each day to achieve perfect attendance all 12 years; and proudly delivering daily newspapers throughout her local community with her older brother and younger sister, no matter the weather. After graduating from Delano High School in 1944, encouraged by her father she travelled to Baltimore where she secured a job as a secretary despite not knowing how to type. She told wonderful stories of that time in Baltimore. She especially enjoyed recalling weekly shows at the Hippodrome where she saw major big band artists. After one year in Baltimore, and upon her sister Catherine’s graduation from high school, the pair enrolled at the Reading Hospital School of Nursing. Graduating as a registered nurse, Ginny remained a proud member of the Reading Hospital Alumni Association for her entire life.
Early in her nursing training, she met her future husband, Donald P. “Duke” Hallacher of Sinking Spring, on a blind date. They married on June 10, 1950, a marriage that lasted until his death in 2018. They made their home in Kenhorst, a small community outside of Reading, PA, and raised four children in a neighborhood of other young families—at one time there were more than 50 school-aged children on the block. Friends from that time fondly remember Ginny as “the nurse of Lacrosse Avenue.” Ginny and Duke were mavericks: taking their family on camping expeditions, including a one-month journey across the country in a pop-up camper retrofitted to accommodate a family of six. The camper turned heads with Duke’s artistically hand-painted tiger-stripes and Ginny’s hand-sewn tail.
She always maintained her professional nursing license, working part-time on and off as she raised her family. In 1971, she returned to full-time work as an evening shift supervisor at the Hassler Home in Shillington, to enable her husband to earn a Bachelor’s degree and fulfill his dream of becoming a teacher. She retired in 1983.
A love of adventure continued throughout her life, culminating in a cross-country back-packing trek that spanned 8 years (1978-1985). Ginny’s prolific writing, notes, post cards, and journals during this trek led to her book Duke and I, a chronical of their journey, published in 2017. The “walk” also resulted in many friendships, which continued through regular correspondence until her final days.
As anyone who ever met Ginny knows, she was extremely proud of her family, especially her grandchildren. She shared her love of adventure and the outdoors, taking them on hikes and camping trips or even just pitching a tent in the backyard at “Camp Grandma.” More recently, one of the highlights of her week were regular Friday evening zoom sessions with her children and their families – often staying on late into the night. Known as “Grandma, Grandma Ginny, Mom Mom, or Grandmom” by her nine grandchildren she was most recently christened “the tiny warrior,” a nickname she happily embraced.
Her faith has sustained her through the loss of her beloved husband Duke in 2018, as well as the losses of her parents, and three brothers (Leroy, Louis, and Glen). She is survived by her two sisters, Catherine Shade (Donnie) and Joan Houser; her brothers’ wives Rebecca (Glen) and Adele (Louis); her children Lydia Greiner (Phil) of San Diego, CA; Paul (Rhea) of State College, PA; Mark (Debbie) of Reading, PA; and Leslie Crosley (Kevin) of Clinton, NY; nine grandchildren, their spouses and partners; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at a future date. Announcements will follow. Please check the Buse Funeral Home website for updates: www.BuseFuneralHome.com
Memorial contributions may be made to the Good Samaritan Fund of Londonderry Village, 1200 Grubb Road, Palmyra, PA 17078.
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