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Gasper, Virginia W. (1923-2009) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Gasper, Virginia W. (1923-2009)

Historical Note:

Virginia W. Gasper (January 18, 1923-May 30, 2009) was an American homemaker and writer who lived most of her life in the Midwest (Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin).

Born as Virginia Olive Warren to Raymond and Blanche Warren in Cleveland, Ohio, she was an only child. (A brother, Robert, had died three years before her birth.) She attended Purdue University and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1945 with a Bachelors of Arts in Home Economics. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority. She taught at the Rochester Demonstration Nursery School (later the Aldrich Memorial Nursery School) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota until her marriage to Wayne Prestin Gasper (October 24, 1925-October 18, 2010) of Chicago, Illinois, on June 17, 1947.

The couple first lived in Rensselaer, Indiana. Wayne had served in the U. S. Navy during World War II and the Korean Conflict. Virginia worked in retail until she and her husband adopted a son, David Wayne Gasper, on December 16, 1949. Their daughter Martha Ann ("Maggie") was born November 20, 1951, son Peter Warren on September 17, 1954, son John William on May 30, 1957, and son Daniel Neal on February 23, 1960. They raised their children in Neenah, Wisconsin. Beginning in 1964, the Gaspers also took in numerous foster children including Cary, Connie, Philip “Butch” Peters, David Dalton (Deedee), Jimmy, and Jannie Lou. Butch lived with the Gaspers for two years and remained in contact with the family. Wayne’s work for the military, Kimberly-Clark and the U. S. Postal Service took the family to Virginia and various parts of the Midwest, including Wisconsin and Cleveland, Ohio.

Virginia recounts in her story "Release from a Whitewashed Tomb: From Good Works to God’s Grace," (published online) how she had a religious awakening in 1963 while talking with a pastor after a Bible study. Virginia traveled with a church group to India and Thailand from October 18 to November 3, 1993. She was an avid African violet grower and was known for sending birthday and anniversary cards. She was particularly involved in Right to Life issues. Virginia Gasper was married sixty-two years. She was a resident of Maple Knoll Village in Springdale, Ohio for the last years of her life. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Greenhills, Cincinnati, Ohio and lived in Springdale. She died in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 30, 2009, aged 86, leaving 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

Note Author: Julia A. Nephew

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