September 1, 2004
On this lovely cool late summer afternoon, I deeply regret having to be the bearer of some exceedingly painful news. But I was just contacted by Ginny Wadsworth's younger sister, Tish Biggar, informing me that Ginny passed away, quietly and peacefully, early this morning in her hospital bed at the Youville Medical Care & Rehab Center here in Cambridge. And Tish has asked me to notify some of the people among Ginny's wide circle of friends, extended family, and admirers whom she felt would want to be informed without delay.
There are no announced funeral plans, yet, but a Memorial Service will be scheduled for later in the fall....
Ginny was an icon of goodwill and compassion, an ideal and gifted tennis partner on either side of the net, a model of sportsmanship and good taste, on and off the court, a lively conversationalist and storyteller, and always great good fun-loving company whatever the occasion. For me, as I'm sure for anyone else who shared a close bond with this remarkably kind and gentle generous lady in every true sense of the word, this is a most significant loss for all of us.
As many know, Ginny had been suffering for quite some time with a chronic escalating rheumatoid arthritic condition, and, more recently, an increasing loss of body strength, body weight, as well as severe respiratory complications. It so happens that I stopped in at Youville and was able to visit with her for about an hour only a week ago on a bright Sunday morning. Ginny was notably weak and could only talk in a whisper, but there was no loss of spirit or a resolve to get out of bed and back on her feet. She was fully intent and confident about the prospect of "returning home any day now." We were able to share a few jokes, some amusing Cambridge gossip, and the distressing social and political issues our troubled country is presently confronting in this critical presidential election year.... In a word, she was totally "with it" and ready to roll as soon as her doctors would allow.
There was a clear view of Harvard's Memorial Hall and Sanders Theater framed in her fourth floor hospital room window, and she kept talking about what she was going to do when she got back out in her beloved West Cambridge community again---plays, concerts, dinner gatherings, playing again with her dear pet corgi, Meg, visiting with friends. She wanted to know all about current acitivities at the Tennis Club, wondering how the new entrance project was coming along.... She said that she actually planned to pay a visit to the Club with her walker, hoping this could be in time to take in some of this fall's tournament action.
Well, we won't be seeing her at any more tournaments, but I'm sure she'll be there with us in spirit. And I know that her calm dignified presence will be long remembered, for it has touched our lives in a wonderful variety of giving caring ways. So, goodbye to a dear friend. We will miss her and shall love her, always.