Music 04

Virginia Howland Corwith Staehle Strachan

September 23, 1922 ~ May 16, 2020 (age 97)

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Virginia Howland Corwith Staehle Strachan, known as Ginny to her family and friends, was born September 23, 1922 in Southampton, New York.  She was the first of four children born to James Carlton and Hazel Hungerford (Howland) Corwith.  She married (1) Robert Lawday Staehle, son of Alfred Moritz Staehle and Lois Elizabeth Goettman February 9, 1946 in Southampton, New York.  He predeceased Ginny, January 17, 1994. 

She married (2) Harry Morris Strachan, Jr., son of Harry Morris Strachan, Sr. and Eva Agnes Maffi on February 24, 2001 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He predeceased Ginny, February 1, 2020.

Ginny grew up on a farm in Water Mill, New York.  She often reminisced playing piano or clarinet, being a Girl Scout, going to the beach, being a telephone operator and/or a volunteer at the local hospital as a Red Cross Nurse’s Aide.  She graduated from Southampton High School as Salutatorian of the class of 1940. In 1944 she graduated from New York State College of Home Economics at Cornell.  Upon graduation, Ginny took a teaching job in Plainfield, New Jersey.

Bob Staehle proposed to Ginny as they rode in a horse and carriage in New York City’s Central Park in January of 1944.  After Bob’s return from service in World War II, they married and spent their years together raising four children in Ridgewood, New Jersey.   Several summers were spent golfing and boating at Candlewood Lake, Brookfield, Connecticut.

Ginny held volunteer leadership positions with the Presbyterian Churches in Ridgewood. After moving to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1974, she held numerous community volunteer positions including her ten plus years at Scottsdale Memorial Hospital.  Other leadership positions included heading Valley Presbyterian Church (VPC) Cooks Tour. Ginny demonstrated her advocacy for women’s education through her 42-year membership in the P.E.O. Sisterhood, Arizona Chapter AQ.

Harry Strachan and Ginny met at VPC. They treasured their years together being active in the church, playing golf and socializing with friends.  Ginny relished her “Forever Young” friendships.

Ginny was predeceased by her brother, Richard C. Corwith (1994) and sister, Barbara E. Burnett (2018) as well as brother-in-law, Arthur Burnett (1980), son-in-law, Charles Allen (1990) and sister-in-law Norma Corwith (1998).

Ginny is survived by her brother, Paul M. Corwith (Helen) of Naples, Florida and sister-in-law Marilyn Corwith of Greenport, New York. She is also survived by numerous cherished nephews and nieces.

Survivors include her four children:  Sharon (Staehle) Atkins (Tom) of Prescott, Arizona; Patricia (Staehle) Nestor (Richard), of Gilbert, Arizona;  Robert Staehle (Nina) of Clayton, California and James Staehle (Joyce) of Peoria, Arizona and two step-daughters; Virginia (Strachan) Harrington (Kevin) of San Leandro, California and Martha Strachan of Phoenix, Arizona. 

Additionally, surviving Ginny are five grandchildren; Scott Allen (Andrea); Gretchen (Allen) Pahia (Bryan); Joshua Staehle and fiancée Kylie Guest, Jasmine Staehle and Andrew Franz, Brendon Blake (Lauren); a step-grandson, Gavin Harrington, and three great-grandchildren, A.C. Pahia, Brady Allen, and Dane Pahia.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Valley Presbyterian Church, Paradise Valley when circumstance allow. The family desires in lieu of flowers contributions on Ginny’s behalf can be directed to the Cooks Tour c/o Valley Presbyterian Church, 6947 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 or The Corwith Organ and Music Fund at First Presbyterian Church, 2 Main Street, Southampton, New York 11968.

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