Virginia M. ‘Ginny’ Kangas

Virginia M. ‘Ginny’ Kangas, 85, of Harwich passed away peacefully in her sleep after a brief illness on November 12, 2018.  The funeral service will be held on Friday, November 16th at 10 a.m. at  Holy Trinity Church, 246 Main Street Harwich.  Visitation will be at Doane Beal & Ames, 260 Main Street Harwich on Thursday, November 15th from 4-6 pm. 

            Virginia Kangas was born in Boston on August 31, 1933.  She graduated from Girls Latin School in Boston and received her BS degree in Math from UMass Amherst.  Upon graduation, she became one of the first women to work for IBM.  She married Walter Kangas and became an officer’s wife and mother of four.  When her children were older, she went back to school to get her teaching degree and taught middle school math for ten years before moving to Cape Cod.  After moving to the Cape, she became a realtor, a career she proudly maintained until this past summer. 

            Ginny is survived by her children, Matthew and Karen Kangas of Virginia, Mark and Karen Kangas of Brewster, Jennifer Kangas of Harwich and Michael Kangas of New York; her grandchildren, the lights of her life: Sara Kangas Schutt and Kevin Schutt, Zachary Kangas, Marsha Kangas, Monica Kangas and Billy Kangas; her dear cousins Martha, Patricia and Gayle; and her beloved dog Abbey.

            Ginny was more than diplomas and titles.  She was a high achiever, a dreamer and hard worker.  In 7th grade she represented Massachusetts at the National Convention for Junior Achievement.  She majored in math because women were not allowed to become engineers.  She loved working at Chatham Bars Inn during her college summers and made Cape Cod her retirement destination. 

            Ginny approached every aspect of her life with vigor.  When she became a mother, she learned how to sew suits and costumes for her children.  She baked and decorated cakes for themed birthdays, and later used those skills to make doll cakes for her grandchildren.  She was a den mother, church choral director and strong supporter of all her children’s athletic and musical endeavors.  She was President of the Officer’s Wives club and became “Officer’s Wife of the Year” in 1968.

            As her children became adults she pursued two more careers: teaching and real estate.  She loved her middle school students, especially those who needed a little extra help.  Her favorite part of being a realtor was finding a young couple their first home. 

            Ginny was loving, energetic and generous. Family first, but she was extremely community oriented.  She was passionate about the Rotary Club and the Chatham A’s.  She started hosting players in 1991 and was a board member for over 25 years, including a stint as President.  She attended Rotary meetings every Wednesday and had a strong sense of responsibility for raising funds for Student of the Month and scholarships.

            As an Air Force wife she travelled the world with her young family.  As a retiree she traveled the world with her daughter:  She has been to every continent and ocean: Antarctica, Australia, Africa – the Arctic and the Baltic – she has climbed under the pyramids in Egypt and atop the Acropolis in Athens.  She walked the Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem and played with penguins at the Falkland Islands.  She made numerous trips to Disney with her grandchildren. 

            But her favorite place was Cape Cod.  This summer she boated on Pleasant Bay and watched her Chatham A’s make it to the Cape League Championship.  She went to concerts and plays and had brunch with many neighbors and friends.  On October 27th she happily danced at her granddaughter’s wedding surrounded by all her family, none of us the wiser of the coming sadness.  She was loving and beloved and will be missed by so many. 

            In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to The Rotary Club of Chatham Foundation, P.O Box 436, Chatham, MA 02633.

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