Have you ever read about the life of someone you didn’t know but quickly wished that you had known them? I didn’t know “Ginnie” as she was known by family and friends, but I was awed by her amazing life.
We all should strive to be the best we can be with our gifts and talents. Ginnie set a great example for us to follow. She spent her life excelling at whatever she did and continually worked to add value to the lives of others.
Virginia Ann Mocivnik from Rogers, Arkansas was born a coal-miner’s daughter in Walenski, IL. Virginia was a home economics major in high school and was captain and most valuable player of the boys’ basketball team. That’s right, the boys team and they were runner-up in the state championship. After high school, she was a pitcher in a professional fast pitch softball league. Later in Arkansas, she sponsored, coached and played on a women’s softball team at the local, state, regional and national levels, winning the Arkansas state championship. It is safe to say she maximized her natural talents. But she didn’t stop there.
Virginia moved to Chicago and worked as an industrial engineer for the Visking company. After marrying, she joined the family business and became an automotive repair technician. The business relocated to Rogers, Arkansas. Though no longer employed by Visking, she was instrumental in convincing them to build a factory in Rogers to bring jobs to the community. She said that Northwest Arkansas did not choose her, but she chose it. Therefore, she felt obligated to make it a better place than when she arrived.
Virginia was active in the local chamber of commerce and supported Rogers public and private schools. She was inducted into the Public Schools Foundation Wall of Honor. She lobbied to start a girls’ athletic program. She was active in Altrusa International. Virginia held the first public meetings to initiate construction of Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport and later served as director of the airport authority board. She worked for a grant to establish a volunteer fire department, became a certified firefighter instructor and first fire chief. She spearheaded an effort to provide city water and fire hydrants on part of Beaver Lake, serving as first water commissioner.
Virginia also served as director of the Northwest Arkansas Community Care Foundation. She worked to establish the NorthWest Arkansas Community College, serving on the Foundation board and President’s Circle. And she helped a friend create the Single Parent Scholarship Foundation.
These are enough accomplishments to keep several people busy, much less one coal-miner’s daughter. Like salt, Virginia made everything better. If she saw a need, she did what it took to satisfy the need.
Virginia’s philosophy was that what mattered most is not how long you live, but rather how well you live. I believe Virginia lived well. I believe Virginia was all she could be. Now when someone asks me what does it mean to Be All You Can Be, I just tell them about Virginia.