FIT FOR DUTY – Thirty-seven recruits graduating from the Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy's Law Enforcement Training Session 1802 take the oath of office this afternoon at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. The audience was told that during the rigorous 16-week session recruits lost a combined 200 pounds of body fat. The graduates will be taking law enforcement positions around the state from the North Slope Borough Police Department to statewide Alaska Wildlife Troopers to the Ketchikan Police Department. Speaker at the ceremony was DPS Deputy Commissioner William Comer, who graduated from the academy in 1985. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Virginia (Ginny) Wood

Virginia (Ginny) Wood


Virginia (Ginny) Wood passed peacefully from this life on Feb. 27, at her home. She was 79.

She was born March 3, 1938, in Sparrows Point, Maryland. She moved to Sitka as a teenager in 1952 with her foster family, the VanDykes.

She married Norman Wood on July 18, 1956, in her hometown after Norman drove across the country to profess his love to his high school sweetheart. They shared 61 years of marriage together.

After Norman’s service in the Air Force, they returned to Sitka in the early 1960s with their two young children, and soon added three more children to their family.

Ginny was best known for her baking skills, starting early in her life making cakes for birthdays, holidays and weddings. What she was especially  remembered for was her pumpkin roll that she baked for her restaurant, the Dip ’n’ Sip, located in the Franklin Building. Even after the Dip ’n’ Sip was long gone, people still talked about wanting one more pumpkin roll.

She was able to meld her love for animals with her restaurant. She was often seen handing an ice cream cone through the takeout window at the Dip ’n’ Sip for a dog to enjoy.

Her passion for animals moved her to help stray dogs or cats find homes. She maintained a bulletin board in the restaurant with notices or articles about animal care or animals needing homes. She once put a kitten, that had been abandoned on the street, in a box and set it in the lobby outside the Dip ’n’ Sip with a sign ‘‘today’s special.’’ That kitten soon had a home.

The Dip ’n’ Sip was later changed to Ginny’s Kitchen; and she also owned the Coffee Express.

After retiring, Ginny’s tremendous energy and drive led her to her next passion, volunteering. She volunteered at the Sitka Pioneers Home, the White Elephant Shop and the See House at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

She enjoyed working and staying busy, so if she wasn’t volunteering she could be found in her garden, a lifelong interest that brought her great joy.

Ginny was a quiet woman with a kind and gentle soul. All who knew her will miss her greatly.

Surviving are: her husband Norman Wood; her children, Dave Wood and Mike (Evelyn) Wood, both of Oregon, Stephen Wood and Jack (Katy) Wood, both of Sitka; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and her beloved dog Opal.

Ginny was preceded in death by her daughter Deborah Wood.

A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sitka Animal Shelter.


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