Virginia was born Virginia Louise Hilty on April 28, 1925, in Nampa, Idaho, to Martha Detweiler Hilty and Louis F. Hilty, of Nampa, Idaho. She was the third of seven children and the oldest daughter. Although her father died when she was a teenager, she managed to graduate from Nampa High School in 1943 and work her way through college, graduating cum laude from Northwest Nazarene College in 1947. She majored in English Literature. Virginia taught at Kuna High for 2 years and remained friends with several students her entire life. She met Joe Gabica after his return from military service in WWII. They were married on the NNC campus. Together they had six children. When her youngest child began school, Virginia returned to the workforce as a social worker for The Casey Family Program. Her job was to find permanent homes for foster children. She loved her job and all of the wonderful people at Casey.
After raising her own children, Virginia enjoyed many trips around the world with Joe, sometimes accompanied by her children. Later, she traveled with friends after Joe died in 1993. She explored their roots in Switzerland and the Basque Country, went on an African Safari in Kenya, saw the Egyptian Sphinx, New Zealand, India, Australia, Europe, Japan, Greece and Costa Rica.
Virginia was active in community affairs including lobbying for kindergartens in public schools in Idaho. She volunteered in the Boise tourism office and at St. Alphonsus hospital with her good friend Cora, while making new friends along the way.
Virginia was a life-long member of Southminster Presbyterian Church and has many dear friends there. She loved to sing. She performed in her college choir, church choir, and the Madrigal Club, a community choir for 19 years. She also sang in several Music Week productions.
Virginia loved family. Virginia and Joe, with the help of their children, built a cabin in Cascade, Idaho. It has been the hub of family reunions for many years. Virginia’s friends and family were most important to her and she was the glue that brought them together. No matter where you went with her, you had to be prepared to stop many times for people she knew to chat and catch up! She had many wonderful friends and family who faithfully visited and sent her cards, gifts and letters through her last few months. They all meant the world to her.
Virginia was preceded in death by her mother, father, husband and five siblings. She is survived by her brother James Hilty (Patricia); sons: Dr. Marty Gabica (Kathleen) of Boise; Steve Gabica (Sue) of Issaquah, WA; Jeff Gabica (Cody) of Boise, daughters: Tia Carter (Mike) of Boise; Cammy Wentworth (Randy) of Ephrata, WA; Monica Trivette (Tim) of Boise, grandchildren: Ana Gabica, Kayla Kelly, Laura Gabica, Kelly Gabica, Ben Gabica, Nathan Carter, Randy Joe Wentworth, Connor Wentworth and Jake Trivette, as well as many fond nieces, nephews and extended family.
A memorial will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church on March 17, at 10:00 am. Receptin to follow in fellowship hall.