D. Virginia “Ginny” Heffner, 87, died Friday, April 21, 2017 at Silver Creek Manor in Bristol, RI. Ginny was born on June 23, 1929, in Newport, RI, the daughter of the late Stephen Barrett and the late Mary Josephine (O’Neill) Barrett.

A native Newporter, Ginny grew up in a house on Extension Street and attended Rogers High School, where she graduated with honors. She was married in St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Spring Street, and she eventually moved to Warwick, where she and her former husband, Charles Heffner, Jr., raised their two sons. After 20 years, she prevailed upon Charles to return to her beloved “Island” and settle in Middletown, where she lived for nearly 40 years.

Ginny worked for many years at the Garrettson Memorial Nursery School on Spring Street, where her Broadway-quality productions of the annual children’s pageants are fondly remembered and still spoken of today by her former students and fellow teachers.

She is survived by her sons, Stephen C. Heffner of Jamestown, and Mark B. Heffner and his wife Mary of Barrington; three grandchildren, Chelsea V. Heffner, Mark B Heffner, Jr., and Matthew T. Heffner; three nephews, William Russo, Jr., Jack Barrett, and Bill Barrett, and a niece, Elizabeth Barrett.

She was preceded in death by her brothers William Russo, Jack Barrett, and Bernard “Buzz” Barrett.

Late in her life, Ginny acquired a second family in the form of the dedicated and loving staff at Silver Creek Manor.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, April 25th, 5:00-8:00 pm in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, April 26, at 9:00am from the Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00am in St. Joseph’s Church, Broadway, Newport, RI. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alliance for Better Long Term Care, 422 Post Road, Suite 204, Warwick, RI 02888.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).