Our beloved Virginia “Dinny” Burgin passed away on Friday, February 11, 2022, at the age of 75, surrounded by her closest family.
Dinny was born in New York City and raised in Scarsdale by loving parents Peter and Pin Wojtul. From an early age, she was a charismatic performer and competitive athlete. One of her favorite memories was of wowing the audience with her quick pointe work in a solo ballet variation. A photograph of the smiling 8-year-old Dinny extending graceful arms adorned with butterfly wings is testimony to the joy that dance brought her.
As a young girl, Dinny spent hours practicing for swim meets and figure skating competitions. Her dedication to each sport earned her numerous championships and awards. Her love of skating continued throughout Dinny’s life, culminating by earning a coveted recognition from U.S. Figure Skating for passing a rigorous series of proficiency tests at the age of 52. She was also, an avid skier (both downhill and water) and a lifeguard.
Dinny attended Franconia College where she met the love of her life, Bill Burgin. After graduating with honors, Dinny went on to attend Rhode Island School of Design and earned a BFA in apparel design. In 1976, she and Bill moved to Jamestown and she quickly became a fixture in the community.
Her efforts and interests were varied but her love for her adopted hometown shone through in her activities: from helping to restore the old Isaac Carr General Store building, to coaching a gymnastics team to win the elementary State championship in both 1983-84, to sustaining a powerhouse career as a local Realtor for over 25 years, and taking cameo roles in productions by the Jamestown Community Theater.
If you haven’t already guessed from reading this, Dinny was a dynamic personality who radiated warmth, curiosity, and humor. She had an uncanny ability to talk to anyone and make them feel special, so it’s no surprise that many people called her a friend. Dinny grabbed life with both hands and wrung every bit of pleasure she could from traveling and dining out to spending time with her beloved husband and family. If you were lucky enough to see her around town, you know she had a supreme sense of style and a knack for pulling chic ensembles together whether she was going to the grocery store or attending a formal event at the Conanicut Yacht Club. Although she couldn’t have known it, Dinny spent her last day doing some of her favorite things: cruising around Jamestown, having dinner with Bill, and staying up late to watch Olympic figure skating.
In addition to her husband, Dinny is survived by her daughters Bunty and her wife Julie and grandson Louis, and Lydia and her husband Scott, and grandchildren Deirdre and Emily.
Dinny will be sorely missed by all. A celebration of her life will take place during the summer.
In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation to the Potter League for Animals, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI 02842, www.potterleague.org/ as a tribute to Dinny’s love of all animals, but particularly Golden Retrievers.
This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.