In Memory of




Obituary for Virginia Lee Dennis

Virginia passed away on August 12, 2022 at home surrounded by her family and her beloved dogs Hap and Leonard. She was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa October 4, 1930 to George Vavra and Rowena (Bedell) Vavra. Her siblings are Lewis Vavra (deceased), Sandra Friday (Vavra) and Larry Vavra.

She earned a BA in Journalism from the University of Iowa in 1953, starting her career at the Dubuque Herald as the Society Editor. The next step in her career was as a stewardess with United Airlines based in Chicago and Los Angeles.

She married Jack Dennis in 1955 and they lived in Germany prior to moving to Niagra Falls in 1957. Her son Lewis was born in 1957 and the family moved to Lakewood in 1959 to the house she lived in the rest of her life. Her son Sam was born in 1960 and Gina spent the next decade or so raising the boys. During those years she was also very active in helping develop and manage the Stober Elementary School library. She was also active volunteering at the Applewood Athletic Club while the boys competed on the swim team. During this period she became politically aware and abandoned her upbringing as a staunch Republican to be become a liberal activist, including working as a lobbyist for Common Cause. She then worked as the office manager at Planned Parenthood in Lakewood from approximately 1973-1980. Following that she went to work at the Colorado School of Mines Foundation as their office manager and event planner, the job she eventually retired from.

Her retirement interests included gardening, her dogs, and political protests against the war in Iraq. She was also a voracious reader and became an avid movie fan, watching thousands of movies. Her car could easily be identified by her many inflammatory and highly political bumper stickers.

She is survived by her son Sam, daughter-in-law Liz ; son Lew, daughter-law Margaret as well as her sister Sandra and brother Larry, as well as her grandchildren Carly and Miles (Sam and Liz’s children). There will be a Virginia Dennis Celebration “Roast and Toast” cocktail party held at a later date.