Virginia (Ginny) was born Nov. 28, 1929 in San Antonio, Texas to Alonzo Ward Dewoody and Kathryn Shepard Dewoody. She died on Feb. 7, 2020.
She was raised in Dilley, Texas where she excelled in school, skipping two grades and graduating at the age of 16 as valedictorian of her class.
She attended Texas Women's University and graduated with a degree in biology.
Ginny married the love of her life, William James Brient (Bill), and they settled in San Antonio, where they raised two sons and a daughter.
Ginny worked in the lab at the South Texas TB hospital, Fort Sam Houston and the Nix Hospital.
At the urging of her church choir director, who was the principal at Highlands High School, she started her teaching career as a biology teacher in the mid-1960s.
She taught at Highlands High School, Bandera Elementary School and Bandera High School. Ginny was loved by her students, and many credit her with a love of science they never had before.
In the early 1970s, Ginny and Bill decided to make Bandera, Texas their home. They bought property and built their home on the weekends before moving there permanently.
While teaching during the day in San Antonio and spending the weekends in Bandera, Ginny was traveling to Boerne two nights a week to attend EMT training classes. She was a member of the first group of volunteer EMTs in Bandera County.
This was the start of what would become a major passion in her life. Several years after she retired from being a paramedic, a large anonymous donation in her honor was made to cover the remaining amount needed to purchase a new ambulance.
After moving to Bandera with Bill and her youngest child Brenda, she taught during the day and went on EMS calls the rest of the time. She went on to become a paramedic and taught EMT courses on the side.
She continued as a volunteer for many years after retiring from teaching.
Ginny was also very involved in Bandera United Methodist Church, serving on boards and in many volunteer positions. After retirement, she and Bill were active in the Volunteers in Mission and traveled with a group of Methodists to various disaster areas to help rebuild.
As a mother, Ginny instilled in her family values that are still held and passed down to the newest generations. She raised her children to not see race or color and to value all people as equals, just as Jesus did.
She was an early advocate for the equal rights of all people, regardless of skin color, religion or sex. She was fierce in her disdain for racism of any kind and in her support of equal rights for women and women's rights altogether.
Her love of nature was passionate - birds, wildlife and plants. Her flowers and gardens were legendary. Vacations were often planned around what was in bloom and where at that particular time of year.
Ginny and Bill loved each other deeply and were fortunate enough to have 65 years of marriage before Bill's death in 2016. They loved to camp and were able to travel extensively after they retired.
We are all joyous they are together again.
Ginny loved her children, their spouses and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who called her ''Ma.''
She was loved and adored by her family.
Ginny is survived by her sister Ruth Hay, her son Bob Brient (Paulette), her son Jim Brient (Kathy) and her daughter Brenda Pope (Mark), her grandchildren Jordan Gibennus (Mark), Jared Brient (Robin), Whitney Ford, Evan Brient, Alyssa Pope and Alec Pope, as well as nine great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at Bandera's United Methodist Church, with Dennis Thompson officiating.
The family would like to thank the staff of Cibolo House at Morningside Ministries at Menger Springs for the love and care she was shown while living there and Alamo Hospice for their expert care during her last days.
If you wish to make a donation in memory of Ginny, please consider the Bandera County EMS, the Bandera United Methodist Church or the Nature Conservancy.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Bandera, Texas.