We were saddened by the death of our beloved member, Virginia Flagg on July 9th, 2013. Virginia was born in Denver on May 4, 1926. Her father worked as a chemist at the Great Western Sugar Company in Eaton, Colorado. At the age of 13, her parents were divorced and her mother moved with Virginia and her older sister, Evelyn, to Los Angeles. During her childhood, Virginia attended various Protestant churches sporadically.
Her undergraduate work was at UCLA where she fell in love with the university environment and decided to get a PhD so that she could stay in school as long as possible. She then went to graduate school in Berkeley where she lived in the International House. She loved the intellectual stimulation there and that was where she met her husband, Denis. They both earned their PhD’s in economics.
The couple moved to San Diego in 1955 when Denis was offered a job as a professor at SDSU. Virginia was pregnant with their first child at the time. She put her career on hold as she became a full time mother to three sons over the next few years. When the youngest child was 8, she began teaching evening classes at UCSD extension. Eventually she was offered a job as a part time lecturer in the economics department at SDSU and even shared an office with her husband. She was a very successful teacher, usually earning the spot as one of the top lecturers in the economics department. She continued to teach or do research. For many years, her focus was on the tuna fish industry which was based in San Diego. However her family remained her highest priority.
Virginia had stopped attending any church in her college years. When her children were approaching draft age during the Vietnam war, she learned about Quakers and attended La Jolla Meeting for a few months. Around the age of 49, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma which was usually terminal at that time. Her oldest son encouraged her to start reading various philosophical works and helped her find some inner direction. She credits achieving permanent remission to this internal focus in addition to the long treatments of chemotherapy and radiation.
About this time, she began attending San Diego Meeting where she became a member after 10 years. Virginia was very impressed by the Quaker way of doing business. She became very involved with the Meeting over the next few decades and served on many committees and in the offices of treasurer, recording clerk and Meeting Clerk.
She also was a very active community volunteer. She taught non-violence to prisoners in the Alternatives to Violence Program, was a mediator with the San Diego Mediation Center and was a member of the editorial board of the Quaker Economist. During the political instability of Guatemala, she traveled there to be an observer of one of the opposition leaders. This was a time when many of the leaders disappeared. She filled this role for several months.
Swimming was always a part of her life. She was a lifeguard in college, swam in various pools and later in life at La Jolla cove. At age 60, she started racing in the yearly La Jolla Rough Water Swim and won it many years in her age division. Eventually she was the only person in her age division to compete until she stopped at the age of 83. She also loved camping and camped monthly with a group until a few years ago.
Virginia loved languages and traveling. She took classes in German, Russian and Spanish and traveled in many countries around the world. She also loved ballroom dancing and classic movies.
In her last few years, Virginia moved to a retirement home in La Jolla and transferred her membership to La Jolla Meeting where she served on the Ministry and Oversight Committee. Both San Diego and La Jolla Meeting Friends will miss this intelligent, well rounded, plain spoken, active woman.