Virginia Ann “Ginnie” Carpenter

1935 – 2024

Virginia Ann Carpenter was born October 19th 1935 and passed away May 19th 2024. Virginia was a proud member of the Jones family of the Tulalip Tribes, she was one of 17 children. Ginnie was perhaps best known for the hard work and determination she put into everything she did.

Her childhood home sat where the Hibulb Cultural Center sits today. In her youth she enjoyed tumbling alongside her sisters and throughout her life she always prided herself on keeping very physically active. She was the Strawberry Festival Queen in her teen years and graduated from Marysville High School in 1954. At a time when girls’ achievements weren’t fully recognized, Ginnie fought and won the right to receive the full 4 bars on her letterman’s jacket to reflected her many accomplishments.

As a young woman Ginnie started out working as a secretary for the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors. She then had a long career of over 30 years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs working in the Realty Department. She commercially fished the waters of Puget Sound with her husband, her siblings and family for several years. With the help of her brother Marvin and uncle Chuck, Ginnie and her husband George cleared the land by hand for what would become the very first mortgaged home on the Tulalip reservation; Paving the way for tribal homeowners to come.

In later life Ginnie was the manager of the Tulalip Senior Center for over 15 years. She was a Gaming Commissioner, a member of the Enrollment Committee, and sat on the Elder’s Court among many other roles. Ginnie made great efforts advocating for elders’ rights, tribal sovereignty, and the welfare of those around her. She was extremely proud of her Indian culture. She made roses upon roses for tribal member funeral services, and she took a lot of pride in telling you just how many. She was an outspoken member of the community, any See-Yaht-Sub would be incomplete without her say on the matter.

Virginia’s family meant the world to her. She spent 59 years together with her husband George Carpenter Jr. Her brothers and sisters have always shared a very special and strong Jones bond between them. So much of her life was spent in the company of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, whether it be over meals, family gatherings, or just being together. Ginnie’s smile and humor will never be forgotten.

Of her many hobbies, favorites included: Gardening, weaving and cedar gathering, arts & crafts, and cooking; especially good was her fish cooked over the fire. She also enjoyed traveling, gambling, following sports, adding to her many collections, decorating, and of course always being on the hunt for the best deals.

Virginia was preceded in death by her husband George Carpenter Jr.; Parents Luella Pratt and George Jones, Sr.; Aunt Rilla (Chuck) Shelton; Sisters ‘Uppy’ Caroline Thornberry, LaVerne Jones, Gloria St. Germaine and Sharon Jones; Brothers Stan Jones, ‘Stomper’ Lynn Jones, ‘Gunnie’ Alpheus Jones, ‘Jack’ Norman Jones, George Jones Jr., ‘Chuckie’ Charles Jones and ‘Billy’ William Jones. As well as many nieces and nephews.

Ginnie was a mom, a grandma, an auntie, a sister or a friend to so, so many. Surviving family members include sisters Joy Lacy and Dawn Simpson; Brothers Dale (Barbara) Jones, Richard (Toby) Jones, Marvin Jones, and Delmar Jones; Children ‘Wheatie’ Don Carpenter, Lou Ann (Kari) Carter and Eugene Carpenter; Grandchildren Ang Taylor, Mandy (Josh) Carter, Rosie (Grover) Topaum, and Sarah (Anthony) Hart and Bryce Sr.(Andrea) Juneau; Great-grandchildren Katia, Bryce Jr., Michael, Melissa, Juanito, Olivia, Dorothy, Jaxson, Louise, Aredell, Virginia, and Conrad; And great-great grandchild Aniyah Juneau.

A celebration of her life will be held Thursday, May 23 2024 at 10:00 AM at the Tulalip Gathering Hall.