Virginia L. “Jinny” Streckfus, a retired Howard County General Hospital registered nurse who was an advocate for her Inner Harbor neighborhood, died Saturday of cancer at Gilchrist Center in Towson. She was 85.
The former Virginia Loretta Newman, daughter of Richard Newman, a Westinghouse Electric Corp. employee, and his wife, Katherine Newman, who worked at Hutzler’s department store, was born in Baltimore and raised in Arbutus.
After graduating in 1953 from Catonsville High School, she married Donald L. Streckfus, the next year, and settled in Allview Estates in Columbia where they raised their three daughters, and during this time she had been active in the PTA, in Girl Scouts leadership and at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Columbia.
In 1977, she graduated from the nursing program at Howard Community College, and after her certification, began her nursing career at Howard County General Hospital, where she worked as an oncology nurse and with postpartum mothers after the birth of their babies. She retired in 2007.
After retiring, she moved to Ocean Pines, where she lived until 2013, when she settled at Christ Church Harbor Apartments on Light Street in the Inner Harbor.
She earned the moniker of the “Book Lady” for her work in arranging bookmobile visits. She wrote letters to the Baltimore City Council advocating for the replanting of trees on Inner Harbor streets, the installation of ramps and handrails at the Baltimore Harbor Water Taxi landing area, and the addition of library benches.
An avid reader, she enjoyed completing The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun crossword puzzles, following the Orioles, visiting Ocean City with family, and taking long walks on the boardwalk. She also enjoyed flower gardening and had flower boxes wherever she lived, family members said.
Plans for a private gathering are incomplete.
She is survived by three daughters, Pamela Holmes of Timonium, Amy Goodale of Woodbine and Katherine Streckfus of Ashland, Oregon; her sister, Priscilla Beachley of Ocean City; her companion of more than a decade, Fredric Kendall; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Her marriage ended in divorce.