Virginia Sikinger was devoted to her grandchildren, Jimmy Buffett concerts and marching in St. Patrick's Day parades, her family said, and she happily shared her joy for life with both loved ones and those in need.
Sikinger, 72, died Saturday at her Bohemia home of ovarian cancer, family members said.
She relished life and delighted in the moment, putting "her family first," said her daughter Kerry Golde, of Brightwaters, a professor at Nassau Community College. Her mother chauffeured grandchildren, never missing an event -- be it a school concert or kindergarten pumpkin decorating.
"You name it, my mother would go to it," Golde said. A grandson once presented her with a frame for her license plate reading "Nana's taxi."
A self-described Parrothead, as Buffett fans are called, Sikinger, known to friends as Ginny, grew up in Island Park, developing a love for the beach that carried over to the singer's "beachy music," said her son, Peter Sikinger Jr., of Oakdale, a Nassau County police officer.
Sikinger was a fan of Broadway shows, and treated family members to the likes of "The Lion King" and "The Little Mermaid," and -- in keeping with her zest for life -- led her brood in impromptu sidewalk tap dancing sessions, her daughter said.
She was the kind of person to slip $10 into young people's pockets and find ways to help them feel good about themselves, Golde said, and her mother also shared with strangers in need. That included performing a Secret Santa role for families at Christmas and donating supplies to a school in Haiti.
Born Virginia Mitchell on July 24, 1941, in Astoria, Queens, to Irish-American parents, she reflected her own mother's generous nature, Golde said. A graduate of Oceanside High School, she went on to work in an administrative role at a Wall Street firm, before marrying Peter Sikinger, her husband of 46 years.
She loved to celebrate, her husband said, never missing an opportunity to send a birthday card or make a call to sing "Happy Birthday."
Indeed, as a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, East Islip, Virginia Sikinger was a regular participant in St. Patrick's Day parades on Long Island and in Manhattan, even as she had little interest in imbibing in the traditional celebratory spirits, her son said.
In 1986 she went to work for the Town of Islip as a department of public works supervisor, retiring after 23 years, her son said.
Her other survivors include two sisters, Kathleen Carole Quinn Trachtenberg, of Babylon, and Nonie Loehr, of Lindenhurst; a brother, James Mitchell, of St. Charles, Mo.; and five grandchildren.
Visiting hours are Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Moloney's Funeral Home in Bohemia. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. at St. John Nepomucene Church, Bohemia, with burial in St. Charles Cemetery, East Farmingdale.