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In Celebration of Ginger

The Barclay recently said goodbye to a longtime and much beloved member of our usher team, Virginia “Ginger” Bengochea, who passed away at the end of January after a long and courageous battle with cancer. If you've ever visited the Barclay over the past decades, there's a good chance you’d been greeted with Ginger's contagious smile and warm, hospitable manner. 

From the lovingly written obituary provided by her family:

“Ginger was the loving mother of her own family of three children: Mathew, Darcy, and Victoria. For many years Ginger was an avid sailor, taking to the seas and enjoying many trips out of Newport Harbor to Catalina Island. After her career in commercial real estate, Ginger became passionate about helping others working for decades as a credit counselor for a non-profit organization. Her volunteer work hinted at her love of the arts where she found camaraderie with coworkers at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and at  South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa.  

"Rather than give into the disease she fought for 30 years, she saw it as a unique aspect of her being allowed to transcend the suffering and instead manifest the appreciation of life that it brought her and those touched by her through her example. Ginger saw in her disease an opportunity to help others who would follow her by participating in DNA research with Creighton University, who are studying her rare Lynch Syndrome affliction, and even ultimately donating her body to UCI help find a cure.”

An outdoor celebration of Ginger’s life was attended by many, including her fellow veteran Barclay usher, Joyce. We asked Joyce to share a few words of memory with our newsletter readers: “Ginger was always joyful and loved working at the Barclay. She loved talking to the patrons. She always loved a cup of tea. She would  get it  at the bar when the performance was on. I always enjoyed working with Ginger. We would laugh and talk together about the latest book she was reading or about a new movie that had just come out. I will miss her bubbly and happy attitude and upbeat personality. She truly was a great friend.”

All of us at the Barclay join Joyce and Ginger’s family in fond memories of such a valued member of the Barclay team. Ginger’s dedication, positive attitude, and courage in the face of her health struggles is an inspiration and she will be greatly missed.

Please click here to return to the February 2021 Newsletter Table of Contents.