Barber, Virginia Price

Virginia Price Barber, known as Ginger, died peacefully at home February 19, 2016, at the age of 80.  Born on May 18, 1935, in Atlanta, Georgia, she spent her childhood there and in Galax, Virginia, where she graduated Valedictorian of the Galax High School class of 1953. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College and went on to attain a Masters and PhD in American Literature from Duke University.  During graduate school, Ginger spent a year in Strasbourg on a Rotary fellowship.  Her dissertation focused on the American poet William Carlos Williams.At Duke, Virginia met Edwin Ford Barber, who was pursuing graduate studies in literature and history. They married and moved together to New York City, where they built a successful life in publishing together and raised their two daughters.  Ed and Ginger were something of Manhattan pioneers, settling in 1966 in the downtown neighborhood of Chelsea, where they lived for 40 years.    In 1974 Virginia founded the Virginia Barber Literary Agency, and built a career over the next three decades as a highly regarded literary agent, concentrating in particular on fiction writers. The short list of authors with whom she worked includes Anne Rivers Siddons, Peter Mayle, Rosellen Brown, Paul Ehrlich, Andrew Del Banco, Elinor Lipman, Lauren Acampora, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve and Nobel Laureate Alice Munro. A highlight of Ginger's career was traveling to Stockholm for Nobel week, and to witness the ceremony honoring Munro and other recipients of the 2013 award.  Ginger, herself, was a published author. The Mother Person contributed to the conversation about female identity, motherhood and balance. The book was co-written with her friend Merrill Maguire Skaggs and published in the United States and nine other countries in 1975.A founding member of New York's Women's Media Group, Ginger also served on the board of New York's Literacy Partners and the Library Advisory Board of Duke University for many years. Renowned for her generosity, Ginger supported numerous causes, organizations and people throughout the years. Though impossible to list them all here, one way of giving that remained close to her heart, that she recalled often during her final months, was her annual trip to the New York City Post Office to collect letters to Santa. Ginger and her family would purchase, wrap and send gifts from Santa to unsuspecting families. This brought her immense joy.Ginger is survived by her husband of 52 years, Edwin Ford Barber; her two daughters, Anna Barber Luhnow, and Genevieve Barber; her two grandsons, Edwin and August Luhnow; and her brother, Stuart Price.We offer deepest thanks to all the friends, family and caregivers who helped Ginger through this journey, and created such a peaceful and supportive environment for us all.A memorial service for Ginger will be held at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2016.  The address is 717 Rugby Road, Charlottesville VA, 22903. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in Virginia's name to the National Audubon Society, in honor of her enduring love of birds. 

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