Virginia White

Virginia A. White

1945 - 2023

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Obituary of Virginia A. White

Dr. Virginia Agnes White, 78, of Coralville, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at Grand Living at Bridgewater.

Virginia Agnes White was born October 17, 1945, at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa. Virginia was the oldest of Robert James and Luthiera Agnes Yeggy White’s six children. Virginia was named after her mom’s sister and went by Virginia all her life to everyone but her siblings – to them she was always Gingy. Virginia was a model child, setting the bar very high for her siblings. Her obedient, studious, cautious nature and cleanly habits were never rivaled by her siblings. Virginia was very patient with her ornery siblings and their tormenting and teasing that continued throughout her life. 

Funeral Mass will be held 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Iowa City. Burial will be at old St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Iowa City immediately following the funeral. Visitation will be held at Gay and Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City from 4:00 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, December 4, 2023. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her name to the American Parkinson Disease Association and St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

Virginia grew up in the north end of Iowa City, in a neighborhood called Goosetown, where her father worked as a postal carrier and her mother was a nurse. Virginia attended Horace Mann Elementary School and Central Junior High School. She graduated as the valedictorian from Regina High School in 1963. Virginia was a member of the Reginia Girls Math Team that won first place at a Clark College math tournament. She was on the Spectrum (school newspaper) staff and was a member of the National Honor Society.  Virginia also participated in 4H, winning blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair and worked as a candy striper at Mercy Hospital, as she knew she wanted to be a doctor from an early age (after she moved on from her initial childhood desire to be a female taxi driver).

Virginia graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968. She continued her education at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, graduating in 1972. Virginia was one of five women in her graduating class of 150 medical students. Virginia lived at home with her parents and siblings until her second year of medical school. She was very studious and studying at home was difficult with daily life activities of her four brothers and younger sister. She moved into her first apartment on Newton Road in Iowa City with her fellow classmate, Dr. RoseMary Mason, beginning a lifelong friendship. She lived frugally while paying her way through medical school, predominantly subsisting on cheese sandwiches that did not require refrigeration during her long days of classes and studying.

Virginia was born and raised in Iowa City and didn’t venture far from home during her first 27 years. She got her first taste of travel in 1969 when she traveled through Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland with RoseMary doing a Nutrition Study.

Virginia moved to California in the summer of 1972, with all of her belongings (including a vacuum, handmade quilt, and homemade jelly) packed in the huge trunk of her Chevy Impala. Peg was fortunate to accompany her on this trip where the 10-year difference in age melted away and the two became best friends. So many laughs and adventures were had on that trip.

In California, she completed her internship, residency, and fellowships at UC Davis Medical Center, specializing in Endocrinology (Internal Medicine). After her time at UC Davis, she began her tenure at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), serving as an endocrinologist to many patients.

Her desire for international travel started in 1976 with a trip to Peru with her close friend, Karen Mansmann. Virginia and Karen were meticulous with their travel plans, researching the culture and customs before beginning their trips and carefully documenting with travel journals and photographs. Virginia and Karen continued their travel adventures in the 1970s and 1980s with trips to Greece with a Greek Island cruise, Guatemala and Yucatán, Mexico, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, Papua New Guinea, China, Copper Canyon in Mexico, and Kenya and Tanzania.

In 1985, she met Ira Greenstein at a gathering at the condo association to which they both belonged. When she talked to Peg shortly after meeting him, she said he was unlike anyone she had ever dated and that she was in love. They married in 1986, and her last big international trip before starting her family was to Japan on her honeymoon with Ira.

Virginia and Ira had their first daughter, Ann, in 1987, followed by their second daughter, Katie, in 1989. Virginia became an advocate for those with Down Syndrome, including her daughter Ann, and was persistent in seeing to Ann’s education and services from the state of California. She also orchestrated many family trips within the United States, traveling with Ira, Ann, and Katie to Yeggy family reunions, many parts of California including Yosemite and Lassen National Parks, and the far reaches of the United States including Maine, Florida, Alaska, and Hawaii. Additionally, Virginia brought her family back to Iowa each year to spend summer and holidays with relatives.

After 25 years of service with the VA, which included time as an administrator, Virginia retired in 2005 to spend more time with her family while Katie remained in high school. Virginia was once again able to travel with Karen after her retirement going to Easter Island in 2008.

Virginia was active in many ministries at St. Ignatius Loyola in Sacramento and at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Iowa City. She enjoyed sharing her faith by teaching religious education both in Sacramento and for the Reginia Religious Education program. She was also active with her bible study group from St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church.

Her additional interests included reading, sewing, photography, board and trivia games, and baking. Virginia sewed beautiful outfits for herself and others and became adept at adapting baking recipes to be gluten free for her daughter Ann, who has Celiac disease. She loved movies and was a sucker for rom-coms, especially You’ve Got Mail or anything with Tom Hanks.

Above all Virginia will be remembered for her faith and devotion to God, her love of family and friends, her gentle, kind heart and her passion for doctoring and healing.

Virginia is survived by her husband, Ira Greenstein; her two daughters, Ann Greenstein, and Katie Greenstein (Edgard Verdugo); four brothers, Robert White (Suzanne), Richard White (Ann Schulte), Dennis White (Deb), Stephen White (Cathy); and one sister, Peg Heck.

In addition, Virginia is survived by her aunt and namesake, Virginia Grimsich, her aunt, Jeannine Yeggy, her nephews and nieces, John White, Amy Dalton, Tim Heck (Nicole), Heather Zwanziger (Tim), David Heck (Jenny), Matt White (Katie), Jill McLachlan (Tom), Zachary White, Allison Cashatt (Allan), Sarah Kew (Kyle), and Liam Heck; 16 great-nieces and nephews, one great-great-nephew and numerous cousins.

Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, parents-in-law Al and Rose Greenstein, and two brothers-in-law, Marv Greenstein and Randy Heck.

Virginia’s family would like to thank the staff at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, especially Dr. Rebecca Davis, for their compassionate care.



4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Monday, December 4, 2023
Gay & Ciha Funeral Home
2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, Iowa, United States

Funeral Mass

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church
630 E Davenport St.
Iowa City, Iowa, United States

Graveside Service

11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
St. Joseph Cemetery
1122 N. Dodge Street
Iowa City, Iowa, United States