Ginny Blakeslee Breen

Our beautiful and loving sister, friend, wife, mother, and grandmother, Ginny Blakeslee Breen, left us for her next journey home on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, at Saint Luke's Hospital in Meridian. Ginny died of natural causes. She faced her last days with courage, honesty, and grace. She truly left the world a better place. And to know Ginny was to love her.

Ginny was born in Tacoma, Washington, on June 13, 1952. She was the second daughter of Ray and Corinne Blakeslee. Ginny had a deep and loving relationship with her dad throughout his life: he was always there for his Ginny. Ginny grew up with her three sisters and four brothers on a 5-acre mini-farm. She rode horses, played with and cared for her brothers and sisters, and loved her family home with its fields, woods, and many gardens.

Ginny graduated from Puyallup High School in 1970. She moved to Los Angeles, where she attended Los Angeles Baptist College (today, The Master's College). She graduated from LABC with a degree in Music, with a focus on Voice. Ginny had a beautiful singing voice, and she loved to sing and play the piano and the standup bass.

Ginny lived in the Los Angeles area for the next 10 years, renting a variety of homes and working at many different jobs. During this time period, her favorite job was working as a nanny for her dear friend, Bonnie Bennett. Ginny helped Bonnie and Bonnie's husband Brent raise their three daughters, and they developed a lifelong friendship.

In the spring of 1981, Ginny decided to follow her friend Joe Saraceno to Idaho. Joe had a job at Galena Lodge, and Ginny was able to find work there as a cook and waitress. It was at Galena Lodge that Ginny began her lifelong love of Idaho and its mountains and people. Living in the cabins at Galena Lodge, Ginny couldn't believe the quiet and the brilliance of the night sky and truly being able to see the Milky Way. She returned to Tacoma for another year, and then she decided to make Idaho her permanent home. In 1982, Ginny moved to Hailey, where she worked as a medical receptionist at the original Hailey Medical Clinic.

In the summer of 1984, Ginny met someone who would forever change her life: her future husband, Michael. Michael had just started a summer job as the Curator of the Stanley Museum. As Michael moved out of the house he lived in on North 1st Avenue, Ginny moved in.

Later that summer, a package for Michael was mistakenly delivered to him at his old address. When Michael returned to Hailey to visit friends, he was told by a mutual friend that there was a package at his old house, and Ginny was holding it for him. Ginny invited Michael in for their first tea time together, and as Michael was leaving, Ginny gave Michael his first "Ginny hug." Ginny greeted friends and strangers alike with her powerful and loving hug.

Michael moved back to Hailey from Stanley that fall, and eventually their paths crossed again and again. They became a couple after Ginny's birthday in 1985, and they were married by their friend Dusty Young at Magic Reservoir on April 8, 1987.

Ginny and Michael had many wonderful adventures together, including spending three weeks in Ireland; backpacking to Goat Lake in the Sawtooths; taking many road trips in Ginny's blue 1973 VW Bug; canoeing and camping at Alturas Lake; and visiting family on the East and West Coast.

On Aug. 6, 1991, Ginny and Michael became parents with the birth of their son, Ryan. Ginny loved Ryan with all of her heart, and she was a loving and dedicated mama to her son. Ginny planned hilarious birthday parties for Ryan and his friends, and she loved his friends as if they were her own children. During Ryan's childhood, Ginny worked as a private housekeeper, and for a period of time, she was the secretary at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hailey

Ginny was always a very talented and artistic person. Around the year 2000, Ginny decided to pursue her passion for drawing. She took classes at CSI, attended workshops, and met with private instructors. She really felt that she was given a special gift to make the world a more beautiful place with her artwork. She found her true passion and niche with painting flowers. She loved creating one of a kind oil canvases and watercolor gift cards. Her artwork appeared in galleries in Ketchum, Bellevue, and Eagle, Idaho; Tacoma, Washington; Sante Fe, New Mexico; and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She truly enjoyed the Wood River Valley Studio Tour where she encouraged visitors to develop their artistic passions, and she gave all who visited a unique watercolor gift tag of a flower to take home.

One of Ginny's last tasks here on Earth was to help raise and take care of her beautiful grandchildren, Vaughn and Madison. Ginny was a true mother and grandmother for them and helped them in every way. She loved them unconditionally, and she had the biggest place in her heart for them.

Ginny was a wonderful friend, counselor, and confidant to so many people. She was funny, sweet, and so honest and direct. In the words of her dear friend Bonnie Bennett: "Ginny was an unforgettably wonderful, wonderful woman ... blessed with a magnificent spirit, a profound wisdom, and a gift for speaking truths to those she loved and counseled. The essence of all that Ginny has been to me will be with me-a part of me-for the rest of my life. I have loved her dearly and will miss her forever."

Ginny is survived by her husband, Michael; her son, Ryan, and his wife, Cammi; and her grandchildren, Vaughn, Madison, and August. She is also survived by her sisters, Becky and Claudia; her beloved sister, Kathy; and her brother-in-law, Steve; her brothers, Joe and Michael; and her deeply loved and cherished brother, Jim. Ginny was a loving and caring sister-in-law to Teresa Breen, Eileen Giere, Maryann Cupo, and Steven Breen, and she truly loved and cared for Michael's mom, Mary.

Ginny truly believed that we have a physical family that we are born into and then a spiritual family we find along the way. Her spiritual family included Lynn Braun, Bonnie Bennett, Joe Saraceno, Bege Reynolds, Dusty Young, Gale Groverman, and Griselda Cee.

Our family would also like to thank Dr. Julie Lyons, for her loving care of Ginny; the nurses of St. Luke's Home Health Care; the Hospice of the Wood River Valley; and the kind and incredible staff at St. Luke's Hospital in Meridian. Honoring Ginny's request, there will not be a formal service.

One of the beautiful things that Ginny said as she was leaving us was this special wish for this life and for her next life:

"Flowers everywhere

Angels everywhere

Love everywhere."