Retired Concord Parks Manager Ginger Gessner of Benicia, 68, who died Tuesday, was well loved and inspirational, Mayor Laura Hoffmeister said in paying tribute to Gessner at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“She worked her way up,” said Hoffmeister. “She was one of the first woman department heads in the city.”
Virginia M. "Ginger" Gessner retired in 2004 after working for Concord for more than 36 years.
Gessner espoused a theory of “green is not a color” to encourage colorful plantings in city medians. Gessner was a leader in 1994 when Concord embarked on a 10-year median program replacing gravel and cement with yellow and orange day lilies and purple groundcover.
In 2001, Concord won the California Park and Recreation Society Award of Excellence for its colorful medians.
Her obituary from the Passalacqua Funeral Chapel follows:
Virginia M. “Ginger” Gessner, 66, of Benicia passed away Tuesday in a local hospital after a brief illness. She was born in Alameda and has been a resident of Benicia since 1983.
Ginger was a dedicated worker for the City of Concord. She worked as Parks Director for over 36 years, retiring in 2004.
She was a member of St. Dominic’s Church. She enjoyed doing charitable work, traveling, trips to the beach to watch the sunrise and the sunsets and spending time with her family.
Ginger is survived by her sisters Christy (Joseph) Costa of Houston, Texas, Laura (Ed) Guillory of Capitola; nieces Marya Minter and Siobhan Guillory; nephew Keegan Guillory and great nephew Myles Minter. She was preceded by her parents Lou & Mary Gessner.
Memorial Mass will be held 10:00 a.m., Saturday at St. Dominic’s Church, 475 East I Street, Benicia. Family prefers donations to St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Passalacqua Funeral Chapel, 745-3130.