Obit: Matzinger, Virginia (1934 - 2015)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Matzinger, Kinas, Anderson

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 6/24/2015

Matzinger, Virginia (29 September 1934 - 8 June 2015)

Virginia Kinas Matzinger passed away peacefully on June 8, 2015, following a brief illness. Virginia, who was known to many as Babe, was born in Calumet City, Illinois on September 29, 1934, to Frank and Pearl Kinas. She grew up in Thorp, Wisconsin with two older sisters: Marcy, who preceded her in death, and Patricia, who lives in Minneapolis.

She spent her youth working with her family’s businesses, the Club 73 bar and restaurant, and in the theaters in both Thorp and Gilman. After graduating from Thorp High School in 1952, she continued working for her parents at their new establishment, the Corner Bar. While she was a smokin’ bartender, she met her future husband, Herbert Matzinger, a new accountant with Thorp Finance. With the arrival of Herb, her potential affair with Frank Sinatra was delayed indefinitely.

Babe and Herb were married on August 10, 1957, and shortly after started their family. They were both pleasantly surprised to see that their three children, Jim, Nancy and Bill, were uncommonly smart and good looking. Over time, Babe and Herb’s family expanded to include the children’s spouses Cindy, Chris and Michele, followed by seven grandchildren: Alissa, Tyler, Rosie, Anna, Jackson, Sawyer and Townsend. Herb had the pleasure of meeting his first grandchild, Alissa, before passing away in 1987.

Babe and her family moved from Thorp in 1976 to Minneapolis and then on to Rice Lake before finally settling in the Twin Cities until 2003. It took minimal coaxing to convince her to move west - and after a cross country drive with her children, she settled in next door to Nancy in Oakland, CA and near Bill in San Francisco, CA. Many happy hours were spent in her garden, where she enjoyed the novelty of a year-round growing climate. She soon acclimated and considered 60 degrees an unreasonable hardship. Thou far from her roots, she maintained her ties to the friends and family in the Midwest.

Always an avid Packer fan, she continued to support her team from a distance and over time she adopted the local Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, and the Golden State Warriors. She usually had a game on and always welcomed visitors to join her; thus, her house was dubbed “Babe’s Sports Bar and Grill.” Watching a game generally included libations and often evolved into the guest staying for a meal.

Babe often volunteered in Nancy’s kindergarten classroom and the kids knew her as Ms. M. Our family would like to plant fruit trees in the new garden at Redwood Heights Elementary School in her honor. In lieu of flowers, we’d ask that donations be sent to: Redwood Heights PTA, c/o Nancy Fisher, 3937 Brown Ave., Oakland, CA 94619.

We are planning a Celebration of Life event in Minneapolis on Saturday, August 1 at the home of our cousins, Floyd and Sue Anderson. They will host an open house from noon until 10 p.m. to share food, drink, hugs, tears, and memories of Babe. For more information they can be contacted at

Condolences can be sent to Jim, Nancy or Bill at,  or,  or

Babe will be missed by many, and may she rest in peace.



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