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Regina Anne Wilking

June 18, 1942 June 18, 2020
Regina Anne Wilking
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Obituary for Regina Anne Wilking

Regina Anne Wilking was born in Pittsburgh, PA on June 18, 1942, to Henry and Mary Katherine “Cass” Baker and died on June 18, 2020 on her 78th birthday.

Ginny moved from Pittsburgh to Cleveland, OH as a child. She went to Ursuline College for her undergraduate degree and went to Ohio State University for her physical therapy degree in a time when there were few women entering the field. Her lifelong love of sailing began at Edgewater Yacht Club on the shores of Lake Erie, where she learned to sail and eventually met her husband Michael “Mike” DeBruyn. She had her first two children in Cleveland and then moved to Columbus, OH in 1973. They had three more children in Columbus. The family moved to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1980 and her husband Mike passed away unexpectedly on Easter Sunday in 1981. She remarried in 1986 to Louis “Lou” Wilking. They moved to Orchard Lake in 1987 where she lived until her passing. She was a loving sister to Dick (Kathy Koznek) Baker, Don Baker, and Ken (Jean) Baker, loving mother to Michael (Lina) DeBruyn, Patrick (Lacy) DeBruyn, Kathleen Siegel, Kevin (Cassandra) DeBruyn, Brian DeBruyn, Michael Wilking (d.2006) Steven (Mimi) Wilking, LuAnn (Royce) McMahon, Nancy (Larry Segal) Elrod. She was a loving grandmother to Sofia and Michael; Sawyer; Finley, Liadan and Ellis; Sam, Jack, Charlie, Kate, Henry, Lucy, and Emme; Angela and Jeremy; and Greg and Karl. She was a loving great-grandmother to Katy and Mary; and Emma.

Ginny was unwavering in her faith as a lifelong Catholic. She attended Mass every Sunday, prayed the Rosary, and later in life (when she had the time, finally), went on retreats and enrolled in bible studies at the parish. Her belief translated into quiet action. Never one to flaunt her faith, she served quietly and trusted that the Lord would take those prayers and do as he willed. One of those later acts of service was to regularly go to Adoration and was a stand-in for anyone else that couldn’t make it. The constancy of her faith gave her strength and it showed as she faced life’s obstacles. Even during her courageous battle against brain cancer, she never complained or gave up hope. The doctors were always amazed at her positive outlook on life and constant smile. She was a role model, for all that knew her, in how to be selfless, loving, generous, and accepting. “This too shall pass” was often on her lips while consoling her children through their own challenges in life which spoke to her belief in the God who gives us strength to make it through what He permits to happen to us for our benefit.

She had an adventurous spirit for life that led her to travel all over the world. From the ritual to stopping at Wendy’s for a Frosty on road trips to Cleveland to safaris and Table Mountain in South Africa, or riding a Ural motorcycle in the mountains of Ukraine, she would be game for any adventure. She continued her love for learning new things long after she retired. She would still attend seminars and online classes to keep up on the latest physical therapy techniques and practices.

Ginny loved the outdoors and to be active. She started with a love for sailing and skiing as a young woman and never stopped branching out. Tennis, 5k races, long bike rides, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, she wasn’t afraid to attempt anything to keep her active and outside. Nothing intimidated her. She even took up stand-up paddleboarding in her 70s.

Along with her faith, family was always her first priority. Ginny loved to support her children and grandchildren in all of their pursuits. She attended countless games, recitals, performances, and shows. You could always count on her to be your biggest cheerleader. And her family encompassed a lot of people. When she married Lou, his family became hers. She had a unique ability to genuinely relate to anyone and there are many of her children’s friends that thought of her as a second mom.

Ginny had the perfect balance of humility, grace, and confidence. She wasn’t afraid to step in and give guidance and direction when needed, but knew that her children would achieve more by forging their own path and learning from their mistakes. Ginny was a shining example of how to live life to the fullest. By casting such a wide net with all of her varied interests, she left an impact that spanned the globe. In doing so, she was able to make sure that wherever she went, those she met were left with the foundation and skills to keep growing and building. She was a truly remarkable human that left a heartfelt impression on everyone she met and will be deeply missed.

Due to the current restrictions of public gatherings in place due to the COVID -19 Virus, a funeral mass will be held in private with the family. Interment will be with her husband Michael at Pine Lake Cemetery. Memorials to the American Brain Tumor Association, the American Heart Association or the Alzheimer’s Association appreciated.

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Services are private.

Memorial Contribution

American Brain Tumor Association

American Heart Association

Alzheimer's Association

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