Cover photo for Virginia Lynn Brickner's Obituary
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In Memory Of
Virginia Lynn Brickner
1940 2024

Virginia Lynn Brickner

June 20, 1940 — April 6, 2024

Virginia Lynn "Ginger" Brickner, age 83 of Huber Heights, Ohio, passed away Saturday, April 6, 2024. She was born June 20, 1940 in Queens, New York City, New York, the daughter of the late Leo and late Gertrude Laakso.

Ginger was the Proprietor of The Ginger Jar Antiques for 57 years. Over her career, she operated stores in New York, Delaware, Nebraska and Ohio. She enjoyed a nation-wide reputation and serviced customers from as far away as New York, Florida, Illinois, Texas and California. Locally, her business had operated in Dayton, Kettering, Riverside and Huber Heights.

Ginger was an active presence in the community. She was past president of the Huber Heights Senior Center, as well as past president, and secretary, of the Wright-Patterson AFB Stroke Support Group. She also conducted a comic auction in support of a local school fundraiser. She loved to play cards, and for many years played bridge twice a week at the Senior Center. She was also a wicked pinochle player. She was an accomplished storyteller and loved to entertain both friends and strangers with her stories and jokes.

She grew up on Long Island in Cedarhurst, New York. Ginger and her younger sister, Linda, were the "Laakso Sisters", singing through their grade school and high school years. They performed in many venues and were even considered to be contestants on The Ted Mack Amateur Hour. They did not get their chance due to the large number of singing sisters at the time. One her fondest high school memories was singing the duet "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" with friend and classmate, future Superagent and Producer Sandy Gallin. She was also a USO singer for hospitalized Vietnam service members at Clark AB, Philippines.

She attended college at the University of Florida and received a BA in Secondary Education in 1962. She often told of the Chemistry Department inventing Gatorade for the football team during her time there. After graduation she became an Air Force wife and taught first grade in Aurora, Colorado. She was given a slow learner class and turned them into accomplished readers by the end of the year. After Lowry AFB, Colorado, she went to Clark AB, Philippines and then to Stuart AFB, New York. There she started The Ginger Jar Antiques in Newburgh, New York. The next stop was at Dover AFB, Delaware before going overseas to Izmir AFB, Turkey. There she lived on the economy, learned the Turkish language, and made many local friends.

Her first marriage being over, she married Jerry Johnson in Turkey. Her son Jody was born there. Returning to the States and Offutt AFB, Nebraska, she became the mother of daughter Janessa. She opened the Ginger Jar in Omaha, became single again and joined Parents Without Partners. There she met Tom Brickner at the PWP Turkey Trot dance and the rest is history. They married at Offutt AFB on October 4, 1980 and soon thereafter moved here, to Wright-Patterson AFB in 1981.

Ginger is survived by her husband of 43 years, Major Thomas E, Brickner, USAF (Ret). Other survivors are brothers Jeffrey and Edward Laakso, children Jody Johnson and Janessa Mills, stepchildren Eric Brickner and Kristy Haaf. Grandchildren include Kaitlyn Goney, Jeremy and Justin Johnson, Billy and Jenna Brickner, along with Shaelee and Ian Haaf. She was preceded in death by her parents, stepson Gary Brickner, and sister Linda Mintz.

Ginger had a life well lived, and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her. A Celebration of Life will be held at her store in the near future. May she rest in peace.

Arrangements by Newcomer Funeral Home, North Chapel, 4104 Needmore Road, Dayton, OH. To share a memory of Ginger or leave a special message for her family, please visit the guestbook below.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Virginia Lynn Brickner, please visit our flower store.

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