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Edna Virginia "Ginger" Gay

Edna Virginia “Ginger” Gay, age 58, went to be with her Savior on September 20, 2014 after a battle with cancer.

She was a member of Gethsemane Baptist Church in Whitakers, where she served as choir director, pianist, and guitarist. She graduated from Enfield Academy and attended East Carolina University where she received a Batchelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She started her nursing career at Nash General Hospital in Labor and Delivery. She then worked at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital (Edgecombe General Hospital and Heritage Hospital) in Tarboro for over thirty years in the Emergency Department and served nineteen of those as a manager. Ginger was a strong advocate for the development of the paramedic program in Edgecombe County. During her career she wrote several grants to assist with the paramedic program and various hospital projects. She was also instrumental in the planning of the new Emergency Department at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital. She was well respected by her staff for her leadership and believed they were absolutely the best nurses.

One of her most memorable career experiences was guiding her staff through the aftermath left by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. She captured that experience in an article published by The Journal of Emergency Nursing. During her nursing career she won several awards including Nurse of the Year and North Carolina’s Great 100 award for excellence in Nursing.

Despite being a paraplegic for 33 years from a car accident, Ginger never allowed her paralysis to inhibit her from living a full life. She loved to travel, fish, play the guitar and keyboard, snorkel, go white water rafting, swim and spend time with her beloved family. She was involved with her church and loved her church family. Walking her German Shepherd “Binga” on the farm was also a joy for her. Always a supporter of the underdog, Ginger was ready to intervene and assist those in need. She was told by many of how she inspired others through her determination to live life to the fullest.

Ginger leaves behind her beloved parents Louis Norman Gay, Jr and Minnie Jo Fisher Gay of Whitakers; sister June Gay Carlisle and husband Bobby of Conetoe; brother Louis Norman Gay III and wife Tracie of Red Oak; nephews Jesse Gay of Greenville, Travis Gay of Raleigh, Ashley Carlisle of Greenville, niece Amy Dixon and husband Brian of Conetoe; great nephews Cooper and Austin Dixon; and a very special little girl, Traonna Fox. She also leaves behind all of her coworkers at Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, who she regarded as her second family.

A memorial service celebrating Ginger’s life will be held Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 11:00am at Wheeler Woodlief Funeral Home officiated by Reverend Joe Proctor and Reverend Dan Shepherd. The family will receive friends there immediately after the service. Friends and family may also visit her family at the home of her parents at 408 Main Street, Whitakers, NC on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. It was Ginger’s wishes that her cremains be buried in the family plot at White Oak Cemetery in Whitakers.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Gethsemane Baptist Church Benevolent Fund, PO Box 715, Whitakers, NC 27891.

Arrangements entrusted to Wheeler and Woodlief Funeral Home, 1130 N. Winstead Avenue, Rocky Mount NC 27804. You may share memories and condolences with the family by visiting