J. Virginia “Ginger” Byrum died peacefully on November 6, 2020 surrounded by family in St. Louis, MO. She was born on March 25,1933 in San Diego, CA. Ginger was fiercely independent, with an adventurous streak that shone through in nearly all she did. She enjoyed a remarkable, vibrant life with her husband of almost 45 years, George Byrum, who preceded her in death in 2014. Their partnership was formed on a shared love of travel, the outdoors, and habitat conservation. As avid sportsmen their travels included fishing, hunting, and photography across Mexico, Africa, and South America. More recently, Sportsman’s Cove Lodge in Ketchikan, Alaska became a beloved family fishing destination.
An ardent lover of wildlife and the outdoors, Ginger lived the ranch life for over 25 years in the Jefferson Valley region of Montana, and most recently in Durango, CO. Her homes showcased an appreciation for wildlife art in all its forms, a collection she and George built across a rich diversity of emerging and established artists.
Ginger will be remembered for her humor, her dedication to friends and family, and for her deep love of Freckles, her border collie and ranching companion.
Ginger was a founding member of the Foothills unit of the Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and director-at-large for Safari Club International. Ginger was one of the very few to hold the position of President of the SCIF Sables – a committee of Safari Club International Foundation dedicated to developing and funding projects and programs supporting education in wildlife conservation. She was a true leader, and her calm approach to handling the presidential duties of a multifaceted organization helped to develop a new generation of engaged wildlife conservationists.
Ginger is survived by her daughter, Molly Salky (Kenneth), of St. Louis, MO, her sister Susan King of Pine Valley, CA, two step-daughters Margaret Sue Lepsch (and the late Thomas Lepsch) of Kingsport, TN, and Kay Byrum of Palm Springs, CA, and eight grandchildren. Two children, Kelly and Byron, preceded her in death.
The family would like to acknowledge and thank Jon and Siri Fossel of Durango, Co, for their extraordinary friendship and support for Ginger. A private memorial will be held at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Safari Club International Foundation for Education Programs or a charity of your choice.