Mrs. Virginia Nelson Anding (“Gini”) La Charité, 81
Virginia Nelson Anding (“Gini”) La Charité, formerly of Lexington/Nicholasville, KY, Middleton, WI, and Saint Augustine, FL, died November, 7, 2018 at age 81 at her home in Hoschton, Georgia. She was born January 18, 1937, in Philadelphia, to Virginia (Nelson) and Claude Ellis Anding, Jr., of Norfolk, VA, and Haddonfield, NJ. She grew up in Haddonfield and attended its excellent schools until the untimely death of her father in 1952. Gini and her mother then relocated to Norfolk, where Gini graduated from Granby High School in 1954.
Through the years, Gini kept fond memories of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, where she received her BA in 1957, with a major in French and a minor in International Studies. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant for study in France and spent the academic year 1957-58 at the University of Besançon. While there, she used her free time to travel extensively with friends throughout Europe. Upon her return, she taught French at Granby High School in Norfolk, VA.
In 1959, Gini was hired as an Instructor in French at William & Mary, a position she held until 1962. While at William & Mary, she also worked on an MA in Education and obtained her degree in 1962. She then did her graduate work in Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania, earning her MA degree in 1965 and her PhD in 1966. While at Penn, she met and married Raymond (“Ray”) La Charité.
Gini and Raymond were professors of French Studies. While it was never their intention to teach together in the same university departments, it simply worked out that way. Gini specialized in 19th- and 20th-century French literature, language, and culture. She taught at the College of William & Mary, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and at the University of Kentucky, from which she retired as Professor Emerita December 31, 1999, having served as Chair of the Comparative Literature Program and Chair of the Department of French.
As a scholar, Gini was instinctively drawn to poetic texts and she worked on some of the great poets of the period, especially Stéphane Mallarmé, René Char, and Henri Michaux. She was particularly interested in the interrelationship of painting and literary texts and published extensively on these topics (books, articles, and reviews). She loved to teach Surrealism and Women’s Studies, and she was very proud of her doctoral students. Because of her tireless and innovative work in the area of French Studies the French Government made her a Knight of the Order of the Palmes Académiques in 1986 and then elevated her to the rank of Officer in 2001.
In 1976, Gini and Ray founded French Forum Monographs and French Forum, a journal of literary criticism devoted to the publication of cutting edge scholarship in the field of French Studies. When they retired at the end of 1999 after 25 years of leadership in the production and dissemination of scholarly work, their alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, took over French Forum.
Gini always loved mystery and spy novels, and in retirement she decided to write seven of them under her maiden name, Gini Anding. She also found time to produce two cookbooks.
Gini went Kappa Kappa Gamma in college and served the national sorority in countless ways: Province President, Chairman of Chapter Scholarship Programs, Historian, Editor of The Key, Bylaws Chair, member of the Heritage Museum board, and editor of vol. 3 of The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Not surprisingly, KKG gave her a lifetime achievement award. She also found time to be a Girl Scout leader, teach Sunday School, function as a day school board member, and edit the newsletter for Camp Nelson, KY.
Gini was an extraordinary woman, capable of juggling various responsibilities and interests seamlessly. She was a gifted storyteller and avid bridge player. She enjoyed ballroom dancing. She worked crossword puzzles and tinkered with gourmet recipes endlessly. Genealogy and needlepoint were favorite pastimes. Antiques always attracted her eye. She loved to travel and take cruises and did so on a regular basis. She was passionate about all things French and she loved to share her enthusiasm, frequently working out travel itineraries for family and friends. Most of all, she loved her husband, her children, her granddaughters, and her many friends. They structured her world and meant everything to her.
She is survived by her husband Raymond (“Ray”), her daughter Désirée La Charité of Atlanta, GA, her son Claude (“Trey”) and his wife Heather La Charité of Knoxville, TN, and her granddaughters Emma and Grace La Charité of Knoxville, TN.
A reception and celebration of her life will be held at the Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Harrodsburg Road on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will immediately follow at Bluegrass Memorial Gardens in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
Memorial Park Funeral Home Braselton Chapel, 5257 Green Street Hwy 53, Braselton, GA 30517 is in charge of arrangements.
Send online condolences to www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com