Cover photo for Virginia "Ginger" Fonza's Obituary
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1945 Virginia "Ginger" 2023

Virginia "Ginger" Fonza

January 30, 1945 — June 15, 2023


Virginia “Ginger” Fonza, 78, of Hartland, MN passed away June 15, 2023, in Rochester, MN, surrounded by her family.    

Born in Burt, IA on January 30, 1945, to the late Charles Lappe and Thelma Sheely. Ginger graduated from cosmetology school in Mason City, IA after attending Burt High School.   She had a tremendous career as a beautician for over 30 years. Ginger also dabbled in interior design, Mary Kay cosmetics and Amway, but her true passion was in her crafting abilities and gardening. Her love of gardening lead her to volunteer in the town of Hartland, MN where she planted and cared for not only flower beds/planters on city properties, but also in the local cemetery. When it came to crafting, there was not much she could not create or make.   Whether it be homemade greeting cards, painted dried flowers, Cricut projects, or bringing something back to life with a touch-up, Ginger took immense pride in everything that she accomplished. She loved a good bargain and rarely missed a garage sale or thrift store. Ginger had a personality that radiated any place that she went and always had people laughing from her jokes or tall tale stories. She had a heart larger than the universe and had the patience to help or listen to everyone.

Ginger is survived by her son, William Lauer (partner Michael Saylor), life-long friend, Karen Badje, sisters: Audrey (Gene) Schlitz, Charlotte Stevens (partner Randy Ferden), Charlene Etherington, and Kathy Gade and brothers: Tom (Jean) Lappe and Bob (Connie) Lappe.  She had many nieces, nephews, friends and her very special sidekicks Joshers and Angel.  She lived life to the fullest every day for herself, family, and friends.

There will be visitation/memories sharing (1-2:30 PM) followed by a remembrance service and meal (2:30-4:00 PM), Saturday, July 22, 2023, at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds Fairlane Building (1105 Bridge Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007).  Come with your favorite memories, hilarious stories, fun facts to share.  Event attire is non-formal and smart casual.

In lieu of flowers and food, the family requests that donations /cards be sent to William Lauer/Karen Badje, 510 Broadway, Hartland, MN 56042 or via  Please make checks payable to William Lauer.  Proceeds from the donations will be used to establish a memorial garden in Ginger’s honor in Hartland, MN.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Virginia "Ginger" Fonza, please visit our flower store.


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