Virginia E. Sharpe, 88: Portland Jetport's first female employee

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DENMARK — Virginia E. “Ginger” Sharpe, 88, of Chebeague Island, died peacefully July 28 at her son Kevin’s home in Denmark.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Oct. 4, 1922, she and her family moved to Miami, Fla., in the 1930s.

She was working at Florida National Bank when she decided to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1943.

After she graduated from the Coast Guard Institute for Yeoman as a Yeoman First Class,  she was assigned to the public relations office.

She was transferred to Washington, D.C., where she wrote press releases and other news articles regarding the U.S. war effort for the Pentagon. She received assignments overseas and spent a number of months writing foreign correspondence in London, her favorite European city.

After receiving an honorable discharge, she returned to Miami and started working in an airline ticket office.

She began working for Delta Airlines in 1961. In 1972, while still working for Delta, she transferred to Maine and became the first female employee at the Portland Jetport, where she coordinated operations for arriving and departing flights. Her hard work helped open the doors for other women to follow in her footsteps in Portland.  

Before retiring in 1993, she had the opportunity to travel the world with her son, Kevin. One of their most exciting trips was to Switzerland. Her favorite memory from the trip was watching him ski Mt. Titles in the Swiss Alps.   

While she purchased her home on Chebeague Island in 1955, it wasn’t until she retired that she was able to live there full-time. She learned yoga and worked part-time for the U.S. Post Office on Chebeague Island.

She appreciated the beautiful sunsets, tending to flower gardens, knitting, reading mystery novels, sing-a-longs with friends, her beloved pets, and traveling to Cape Cod and New York to visit family.

Her second husband, Thomas Q. Sharpe Jr., predeceased her.

Surviving are her two sons, Christopher Hosford and his wife Jacqueline of Riverdale, N.Y.; Kevin and his fiancee Jacqueline Kingsbury of Denmark; three grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held for family and friends on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 1 p.m.  

Arrangements are by Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth.

Please visit lindquistfuneralhome.com to share your condolences, memories and tributes with her family.

Memorial donations may be made to Chebeague Island Library, 247 South Rd., Chebeague Island, ME 04017.

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