Friends of the University

Virginia ”Ginny” Fanelli, former mayor of Saratoga, knew how to show up in life. She showed up with the passion, drive, care, and joy that everyone who knew her well experienced over and over again. She showed up as a professional, community leader, friend, and most of all, as the heart of an ever-growing family who loved her deeply. As she dealt with cancer the past two and a half years, she continued to show up every time it mattered to someone dear to her. She never disappointed because she always showed up as her genuine self. Virginia was born in San Gabriel to James and Mavis Uhler in 1936. She was welcomed by older brother, Lewis. She attended Alhambra High School and went on to Stanford University, where she was president of the Women Students and graduated in 1958. That same year, Ginny married Mike Laden in the first of her three partnerships, each of which lasted two decades. Ginny and Mike became parents to two sons, Steve and Jim, and lived in Saratoga. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Ginny was a mother who devoted herself to school and community activities, culminating in her appointment to the Saratoga City Planning Commission. Ginny’s return to the professional world was fruitful from that point forward. She became the general manager of the Saratoga Country Club in the late 1970s, where she also met her second husband, Dom Fanelli ’50. They married in 1982 and brought together their two families, which included Dom’s four sons, Steve Fanelli ’78, Joe Fanelli ’85,Mike, and Nick, plus their families. Ginny also started a land development and management business, Fanelli Consulting, which engaged her for over 30 years. In 1982, she was elected to a four-year term on the Saratoga City Council, making her an integral part of helping the city develop as Silicon Valley grew around it. In 1984 and 1985, her fellow city councilors named her mayor. She also served on SCU’s Board of Fellows. The 1980s and 1990s were filled with many adventures. Ginny especially valued the opportunity to build relationships with Dom’s and her extended families in Italy and England. Above all else, these were the decades when Ginny became a grandmother to nine wonderful grandchildren: Dominic, Ryan, Alexandra, Rachel, Aaron, Matthew, Helazo, Elisia and Anna. She thrived on her individual relationships with each and every one of them and devoted herself in every way she could to them. Following Dom’s death in 1998, Ginny met John Ralston. Together, Ginny and John formed a partnership that sustained both of them, adding new family and friends and bringing new adventures, including lots of football. They also moved to their final home in The Villages in San Jose and became active members of the community. Throughout her treatment for cancer, Ginny stayed determined to enjoy life. She traveled extensively, including recent family trips to the Galapagos and China. She saw four grandchildren get married and three others graduate from high school. And she welcomed three great-grandchildren—Riley, Malachi, and Beau—with a fourth, Parker, born two days after her passing. She continued to show up in every way that she could and always did so with the passionate involvement that marked her life. Ginny died on Feb. 9, 2018. In addition to the family mentioned above, Ginny is survived by daughters-in-law Rita, Yasna, Anita, Mary, and Lisa and son-in-law Rob; her grandchildren’s spouses and partners Nora, Mallory, Nick, Justin, Sarah, and Chris; sister-in-law Cindy; and John’s daughter, Terry, and granddaughters Ashley and Dani.

08 Nov 2018