Ginger Lee Stefanides, enjoyed entertaining, traveling

February 27, 2024

Ginger Lee Stefanides, 76, of Bethany Beach, passed peacefully Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, surrounded by her family. She was born Dec. 26, 1947, in Charleroi, Pa., to a loving, tight-knit family in the small steel mill town of Belle Vernon. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clyde (Bud) and Ruth Houseman; and brother, Clyde Rudy Houseman.  

Ginger is survived by her husband of 51 years, Dean; and loving daughters, Lisa (Robert) Sloan and Maggi Stefanides. Additional survivors include her sister, Robin (Charles) Sztroin; grandchildren, Hayden Thomas, Riley O’Buck and Carley Huber; and great-grandson, Alexander Drowns Thomas. Surviving in-laws include Philip Stefanides and Audrey (Sam) Stefanides, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Lisa and Maggi, plus close family friends helped care for Ginger daily. 

From the time that Ginger was a young Girl Scout and candy striper at her local hospital, she volunteered to help people, which ultimately resulted in her future work with the Peace Corps.

A 1965 graduate of Bellmar High School, where she was voted Shamrock Queen, Ginger went on to attend airline school in Connecticut.

Ginger and Dean married Oct. 10, 1972, in Chicago, Ill. Ginger worked for Tradewind Tours, and Dean worked for the Army Corps of Engineers as a captain in the Army. As a result of her employment with Tradewind Tours, they happily enjoyed very affordable flights and accommodations during their travels before being deployed overseas. With Dean being in the Army, it was time to be stationed in Germany in the early 1970s, a place that Lisa very much enjoyed and where Maggi was born. During their six years in Germany, they were able to extensively travel all over Europe, including almost every Western European country; most places were easily visited by car. Her favorites were Paris, Athens, Barcelona, Munich and Rome.      

When Dean, Ginger, Lisa and Maggi returned to the United States, Ginger found employment with the Smithsonian Institution for a short time before she transferred to Action/Vista in 1980 in the Overseas Travel Office. Ginger eventually became an employee with the U.S. Peace Corps, progressing to the executive position of transportation director for the entire organization, overseeing and managing major staff visits, and multiple country evacuations during their emergency operations. When Ginger was eligible to retire, she said, “It was time to go to the beach.”

She loved her retirement years in Bethany, using her natural design and interior decorating skills to renovate and upgrade a very beautiful retirement home. Even with all this work on her retirement home, Dean and Ginger found time to travel to the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Southern Africa, as well as multiple hot spots in the United States including Florida, and her favorite, Las Vegas. She enjoyed the people-watching, attractions, shows and dining.

But what was more important to Ginger was her family and friends. She enjoyed their company and counsel, and always had their backs when needed. Ginger was a great cook and a wonderful entertainer.  

She will surely be missed, and we will celebrate her life later this year. 

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