Verla (Ginger) Virginia Hotaling Malmstrom passed away peacefully on her birthday, October 5, 2019, at the Circle of Life Hospice House in Bentonville, AR. She was born October 5, 1940 to Lester and Jessie (Chadd) Hotaling in Greeley, Colorado.
She attended Ault Colorado schools where she met the love of her life, Jerry Malmstrom, in the first grade. They kindled their relationship and eloped to Pocatello, ID and married September 4, 1959. They were married 58 years until Jerry’s passing February 8, 2018.
She received her B.S. in Education from what is now the University of Northern Colorado and later obtained her Master’s degree in Education from Webster University in St. Louis, MO.
The family moved to Poplar Bluff, Mo in 1969 where she began her teaching career at Eugene Field Elementary School. She retired after 26 years in 1996. She was such a positive influence on her students and daughter’s friends throughout the years.
In Poplar Bluff, she was a member of First United Methodist Church, active in the UMW, hospice volunteer and participated in the Stephen’s ministry. She and Jerry were square dancers where they met lifelong friends. She was the biggest and loudest fan of her two daughters participating in sports and other activities.
Ginger enjoyed many adventures, including rafting the Colorado River after the age of 70, visiting all 50 states and many countries creating many fond memories. Jerry and Ginger traveled across the country in their RV with their grandchildren.
In 2001, she and Jerry moved to Holiday Island, AR to experience true retirement community living where Ginger shined in the community. She spearheaded the Elks Connecting Books with Kids and Elks pancake breakfasts earning her Community Volunteer of the year, twice. She was active in Daughters of the American Revolution chapter Abendschone, volunteered at Meals on Wheels, ECHO, Opera of the Ozarks and Santa’s helper for many childhood organizations.
She was an avid and competitive card player and loved her friends and fellowship with Mahjong, Shanghai and Bunco.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Lester and Jessie (Chadd) Hotaling, Spouse of 58 years, Jerry Malmstrom and sister, Anna Breitenbach.
She is survived by her daughters; Andrea (Jeff) Rowe and Marci (Tom) Stonecipher. Grandchildren; Lucas Rowe (Kendra Mulkey) , Kaysie Tisdale (Isaac Gebke), Ian Martinez, Tim Stonecipher (Malarie Blackwell), TJ Stonecipher (Liz) and Great Granddaughter; Harper Stonecipher. She is also survived by special lifelong friends, Bob and Margaret Scobee, many special nieces and nephews and friends made along her life journey.
A celebration of life will be held at the Holiday Island Community Church on Sunday, October 13 at 10:45 with Pastor, Jeff Timm officiating with meal to follow.
Donations in Ginger’s honor can be made to Elks Connecting Books with Kids, Daughters of American Revolution, Abendschone Chapter or ECHO Village.
Cremation arrangements under the direction of Nelson Funeral Service. Online condolences may be sent to the family at nelsonfuneral.com.