Virginia (Gini) Annette deRussy Eagen, age 77 of Stone Mountain, Georgia, died Monday, May 21st, 2018 at home surrounded by her family. Born in Pasaic, NJ on February 11, 1941, she was the daughter of Rene and Reva deRussy. Her father, Rene, was a Dairy Chemist and Mother, Reva, taught Kindergarten and Elementary Education. Gini was the youngest of three children – Byron (deceased) and her sister Louise Schult. Gini married her High School sweetheart from the neighboring town of Hackensack on June 17th, 1961 at Corpus Christi Church in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. She and Dennis raised 4 children: David Michael (deceased), Jeffrey Thomas, Lisa Ellen, and Daniel Scott. Other survivors include Tim Miller, husband of Lisa; 9 Grand Children, Leah and husband Chad Crane, Sarah and husband Cory Michaels, David, Daniel and wife Alyssa Miller, Joshua, Mercedes, Samantha, Emily and Zachary as well as 4 great grandchildren; Andie, Mia, Eagen and Carson. "She adored them and was a constant in each of their lives. When life’s challenges and the complexities of life entered in, she was always there to support them and love them uniquely." Gini’s dream of a Universal Church came to life in the people she worked with and served while at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Stone Mountain, where she worked as a Pastoral Assistant for 30 years when she retired in May of 2016. She said it was in the faces of the people that she served that she truly experienced Jesus. She was the essence of the Biblical Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the prisoners and minister to the sick, and did so until she took her last breath. She was fearless in her works of compassion, armored in her cloak of faith and resolve. Her husband and life-long partner, Dennis, supported her in her ministries despite the long, irregular hours and unfamiliar places they often took her. Dennis died in August, 2005 of liver cancer. Still mourning the loss of her husband, she turned her attention and energy to a major project: helping the former Lost Boys of Sudan return to their country after peace was declared in 2005 so that they could find the families they’d been separated from for 14 years. Later that year, she agreed to join them on the trip, and at age 64 traveled to South Sudan, overcoming many obstacles to be with them in sometimes volatile situations. In addition, Gini helped start a non-profit organization that builds water wells in the area of South Sudan called Wells for Hope, Inc. Her work has taken her to the deserts of South Sudan, to El Salvador to visit family of a befriended death row inmate, to the slums of Jamaica with Father Jo Lung and Missionaries of the Poor on many occasions, to name only a few. She has been honored by the Archbishop of Atlanta by appointment as Spiritual Advisor to the St. Vincent de Paul Society Atlanta Council. In 2016 she was awarded the 11 Who Care Community Service Award by 11Alive. This award honored her work for Wells for Hope, Inc. in providing clean water to villages in South Sudan. In closing, an excerpt from a dear book that was shared with generations of Gini’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren from the book the Velveteen Rabbit one of her favorites. It answers the question about what it means to be'real'. To all who knew her and loved her, there is no question...she was not afraid to give it all in His name, to be the servant and friend she felt she was meant to be. She was, and will always be the most real person most of us have known and will forever remember her that way… “What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 600 Mountain View Drive, Stone Mountain, GA 30083. The family will receive friends on Tuesday evening at Wages & Sons Funeral Home at 1040 Main Street Stone Mountain, GA from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. In Lieu of flowers, Gini’s wish was that donations be made to: Wells for Hope, Inc. at www.wellsforhope.org or, checks can be made payable to Corpus Christi St. Vincent de Paul Society and mailed to 600 Mountain View Drive, Stone Mountain GA 30083.

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  1. Gini will be sorely missed. The primacy of justice and love to this woman was just outstanding. You gave our Wells for Hope organization the direction: “Let’s get the kids involved.” So now we have a Walk for Water and Health every year, bringing water wells to villages in South Sudan. We will see you on the other side, fair lady!

  2. Gini was a unique human being. She cared about everybody she met and took Matthew 25 literally: “feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger (refugees)…” She loved well and was well-loved by everyone who knew her. We will miss her greatly.

  3. Revelation 21:4
     And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away

  4. It was truly the honor of a lifetime to know Gini, a woman of such extraordinary mercy and compassion. She was a saint walking among us, an activist mystic who was also funny and irreverent, She had a clear-eyed view of what it means to be human, in its grandeur and pain. I will carry her in my heart always.

  5. I am sorry for your loss. God is the source of life and enemy of death. His Word tells us at Acts 24:15 that there is going to be a resurrection for those we have lost in death. May God give you peace and comfort now, and in the days ahead.

  6. To the best grandmother a child could ask for: you were beyond selfless and this tangible earth will not be the same without you but i know you are truly home and reunited with Grandpa and Uncle David. I love and miss you more than words can speak.

  7. Gini doggedly pushed us all to be more “Real” than we are currently comfortable being. She was a hoot and a boatload of fun. Grateful for the good she has done, but selfishly, I’ll miss her.

  8. Oh Gini, I will never forget the compassion and the kindness you showed to the guys on Georgia’s Death Row and their families and loved ones. I will never forget your comforting words to me when the worst case scenario played out and how they lifted me so. I am so lucky to know you, and I thank you for reaching out to me at a time when I needed to hear from an angel like you the most. You were an angel to many of us here on earth, I can only imagine what an impact you will have now that you are in heaven. Your last text message to me said “I am doing ok…one day at a time which is all any of us have…I still enjoy being among the living and treasure my days. I have good family and good friends.” We treasure your spirit Gini! Sending you and your precious family love.

  9. Gini, stood by me in a most difficult time.in my life….giving me chores to do..Giving me purpose…Helping her was most rewarding..I loved her spirit & friendship. She was outstanding.. Truly a remarkable lady…I will miss her & loved her dearly.

  10. A wonderful woman who will be missed by so many. She always, to me, was the true embodiment of how a true Christian spirit should be. She would drive by our home and wave always, said a prayer for us each time. I loved her and will truly miss her. So sorry.

  11. Gini will be missed by her biological family as well as those she emotionally and spiritually adopted as family. It was a pleasure to know Gini and to help her in small ways when I was a parishioner at Corpus Christi. I can’t imagine her joy at seeing Jesus and her beloved Dennis and David. All saints aren’t recognized on a calendar. RIP, Saint Gini.

  12. Dick and Gini worked together for twenty five years in the RCIA and brought so many souls into the church. They were true examples of a gentle woman and a gentle man. Gini always reflected the Beatitudes to me. She will be sorely missed by all of us.

  13. Gini was a perfect example of being God’s messenger on earth. Her example of Faith was second to none, and was loved by so many. She will be missed and remembered by many.

  14. As I exchanged thoughts and emails with Gini-lovers, the felt feelings and memories of Gini are the same; a “disciple of the ear” who responded to our good God’s grace to meet the needs of and heal many. I’ll always recall Gini’s great joy in proclaiming Isaiah 55:1-11 each Easter Vigil. Could it be that the reading reminded Gini of her own call to serve the weary, to give hope? Did Gini’s proclamation give her great joy to be the hollow reed through which our good God extends an invitation to each of us to hear and to realize fullness of life? Thank you, Gini, for your “over the top” response to God’s call and thank you, our good God, for the gift of Gini among us and for receiving her home as “Love made perfect.”

  15. Love and prayers to all of the family. My heart goes out to each of you during this time of loss. May you hold close the sweet memories of Mrs. Gini.

  16. Love and prayers to all of the family of Mrs. GIni Eagen . My heart goes out to each of you during this time of loss. May she rest in peace.

  17. ooh Gini😭😭 what a blessing you are for my family ; you are truly a servant of God. I remember when we first came to USA how you help me find my first job Babysitting your grandson Zachary ,your compassion ,your love ,respect and caring for others 😭😭 I can only say thank you God for allowing me to know an angel on earth here that you were . Love you Pamela

  18. In Her Memory:
    Mama Gini was a sister, aunt, mother, leader, and a caregiver to many people. She was very special to African refugees at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Stone Mountain, and at the Clarkston community center as well. As a former catechist for the South Sudanese refugees, I know firsthand the positive impact Gini had in our community in Clarkston, Georgia. From 2004 to her retirement in 2016, I was honored to be a part of her work both here in the U.S. as well as in South Sudan.
    Mama Gini was a gift to our community, a person of compassion and dedication throughout her career of service to others. When her husband passed in 2005 from liver cancer, it doesn’t stop her from doing what she liked to do to help people. In that same year, she went to South Sudan with 5 Lost Boys to help establish the Wells For Hope non-profit organization, to provide clean water to the 5 villages in Rumbeck. Years later in 2016, Gini was presented the 11 Who Care Community Service Award by 11 Alive News for her work with Wells for Hope.
    Mama Gini loved children and she sometimes provided them with bus to go and collect the kids in the residential areas to take them to Corpus Christi Catholic church for Bible study every Sunday. She helped provide school supplies, as well as food and clothing for families. Also her office was full with all different kinds of children’s books. As a catechist at Corpus Christi, I provided Gini with the names of children and adults to be baptized, and she coordinated the baptisms between the families and the priest.
    Mama Gini and father Kenny helped many people facing financial difficulties, including bills, rent, and funeral expenses to name a few. She used to help all of our refugees from different denominations when they lost a member of their family, Mama Gini used to make funeral and burial arrangements with the Wages & Son funeral home. And if the family made an arrangement with a different funeral home, Mama Gini would send some money to reduce the cost. Mama Gini, Father Kenny, and Father Joe were our people who always brought us the Holy Communion from the Corpus Christi Church when we used to pray in the Clarkston community center, before we were moved to Stone Mountain in 2009.

    We will never forget the work she has done for our South Sudanese communities.

    Thank you in advance,
    Ngor Kur Mayol.

  19. In Her Memory:
    Mama Gini was a sister, aunt, mother, leader, and a caregiver to many people. She was very special to African refugees at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Stone Mountain, and at the Clarkston community center as well. As a former catechist for the South Sudanese refugees, I know firsthand the positive impact Gini had in our community in Clarkston, Georgia. From 2004 to her retirement in 2016, I was honored to be a part of her work both here in the U.S. as well as in South Sudan.

  20. I had the pleasure to meet Gini not long ago, such a sweet ladie May the Lord keep her by his side with all the light and peace she deserves a great mom a warrior an example to her family. God bless you ever!

  21. Sorry to hear about your lost I know it can be difficult to see the brighter side of things when we are faced with these trials but god does promise us that we will have a ressurection and soon we will be reunited with our loved ones again my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family (acts 24:15)

  22. Gini was a treasure to know. She was always concerned about the welfare and well being of others. She stood by me during a difficult time and her kindness is forever etched in me. A living saint indeed. You will be forever missed. My condolences to her family and to all who were lucky to know her.

  23. When losing someone we love it’s hard to carry on without them but act 25:15 helps us to appreciate that there will be a ressurection and soon we will be reunited with our loved ones again my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

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