Virginia Butterhof (nee Matro), 85, died on December 27, 2020, from COVID-19 pneumonia.
Virginia, also known as “Ginny” or “Ginger” was born in Elm, N.J., to Anthony and Madeline Matro. She was a devout Catholic and remained faithful to God. She attended St. Joseph’s elementary school and graduated from St. Joseph’s high school in 1953, where she was chosen by classmates to deliver the farewell speech. She made lifetime friendships, enjoying monthly luncheons with her dear Hammonton friends for many years. Virginia graduated from St. Agnes Hospital’s Medical Laboratory Technician program. She worked at Ancora. A St. Agnes classmate, Catherine “Kate” Butterhof, introduced her brother, Anthony, to Virginia. Despite the overalls and muck boots he was wearing during their first meeting at the Butterhof farm, the refined lover of opera and theater quickly fell in love with the farm boy. They were married in 1962 and settled in Mullica Twp., where they raised their three daughters. She maintained strong ties with her siblings and they pulled together to support their parents after the untimely passing of her sister, Carmela, from cancer. Her sister, Rae, and brother, Tom, would travel with their families to south Jersey to enjoy the beach, camping and holiday celebrations together. Virginia helped to initiate what has become the annual Butterhof Progressive Dinner. She maintained the Matro tradition of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve, which expanded as her family grew with the addition of six grandchildren.
Virginia was one of the first members of the Egg Harbor City Historical Society and was active in the social organization of the Degree of Pocahontas Kickapoo Council 51.
She returned to work as a laboratory technician for William Lista Labs in Hammonton. She and Anthony retired in the 1990s to Wilmington, Del., where they enjoyed 20 plus years in the neighborhood of Westgate Farms. “Grammy” relished every moment spent with her grandchildren at parks, fairs, museums, baseball games, cooking chicken cutlets and singing along with Barney. At the age of 54 she took up poetry and became a published poet. She delivered a reading of her poetry at the Hammonton Arts Center, coordinated by her cherished friend and artist, Carmelia DeFiccio. Anthony and Virginia returned to New Jersey to live in Egg Harbor City.
Virginia is predeceased by her husband, Anthony, 15 months ago, and by her parents and sisters, Carmela Matro and Rae Plick. Surviving are her brother, Thomas (Deborah) Matro; her daughters and their husbands, Barbara and Tom Rheault, Virginia and Justin Charpentier and Elaine and George Frick; grandchildren, Allison (Joe) Vargovic, Emily and Tommy Rheault, Zachary, Tyler and Abigail Charpentier; her in-laws, Anna (Bud) Walker, Rose Rubba, Catherine (Dave) Cordner, Fran (partner Richard) Kessler, Claire Stines, Robert (Maryann) Butterhof and Albert (Donna) Butterhof; numerous nieces, nephews and Butterhof, Matro and Serrao cousins.
Mass was celebrated at St. Nicholas Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Egg Harbor City on December 31, 2020, followed by burial in the Egg Harbor City cemetery. The Mass was live streamed via the Carnesale Funeral Home webpage link. Donations in Virginia’s memory may be made to KNOM radio mission, oldest operating Catholic radio station in the U.S. in Alaska, which served the parish where her sister, Carmela, was a missionary; or to the Egg Harbor City Historical Society, or Hammonton Arts Center.
Arrangements made by Carnesale Funeral Home.