Virginia Irene Mott

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Grandma Gigi

Virginia Irene Mott was the only daughter of Edward S. Mott and Hattie Walston, though she had six half siblings by her father's first marriage.
Her parents were former schoolteachers, farming 3,000 acres in the community of Berwick, N. Dakota. On the farm, with the help of a tenant farmer, they grew wheat, had a vegetable garden and a pony for Virginia. She remembered racing the Great Northern train while riding her pony bareback.
She went to high school at St Mary's Convent, and a two year college called Normal School. She became a school teacher in a two room school, but quit when she married Herbert Senechal. Virginia and Herbert grew up in towns about 15 miles apart, and likely met due to mutual musical interests, she the piano, and he the violin. They settled in Homestead, Montana where he became manager of a grain elevator in that small, bleak (according to Virginia) town. Their 2 children were born there in 1921 and 22. Virginia enjoyed making beautiful clothes for her children, and kept a scrupulously clean house, but she was not content with life there. In about 1923 they made an arduous drive to California in a Chevrolet touring car and lived for a year in Pasadena. They settled in Spokane, WA where Herbert got a job in a bank. With their violin and piano, they were very much in demand for dances.

Virginia with Marge and Jim

California beckoned again in 1929, with the family living at Aunt Mattie Bennington's in Pomona. Somehow, the stock market crash of 1929 figured into the picture, and Virginia and Herbert moved back to Spokane, where Virginia took a job with the State of Washington as a social worker. They stayed in Spokane until 1935 when they divorced. Virginia moved to Seattle with her children. A remarriage came in 1937 to Harold J. Kerr; she lived in Seattle on Queen Anne Hill until Harold's death in 1967.
Virginia made beautiful hooked rugs, some of which are being handed down in the family. But her biggest hobby was antiques and collectibles. She was extrememly knowledgeable about their value and loved collecting interesting and/or beautiful things. She retired after working 30 years for the state, and at about age 80 moved to the Josephinum, a Catholic retirement home in downtown Seattle.

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