Lana Arlene “Ginger” Fortin
June 27, 1942 – Jan. 18, 2021
Ginger had moved over to the Sitka Pioneer Home from Ketchikan a few weeks before her passing and had been in and out of the hospital since. She simply ran out of reserves and slipped away quietly and comfortably on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Staff at the hospital had spent Sunday with her, reminiscing, helping her phone friends and receiving phone calls on her behalf.
Ginger was born June 27, 1942 in San Francisco, the only child of Louis and Lillian Fortin. She graduated from San Francisco State College with a teaching credential and worked with grades kindergarten through six. She also worked with home-bound children in grades seven and eight.
From 1969-1995, Ginger lived near her parents in Hawaii. She resided in Tennessee and Texas, returning to Hawaii in 1998, staying until 2004 when she moved to Alaska. She lived in Homer until 2013, then in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka.
Ginger worked in Hawaii as a disc jockey for a Japanese station, with a tour company, and as a professional artist. She attended the University of Hawaii and worked for them doing geological oceanography. She headed a support group for people with chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities and related problems.
Many of her friends knew Ginger for the greeting cards she made from pencil sketches of animals and flowers, but not all of her friends knew that Ginger painted with oils and also sketched and painted incredible likenesses of people. Among these were accurate likenesses of well-known entertainers with whom she came into contact during numerous trips to the Grand Ole Opry. She loved her country western music and had a vast collection of record albums and photo albums that she put together from her adventures, including multiple autographed programs, photos and pencil portraits.
Ginger began traveling with her parents on cruise ships at a young age and never lost her love of the sea. She could be on a ship with people seasick all around her and be happy as could be. She traveled around the worked and ended her sea travels with multiple trips on Alaska State Ferries. She loved dancing and entertainment on the ships and making new friends, She always had a camera with her and took thousands of pictures over the years, documenting the people she met and highlights of her trips. She maintained correspondence with hundreds of friends, some right up until her death.
Ginger also enjoyed sewing, meeting up with friends, collecting memorabilia, gathering facts as she traveled, reading and hula dancing.
Ginger has no known survivors. She was preceded in death by her father, Louis Fortin, and mother, Lillian Fortin.
Her remains have been cremated and her ashes are to be spread in favorite areas where Alaska State Ferries travel.