Cover photo for Virginia (Schaffer) Hoogstra's Obituary
Virginia (Schaffer) Hoogstra Profile Photo

Virginia (Schaffer) Hoogstra

February 3, 1927 — August 12, 2023


Virginia (Schaffer) Hoogstra

VIRGINIA (SCHAFFER) HOOGSTRA, age 96, of Sheboygan, WI, passed away peacefully at 11:13 a.m. (CT) on Saturday, August 12, 2023, surrounded by family.

Virginia was born in McPherson County, South Dakota on February 3, 1927, the daughter of Samuel and Emma (Zimmer)Schaffer.

As a child of first-generation German-Russian immigrants, Virginia traveled from South Dakota to Sheboygan, WI, at a young age.  She went to school, worked with her mother outside the home, and grew up in Sheboygan, also working at Wigwam Hand Knit Hosiery for five years, where she enjoyed playing on the company-sponsored baseball team. 

Virginia married Merlin Hoogstra on September 23, 1948, at a ceremony performed at Zion Reformed Church, by Rev Dr. Ed Wessler.  Her husband was in the Air Force and she immediately moved to the Canal Zone at Howard Air Base, Panama, to be with him.  Virginia and Merlin had eight (8) children at locations across the U.S. and Canada, including:  Denver, CO; Boise, ID; Bangor, ME; Duluth, MN, and; Goose Bay Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada.  As a military wife she adjusted to, and embraced, each new community she moved to by involving herself and her children in many things.  She had strong spiritual faith and was always involved in the Church as a Teacher, then Superintendent of Sunday School, and later as a Deacon, Elder, and Trusty at her Church in Crivitz, WI.  Virginia’s teaching and leadership skills were strongly evident throughout her adult life in so many ways:  Cub Scout, Brownie, and Girl Scout Leader; Associate of the University of Minnesota – Duluth Branch, Teaching Group; volunteer of Family Services on several Air Force Bases, as well as President of the Ladies Wives Club of the Air Force; creator and leader of the Cherub Choir where young children learned 75+ songs by memory, and were invited to sing at many churches, fairs, having been featured on TV, and producing an album; 4-H Leader of the ‘G I Try 4-H’ of Loomis, WI; and President of the Loomis Auxiliary for several years.  Virginia was an avid card player and was a member of the Crivitz Senior Citizens Card Club, and President for two terms.  She enjoyed ballroom dancing with a local dance group, as well as country western dancing, instructing, and traveling with the North Country Kickers.  She was a member of the Faith Presbyterian Church in Crivitz, WI, and it brought her true joy to sing with the choir throughout the year, as well as during the annual Christmas Cantata, for 15 years.

Virginia moved with her husband to Crivitz, WI, in 1972, following Merlin’s Air Force retirement.  She worked at the Crivitz Bakery for seven (7) years, then was asked to open and manage The Baker’s Kitchen restaurant, having completed her Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from Fox Valley Technical College.  She also worked with Adrianna Klukas and Caroline Walters catering throughout Marinette County.  Her final job was as Manager of the newly built Witt’s Piggly Wiggly Deli in Crivitz, WI, where her family-style recipes and welcoming personality were truly enjoyed by customers and staff.  Virginia retired and moved back to Sheboygan, WI, in 2007, where she continued to mentor and enjoy her expanding family.  Virginia lived a full and wonderful life.  She will be dearly missed.

Surviving Virginia, are seven (7) children:  Jay Hoogstra (Lexann); Kay (Lynn) Willard; Dee (John) Barber; Jo Di (Tom) Volk; Fay (Charles) Wingrove; Gin (Tracy) Melotte; Jan (Brad) Kust; the daughter-in-law of her predeceased son, Juli Hoogstra (Rex), 15 Grandchildren, 8 Great-Grandchildren, 1 Step Great-Grandson, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by:  her parents - Emma & Sam Schaffer, her sister and family, Esther and Hubert Nussberger, and their children - Judy and Richard Nussberger, her brother – Milbert (Mary) Schaffer, Step-Grandson Robert Hanahan, her ex-husband - Merlin Hoogstra, Rex (Juli) Hoogstra, Colton Davis, and John (Dee) Barber.

A memorial brunch celebrating Virginia Hoogstra’s life will be held at Sheboygan Town & Country Club on Sunday, October 15 @ 11:00 a.m. (CT).  Please RSVP to Gin (Hoogstra) Melotte @, for planning purposes.


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