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Centenarian Virginia Wade Ames has led a life of creativity, using the arts to express her love of life, people, and beauty. While rearing her family, needle, thread, fabric, and food were her media. Friends and neighbors became the players on her stage as she and her husband choreographed social gatherings with unsung heroes, characters of the times, movers, shakers, and invisible makers of history.
With children educated and off on their own, she perfected her passions for silkscreen printing, watercolor, acrylic, and pastel painting. When a friend ran for office, her elegant paper hat-making events successfully threw his hat into the ring.
Ames is a cultural catalyst, not only bringing interesting people together but also seeing potentials for bringing about good—her work to get the Torpedo Factory Center for the Arts established in Alexandria is a prime example.
In her “retirement” to Arizona she has enriched lives with her artful teaching at the University of Arizona’s lifelong learning SAGE/OLLI society. As macular degeneration began taking its visual toll on her artist’s eye she turned her energies to word craft. At ninety-nine, she has four more manuscripts ready for publication and four great-grandchildren who will especially enjoy them. Her genteel wit and seasoned thoughts on how to treat each other can touch us all.