Virginia Lopez Hansen obituary photo
In Memory of

Virginia Lopez Hansen

August 14, 1939 - October 11, 2016


Dr. Virginia Lopez Hansen was blessed with an abundance of leadership qualities. It would be accurate to say that this woman was an outstanding luminary and that her natural abilities served her well. She knew with certainty how she wanted to set priorities in all aspects of her life. She struck those who knew her as the kind of person who awoke in the morning with a clear sense of exactly what she expected from her day and how to set about accomplishing those goals. Virginia was a woman who definitely liked order and was...

Dr. Virginia Lopez Hansen was blessed with an abundance of leadership qualities. It would be accurate to say that this woman was an outstanding luminary and that her natural abilities served her well. She knew with certainty how she wanted to set priorities in all aspects of her life. She struck those who knew her as the kind of person who awoke in the morning with a clear sense of exactly what she expected from her day and how to set about accomplishing those goals. Virginia was a woman who definitely liked order and was most comfortable with an organized and structured lifestyle. When this climate was absent, Virginia would set about immediately to create it.

      Virginia was born on August 14, 1939 at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California. Her parents were Guadalupe and Ernestina Lopez. Virginia was raised in National City. Virginia was brought up to be reasonable in her actions and was taught to use her intellect wisely. She was an honest and out spoken child, traits that reinforced her self-confidence. Even at a young age, Virginia was credited with having a positive influence on those around her.

      The positive atmosphere that Virginia generated spread to her family. Virginia was raised with two siblings. She had one older sister, Rosemary Bostic, and one younger brother, Richard Lopez. Virginia served as a catalyst within the family. She often found herself in the role of providing fair solutions to those sibling disputes. In every family activity, Virginia was able to demonstrate her uncommon logic and skill at building compromise.

      Virginia's enthusiasm for learning and the personal energy that enthusiasm generated led to her exhibiting leadership qualities early on in her childhood. She liked to see things executed properly and showed a skill for taking control of situations that were drifting out of control. At the same time, she was willing to experiment with different approaches as she worked a plan towards a solution. As a young girl, she took part in the pom pom girls team. In her spare time she liked to dance.

      When it came to academics and school, Virginia's organizational skills reaped dividends. Virginia was able to create a system for getting her class work done in a proper and timely manner. With a strong ability to analyze her schoolwork and assignments, she could apply a practical, common sense approach completing her studies. She showed a natural curiosity in the manner in which she tackled new types of problems and would regularly challenge her own reasoning ability in finding solutions. She graduated from Sweetwater High School in 1956. She enjoyed some courses more than others and developed favorite classes and teachers. Her favorite class in high school was English. The teacher she enjoyed learning from the most was Dr. John Molina.

      The work habits and approaches to studying that Virginia utilized in high school also served her well in college. Virginia always seemed on a quest for knowledge. She was able to generalize, summarize and compile information for her classes, employing a matter-of-fact approach. Virginia was intuitive and mentally alert, seemed to crave the challenge of solving complex problems. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from SDSU in1986. She also pursued graduate school, earning her Doctorate degree in Philosophy in the Graduate Faculties of Education at SDSU.

      In a group of friends and acquaintances, Virginia was typically the first person to take the initiative to go up and greet someone new. That quality made her very approachable by others throughout her life. This same quality brought Virginia the reward of many friends. Maintaining loyalty to those friends was a trait that came naturally to Virginia. She believed that she should treat others in the same way she wanted to be treated. Virginia also showed a great deal of appreciation for the accomplishments of her friends and family. Virginia had many different groups of friends, those being her high school friends, doctoral friends, work friends and yoga friends.

      As Virginia knew in other aspects of her life, she had a clear vision of what she sought in a relationship and worked hard to achieve it. On February 11, 1961 Virginia exchanged wedding vows with Larry Ernest Hansen at Chapel of Roses in Bonita, California. Larry was a significant part of her life, and it wasn't necessary for Virginia to be overly sentimental or expressive about it for others to be aware of their mutual devotion. Virginia's secret to success was that she always kept the lines of communication open in the marriage and applied the important skill of being a good listener.

      Family and children were important to Virginia. Virginia was blessed with 2 children, one daughter, Cindy Waller, and preceded by one son, Randy Hansen. They were also blessed with three grandchildren, Jonathan, Amanda, and Madison. She was preceded by her husband, Larry Hansen; her son, Randy Hansen; her sister, Rosemary Bostic; her brother, Richard Lopez; and her parents; Ernestine and Guadalupe Lopez. Virginia was able to keep order in the family by using the same efficient and straightforward methods with the family as she did at work. Virginia rarely made a scene when it came to discipline. Instead, she was subtle and patient in her dealings when teaching the children right from wrong.

      At work Virginia was viewed as a natural leader. She could marshal all of the available resources, including personnel and materials, in order to meet virtually any objective. She was great at developing strategies and made maximum progress with little wasted effort. Virginia was also adept at uncovering new and more efficient ways of getting things done. She was able to establish and meet objectives and schedules through long range planning and was always able to keep the big picture clearly in sight. Although Virginia might have been described by some as an overachiever, she was without question a dedicated and diligent employee. Her primary occupation was in administration at Southwestern Community College. She held many different positions during her 34 years at Southwestern College. Specifically, Secretary to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Instruction Office Supervisor, Instructional Operations Manager, Director of Instructional Support Services, Director of Transfer Center/Student Activities, Director of E. O. P. S., Associate Dean of Student Support Services, and eventually finishing her career as Dean of Student Support Services. She was also the founder of the Scholarship Fund Foundation at Southwestern College.

      Not only did Virginia find pleasure in pursuing her various hobbies, she also enjoyed the discovery and research involved in learning about them. Her skill at problem solving had a positive influence on these activities as well. Her favorite pursuits were traveling, watching the Syfy channel, and spending quality time with family and friends.

      No matter what the activity was, Virginia had the ability to motivate others. She relished the stimulation of the action and energy associated with sports. In high school, Virginia was a Pom Pom girl. She was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed following her favorite events whenever she got the opportunity. Virginia's favorite sports team to watch was the San Diego Chargers.

      Virginia was a woman who took pride in upholding her beliefs. Politically, Virginia was a strong supporter of the Democratic Party and specifically was supportive of Hillary Clinton.

      Traveling, especially vacations, was another way for Virginia to apply her exceptional leadership and organizational skills. She liked exploring different places but also enjoyed designing and scheduling the trips in advance. She had real talent for developing the perfect itineraries. She was known by many as being a world traveler. Some of her favorite vacations included Spain, Greece, Turkey, Panama, Costa Rica, Italy, Rome, Europe, Caribbean islands, Puerto Vallarta, and Hawaii.

      When Virginia's retirement finally came in 2005, she was well prepared. She had worked out all of the details well in advance and knew exactly what she was going to do. Her new life involved relocating to Santee, California to be closer to her daughter, Cindy and her family. In retirement, she found new pleasure in practicing yoga. Always a well-informed person, Virginia enjoyed adding to her wealth of knowledge. Retirement afforded her the time to enjoy that experience and provided one more opportunity to look ahead at what life might offer her.

      Virginia passed away on October 11, 2016 at Sharp Hospital in San Diego, California. She suffered from a massive stroke. Virginia is survived by her daughter and son in law, Cindy and Ted Waller; her grandchildren Jonathan, Amanda, Madison. Services will be held at Glen Abbey in the Chapel of Roses. Virginia was laid to rest in the Glen Abbey Mortuary next to her late husband Larry Hansen.

      Dr. Virginia Lopez Hansen knew what she wanted from life and never hesitated in going after it. She could be characterized as a driven individual, someone who understood the importance of achievement. Virginia was decisive and outspoken at times but was also positive and upbeat about most things. She was a leader, both intentionally and sometimes by default. If she saw that something needed to be done, she was always ready to step up and actualize, organize and implement a plan. She will be missed by many.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Dr. Virginia Lopez Hansen Scholarship Fund. You may mail a check payable to Dr. Virginia Lopez Hansen Scholarship funds to - Cindy Waller 7655 Rowena Street, San Diego, CA 92119. There will also be a drop off box at the service. The funds will go towards scholarships for students on behalf of Virginia.