Virginia A. Dwyer


ONEONTA - Virginia A. "Gina" Dwyer, 88, daughter of Ida O'Connor Smith and Norbert Smith, earned her wings and peacefully passed away at home during the early morning hours of May 20, 2019.
Gina was born in Brooklyn and grew up to be an accomplished young lady. She graduated from St. Francis Xavier Academy and attended Good Council College, then married Thomas F. Dwyer in 1952, and promptly moved to Camp Lejuene where he was stationed in the United States Marine Corps. In 1954, they moved back to Brooklyn.
In 1959, they settled in Nanuet and raised a family of nine children before embarking on her own path. Our mom put herself through college and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Thomas Aquinas College, then a master's degree in teaching from Fordham University.
After her youngest child graduated from high school, Gina started another chapter of her life in Otsego County, where she purchased property, saw the completion of her dream log cabin home and began her teaching career for the Unatego Central School District.
Mom always found the time to be a dedicated volunteer wherever she could, and spent many years working with young adults at the Rockland State Hospital. She was also a 4-H leader in Rockland County. When she made the move upstate, she "signed on" as a volunteer for the Henderson Boy Scout Camp, Maryland, and enjoyed a number of years there, promoting Native American culture.
Outside of her family life, her passions were many and included her beloved corgis, horses, traveling, Irish music and attending live concerts. Her favorite bands were the Avett Brothers, Dire Straits, U2 and ZZ Top. Her favorite crooners were Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson and Andy Williams.
Gina always wanted to fly. In her late 70s and early 80s, she did exactly that and learned to "buzz" around the Catskill Mountain scenery in a Cessna 175 plane. Mom was also lucky enough to have an amazing group of friends in which to share her many adventures!
Gina is survived by sons, Brian Dwyer of Rockland County, Joseph Dwyer of Scarbro, West Virginia, Chris (Claire) Dwyer of Hadley, Massachusetts, Matthew Dwyer of Nanuet, Thomas Dwyer of Maybrook; daughters, Virginia (Philip) Neidermier of Walden, Jeannine Dwyer of Scarbro, West Virginia and Mel Dwyer of Beckley, West Virginia. She was a loving grandmother of nine grandchildren, Sarah, Colleen, Jason, Justin, Jesse, Ian, Alex, Scott and Ryan; and proud to be a great-grandmother of nine great-grandchildren, Jayden, Aiden, Avery, Emma, Joseph, Kevin, Dylan, Makayla and little Clinton. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and just as many great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband, Thomas Dwyer; sister, Jeanne Marie Fleri; and son, Kevin J. Dwyer.
Our mother was smart, beautiful and brave as she faced debilitating health. A very special thank you goes out to Brittany, Cathy, Terri and Peggy.
Calling hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, May 23, at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand St., Oneonta.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 NY-28, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or online at, or Equine Rescue Inc., 188 Dunthorne Drive, Bloomingburg, NY, 12721.
To light a candle or send an online condolence, visit
Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.
Published on May 21, 2019
Send flowers
in memory of Virginia
See more

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on August 19, 2019.

Select an emblem

6 posts

Janet Glantz
May 27, 2019
To Gina Dwyer’s Family,
Gina and I were very good friends for several years. We played Mountain Dulcimer together and belonged to a group in Unadilla. We attended many concerts together and especially loved to go to the Irish Arts Week and attend concerts. Gina never lost her eye for a good looking man. Once at the Irish Arts Week, a Squeeze Box player caught her eye. We ended up following him around until, we discovered he was married. Gina was disappointed. We also took an Irish Music class together, with her good friend, Marvin Taub , and performed for other students. We were the oldest students in the class. We also attended many storytelling concerts together and she love Jos
...eph Bruchac and family. She loved Native American history and literature and was an avid reader. When I moved to Cape Cod, we lost contact. She was a dear and treasured friend. She was a remarkable women that you should all be proud of and continue her legacy. I will keep all of you in my heart and thoughts.
Thinking of you,
Janet Glantz
Read more
Wendy Smith, Richmond, VA
May 24, 2019
Gina was a special friend in our family. She and my mother (another Gina) were good friends for many years, living just down the road from each other and sharing many wonderful years together. Us "kids" would see her often on our visits up to Mom & Bob's house, enjoying her sweet presence and comfortable disposition. We will cherish the great memories of times together, outings shared, and her lovely home with her horse and cheery Corgi dogs! We love you.
Eileen Stelljes
May 22, 2019
Ginny, I am so sorry to learn of your Mom's passing, but I know that she is at peace in Heaven. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time, and sending good thoughts and prayers. Celebrate fully the life of such a wonderful woman. I fondly remember her telling us to make sure we went to Frank Hodges' presentation at Fall Into Books!! Love, Eileen
Cindy Carpentier
May 22, 2019
I worked with Gina when I began teaching in Otego. She loved teaching and helping the students. I have sent a donation to the Susquehanna SPCA in her name. She will missed.
Linda Matera-Dwyer
May 22, 2019
I will forever be grateful for the guidance, love and support she shared. Gina will always hold a special place in my heart.
Cathy Jo Fourney
May 22, 2019
I am so sorry for the loss of Mrs Dwyer. I actually never met her, but am very privileged to know several of her children. They are my dearest friends and are wonderful people. Thus, she must have been a wonderful person. I’m sorry she never visited Pax.
All my deepest condolences , prayers, and thoughts to the entire family.
May you be blessed and comforted with your fond memories.