February 29, 2008
By G. WILLIAM THOMAS, JR.
Dear Monroe Foundation Board Members and Friends,
It is with great sadness that I write to tell you of the death of one our longest serving and beloved Trustees, Georgina "Gina" Rawles who has served for more than three decades with great honor and distinction.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, ninety years ago, "Gina" was an American original and as our vice president has said, "more 'American' than most Americans. ". . and as another Trustee remarked. . ."she really knew what it was all about!"
She came to America during World War II after being educated in Europe. She could speak more than a half dozen languages. In Richmond, she met and married James W. ("Jim") Rawles, and started a wonderful family . During the same time period she provided valuable patriotic service to this country and the Allied Forces by translating secret documents and cables for the FBI and OSS.
In this century, the James Monroe Memorial Foundation honored her at the Virginia Capitol by awarding it's "James Monroe Distinguished Public Service Medal" for her service. She never counted the cost through volunteer service, her generosity and philanthropy for many important causes. Always in a deliberate, quiet, and effective way, she accomplished much. Single handedly, she arranged for the restoration of the James Monroe Monument at Hollywood Cemetery. She served as "Custodian of the Monroe Monument" and as it's guardian and steward. Faithful to the end. . .she was always present to provide honors annually to President Monroe and to the Doctrine that bears his name.
One of the last of her generation, she was so loyal to her many friends who she visited regularly--often daily-- when they were too ill to leave their residences. She was a wonderful friend, a great patriot, and a lively good humored and gracious lady. She will be sorely missed.
Her Services will take place at 3pm on Monday, March 3, 2008, at St. Pauls Episcopal Church, 9th and Grace Streets, Richmond, Virginia, 23219, where her family has been an important part of the Church's life and ministry. For decades, Gina and her daughter (Rika) volunteered during the Lenten Lunch Program and Gina was instrumental in the creation of the Memorial Garden.
As we continue through our own Lenten season, we can thank God for the beautiful gift of Gina and God's gift to us that we were fortunate to know her. May God be with her children, grandchildren and great grand children during this their time of deepest sorrow.
Very sincerely yours,
G. William Thomas, Jr.
President, James Monroe Memorial Foundation