Chambersburg fondly recalls Seacrest's grandmom
Virginia Glass was an avid golfer, a homemaker for most of her life and, most famously, a doting grandmother to entertainer Ryan Seacrest.
Glass, a 91-year-old Chambersburg native, passed away on Friday, March 6, at Providence Place Assisted Living, where she had lived.
Ryan Seacrest has been a household name in the country since 2002, when he started hosting the long-running talent show contest, "American Idol." His is also the face many Americans see on the last day of the year, as a host of the ABC's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" special.
Acquaintances said Glass was proud of her grandchildren but reluctant to brag about Seacrest.
According to an obituary by Geisel Funeral Home, Chambersburg, Glass was born in 1923 and graduated from Greencastle-Antrim High School in 1941.
After the Public Opinion shared the news of her passing, a river of messages flowed from Facebook users expressing their condolences to the family; some, who said they had known Glass, shared stories of her life.
Kim Ruppert, from Waynesboro, said Glass was her parents' neighbor in the early 1980s in Waynesboro. She said her mother, Debbie White, was close with Glass and met Seacrest, who lived with his parents Gary Seacrest and Connie Zullinger Seacrest in Atlanta, when he visited his grandmother as a young boy.
"She said she remembered he was very neat looking," said Ruppert. "He carried around a stick to interview people and pretend he was like a news person."
Ruppert added that her mother had told her Seacrest played with her two younger brothers, who were about his age.
"They always had to do more clean activities because he didn't want to get dirty," she said.
Ruppert said that Glass and her mother corresponded around Christmas time and that in one of her letters, Glass mentioned that her grandson had flown her to California to see him host "American Idol."
"She was so tickled with that because one time she got to be on TV," she said.
Mary Ann Shaffer golfed with Glass, who she said golfed until a few years ago. For almost a decade, the two met with other golfers at Conocodell Golf Club in Fayetteville. The pair were golf partners around 2004, when they first met.
"She told me I hit the ball too far so she changed golf partners," she said with a laugh.
Shaffer said "Ginny" was proud of her grandchildren and their accomplishments but was reserved about being Seacrest's grandmother.
"It took her a while to tell me she was his grandmother," said Shaffer.
She said Glass donated a few autographed pictures of Seacrest to be raffled for a breast cancer fundraiser.
"She was always smiling and showing interest in everybody," she added. "You always wanted to come in to play because you knew Ginny was going to be there."
In 2013 and 2014, Seacrest shared pictures of his grandmother through his Instagram account, congratulating her for her 90th and 91st birthdays, respectively.
On the most recent picture, taken on Glass' last birthday in June of last year, Seacrest stands hugging his grandmother. He wrote "Nana ginny's bday 91 and rockin," as the caption.
There will be a memorial service at the Chapel of Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home, 333 Falling Spring Road on March 12 at 1:30 p.m., followed by a private family interment at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Greencastle.