Virginia M.G. Street

[Age 85] The World War II veteran headed the Harford Red Cross.

October 11, 2007

Virginia M. G. Street, former executive director of the Harford County Red Cross and a World War II veteran, died Monday of heart failure at Forest Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center. The Bel Air resident was 85.

Born Virginia M. Gowan and raised in Cattaraugus, N.Y., she moved to San Francisco after graduating from high school to be with a sister.

After Pearl Harbor, she moved to Buffalo, N.Y., where she worked in a General Motors plant, said her son, William Alton Street of Fallston.

"She joined the Coast Guard in 1945 and served at its barracks in Brooklyn, N.Y. She later was sent to Washington, and while she was there met her future husband," Mr. Street said.

Mrs. Street was sent back to Brooklyn and was an eyewitness to the joyous crowds that swept Times Square at the news of the Japanese surrender in 1945.

"She said it was pandemonium. People were dancing, jumping up and down, and kissing one another just like the famous picture of the sailor kissing a woman. They were so happy, she said, because everyone would soon becoming home," Mr. Street said.

"She was discharged June 18, 1946, as a seaman first class," he said.

She married William Alpheus Street, a lieutenant colonel and career Army officer, who died in 1998.

Mrs. Street was director of the Harford County Red Cross chapter for 18 years before retiring in 1980.

During her tenure. she assisted in many disaster-relief efforts throughout the nation.

She also delivered meals for Harford County Meals on Wheels for many years.

Mrs. Street was a member of the women's auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10113, American Legion Harford Post 39, WAVES National Chesapeake Unit 7 and the Women's War Memorial in Arlington, Va.

She was an avid reader and world traveler.

Mrs. Street was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1515 Emmorton Road, Bel Air, where services will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Burial with military honors will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Also surviving are two daughters, Sherilyn Lea Keck of Forest Hill and Merrie Ann Yosua of Bel Air; a brother, Robert Gowin of Springfield, Va.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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