Jennifer Craver, 75, a resident of Centerville, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at MercyOne Hospital in Centerville, Iowa.
Jennifer was born February 9, 1947 in Gary, Indiana, the daughter of Christopher and Katherine (Lenart) Cogis. Although her first name was Jennifer, almost all knew her by her nickname of Ginger. She was named Ginger by her Slovakian grandmother because she had trouble pronouncing her name, and the nickname stuck since she was so sweet. That trait continued throughout her life. Ginger was quick to smile, always willing to help others, and the kindest person you could meet. She graduated from Andrean High School, in Merrillville, Indiana and attended Drake University where she received a B.A. degree in Education in 1969. At Drake University, Ginger met the love of her life, Jim Craver. Jim and Ginger were married June 22, 1968 in Gary, Indiana.
After finishing her education degree at Drake, Ginger moved to Centerville to join Jim, who had started his law practice. Ginger taught at various levels throughout the Centerville school system. She was one of the first lay-teachers at St. Mary’s Catholic School, where she taught second grade and later fifth grade. She was also a kindergarten teacher at the old school administration building (now Drake/Bradley Hall) and was a special-education teacher in the Howar Junior High School. Ginger also served various organizations, including the Lollipop Preschool, the Welcome Wagon, T.T.T. Society, Mother’s Club, Hospital Auxiliary, Centerville Athletic Boosters, P.E.O., and the St. Mary’s School and Church. In addition to Ginger’s teaching and volunteer activities, she was a mother to her three sons, Michael, Marc, and Matthew, and wife to Jim.
Survivors include Ginger’s three sons, Michael (and his wife, Kristin) Craver of Centerville, Iowa, Marc (and his wife, Jamie) Craver of Huntington Beach, California, and Matthew (and his wife, Amber) Craver of McKinney, Texas, and eight grandchildren, Noah, Natalie, Noelle, Cora, Evan, Cayna, Waverley, and Callie. Ginger is also survived by her sisters Kathy Szafranski of Portland, Oregon, and Ann (and her husband, Gregg) Dvorak of Franklin, Tennessee, and aunts Gen Schirali and Annie Polomchak, both of Crown Point, Indiana. Surviving nieces and nephews are Anne Bistan, John Szafranski, Rochelle Romberg, Jessica Grosch, Amanda McHugh, and Ben Dvorak, along with several great nieces and nephews.
Ginger was preceded in death by her husband Jim Craver, her parents, Chistopher and Katherine Cogis, her brother, Christopher Cogis, and her brother-in-law, Al Szafranski.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at the Lange Funeral Home in Centerville. The family will be present from 6-8 PM. Services will be held Friday, April 29, 2022 at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The services will begin at 10AM with Fr. Timothy Armbruster officiating. A meal and private burial will be held thereafter. Memorials have been established with the Drake Public Library (for the children’s program) and Appanoose All Play (for landscaping). Memorial gifts may be left or mailed to the Lange Funeral Home, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544. Condolences may be left online at www.langefh.com or their Facebook page.