August 5: Josephine Mary Coombs deGanahl (1993)

With Josephine deGanahl’s memorial service at Epiphany in 1993, a precious link to the past was cemented. One hundred and twenty-five years earlier, Josephine’s mother was baptized at the church; her mother being Sarah Virginia Hall, the youngest daughter of Epiphany’s second rector, Charles Henry Hall. Josephine was a native of Brooklyn, New York, where her grandfather had been the rector of Holy Trinity Church, following his time at Epiphany. She grew up in Scarsdale, New York and attended Bryn Mawr and the Julliard School of Music before marrying Joe deGanahl in 1925. The couple lived in McLean, Virginia and Alaska during World War II, where Mr. de Ganahl was a U.S. Navy Reserve pilot.

Joe deGanahl taught Josephine how to fly, making her one of the first female pilots. In 1931, Joe received one of the gold medals awarded by Congress to the members of Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s Antarctic Expedition. DeGanahl also accompanied Admiral Byrd on his expedition to the North Pole. Josephine deGanahl was a volunteer with the National Symphony Women’s Committee and was an avid traveler. The deGanahls are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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