The beloved Gina Marie Yarn was born September 16, 1956, to the parents of the late Hoover and Eleanor (Tootsie) Garland in Albany, New York. She has three brothers: Dwight, Lamont (Trish) and Keith Garland, and sister Tracy Garland.
On June 19, 1981, Gina was married to her husband Michael Yarn, and from that union, they produced two beautiful children: Michaela Lola (Naijee) and Garrett Michael (Elisa). She also has four loving Grandchildren: Autumn, Aaliyah, Jeven, Amelia, and is fondly known to them as Mema. She also leaves behind her nieces and nephews: Ke-Jay (Jacquie), Derian (Cassandra), Lamont Jr. (Jackie), Shai (Ashley), LaVaughn, Zachary, and Taylor. Great Nieces and Nephews: Anissa, Breyann, Jaheim, Sarena, Knavanti, Nico, Cameron, Jada, Farrah, Derian Jr., Ariane, Nova, Cassian, and Adonis. She also has two Godchildren: Naetwone Croley and D'Kodah Jones. In addition to her very close cousins: Kirk Daniels, Lynn Daniels,
and Leta Bailey, along with a host of other close family and friends.
Gina graduated from Colonie Central High School in 1974 and was one of the first African American women on the Albany Tulip Queen court, inspiring other young women who looked like her to become involved. Gina attended Dean Jr College in Franklin, Massachusetts, where she received her associate degree in early childhood education in 1977, in addition to Course Studies at Empire State College and Saint Rose in Albany, New York. Gina recently retired from Albany County as a Family Intake Specialist, where she helped to direct people to available resources for their children. Prior to that, she worked her way up the ranks at Kenwood Child Development Center, where she became the Daycare Coordinator.
Gina was a very active lifetime member of Israel A.M.E Church in Albany, New York. She served on the Steward Board and followed the steps of her mother, and became a Stewardess. The role at church that was most near and dear to her heart was supervising the Liturgical Praise Team, Crescendo. She shared this form of expression with the young people in the church and was especially grateful to share it with her own daughter and granddaughters. Gina enjoyed the dance ministry so much that she later became part of the GOP dance group, which was for the "seasoned" saints! Dancing became a way for Gina to express her love, worship, and praise to God, and it radiated through her the most when dancing as a soloist to the song "Yes."
Gina had a beautiful, loving, funny, and giving spirit. If she loved you, you probably often received a text with an encouraging word or a right on time Bible verse. She enjoyed helping others, especially young people and touched the lives of so many. She loved God and relied on his grace and mercy.
Gina was known for her outfits matching head to toe, even down to the socks! She enjoyed a good curtain sale at Boscov's, "looking around" at Ollie's, and grocery shopping at ShopRite. She loved Twizzlers, green tea, and being on the couch with a blanket to watch the latest Lifetime movie or Wheel of Fortune. She also loved to bowl and spent summers relaxing by the pool and swimming.
The light of Gina's life was her grandchildren. Mema loved spending time with her "girly girlies" and "boy-y-boy" (Jevey Jev) and always showed up for them. She enjoyed dressing them in outfits that matched hers, especially for the church and always made sure to have a piece of gum for them in her purse.
Your family loves you so much and will miss you from the core of our hearts. You shall NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. Gina, Sis, G, Mommy, Ma, Mema – rest easy until we meet again…we love you!!!