December 15, 1953 — Saturday, May 22, 2021

SPARTA-Virginia “Ginny” R. Backus, 67, of Sparta, passed away peacefully in her sleep Saturday, May 22, 2021 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Ginny was born in Sparta on December 15, 1953 to Elmer “Pete” and Davida “Davy” (Sinner) Arnold.

Ginny started her working days as a carhop at A&W in Sparta. She then worked at Northern Engraving, Tomah VA, Sparta Brush Company, and Toro. As a fun second income, she enjoyed waitressing and harassing her favorite customers. At the end, she was a bus aide at Southwest Bus Company.

Ginny’s favorite pastime was cruising and visiting the beautiful tropical islands. She loved sitting on her balcony watching the flying fish and staring at the beautiful blue ocean. She so looked forward to her next cruise and planned one a year after her cancer diagnosis.

Ginny also enjoyed her summers camping at McMullin Park in Warrens. She would sit in her chair by the fire and watch for her hummingbirds and deer. Evenings at home were spent on the deck with Bruce watching the birds at her feeders, enjoying her flowers, and people watching.

From the bottom of our hearts, the family would like to thank Myrna Kasten, Rose White, and Liz Dearman for all their support. We would also like to thank Southwest Bus Company, SACS, and the Tomah Hospice Touch Team.

Ginny is survived by the love of her life husband, Bruce Backus. They would have celebrated 50 years of marriage in November. She is also survived by her pride and joy daughter, Tammy North and favorite son-in-law, Eric North.

Her three grandchildren were the lights of her life – Kevin North, Hayley (Brock) Thomas, and Zachery Neumann; two great grandsons, Luke and Blake North; and sister, Elizabeth Dearman.

She is also survived by her father-in-law, James Richer; best friend forever, Myrna Kasten; special friend, Rosemary White; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Ginny was preceded in death by her parents, Pete and Davy Arnold; brother, Dean Arnold; father-in-law, Donald Backus; mother-in-law, Patricia Richer; paternal grandparents, Clyde and May (Miller) Arnold; and maternal grandparents, Harley and Lena (Hyatt) Sinner.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, with Jeff Burrows officiating.

Family and friends are invited to call from 10 a.m. until time of services on Saturday at the funeral home. Online condolences may be offered at Ginny’s family at

The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home

When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile

Forget unkind words I have spoken
Remember some good I have done
Forget that I ever had heartache
Just remember I had lots of fun

Forget that I've stumbled and blundered
And that sometimes I fell by the way
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won at the close of the day

And please don’t grieve long for my going
I’d not have you sad for a day
In summer just gather some flowers
And come to the place where I lay

Come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best

-Author Unknown

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876