Dr. Zinnia Giron
She was born in the Philippines and first practiced medicine in New York City, but Dr. Zinnia Giron made Romney her home for 43 years until her passing last week.
“The Philippines is like this,” said her husband, Dr. Nabal Giron. “You know everybody; everybody knows you.”
But most of all, he said, “She loved the people and everybody loved her.”
Zinnia Giron was all business in her office, recalls Iva Saville, her longtime nurse.
“She was very serious about work,” Saville said. “She was aggressive. She expected you to work.”
But outside her practice, she embraced life in so many ways, recalls longtime friend Paula O’Brien.
“She was my friend, my doctor and my neighbor,” O’Brien said.
Zinnia Giron loved to play piano so much that Nabal bought her a Steinway grand piano when they moved here.
She rode horses every morning before work. She would travel to Virginia’s horse country on weekends, competing in Middlesburg and Leesburg,
“That was a big, big part of her life,” Saville said.
Zinnia antiqued and dabbled in photography.
“She had beautiful pictures of her horses,” Saville recalled.
The Girons met in New York City when Nabal was a 1st-year resident at a hospital on Staten Island and Zinnia arrived from the Philippines as an intern who had graduated at the top of her class.
They were married in the hosopital’s chapel and stayed 10 years in the nation’s largest city.
“We always hated New York and wanted to live in a quieter place,” Nabal said.
He saw ads in the West Virginia Medical Journal, and the couple landed first in southern West Virginia, where they filled a 2-year contract at the Appalachian Regional Clinic. Then came the move to Hampshire County in 1977.
Nabal recalled the 1st drive into Romney, with Zinnia waking up in the car as Route 28 dipped south of Springfield.
“Boy, are you sure this is not the end of the world or something?” she asked.
They opened a practice, 1st upstairs in the Cookman Building at Main and Grafton, and later in an old house they bought at the corner of Main and Antigo.
“At that time she was the only female doctor in the area,” Saville noted. “Her patients loved her and she was very dedicated to them.”
O’Brien recalled calling Dr. Giron once early one morning when O’Brien’s 6-year-old daughter woke up screaming and had a horrible headache.
“Zinnia said, ‘Go to the office and I’ll meet you there,’” O’Brien said. “Zinnia and I had to chase her around the office so I could hold her so Zinnia could examine her.”
Nabal Giron closed his practice and worked for a few years for Valley Health at its clinic by the new Hampshire Memorial Hospital.
Zinnia Giron closed her practice in 2014.
Nabal said she will be buried at a later date in California, where a memorial service will be held after the coronavirus quarantine is lifted.