Virgina, Jack Binns' granddaughter
Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace is Jack Binns’ eldest grandchild. She grew up in New York City, and spent a considerable amount of time with her grandfather: lunch together with the family nearly every Saturday, when electronics and politics—laced with jokes and anecdotes—were the main topics of the day; dinner nearly every Sunday, and frequently dinner on other days during the week as well. Binns frequently “babysat” Virginia and her baby sister on Saturday afternoons, talking to Virginia, watching baseball on TV, and doing diagramless crossword puzzles while her younger sister napped. “Binnsy’s” death in 1959, when she was sixteen, meant that she became the de facto guardian of his memoir.
After graduating from the Lycée Français de New York with a French Baccalauréat with Honors, she attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she majored in physics. She then went to medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, followed by internship and residency in pediatrics at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City, and three years as a researcher at Rockefeller University. She was on the faculty of Cornell University in Ithaca since 1974, and retired in 2010.
Together with her scientific inclinations, Virginia has an abiding interest in history, certainly due in large part to the influence of her “Binnsy.” One of her most cherished memories is walking through Westminster Abbey with her grandfather as he described the lives and times of the people buried there.